Consumer Marketing: Using Contests and Competitions

Apart from aggressive marketing campaign and ads placements in website pages, competitions are another common promotional tool to attract potential customers to products and services. As a general rule, contests do not have to be difficult or overly challenging because it tends to reduce attractiveness. It has to be very easy instead with some simple trivia questions or demonstrations of talents. With the help of social media, such contest can be an efficient part of the entire marketing campaign yet very affordable even for startups. As a marketing tool, contest offers the following benefits.


  1. Almost Free Promotional Event

The main idea behind having a contest is to get the products or brands known by the public. In an online contest, a company also has the chance to quickly build potential customers base via social media, blog, or newsletters subscribers. We have to be realistic that the number of people who take part in the contest is not the only statistical data to measure whether a marketing campaign is success or a flop, but it can be good metric to measure how attractive the contest is. In some cases, a sweepstake that requires almost no action on the participants’ parts is good alternative to contest. This is not an entirely free marketing tool because there should be a quite interesting prize offered to attract more people.


  1. Easy Research

Contests gives you a perfect opportunity to conduct a little bit of market research. It can work on social media or for brick & mortar retailers using fill-out forms. When participants answer some questions in the forms, they give enough data for you to start an analysis. The questions can include their favorite features from certain products, what they want to see in the next products, customer satisfaction rating, etc. A company uses such data to design new products or improve an existing service.


  1. Broader circle 

Some contests help you interact with existing customers and effectively engage with the potential ones. Take UGC (user generated content) promotion for example; participants must upload photos or videos to demonstrate their talents or unique ideas. There is a strong sense of competitions in that especially if the prize is something quite valuable. When participants use personal contents (photos, videos, stories, etc), each of them also takes part in your marketing campaign.


It is a common practice in social websites, because they are indeed the easiest media to communicate with your customers. Another benefit is the indirect campaign in which participants help spread the words about your brands and products or services. This is free effective marketing that lets you engage with new potential customers previously unreachable.


  1. Affordability

Depending on the prize, a contest or sweepstake can be either costly or inexpensive. More attractive prizes such as cash, handmade items, or the latest products you have, are more likely to attract more people but it comes at a price. Prizes such as coupons for discounts can be inexpensive, but the cost adds up as you give more coupons to multiple customers.