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Consumer Contests that Work for You

In today's competitive environment, businesses are seeking innovative ways to increase sales. One type of sales promotion that can work well, if properly planned, is a consumer contest.

Consumer contests can be used to achieve many objectives, including increasing traffic, enhancing brand identity, and creating on-site excitement.

Important: Your promotions should not only be measured by the sales or qualified traffic they generate but by the lasting impression created about your business in the minds of the 95% of your target market who were not available or in the market to participate.

Successful contests don't just happen; they must be carefully planned and administered. First and foremost, you must have a clearly defined.

All too often, we hear marketers say, "I want to give away a trip to Florida. Can you design a contest?" The real question should be "I want to achieve X marketing objective. Will a give-away or contest achieve it, and if so, how?" Ask yourself what you really hope to achieve from any type of promotion.

A men’s wear store, for example, that uses valuable media time or online space to promote a free trip to Disney World, makes no sense. On the other hand, promoting a new line of suits and giving away one for each season, tells your audience what you sell.

While the trip to Disney World might create more traffic, the wardrobe giveaway will deliver qualified buyers and let everyone who could not attend the event know exactly what you sell and what you stand for.

After defining your real and ultimate objective, you must be satisfied that the promotion you design will achieve that objective. Test-marketing the idea, or discussing it with others could prevent disaster.