Stop Running Promotions Just to Give Away Prizes

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One of the biggest mistakes we see marketers make is running a contest or sweepstakes just to give away cool prizes.

So I thought I’d take a few minutes to talk about why the goal for your promotion should absolutely never be just “to give away a prize.” You can watch the video here, or if you don’t want to listen to my voice, read the transcript below.

Video Transcript

Hi, I’m Romeo Maione and I’m Launchfire’s Director of Business Solutions, or as I like to say, our Director of BS.

What I want to talk about today is really the purpose behind running promotions, giveaways, and sweepstakes. I find way too often when I talk to a marketer, the first thing they say when I ask what the goal of the sweepstakes is, they’ll say “it’s to give away a really cool car, because it fits with our brand” or “to giveaway a fun trip.”

I just want to shake them and say, how does that actually help your brand?

You’re not going to break any of your business goals or win the quarter by giving away cool prizes. It’s got to be about actually accomplishing something for your brand — whether that’s sales, or building an audience, or just creating brand advocates for the experience.

From our perspective, the point of a prize or a giveaway is really a value exchange for your customers. It’s an incentive to get them to do brand actions that will ultimately drive your business goals. And that value exchange just has to be aligned with what you’re asking people to do.

If it’s something simple and easy for users like an email opt-in, then the prize doesn’t have to be that big and you don’t need to give away many chances to win in exchange for it. But if it’s something more difficult, like making a purchase, or at the highest end, something like brand advocacy where you’re asking people to talk about your brand and how great it is, then that’s going to take a bit better of a prize or at least more chances to win the same prize.

So what’s the bottom line?

The real purpose of a promotion always has to be connected to some sort of business goal. And that really isn’t just giving away prizes.