Win over your consumers, one contest at a time

How often do we wonder if our gimmicks or contests are doing what’s anticipated? Did we hit that millionth customer? Did we persuade them to check out our business instead of a competitor?  And most importantly, is that person now a loyal customer?

There are many ways to grow a customer base; though some are not always easy to measure the level of effectiveness.  So how do you know if the efforts being put forth are worth it? I can now say that on the consumer side, people take notice. We’ve all heard of people claiming online contests, lottery jackpots and new cars, but we think it never seems to happen to us, so what’s the point in entering?

Well, I recently took a chance by taking part in a radio contest offering a trip to Las Vegas for an awards show and I actually did win! While I’d love to talk about how great the experience was and what an amazing trip it turned out to be, that’s not exactly what this is about.

Now, before this contest came about, I was a pretty big fan of the station, but in no means was I a dedicated listener. For example, I would often change the station if they were doing more talking than playing music. But after I entered myself in the competition, my role as a listener changed.

I listened every morning from the time I woke up to the time I walked into my office. At first I was just interested in seeing if my chances of winning had changed at all, but I realized after a few days of being a dedicated listener, I actually really enjoyed the station and all of the segments they put on in the morning. Since finding out that I won, I continue to tune into the station each morning and have become a true fan.

Does this mean that everyone needs to start giving away amazing prizes in order to get the public’s attention? No, absolutely not! It can be as simple as having one day discounts or tickets to the new big blockbuster movie. We have found it very successful to create large, excited crowds at our Albany Ski and Snowboard Expo by offering free lift tickets to various mountains. The feedback is always tremendous and we have certain people that come back every year because they’ve made it a family tradition. Our creative promotional efforts have made an impact in increasing consumer loyalty.

If a contest or special gimmick is done correctly, the results will be positive. The important thing is getting those consumers in the door and what happens next is up to you. Now is the time to really hook those casual customers and make them life-long supporters. In the end, doesn’t that make YOU the winner?