Thursday, February 11, 2016

Should your business run a competition?

Every few weeks I receive a telephone call from someone asking me if I can answer a survey - "It will only take 10 minutes."

The conversation usually goes something like this: "Good evening sir, I'm Billy Bloggs from the Acme Polling Company and I'm wondering if you'd like to do a short survey for us."

Me: "What's it about?"

He: "Superannuation and banking."

Me: "How long will it take?"

He: "Only about 10 minutes."

Me: "Now let me get this straight. Someone has hired you to do a survey and you get paid for it. Now you want me to spend my valuable time answering your survey for free."

He (spluttering): "Yes, but your name will go into a competition to win a new iPad."

Me: "How many people are you surveying?"

He: "60,000 across Australia."

Me: "So, how may iPads are you giving away?"

He: "I'm not sure, just one I think."

Me: "So, my odds of winning the iPad are 1 to 60,000."

He: "I guess so."

Me: "Thank you, but I don't wish to do your survey."

He: (Now annoyed) "Well why didn't you say that in the first place?"

Me: "I needed to know" (Click) ... end of conversation.

I often wonder how many other people respond in the same way and whether anyone actually wins an iPad.

These surveys are regular, so the offer of an iPad is an incentive for people to respond positively. Unfortunately, I think almost everyone on the planet who can read and write has at least one iPad, so the enticement is probably of very low value.

A company called Career One had monthly competitions in which people won a trip overseas with $20,000 spending money. At present they are running a $100,000 competition for Australian Residents.

What benefit do they get?

People who join the competition have to watch a short video (which is quite well done), provide their email address and are asked to send details of the competition to Facebook and Twitter. They are also asked whether they would like to receive information about courses.

The main benefit is probably the viral effect of this type competition. They are probably getting much more publicity for their $100,000 than they would placing ads on the internet, in news media etc.

Giving something away or a chance to get something is a draw card for many people. Some are tyre kickers like me (I'm not looking for a job or any further education - been there, done that), but others are still in the career development stage.

Should your business run a competition?

Depending on the business, your sales budget, and how much you need to promote your business, it's probably worth at least considering.

It may be more cost effective. It might bring in new customers.

You will need to provide an incentive that is worthwhile - don't offer an iPad, everyone else is doing it.

What do you think, is a competition something your business could use constructively that would benefit the company?


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