Category: success

5 effective ways to run a successful competition

In the last blog post I told you all of the things you shouldn’t do when running competitions on Facebook…that’s a bit unfair unless I follow up with something a bit more empowering! So here it is…

1. Decide why you’re doing it:

a.) Encourage feedback. Use your competition to get feedback on which product your audience prefers, or to find out more about what they do on the weekend for example. Choose something that will benefit your marketing.

b.) Increase your audience. Ask a question like “give us your best caption for this photo” because the more people who answer the more you’ll fall into the newsfeeds of their friends, which will likely encourage some of them to participate.

c.) Generating leads. This is all about bringing people closer to your product so they’re more likely to buy it or enter their name in a mailing list. The idea here is that you’re using a light touchpoint to encourage people to give you a more permanent way for you to stay in touch, i.e. e-mail.

d.) Capturing data. Do you already have an email list but you want to know more about your audience and their preferences? You might want to get them to update their preferences (or even just a detail like their address) as part of a competition.

e.) Changing behaviour. A competition is a great way to reward people for changing their behaviour to suit you better. For example getting people to come see you in a quiet time rather than a peak time. They may need to enter during your quiet time, but make sure you leave enough time to give them a ‘thank you’ for entering that encourages them to experience wht you have to offer.

2. Use a prize that your target audience will love.

This is pretty obvious. And if you don’t know what type of prize your audience would love more, you could give them a choice. The upside here is that you also get to know your audience better.

3. Keep things simple.

The more hoops you make someone jump through the bigger the prize needs to be. The simpler you can keep it the better.

4. Celebrate the winner!

Too often competitions don’t make a big deal out of the draw, and then people wonder if it was legitimate or not. Make a big deal out of the winner so people are more likely to enter next time.


5. Measure.

Will you run the competition again? It should all come down to whether or not you achieved the goals you set out for in point number 1.

Remember there are some things you shouldn’t do when running a competition. If you missed those from the last blog post you can read them here.

The recent Bonds Baby Competition is a great example of using a competition to drive you closer, much closer, to their online store where they just happened to be having a 40% off sale. To participate you had to enter your email, then verify it with a link in your inbox. This is just one example of how you can move people from strangers through to likely customers in just a few clicks.

It all comes down to experimentation, and honing in on best results.

Remember, getting more likes and reactions isn’t everything!


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Which 50% of your marketing works?

Hi there! 

I can’t tell you how many people I bump in to that use the line “we know half of our marketing works, we just don’t know which half!” It’s meant to be a joke but it’s really not funny.

What they’re really saying is, “I have no idea how useful 100% of my marketing budget is and I don’t even try to measure it.”

As a brand strategist I know the power of emotion to move people. Emotion though is hard to track…but it’s not impossible. And it’s certainly not impossible to measure the effect of other marketing activities either.

Now measuring marketing activities isn’t easy and I admit that, that’s why there are trained marketers that do what they do, but without measurement I can guarantee you’re throwing your money away.

So…here’s what you need to do:

1. Start to measure

The most basic thing you can do is measure how many units of something you’re selling each day, week or month (dependent on how your business works). Then compare periods. 

If there are differences, ask yourself what’s changed in the market place and what marketing have you done differently. It seems really obvious, but it’s amazing how often this isn’t being done.



2. Don’t start any marketing without a plan

And by a plan I mean knowing what the purpose of the campaign is, what effects you expect to see and how you’ll measure it.

It could be as simple as asking your staff to ask customers how they heard about you or by including a drop-down option on your website ‘contact us’ form.

If you know what the outcome is expected to be, that will give you a hint on how you’re going to measure it. Get creative.


3. Use a calendar to measure 

Do you have your Google Analytics account, and do you check the stats to see how many people visited your site on any given day or time? If you do, then grab a blank calendar and draw in the dates that you had specific marketing activity that promoted your website. Then look for correlation between what marketing activity you had on any particular day, and see if it correlates to any changes on your website.

For one client we knew they had an average of 17 unique users per day on a particular product page but when they had a quality TV ad running that pointed to this product, it went up to 90 during the viewing period.

We couldn’t be 100% sure it was the TV ad, but it happened again the same week. When the TVC stopped, it started to average out again. Of course this didn’t turn directly in to sales, but we know it had an effect in bringing people closer and then looked at how well the website was performing.


4. Cause and effect isn’t linear

One doesn’t simply put an advert in the paper and have it convert directly to a sale. It’s general marketing understanding that it takes at least seven touch points in order to move a person from being a lead to being a sale. 

This is one reason social media is such an important tool. Because of this, it can be helpful to measure other stages in building the relationship, not just the sale. For example, measure the cost of each person that likes your Facebook page, then measure the cost of getting them to eventually become a customer (there will be a few other stages in between). Experienced marketers will be measuring the cost of delivering each of the touchpoints in their control and working out which ones have the greatest effect.


5. The trend is your friend

Not every day is a good day. Even on social media, you win some, you lose some. For all of our clients we track which posts people like the most and which ones they don’t. It allows us to get to know them better and deliver messages that add value to their lives.

Yes we measure and analyse data from the emails we send out, including how many people clicked through to our blog. It’s not ‘big brother’, it’s us wanting to know what you value most without annoying you by ‘sending out a survey’. This allow us to provide you with content that’s valuable to you, our intended audience. 


These points are only a very basic starting point, but something is better than nothing!


The point

  • If you don’t try to measure then you could be (actually you definitely are) spending a lot of money that’s having no effect at all, and at worse could actually be turning customers away…but how would you know?
  • Measurement also allows you to get to know what your customers want and care about the most. In a world that has as much competition in it as ours does, understanding what your target customer cares about is essential.


Contact us to see how we can partner with you to help you build a brand people rave about.



The importance of relevance, a blunt view

A big g’day to you all!

I once went to a Health Retreat in sunny old Queensland where I was learning about proactive health (cause and effect sort of stuff) and took the time to really think about “responsibility”.

I was in the gym and saw a cartoon on the wall with a trainer asking a chubby guy, “If you can’t find time to exercise an hour a day, how will you find time to be dead 24 hours a day?”

It dawned on me that many brand owners (either career driven individuals, sportspeople or business owners) don’t take responsibility for their own futures by preparing to beat today’s challenges.

In Tasmania, our famous discount retailer “Chickenfeed” closed down with financial difficulties recently. What shocked me (maybe shock isn’t the right word) were the number of people proclaiming on about how this was just another example of the economic downturn.

This is the same economy in which stores such as The Reject Shop and Shiploads (Chickenfeed’s two competitors in Tasmania) have now successfully opened more stores. If it’s the same economy and same trading conditions but one couldn’t stay afloat, then it must be safe to say the issue lies in the business, not everything around it.


For many business owners or professionals the critical period is already here. Faster than ever businesses all around are becoming irrelevant and they’re living on borrowed time. They must choose if it will be a crisis to whinge over or a challenge to overcome. Let’s look at some scenarios and forgive me if it looks like I’m being a little ‘too’ blunt.


– If your competitors have the ‘next big thing’ and your customers love it so much they leave you…whose problem is that? It would be you that failed to get your own ‘Next big thing’.


– If your sales drop so you’ve discounted your products to a point you no longer make money…whose problem is that? It would be you that failed to provide or communicate enough value to maintain 


– If internet shopping starts stealing your customers and you struggle to survive…whose problem is that? It would be you that failed to come up with an experience or element to your product that the internet couldn’t match, or that failed to take the opportunity to sell your unique product to the world also.


– If you’re a sportsperson who loses an endorsement because you drive your car like a maniac….whose problem is that? It would be you for driving the car without respect for the safety of others. 


– Are you an automobile maker, that intentionally misled pollution screening at one of the world’s most trusted brands causing it to lose BILLIONS of dollars and impacting a countries entire reputation for trusted quality? Ok that last one couldn’t possibly ever happen could it Volkswagen?

Seriously though these points are just the tip of an iceberg – if you want to see other underlying problems for business see more in my eBook, it’s free and you can download it here.

I know the plight of forestry suppliers and many in agricultural businesses that have hit hard times and they find themselves in circumstances which are not caused by them. They, like all of us at some point in our lives, will have to ask themselves “Can we hold on to this and put the building block in to succeed, or should we start to diversify now whilst we are still strong enough to do so?”

At one point, in a respectable show of honesty, the CEO of Vodafone Australia admitted they totally underestimated the load on their network that would be needed to satisfy the appetite for smartphone usage amongst their customers. A couple of years ago a large exodus began because their network was hopeless. With all credit to the CEO, around the time he came out with the previous statement he openly admitted they knew it wasn’t up to scratch and would have to spend the next couple of years healing. Honesty is the best policy in business. 

The buck stops with the individual. The reputation and ultimate success of our own brands rely on you. Consumers very rarely look positively at a ‘bail-out’ by someone else but instead respect strength and an enduring spirit. Blaming others for shortcomings is simply a waste of time. 

The Point: 

Next time you or a friend find yourselves apportioning blame to others, take a moment to think what could have been done in the past to avoid this situation now. In this rapidly changing world choices need to be made for those in many industries. It’s always important to remember, you got yourself here, now it’s you who has the power to choose remain relevant and take the next step toward success.