Company Loses Competition Entries!

October 10, 2008 by admin  
Filed under Business

Picture this……. You’ve entered a competition to win one of four $50,000 prizes……. You took hours on your “words or less” entries, and have been holding your breath for that winning phone call or letter to arrive.

You check your email and Oh My God there it is…… an email from the company…..

You look closer…. and sadly open the email only to read that you are required to resubmit your entry as due to a technical error, everything has been lost :(

If you’re lucky, you have kept your original answers written down, but it’s certain that for some entrants this won’t be the case and they will need to recreate an answer from scratch (this of course could also be a good thing).

This exact situation is currently affecting competition entrants into a recent competition run by Continental and IGA. Emails have been sent to online entrants requesting a resubmit as due to an error, entry information has been lost.

This notification was sent out on the day that the results were supposed to be published in The Australian Newspaper announcing the winners. This raises the question as to why it took so long for entrants to be notified of the error.

While there is sure to be disappointment and frustration for some, there is also relief for others at the opportunity to refine their original answers. With what was probably thousands of entries, it’s definately not a small blunder by the company who’s staff would no doubt be under extra pressure trying to sort and judge answers as they are resubmitted.

So in the world of entering competitions and sweepstakes what does this mean?

Quite simply, that while technology is great for ensuring greater access to a wider number of competitions, it can also cause some doubt as to the accuracy of entries being received and collated.

Hats off to Continental in this case for contacting entrants and being honest about the situation. I can’t help but think there would be companies out there who would go ahead announcing winners out of the entries they had managed to salvage.

Continental taking the time to communicate with entrants, set new dates for entry close off and judging and admit their blunder is a great confidence booster in the quality and transparency of promotions that they run.

I submitted some mail in and online entries for this competition, and luckily I had my word or less answers written down. With this being such a huge prize I took the time to really work on what I wanted to write.

A moral to this story is being sure you take advantage of entering in multiple ways if allowed. Spreading your entry options around can help boost confidence that your entries reach their destination and are spread across the judging pool. Come to think of it I think that subject might make a good post… will write about that tomorrow..

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Why Companies Hold Competitions and Sweepstakes?

October 9, 2008 by admin  
Filed under Business

Sometimes it’s obvious, sometimes not so much…. but have you ever wondered why companies hold competitions, contests or sweepstakes?

Of course the most obvious answer is to get exposure. In the online world it’s common knowledge that creating “buzz” and making things go “viral” are important in establishing both brand awareness and loyalty. It’s exactly the same for companies big and small.

Even if you aren’t like me, who enters almost anything and everything I can, I am sure at some point in your life you’ve entered a competition or sweepstake that was driven by “buzz”. Think about your favourite soft drink brand, shopping centre or television program. Chances are, you’ve jumped in on entering something that offered a prize that seemed irresistable.

Competitions and Sweepstakes work! (If they are done correctly but I’ll write about that another day).

Companies hold them because they want you to try their product. They hope you’ll fall in love with their product and stay converted. They hope you’ll tell your friends and family about the amazing potential prize they have on offer, and they hope you’ll spend lots of money on their product in order to win. Truth is, most of these wishes will be fulfilled.

I won a $10000 prize from a deodorant company, and unless there is another competition on deodorant, I still buy that brand religiously. It helps that it’s good and it works, but had I not won a prize (especially such a big one, that loyalty wouldn’t exist).

There’s so much to discuss about the business side of competitions that I am going to start a new blog category, but the important thing is to remember is that -

Companies hold competitions for viral buzz, brand exposure and increased sales

Competitions only work really well if they are held and conducted properly, if a competition appears to be dodgy, unfair or misleading it can have a negative effect for the brand.

Competitions build brand, consumer excitement and most importantly are always a “good news story” when someone wins a prize.

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