The Strategic Evolution of Sweepstakes

Every single company wants the same thing. Growth. And while not all are identical, all companies, regardless of product category, target audience or class of trade, work year round to continuously build their brands, engage consumers, and bolster their reputations.

This begs an important question; which marketing tactics are the most effective? It’s a question that unfortunately doesn’t really have a straightforward answer. Therefore we have to believe that a marketing tactic is only as good as the strategy behind each tactic.

When used strategically, sweepstakes, games & contests can help companies create excitement among consumers, and enhance a brands image. High value prizes, exotic vacations, and large sums of money are designed to generate consumer engagement. Successful, well-received sweepstakes, also provide a brand opportunity for positive PR. Internally, sweepstakes can provide companies with preliminary consumer research; databases can help companies better understand audience demographics. These findings can help companies target their audience in the best ways possible.

While sweepstakes aren’t new to the world of marketing, technological enhancements introduced during the 21st century have helped sweepstakes strategically evolve:

Social media, emails, and blogs have given people multiple platforms to share almost anything. Sweepstakes enthusiasts have created internet databases complied with lists of sweepstakes to help others find new sweepstakes to enter.

Social Media Sweepstakes
Many sweepstakes today are purely social media based. Entering a sweepstakes can be as simple as tweeting a specific hashtag, or uploading a picture on Instagram.  The virality of social media allows brands to quickly amplify its message to friends and friends of friends.

Instant Winners
As a society, we’ve been guilty of seeking, even demanding, instant gratification. Technological advances have given sweepstakes the opportunity to award winners instantly at the touch of a button.

Time Efficiency
We all live busy lives and making sweepstakes entry as simple as possible is necessary to insure success. The advances of both the internet and smartphones has streamlined the sweepstakes entry process immensely. Instead of mailing in entries, many sweepstakes drive consumers to an internet promotional page for entry. Other sweepstakes that require validating a proof of purchase can easily be done now using optical character recognition (OCR).

Sweepstakes, games & contests have proven to be a highly-effective tactic in marketing in many product categories to a wide variety of target audiences. As marketers, we’re excited to be a part of how sweepstakes will continue to evolve in the digital age.