It has now become common to see promotions or competitions being held by companies. Every morning when you switch on the radio there is a company that is giving away some money or product once you answer a question. During the day there will be many such promotions. Then you will also see in the papers, TV or radio companies and organizations advertising a competition where you can win cash or products. Some of the prizes run into millions of shillings. Some of them also giveaway assets worth millions including houses and cars.
The consumers are rejoicing as they are able to get free phones, cash and assets. Some of the people who have won some of the cash prizes or assets like cars have gone on to do great things. Some of these “bonus” cash comes like a God sent miracle allowing people to pay off debt, invest, pay school fees, buy that dream house and also have some money to ‘plant a seed” with the pastor.
The Daily Nation has just concluded the “Ni Kusoma Na Kudrive” promotion where both readers and vendors won prizes. There were 10 Nissan pickups, 100 smart phones, cash prizes and 6 months Daily Nation subscription for 20 lucky winners. The Ni Kusoma Na Kudrive promotion was aimed at encouraging more people to buy the newspaper and also to reward loyal readers and vendors.
Why do companies carry out such expensive promotions and competitions?
One of the reasons is to influence consumer behavior and drive up sales volumes. The idea is to influence consumers to buy, try or continue to use a product. Consumers like the idea of a promotion where they are getting something either for free or at a reduced cost. It may influence a consumer to buy something that they otherwise would not have bought or were not planning to buy at that time.
Promotions are a way to reward loyal customers who have been buying your products for years. It is a great way for a business to say thank you. This in turn also tends to increase customer loyalty to the brand as consumers know that relationship is not one way but that the company appreciates that the customer has choice but chooses to buy that particular product.
It is also good for the supply chain. Driving sales also works well for the people who are on the distribution chain. If your distributors are able to clear stock because of your promotion they are likely to be happy, invest more in selling your goods or service and they are also likely to buy more stock. All of which is a win- win for everybody.
Promotions are also used to create a buzz about a certain product or service. This is usually done by having a memorable competition or promotion where you are giving away something that many people would want to have. This will lead people to buy your product.
The downside is that if you run a promotion badly it could end up denting your image. Issues of fraud and credibility may arise so make sure that you have covered everything and that people trust that the campaign you are running is on the up and up. Make sure there is validation of winners to ensure no shady business has gone on, like a member of staff making sure a family member wins. That is why credible companies like the Nation Media Group usually hire an external auditor to oversee the winning draws. For competitions companies are also supposed to involve Betting Control.
Competitions are a double edged sword, they may attract new customers who may love your products and keep using them. Or they may attract customers who are just there for the prizes and will never buy from you after the competition. It is important to have a marketing plan that takes that into account.
Promotions are a great way of reminding customers that you appreciate them. If campaigns are run well and you have a great product, then the likelihood of converting some consumers who were not using your brand before into loyal customers is high.