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B2B Marketing

Marketing Innovation: The Contest

One of the best marketing innovation strategies of late is the contest. Not a phony contest, where one enters to win a large sum of money if only they sign up for mountains of spam email or have to participate in or purchase a product or service – a real contest that has a benefit for entering, and the promise of a really nice prize if they win.

This marketing innovation can be achieved at very little cost to the company, thanks to social media. A perfect example of positive marketing innovation comes from the California Avocado Commission‘s Facebook page, which, last year, held a contest on their page to get people to sign up for their newsletter.

The Contest Rules

The rules of the contest were very simple – every person who signed up was to provide the email addresses of as many friends and family as possible. An invitation was then sent out to the addresses provided, stating that, if they signed up for the California Avocado Commission newsletter, which provided recipes and tips on their product, their friend who signed them up would get the chance to win prizes. Whoever signed up the most people won first place. The second most won second place, and third, of course, won third place. The first place prize was a certain quantity of free avocados. Second and third place won different California Avocado Commission premiums, such as t-shirts, hats, refrigerator magnets, and pens with the California Avocado Commission logos on them. Winners were announced on the California Avocado Commission’s Facebook page.

The Results

People love free items. They want the chance to win, and a lot of excitement was generated about the contest. Many people, who wanted their friends to win the contest, signed up for the California Avocado Commission newsletter, and, to be sure, others decided they wanted to win the contest themselves, and sent out invitations to their friends. The results were that many new followers and fans came onto their Facebook page, excitement was generated for their product, and this marketing innovation was a great success.

The Cost

The cost to the organization was negligible, consisting of giving away a certain amount of avocados plus shipping costs, and two sets of premiums to the second and third place winners, plus shipping costs. Relatively little outgoing in return for enthusiasm generated around the product, resulting in increased buzz and sales.

Imagine the contest as a marketing innovation that can be used with any type of social media, and with any product or service. The cost to implement and roll out is very little, and the benefits are great – creating a “win-win” situation for the business and its consumers. The tool became interactive, engaging its customers and potential customers, and raised awareness around a product that is all too often overlooked on the produce shelves. This is such a simple marketing innovation, flexible enough to be implemented for any product or service, and with an excellent cost-benefit analysis.

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Leslie Chapman

Leslie has worked as a digital analyst for over five years. She enjoys writing about many business marketing topics especially those impacting the SMB market.

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