Prizes go beyond quiz shows.

As competition for consumer attention increases, brands and agencies are having to get more creative in order to win new customers and hold onto old ones.

One valuable strategy to explore is prize incentives.

What might at first sound like an expensive, dated tactic is actually a highly cost-effective way to improve the customer experience, build meaningful relationships and give marketers critical data insights about consumers’ needs and behaviours.

Let’s look at how brands and agencies can use prize incentives to enhance the digital customer’s experience whilst simultaneously boosting their bottom line.

Building an engaging digital experience

We’ve talked before about the importance of the customer experience in the customer journey and how the quality of this experience directly relates to sales: research from PwC has shown that 73% of customers identify experience as an important factor in their purchasing decisions.

And one way brands can improve the customer experience is by creating interactions that are more meaningful to individuals.

This can be achieved by building digital experiences that come with a prize incentive.

Now, a prize incentive doesn’t have to be a £100 gift card for your brand - it could be something as simple as a free product sample. The prize incentive principle is that consumers are encouraged to engage with a brand because they will be rewarded for their participation.

For example, a brand could encourage consumers to complete an online quiz that allows them to claim a free sample. Or, if the level of effort required will be larger, brands might choose to offer a larger reward: for instance, sending a full-size product to consumers who leave a review after receiving a sample.

So, depending on the way you build your product sampling campaign, a prize incentive could form part of your initial sample send-out or part of your follow-up engagement. Either way, such prize incentives help establish meaningful, personal interactions between consumer and brand, boosting brand recognition and winning customer loyalty.

However, simply offering a prize incentive isn’t enough: the incentive needs to be offered in the right way to secure that engagement. A consumer must instantly recognise that choosing to participate will bring them value and so brands must ensure their interfaces are engaging and their content is persuasive.

For instance, if an online questionnaire is clunky, slow to load or too difficult to navigate, consumers will drop off before they complete it - even with the promise of a prize at the end.

That’s why we’ve made a drag and drop campaign builder part of our platform. This tool makes it easy to create engaging, eye-catching campaigns and interfaces so brands don’t lose leads due to lack of design.

3 effective prize incentives to consider adding to sampling campaigns

Brands have a variety of prize incentives they can offer consumers.

This isn’t an exhaustive list of incentive prizes but aside from free samples, options include discount codes, full-size products or special gift boxes or products.

As mentioned above, it makes sense to match the size of reward to the size of the ask. But brands don’t necessarily have to send out full-sized products. Even another free sample - perhaps of a different product - for writing a review can be very effective in encouraging consumers to engage.

One of the biggest myths brands have about prize incentives is that they are expensive. But even if brands are choosing to give out full-sized products or gift products, they are likely to be only sending out one or two in return for every 2,000 people who signed up or asked questions.

And the cost of prizes is typically vastly outweighed by the benefits brands receive through consumer learnings and hyper-targeted marketing. 

Gather customer data in return for participation

These learnings are gained by gathering customer data as part of the digital experience.

The ‘prize’ for brands in prize incentive campaigns is learning more about the needs, preferences and priorities of consumers that can enhance every area of their business, from research and development through to product packaging and marketing.

To effectively do this, they need a sophisticated customer engagement platform like Odore that makes it easy to build interactive digital experiences and capture data with no coding knowledge required.

Gathering feedback through returning customers

Gathering feedback and reviews from customers is crucial for brands for multiple reasons.

It lets them know what’s working - and what isn’t - with their products, in order to maintain their competitive advantage. And positive reviews help win new customers as consumers are swayed by the personal experiences of others.

Plus, the process of gathering customer feedback with a follow up email - particularly when sweetened with a prize incentive - helps brands build meaningful relationships and shows they personally care about their customers.

Gathering feedback was a key part of our work with Clarins. We collaborated with the global brand to launch its product samples at the Voici Pop Up and followed up with customers who had received a sample in order to learn what they thought.

Through this process, the brand learned that their product was being well received, with 92% of surveyed customers reporting they ‘liked’ or ‘loved’ their sample. And we discovered there was strong intent to purchase among sampled consumers, with 79% of customers saying they were likely to purchase a Clarins product in the next 6 months.

Analysing customer data to produce valuable insights

It’s one thing to have data but it’s another thing to effectively analyse it. And this analysis is crucial if brands are to get accurate insights into consumer experience trends and evolving priorities.

Odore’s platform provides brands and agencies with granular customer analysis so they can gain a deeper understanding of their audiences’ preferences and concerns at a very high level of detail.

And with Odore’s segmentation tools, these insights can be used to hyper-target individual customers with tailored marketing and recommendations, increasing the likelihood of sales by getting the right products in front of the right people.

Continuing customer engagement

The secret to maintaining successful customer relationships is the same as maintaining personal ones: continued, considered interaction.

Prize incentives are an effective way to learn more about consumer trends and overall preferences, allowing brands to build and market products in ways that will get the best reception and drive sales. But they also win new customers by establishing individual relationships between consumers and brands.

But in order to see the full benefits, brands must ensure they are continuing customer engagement even after a prize has been successfully claimed. They now have the opportunity to target customers with tailored content and personalised incentives (such as special discount codes) to encourage them to make a purchase.

However, it’s important to make sure they’re only following up with content that’s highly relevant to each customer - that’s the difference between enticing consumers and pushing them away.

Transforming user engagement with digital transformation is not only possible, but easy with the right tools. Odore’s platform makes it simple to coordinate sophisticated prize incentive campaigns to win new customers and keep previous ones coming back for more.

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