“Marketing is a contest for people’s attention,” Seth Godin.
#8 Experiences at work: Promotions and prizes
In this series we suggest ways to ‘shift people’s experience of work’. #7 looked at the power of team events and activities in creating a culture that surprises and delights your people. In this eighth post we look at how aspirational experiences can add a new dimension to your promotional activities.
You leave home for the daily commute to work. You walk out the front door and notice a few posters for an upcoming concert on the telegraph pole. You look down to head on your way up the street and there’s a chalk promotion on the footpath for a new local eatery. At the bus stop you see an ad for a new brand of fragrance. The bus pulls up and it’s wrapped in a promo for the latest Hollywood flick. Inside the bus there’s a poster urging you to download a new must-have travel app. You turn to your smartphone to play some music and you’re targeted with an ad for the new shoes you were browsing online last night. You look out the window for some respite and there’s a billboard promoting the newest smartphone…
It’s a familiar experience to most of us. In fact, it’s estimated we’re faced with about 5000 ads in any given day – it can feel like an assault on the senses. On the one side there’s the question about how we escape from this advertising clutter, but on the other there’s the question of how a whole profession of marketers can continue to cut through the noise to reach potential customers.
Marketing is about influence and inspiring a behaviour: ‘Try this’, ‘buy that’, ‘go here’, ‘do that’. And marketers are always looking for new and innovative ways to reach customers and provide value – after all, successful marketing is a value exchange between those selling and those receiving. As a consumer, you want to receive (or have the promise of receiving) something in exchange for your attention, time, money or effort.
In an environment where attention is the new currency, creating an emotional connection to your brand is paramount not only to success but mere survival. Emotional connection in a loving relationship is described as follows. “When you are emotionally connected as a couple, you build a foundation of strength, trust, and respect.” And while we’re not expecting customers to vow their loyalty to us until ‘death do we part’, as brands we must create this experience of trust so that customers feel their exchange of time with us is worthwhile.
Using experiences as prizes and cornerstones of marketing promotions can do just this. At the BRG we work with hundreds of businesses who use our experiences in this context. Why is it successful? Because it’s hard to put a price tag on an unforgettable experience like learning to fly a helicopter, or finally doing that skydive you always said you would. And that’s why experiences are such effective promotional vehicles – the memories are something money-can’t-buy. Experiences are aspirational, they provide social currency and bragging rights, and they’re something people don’t ordinarily spend their own money on. They’re usually reserved for special occasions and as gifts to others. So if you want to take your promotions up a notch, experiences can provide that valuable and elusive cut through needed to reach your (very distracted and overwhelmed) customers.
Here are our expert picks of the best aspirational prizes for your next promotion:
RedBalloon For Business
We put experiences to work for businesses from sales incentives to promotions.
Create an extraordinary work culture with the help of Redii's market-leading reward and recognition software solutions.
Also published on Medium.