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I’m Legitimately Interested in You!

Huge amounts of money and effort are spent on creating the perfect experiential event one that will lure in the unsuspecting public, dazzle them with their delights, immerse them into the most fantastic brand experience. Yet very often, the visitor is sent off on their merry way without even exchanging contact details, writes Karen Thompson.

With GDPR upon us, an opted-in consumer email address is worth its weight in gold to a brand. It is high on their priority list, so whatever an experiential agency can do to acquire these is going to earn them brownie points!

In terms of acquiring high quality data − an experiential event couldn’t be better placed. The visitor has willingly entered a brand bubble and spent time emotionally connecting with the brand. If all has gone to plan the positive vibes will be pumping!

In GDPR terms they are practically screaming “I’m legitimately interested in you, where do I tick”! Missing this opportunity would be like having a successful first date, but not exchanging phone numbers at the end. Both parties left with a sense of “I don’t understand what went wrong. I thought we got on really well there”.

Don’t Leave them Hanging – Collect their Data!

“With brands desperate to re-build their email databases post-GDPR, we are finding promotions are proving a really popular driver to acquiring opted-in names” says Nicola Christie, promotions expert at Umbrella.

Running promotions is no longer just about driving trial and sales uplift. In a lot of cases, one of the key reasons for running the promotion is data acquisition.

Of course, most promotions involve the consumer filling in their data as part of the entry process – entering the chance to win a prize, claiming a free downloadable product voucher, taking part in an online competition or joining a loyalty programme.

Adding an email opt-in box as part of this process is really a no-brainer.

“Missing an opportunity would be like having a successful first date, but
not exchanging phone numbers at the end. Both parties left with a sense of “I don’t understand what went wrong. I thought we got on really well there”.

The benefit of designing a promotion that can be entered while the consumer is still within the confounds of the experiential event, is huge.

Not only are they immersed in the brand-love, but there are brand advocates who can provide encouragement and plus, the very fact the consumer is hanging out in this environment suggests they have time to kill.

“The experiential agencies we work with, love to get really creative when it comes to their promotions and find strong synergy with the brand. We’ve worked on many over the years, from running an against-the-clock drilling competition for £1 million prize… right through to dunking prize winners in a large vat of fizzy drink at a World Cup event.

However, if I’m honest, they don’t need to be all singing and dancing to see results. Even simply asking people to go online to claim a downloadable free product coupon with the chance to win a holiday, will be a success with the right support from the brand advocates and some well-placed POS. Let’s face it, people love prizes and anything free!” says Nicola.

Choosing the Right Prize or the Right Entry Mechanic?

“I work with clients to find the most cost-effective way to use their prize fund. We have a big historical database of promotional results that mean we know what works and what doesn’t. And the skill is really in tailoring the entry mechanic to suit the size of budget and the target consumer. My end goal is always to find the strongest headline that will excite consumers” Nicola adds.

Agencies are finding a lot of reassurance in using Promotional Risk Management agencies, like Umbrella. Not only is their advice free, but they offer a fixed fee management service for promotions, meaning you never lose control of your spend. It’s a stress-free solution, as they really will pick up everything to do with the back-end of the promotion − things like building online mechanics, hosting terms & conditions, the collection of GDPR compliant data, fulfilment of prizes and managing of financial risk.

A promotion can be such a simple add-on to any campaign and the perfect way to drive traffic to the all-important GDPR email opt-in.

Agencies need to keep this front-of-mind in campaign proposals to their clients and ensure they don’t miss those key opportunities where an audience is in their most ‘legitimately interested’ state! Data has just become way too precious to miss a trick like that!

Karen Thompson, marketing, Umbrella Risk Management Ltd.

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First published in Irish Marketing Journal (IMJ September 2018)© to order back issues please call 016611660