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HOME > Contests > Articles on winning contests! > The Changing World of Competitions

The Changing World of Competitions

by Lynne Suzanne

The other night I attended a marketing meeting in which a University lecturer outlined ways of advertising products.

"One idea" he told us, "is to organise a prize competition".

I laughed. Not because what he said was amusing, far from it, but because you have only to look in high street stores, flip through magazines and newspapers, turn on the TV and radio or connect to the Internet to notice competitions everywhere.

Yes, organising prize competitions is just another form of advertising, albeit a win teresting one, but it's much more. It's a powerful sales and marketing tool.

I did wonder whether Internet comping would see entry forms disappearing from stores. However, having collected over fifty new competition entry forms in the high street this month, it seems that in store comping is alive and flourishing. Click on the link below for an example of some great prizes to be won.

I believe you, as a comper, have a certain amount of influence over competitions, simply by choosing whether or not you wish to enter. For instance, I remember many people complaining bitterly about the sudden surge in Instant Win promotions. Then too came a spate of premium rate telephone call contests. Let’s face it, if you don’t enter certain types of competitions, surely the promoters will question why.

From talking to many of you at competition events, your favourite competitions are tiebreaker slogans as they make winning dependent upon skill, not the ability to open a can to see if you've won. Next came factual questions and tasks such as `how many words can you make from the product name’. Estimations and imaginative tasks are also favourites and of course, free to enter prize draws, which when drawn after the closing date, give all eligible entrants an equal chance of winning a prize.

As I read several glossy magazines a month, I've noticed a recent trend that gives you the reader a greater choice. Many of the prize draws, giveaways and reader treats now offer you a choice of entry, either by post or a telephone call which costs about the same price as a stamp, as opposed to expensive premium rate calls.

A useful tip, if you don’t want your quarterly telephone bill to come as a shock, is to buy a telephone card for the sole purpose of entering comps. This great idea was revealed by a comper at one of our Win With Lynne Fundays. When she wants to enter phone contests she chooses a selection based on the prizes she’d like to win and those with charges around the same price as stamps. Then she makes her calls from a phone box until that month’s allocation is used.

I’ve begun to notice lately that a few competition promoters are giving you three entry options, by post, by phone or on the Internet. After all, promoting competitions on the Internet is just another form of advertising products.

A friend told me an interesting story the other day. She hasn’t got computer access at home so thought, as no-one was in the office at lunch time, she’d just visit a couple of comping sites. She made her entries and didn’t notice any data protection notices to receive further marketing offers. Satisfied all trace of her comping had been eliminated from the history file, she thought no more about it. Until she was called into the Manager’s office.

Like most large companies they delegate the job of postmaster to the Manager who, using the filter on his email system, receives all the firm’s incoming emails before forwarding to the appropriate persons.

Confronted with two `Thank you Mrs X for entering our competition which will be drawn at the end of the month, and in the meantime you may like to take advantage of our special offer’ emails, she wished the ground would open up and swallow her. Needless to say comping at work has been banned.

But then it got worse. Unfortunately, because she hadn’t read the rules, one of the promoters of a competition she’d entered had passed her email address to other companies. Over the next few weeks, she cringed with embarrassment every time one of those `take advantage of our offer’ or `you may like to know about’ emails found its way into her in-box.

It certainly makes you think doesn’t it? Now is there such a word as ejunk I wonder?

Copyright 2002  Lynne Suzanne

About the author
Lynne Suzanne is a freelance writer, consultant and speaker. She has written four books on winning prize competitions and slogan writing and presents Win With Lynne Roadshows and marketing seminars.
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