Interactive Promotions (or Interactive Advertising) is new trend in advertising that focuses on creating a dynamic and engaging "conversation" between the consumer and the advertiser. Most often these types of promotions harness the power and creativity of the internet and have most recently started utilizing social media platforms as an extension of an overall bigger interactive promotions/advertising campaign. As it is implied in its name, interactive promotions relies on some sort of interactive component whether it is a user generated contest, a game, a sweepstakes or any other number of actions. The idea is for the consumer to take some action and participate in the campaign rather than just being on the receiving end of a message.
Types of Interactive Promotions
Below are some of the most popular interactive promotions that are currently being used by major companies as means of engaging their customers beyond traditional advertising.
Sweepstakes and Advergames
- Branded digital games that engage consumers with prize incentives
- Skill tests and user-generated promotions such as video and photo contests
Social Media Applications and Management
- Develop promotions and offers within social media channels
- Ongoing management and maintenance of brand Facebook pages and other social media
Customer Rewards Programs
- Online points programs – earn prizes for incremental purchase behavior
- Promotional auctions – bid for prizes with points earned from incremental purchase behavior
- Manage overall subscription databases – national and/or segmented by market
- Design, develop and publish e-mail blasts
- Develop templates specific offers and promotions / delivery
Text Messaging / Mobile Apps / Desktop Apps and Widgets
- SMS Promotions
- iPhone apps
- Branded web apps
Non-Internet Specific Interactive Promotions
Although most interactive promotions have a web component there are other very effective interactive promotions. Scratch-and-win cards, peel-off cards, and collect and win games have been successful in the past and have helped push the needle for sales. McDonalds, for instance, is an excellent example of a promotion that did not have an internet component when it began but was able to really help with customer involvement. When McDonalds partnered with Monopoly for their peel off cards game, it was an instant hit and people were going to McDonalds 2-3 times a day to try and collect all three of a property on the Monopoly board. This type of creative thinking and partnership proved to be extremely profitable and has returned year after year. Successful interactive promotions have the ability to gain a place in the minds of consumers as more than a cheap advertising ploy.
Why Use Interactive Promotions
Interactive promotions have begun to appeal to advertisers because they have far more measurable metrics and analytics than traditional advertising. With the use of such tools as Google Analytics, advertisers can see exactly how customers are accessing their promotions, where they are coming from, how many unique visits there are and how many peoplea returning again and again. With these tools, advertisers are able to moderate their campaigns much more effectively and make changes quickly and easily if they need to in order to increase the effectiveness of the campaign.
Consumers like to feel engaged and in a world with ever increasing technology, it is easier than ever to make consumers feel as though they have a voice in the products and things being advertised to them. By creating promotions that encourage the consumer to take some sort of action, companies are building brand loyalty by offering more than just an advertisement. Offering incentives like big prizes creates an environment in which customers see the advertiser as more than just the advertiser. By giving away something for a truly minimal action, it establishes a connection that is no longer based on the advertiser trying to sell something. Individuals are far more likely to come back to a company that uses interesting interactive promotions than a company with a static message of "buy our brand because we're the best."
Many companies and advertisers have begun to move towards this type of advertising. Currently several companies specialize in this type of advertising like Brandmovers, ePrize, and Brickfish. These companies are quickly making a name for themselves as the newest members of advertising and pioneers in the field of interactive promotions.
These companies generally follow the same type of business model and offer a variety of services to help facilitate the venture into new media. Most often the basic service of interactive agencies is as follows: Promotion Consulting
- Understand brand and marketing objectives to determine overall campaign strategy.
- Develop promotional concept and tactics.
- Assign account team to work jointly with brand/account teams on time and on budget.
- Program Execution and Analysis
- Web programming and development, secure hosting, administer database management, reporting and analytics, opt-in/opt-out management, e-mail marketing and post analysis.
Administration and Ongoing Support
- Manage legal compliance - comply with sweepstakes/game of chance regulations /CAN-SPAM / state or country regulations, bonding requirements, alternate method of entry handling, etc.
- Prize insurance, prize sourcing, prize indemnification, redemption coverage, customer service hotline, winner notification, prize fulfillment, affidavits of *eligibility and publicity release.