Draw more attention by leveraging the value of your media plan to attract prize partners to participate in your promotion. The payoff is often greater than you expected when you do the research and pound the pavement to uncover other products and services that want to reach the same markets you are targeting. Creating a mutual partnership, where the partner provides product as a prize in your promotional campaign, takes some skills and knowledge. Here is how to trade media value for free sweepstakes & contest prizes, expand your audience, reduce your budget and improve your creative execution.

Marketing The Value of Shared Strategies

When strategies align it is easier to trade media value to get a yes. Plan on sharing some details of your Marketing Plan with potential prize partners to aid them in their decision.

When strategies align a prize partner benefits from increased exposure

When strategies align a prize partner benefits from increased exposure

Define your brand, target audience, the promotional time period and geographic area covered for your proposal. The increased exposure that a potential partner can achieve through your sales promotion may enhance their plan, cause them to adjust their strategy and reduce their budget.

For example, marketing research developed for a Hawaii based loyalty program uncovered the top travel destination for Hawaii residents is Las Vegas. A sweepstakes featuring a free trip to Vegas was developed to build awareness and loyalty program membership. We pitched the partnership concept using the research data and promotional plan to a local airline. They jumped at the opportunity to provide us with an all inclusive tour packages to Las Vegas, one of their top leisure destinations.

Develop A Theme to Identify Trade Media Partners

Based on your creative strategy, choose a theme and develop the best-case scenario for prize partner categories. Large organization’s big media investment and extensive list of vendor and partner relationships have an easier time specifying their prize structure and approaching specific suppliers. Smaller companies may not have as much control over getting partners, and it will require some selling and creativity.

I worked on a promotion for VISA featuring their US Olympic sponsorship as a theme for a sweepstakes driven ad campaign. As an official sponsor, GM’s Buick division developed an Olympic edition vehicle as part of their Olympic partnership program. It literally took one phone call to set up getting a special edition car as a grand prize, based on the trade media value provided by VISA. For smaller business the process may not as easy. The marketing data and promotional plan will be instrumental to sell partners on the idea.

Seek and You Shall Find Prized Partners

Once you develop your marketing strategy, promotional plan and sweepstakes or contest theme, it’s time to identify your potential partner sales funnel. Like any sales process, start with who you know. Vendors, clients, professional organizations and trade associations  are a good source of potential partners. Here creativity comes into play. Your theme may be ‘Catch the Wave’ for a hair care product with a target of woman 25 to 45. The prize can be a trip to a beach destination or a lease of a convertible, where the winner can wave to the crowd applauding her improved hairstyle. Be flexible to work with the products of  potential partners that express an interest.

Determine The Value of Your Media Campaign

Combine traditional media with Social Media strategy to generate a dollar value

Combine traditional media with Social Media strategy to generate a dollar value

Trade media exposure for free prizes using the value of  your media plan and the pull of your brand.  Combine your traditional media spend in the form of print, radio, TV, etc. with the value of your Social Media strategy to generate a dollar vale. Check out the link to ‘How to calculate the value of your social media’ to determine its value. Because the prize promotion partner may not be getting the full awareness value of the campaign, be prepared to come up with a formula that meets your partner’s needs. For example, if the prize appears in 20% of the ad and they want 3 times value of the product they are trading in media, work with them to justify the numbers.

Discover More Value Than You Thought Possible

Creatively integrating the promotion into other channels expands media value and provides the opportunity to offer your prize partner additional marketing opportunities. Integrating the prize promotion into direct mail and e-channels, increases value that you can attach a dollar figure to.  A link to the partner’s site, trade promotions featuring the partner’s product, employee discounts or incentive programs are all hidden resources as you drill-down to create increased partner value.

Get  Creative and Have Fun

Invent a more creative promotional campaign by bringing creative minds together

Invent a more creative promotional campaign by bringing creative minds together

The power of two organizations developing a prize promotion, that creatively reaches a shared target audience, can be a rewarding and fun experience. As mutual partners, the opportunity to invent a more creative promotional campaign is increased by bringing both organization’s creative minds together. Uncovering new sales and trade channels, creating incentives to improve employee loyalty and customer engagement may be ancillary benefits of a sales promotional partner relationship. Often a greater business relationship begins with the shared marketing strategy process. Be open to new opportunities to expand customer segments by sharing and brainstorming as you work at becoming “prized” mutual partners.

Kevin Danaher

Kevin’s career spans over 30 years where he worked for New York Sales Promotion and Advertising agencies such as Ventura Associates, and BBDO developing promotional campaigns for some of the world’s leading brands including VISA, General Electric, Kraft/General Foods, Fidelity Investments, and Chrysler. Read More