Using lotteries as a marketing tool
Suppose you’re the new director of customer experience at British Airways looking to build a stronger emotional connection with your brand. How do you do it?
If you’ve been told once, you’ve been told a thousand times: Consistently offer a fun and enjoyable experience. Easier said than done, right? What’s new, unique, and appealing that’s low cost, drives traffic, and improves sales conversions and relationships…and hasn’t been done already by your competitors?
The advantages of lotteries
Believe it or not, some marketers are starting to think about offering entry into official nationally run lotteries. When it conforms to rules and legalities, giving away lottery tickets as promotional gifts can make a lot of sense. In fact, it’s surprising that more marketers haven’t figured out their potential to make an emotional connection with customers and prospects, and incorporated them into their plans.
People love the opportunity to win, and that’s certainly a key element for making such promotions an appealing marketing tool. But more importantly, they offer a very real and tangible experience, and that’s where the world of marketing is headed. More and more, consumers, and especially millennials, are attracted to “experiences” when they shop.
Because lotteries are games and games are fun, they have the potential to provide a very unique experience. Add the potential to win free money, and they become an incredibly powerful marketing tool.
For marketers, the unique advantage is being able to deliver each ticket as a free gift with a customized message – repeatedly over a year – to an audience that’s looking forward to and anticipating the email. Additionally, because the brand is associated with a fun experience including the potential to win there’s a significant opportunity to engage with the customer or prospect, helping the brand build an emotional connection and a fun relationship over the longer-term.
While lotteries have been underutilized in marketing, recent programs have begun to show how they can be leveraged as promotional platforms to attract and retain audiences. One especially interesting initiative is bringing together some of the biggest lotteries from across the globe – including Euro Millions – and rolling them into a free Big5 Lotteries ticket that can engage customers and prospects for an entire year.
Does it work and will consumers go for it?
In a recent survey that asked over 100 people to choose between two very similar businesses (e.g. clothing retailers, restaurant franchises, etc.) where one offered a free chance to join a lottery, everyone picked the brand with the lottery participation.
Mad Men’s Don Draper said it best: “You are the product. You - feeling something. That’s what sells.” People crave experiences that make them feel. Too many messages they receive – especially digitally – leave them feeling nothing. Those messages are deleted and forgotten because there’s no emotional connection. Offer them a free lottery gift that’s delivered directly to them regularly, and you give them excitement. Something to anticipate. Make that emotional connection part of your ongoing marketing message and chances are they’ll feel good about both. Don Draper was right. Fifty years later, in a digital world, the playing field may have changed, but the rules are still the same.
Image credits: Umberto Salvagnin and Ally Aubry