Many of our sales training clients in Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver ask us for marketing advice based on experience and background.  Our last blog post Customer Surveys That Work  gave decision makers the inside track toward creating surveys that get high completion rates.  Let’s now shift our attention to promotional contests that work.  Milk MOOves You can give you insight into building contests that are successful on many fronts.  Here’s a detailed breakdown of all the elements that will help you create contests that work.


Milk MOOves You

This is a Canadian promotion involving three primary sponsors – Dairyland, RAM and McDonald’s McCafe product line.  Its primary focus is to encourage you to buy Dairyland Milk.  You are made aware of the contest with a sticker on the product that entices you to visit to enter the promotion.  Let’s review all of the payoffs of this promotion that make it such a hit.


The Contest Entrant

Knowing that women tend to be more proactive in entering contests than men and also tend to be the primary grocery purchaser, Milk MOOves You is trying to target shoppers and educate them to make multi-purchases of Dairyland Milk in the contest period.  Here’s the sticker you’ll see on the product.


#1 Customer Payoff – Perceived Value:  The message is very clear.  Go to the website to enter to win the Grand Prize of a 2016 RAM 1500 SXT.   The strong appeal and versatility of trucks makes this a great prize for anyone.  The secondary reward of a McDonald’s McCafe Latte is a natural tie in with the addition of made with real milk. 

Lessons learned:  All great contests have immediate consumer appeal – the wow factor needs to be realized quickly or the consumer will not take any further action.  Sponsor relevancy is vital. Too many marketers try to squeeze a square peg into a round hole because a third party who doesn’t fit wants to participate.  Customer recall and retention is best achieved with sponsors that have a common theme.  Fight the urge to settle for a less than desirable  promotional partner.

#2 Customer Payoff – Make it Easy:  The message is very clear.  Go to the website to enter.  The website is clearly laid out with the directions required to be eligible to win.  It’s easy to navigate and become educated into the details of this contest.

Lessons learned Don’t make people have to jump through hoops to be able to enter.  Asking them to do things that might benefit the sponsors will not be realized if they abandon the entry process.  Contests can be a total win-win if it starts with the customer.

#3 Customer Payoff – Additional Prizes:  400 $25 McCafe Gift Cards are awarded to lucky winners.  More incentive to enter.

#4 Customer Payoff – Everyone wins a prize for each entry: This is commonly overlooked when creating a contest promotion.  While a great grand prize entices people to enter, giving entrants a free prize, even if small, has great impact.  Keep in mind, a prize is not a coupon.  No purchase should be necessary.  In this promotion, a milk code is available inside the container.  The code for larger containers of milk contains multi-entries in the contest.


#5 Customer Payoff – Enticement for multi-entries with future purchases.  This is usually described as enter as often as you like with some rules in place.  If you like this contest and want to have a better chance of winning, buy more Dairyland milk.  Each new purchase has a new code to enter online.  Every time you enter a code, you receive a free McCafe.

As you can see, there are many well perceived payoffs for contest entrants.  This now creates the opportunity for the sponsors to benefit.


The Promotional Sponsors

Here’s how each of them benefits:

Dairyland  – The contest drives sales.  While regulations state that you don’t have to purchase a container of milk to enter, the actions required to avoid that require time and effort.  You must hand-write, in fifty words or more a unique and original essay about “My favorite snack with a glass of milk” and send it along with a self-addressed, stamped envelope with sufficient postage.  My hunch is that any computer generated entries would be disqualified.

RAMMassive publicity as a Grand Prize Sponsor.  Know that every entry needs to have an email address that has to be verified.  My hunch is that all sponsors, or at least RAM receives the email data base for all people that would have been attracted to enter to win their truck.

McDonald’s McCafe brand-  Massive publicity and sampling.  It gets their product in the hands of their target market that is being courted by every other major coffee retailer, specifically Tim Horton’s – their biggest category competitor.


Well done!

This is a great example of a contest that we can all learn from when thinking of building our own applications.  The best marketing lesson comes from knowing that the customer always comes first – a message that is the heart of all successful sales and promotions initiatives.

What do you think?  Do you have any other examples of great promotional contests?  I’m always interested in your comments.  If you liked this post, share it on LinkedIn, Twitter or Google+.

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Dave Warawa – PROSALESGUY 

Author of SHUT UP! Stop Talking and Start Making Money available on Amazon