S-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g Promotional Budgets for Fall

In our recent NuVoodoo webinar, “Marketing in the New Abnormal,” along with a look at how listeners’ lives are changing through the pandemic, we dived deep into all aspects of contesting. Knowing that budgets for contesting this fall will be stretched tight (or non-existent), we focused on ways to make the most of whatever resources you can bring to bear. If you weren’t able to attend the webinar, you can watch a recording at NuVoodoo.com/webinars.

There’s lots of information about contesting this time. A few highlights:

  • Contest skepticism is still an impediment for many (if they think your contest is rigged, they’re unlikely to play).
  • $500 is a very effective prize (and how much more effective is $1000).
  • The messages most likely to generate tune-ins, including two that aren’t contests.
  • Awareness and attitudes about group contesting.
  • A ranking of desirability of seventeen different prize concepts, mostly around $500.

Among the $500 prize concepts tested, the strongest is the simplest: a $500 Visa Gift Card (which many stations find easier to deal with than cash). Ranking above a few of the $500 concepts is the idea of a $100 PLUS the chance to spin a wheel to win a $25,000 jackpot. Behavioral psychologists have written about the benefits of numerous opportunities to win a modest prize (in this case $100) along with earning a chance to play for a bigger prize ($25,000 in our example).

The bigger number helps the contest break through the noise for listeners and the regular winners of the smaller prizes earn you the right to continue to stir listeners’ imaginations about winning the bigger prize. While it loses some gravity compared to $500 among the overall sample, the drop is relatively small among those your game seeks to influence: likely ratings participants (here labeled “PPM Yes” and “Diary Yes”).

The appeal of the approach is that stations can buy an insured prize for a fraction of $25,000 (where someone else assumes the risk that one of your listeners will actually win the $25,000 jackpot). NuVoodoo marketing guru Mike O’Connor and Million Dollar Media co-founder and President, Ken Scott have reviewed an integrated, turnkey marketing campaign in a short video or you can download a one sheet about the program here.