A company producing software I use frequently has a forum where one of the threads asks for ideas for the next incarnation of the product. In other words it was using their customers to complete their research for them. Heineken went a different route.
They ran a promotion, ‘Reinvent the draught beer experience’, to generate customer participation, the suggestion was to improve its product. Participants shared videos and images together with ideas on what they would like from the product.
Whether any of the ideas were of use is not clear, but given the number of participants, the number of visitors to their dedicated website must have been satisfying, which was probably a target.
Getting others to do your work for you can be an effective ploy. Design carefully.You should bear in mind:
Use social media, email marketing, sales staff, and all forms of interface to support the campaign.
2/ Concentrate on your target
If you are after more subscribers to your email marketing lists, then ensure that everything moves towards that end.
3/ Play fair
A campaign which required a participant to sign over all rights to images without offering anything in return generated a lot of critical comment on specialist forums and Facebook. All advertising is not good advertising. Choose prizes and rewards to reflect, to an extent, the value the item.
Some people are weird. Ensure that you are not criticised by association. Have entries that are published checked for suitability before allowing them to be seen. Take special care with videos. You would not believe . . .
5/ Numbers aren’t everything
Whilst you want a wide audience, the first essential is to find leads. 100 subscribers is better than 1000 participants. Target your prizes to attract the ones you are after.
6/ Don’t make rash promises
If you promise to use a winning design for, for instance, a logo then if the quality of entries is low, you will have a disappointed winner.
7/ Limitations limit
Do not limit participants’ creativity. Let them run wild as this generates interest.
Such promotions can be fun for all concerned, and they can be very productive and cheap.