Consumers prefer brand website and email promotions over social media, study shows

Thomas: websites are best vehicle for brand promotions

Thomas: websites are best vehicle for brand promotions

With the recent change in Facebook rules, allowing brands to run competitions on their timelines, it’s very tempting to rely purely on social media as your main tool for promotions. However, according to a new survey by prize promotion agency Spark & Fuse Marketing, it’s important not to forget the other methods – some of which are still far more popular with consumers.

According to the national survey, which questioned 2,000 UK adults this month, the preferred method for consumers to enter competitions was via brand websites – with almost one in three (28%) preferring this option. The second most popular entry method was via email with just over one in 10 (13%) respondents selecting this. Overall, only 9% of consumers picked social media as their preferred way to enter promotions. Facebook came in at a respectable fourth with 6% of the vote – whilst Twitter came in seventh, behind the more traditional methods of postal and in-store entry.

Unsurprisingly, social media promotions are slightly more popular with 18 to 24 year olds, with 27% choosing to enter promotions this way – but brand websites were still the most popular mechanism with this age group, with over a third (36%) selecting it.

Set up in 2006, Spark & Fuse specialises in events, prize promotions and competition management. Combining 33 years experience, Spark & Fuse’s client list includes Tesco, Redwood, British Council, Bauer Media, Cedar Communications and Gamsesys, who manage many of the UK’s largest and most well known bingo sites.

Juliette Thomas, director of Spark & Fuse Marketing, said: “With the unstoppable domination of social media in consumer marketing, it’s no surprise that brands are keen to harness it for all it’s worth when it comes to running promotions. However – whilst it is definitely a valid medium for interacting with consumers in all manner of ways – brands definitely shouldn’t ignore other methods, especially their own websites.

“Running a promotion on your own website can give you far more control than on social media and builds a stronger association with your brand. There’s also an argument that being hosted on a brand webpage gives a promotion, in the eyes of the consumer, more credibility.”

The survey also showed that despite the growth of smartphones and mobile devices, the vast majority of consumers (54%) still use their home computer to enter competitions. Only one in ten use their computers at work, 8% use their phones and just 5% use tablets.

Thomas said: “With 83% of people in the UK who take part in promotions spending at least half an hour a day online doing just that, it’s really important to understand their preferences and habits and for brands to make sure they are reaching their target audience in the most effective way.”

The survey also revealed:

• Contrary to popular belief, promotions are not dominated by female entrants. With 66% of women and 64% of men admitting to entering competitions, the gender split is fairly even

• Over 70% of people who enter competitions would choose a brand over their regular choice if it included a prize promotion

• Of respondents who felt that had been let down by a prize promotion, a staggering 80% said they were put off buying a product from that brand again

• 32% of consumers would be ‘very likely’ or ‘likely’ to tell friends and family about a great promotion

• One in four people who enter competitions would definitely sign up to a newsletter or mailing to take part in a promotion

• Almost one in three respondents (29%) believe online voting competitions are unfair

• Over one in five (22%) of winners have had a negative winner experience

• 87% of competition entrants are fully aware that promoters must supply terms and conditions – and almost one in three (30%) would definitely refer to them if they felt a promotion hadn’t been conducted properly