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Customer Challenge Marketing

By Christine Dubyts, Dubyts Communications

Create A Customer Challenge – Are You Up For It?

Challenges aimed at customers require some think-outside-the-box creativity. If you're looking for a way to get people to interact with your brand, get some buzz and boost goodwill, then put out a challenge!

Customer challenges are popping up in marketing campaigns for companies both big and small. Activia is doing it with their two week challenge: eat Activia for two weeks for better digestive health. Special K is doing it with their 10,000 Steps-a-Day Challenge: free step counter in every box of Special K. And Winnipeg's own, Deb Dawson-Dunn of Get it Dunn is doing it with her 100-Day Challenge.

Putting out a customer challenge is an awesome marketing tactic for a number of reasons:

    1. It raises awareness of your brand.
    2. It gets participants to interact with your brand, which is so important in marketing today!
    3. It creates a buzz about your brand for the duration of the challenge and sometimes beyond.
    4. It boosts goodwill. The challenge typically provides a benefit to the "challenger," so they feel good about the brand, AND the brand is doing something "good" for their customers. It's win-win!  In the case of Activia, the brand is promoting better digestive health. With Special K, it's improved fitness. The 100-Day Challenge by Get It Dunn is a "choose your own challenge," so you choose the benefit.
    5. And, in most cases, the customer challenge even increases sales! Customers are buying the product as part of their participation in the challenge. The ultimate goal for the brand of course is that the customer will turn the challenge into a habit (it takes 28 days to form a habit) and will continue to buy the product even after the challenge is over.

Get it Dunn, one of our clients, put out the 100-Day Challenge three weeks ago, and I jumped on board, vowing to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water every day for 100 days. I in turn put out the challenge to people in our office. Not only are we challenging ourselves, but we've got a fun office activity going on to get us through the winter.

Including a customer challenge in your marketing planning is a great idea, but not appropriate for all businesses. If you decide it's a good complement to your marketing mix, make sure you consider all the details and logistics so it provides a positive and lasting impact for your business.

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