Happy new year and welcome back! I hope you had a good break and didn’t over-indulge to the point of discomfort. I’m not a great one for resolutions, but I did take some time while I was off to think about the coming year and what challenges lie ahead for Prizeology and the prize promotions industry as a whole. To be honest, what follows are not really predictions – just my best guesses about what some of the issues we’ll be facing will be – but here are the results of my ruminations.
Shall I start with this? Then it’s out of the way. Obviously, I have no idea how this is going to pan out and I wish I had the superpowers to sort it, but I don’t. However, whether it’s deal or no deal, further delay or a second referendum, the prize promotions industry can’t let itself be racked with uncertainty and indecision.
Yes, recruiting talent may become even harder, and European-wide promotions may become even more complex to set up than they are already. I mean, who really knows whether we’re even going to be able to post prizes to EU countries? I do suspect, though, that we’ll need to encourage clients to take a punt on European-wide promotions, and I’m certain we’ll need to stay flexible, people, but I am nonetheless confident that the prize promotions sector can ultimately pull off prosperity in this new era.
- Economic pressure
OK, I haven’t finished with Brexit yet, because due to the economic slowdown which seems likely once we leave the EU, everyone is going to be under increased economic pressure. Competition is going to get even tougher and for brands the edge which a successful promotion can give them will be vital.
Well I would say that, wouldn’t I, but I do firmly believe that in an intensely competitive environment, efficiently run promotions based on creative, original concepts, allied with robust terms and conditions, will put you one step ahead of your rivals.
In hard times, winning becomes more important for those who enter competitions and prize promotions as well, which means sourcing attractive prizes at the right level and in the right quantity become ever more important, too.
There’s no doubt holidays remain popular prizes, but they look less attractive to entrants, partly because in many countries the winners’ spending money simply won’t go as far due to the poor performance of the pound. Prizes people actually need, or perceive they need, are the key and although if you have the prize-sourcing experience and expertise (as Prizeology does, of course) there are always imaginative solutions out there, essentially that comes down to gadgets.
- Influencer marketing
Influencer marketing had a good year in 2018 – good in terms of the growing size and value of the sector, but also good in terms of the ASA’s guidelines on disclosure, which (finally) provided influencers with some very helpful clarification.
In 2019 brands will continue to splash the cash on influencers, but I predict that they’ll be looking for a few more guarantees that they’re spending their money wisely. We all know how easy it is to buy Instagram followers to boost your status, so brands will require assurances that they will get the audience engagement they’re paying for.
So, whatever happens with Brexit, GDPR won’t be repealed. Promotional marketing companies like Prizeology have been abiding by it since May last year, and we’ve been doing this in good faith, but as far as I know there haven’t been any UK cases for breaching GDPR brought to court yet.
What I do know, though, is that the ASA’s consultation on naming prize-winners, which the ASA now thinks may be a breach of GDPR after all, closed on 7 December last year. And unless I’ve I missed an announcement, I don’t believe th CAP Code has been formally amended yet. While the section of the CAP Code related to winners’ list is suspended it’s affecting my business and the integrity of the prize promotions industry, too.
Reading this back I realise it all seems rather gloomy, but, you know, I don’t feel gloomy at all. I’m always up for a challenge and these thoughts have energised me, so roll on 2019 and whatever it may bring!
As ever, Prizeology is here for all your prize promotions needs. You can get in touch with us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Sarah Burns is Prizeology’s Chief Prizeologist.