Play to win with promotions

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Bill Carmody has made his share of leaps of faith. When his college friends wouldn't join him to go skydiving, he did it himself. This same enthusiasm defined his approach to founding Seismicom, an integrated marketing agency, last March. Boasting three locations and 77 employees, Seismicom works with clients such as America Online Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Visa International. Carmody is also the author of a recent book, "Online Promotions: Winning Strategies and Tactics."

Q: What is working in b-to-b online promotions?

A: There are a number of different successful programs that are going on in the b-to-b sector which are online promotional in nature. For example, there are cases where businesses that are relatively new … have used sweepstakes to try to build databases and collect names. If you’re trying to find out who the key contacts are that would be interested in buying your product or services, sometimes a very targeted online promotion can gather some of those names and get you the information you need to do a more efficient marketing program. Instant-win games are also something that we are seeing more of on the b-to-b side. Basically taking the same concept of going out and trying to extend the sales force and extend new business opportunities and making it more of a fun experience.

Q: Is it worth offering smaller promotional incentives, such as white papers?

A: Winning a white paper wouldn’t be very effective, but the distribution of that white paper can be very helpful. For example, if there’s a new research study that affects the target audience you’re going after, you may do something like, as a grand prize, maybe a consultancy will come in and evaluate your corporation. But just for entering we will give you the white paper. It’s all in the positioning.

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