Promoveritas have put out an interesting PR article this weekend entitled “Money for nothing – the rise of the ‘professional comper’ represents a new threat to marketing promotions, warns PromoVeritas”. It tells brands that this new breed of professional entrants “threatens to affect tens of thousands of marketing campaigns unless action is taken now by promoters”. According to Promoveritas: “Professional compers make on average at least 100 entries a week and will often have 10- 20 mobile SIM cards to make it easier to enter multiple times for ‘Text To Win’ type promotions. They also operate in syndicates, sharing entry forms, group buying promotional packs and tokens”.
A Demeaning Media Term
Firstly, the term professional comper is something we’ve never liked. It’s a media term that is at best demeaning and at worst confusing. Some people do well at comping, but most people see comping as a hobby. A trainspotter who goes out every day to watch trains isn’t a professional, so why is someone who enjoys comping daily a “professional”? It’s a horrible term – and Promoveritas don’t help the comper’s cause by using it. Secondly, following a quick forum poll when a similar comment appeared in The Telegraph, 85% had 0 to 2 mobiles. Only 5 out of 281 people claimed to have more than 20 handsets. The average number of entries is a misnomer too. There are 100s of competitions for people to enter so it’s not really a surprise that someone who regularly enters competitions can quickly amass lots of entries. Twitter and Facebook have just added to those stats.
Sharing Entry Forms & Competitions
People sharing entry forms or operating as a group is also nothing new – comping clubs have been around for years. In fact there’s very little new in the whole article. A lot of brands know about compers, a few even know about Loquax too. Whilst encouraging brands/promoters to run better promotions is a good thing, it’s not the people entering the competitions who should be pulled up. Promotions fail because of the type of promotion – not the people who enter or where they enter from. Promoters need to be educated about compers, how they can be used to benefit their brand and how their competition mechanics can be improved.
Automated Entry Services
Disappointingly PromoVeritas don’t even mention automated entry services that are causing website owners many issues. Just the week we’ve advised two companies on actions they can take to make sure people who are paying to enter prize draws, and not interacting with their brand, don’t win. One part of the PromoVeritas PR article suggests too much comping can be akin to a gambling addiction. That’s possibly fair comment but then some “competitions” are essentially gambling. Back in June 2009 we blogged about the Magnum Competition and suggested then it was simply a case of entrants trying to “beat the bank”.
What Loquax Tries To Do!
Our aim with Loquax has always been to work for both promoters and for compers. We know what it takes to run competitions and run a website – so we don’t give out answers (on the main site listings), offer advice to siteowners via a competition guide and try and get a fair balance for all involved. Compers come from different walks of life and have different reasons for wanting to win. Loquax can’t force anyone to do anything but we do advise users to enter for what they want to win, try and treat it as a bit of fun and to support the sites running competitions (Getting Started with Loquax). There’s no point us encouraging our users to destroy the value of marketing promotions as reported by Brandrepublic.com either. No doubt there will be people who try and cheat (or bend the rules) and there will be syndicates, code swapping and what have you – but it’s the fault of the brands for allowing it to happen in the first place.
Computer Savvy Compers
Compers, like those who frequent our community here at Loquax, may not be every brand’s cup of tea, but they’re computer savvy, open to offers and money saving and if used properly can be perfect in today’s social media world (e.g. Facebook & Twitter)? Many also want to genuinely win the prizes on offer! We’re more than happy to offer advice to any brand, promoter or siteowner about competitions. So do feel free to get in touch. Of course the article is intended solely as a marketing exercise for PromoVeritas – they want to sensationalise comping so that brands consider using their services. If PromoVeritas can sort things out so that promotions are run better (and perhaps even talk to Loquax and our users or even MSE compers too?) then that’s good news. But we’d like to see them not go with the old hat professional comper line and instead advise potential clients about issues such as voting cheats and automated entry services.
These are the kind of things ruining marketing campaigns.