Sweepstakes and skill contests provide branded entertainment for the players, and personal data for the brand, but for the agencies working in the background the execution is not just fun and games.
“We’re under the microscope constantly for what we put out in the marketplace,” says Marc Wortsman, executive vice president of Marden-Kane. ”There really is no leeway when it comes to the public commenting on both the good and the not so good parts of a promotion.”
One of the big challenges, Wortsman points out, is the need to populate all kinds of sweepstakes and contest data such as leader boards, public vote tallies and the dates for prize awards in an open, unfiltered social environment. It’s a double-edged sword, because the free flow of information promotes viral spread of the game but also opens the door for dishonest players to game the system by buying votes or creating multiple identities.
“It’s a big challenge with clients, deciding what data will be disseminated,” says Marty Glovin, senior vice president of digital for Marden-Kane.
With the increase in sweepstakes that are hosted on social platforms and wireless devices comes even greater scrutiny of data management security practices. Clients frequently demand complete data management audits from the sweepstakes agencies and often make site visits to the facility.
“It’s almost a technical audit to ensure that data cannot be comprised,” Glovin says. “Clients want to make sure that their customers are engaging in a promotion in the most secure manner possible.”
Marden-Kane, founded in 1957, predicts that within the next year jurisdictions will strengthen laws for data security and privacy policies, as well as requirements for infrastructures to remediate and address any data breaches.
“In terms of the technological revolution that is impacting how sweepstakes and contests are conducted, I’ve never witnessed [such] a time in the last three decades in terms of the technological revolution that is impacting how sweepstakes and contests are conducted,” Wortsman says. “We are literally rewriting the rules of the game and it is a significant investment from both the client and agency side.”