RealTime IT News

New Promotion Ties In-Store to Internet

LEC LTD, an integrated advertising and new media firm in Chicago, launched E-stakes, a patent-pending, sweepstakes- style promotional concept designed to help marketers increase in-store sales and track consumer participation via the Internet.

To do this, E-stakes creates a direct relationship between the physical product on the shelf and the virtual world of the Web.

The concept utilizes a printed piece that is affixed to a product's packaging--such as a coupon, booklet or card--which contains a Personal Identification Number (PIN). Consumers are invited to visit a custom-designed Web site to see if they have won a prize. Once they have identified themselves and logged on, consumers can obtain coupons, receive ongoing product discounts and special offers and redeem non-winning entries for merchandise.

LEC is working with Minneapolis-based Smyth Companies, which is providing expertise and facilities for the printing, personalization, and application of virtually any type of on-pack device.

"Marketers and retailers can now establish a direct link between the brick and mortar world of the retail store and the virtual world of the Web," said Laurie Cairns, president of LEC. "Since users must enter personal data to gain access to the E-stakes site, it also enables marketers to obtain valuable demographics."

According to Cairns, LEC and Smyth Companies have received strong interest from brand managers in a variety of industries, especially those struggling to find ways to get a return on their Internet investment.

Added Cairns, "Marketers seem to be especially intrigued by the ability to reach an audience, to get to know them, and to develop long-term, multi- faceted promotions designed to build brand equity and attract new brand loyalists."