Skip to content

The 7 Secrets About Customer Activation Only A Handful Of People Know

The-7-Secrets-About-Customer-Activation-Only-A-Handful-Of-People-KnowSocial media and digital communications is influencing the way marketers operate. Customer activation no longer lives and dies with traditional media channels and live events. It relies on savvy digital technology to drive consumers to action. 

Today, marketers must adapt and understand how technology can help leverage their creative ideas or their business will be left in the dust.

Essentially every industry is under the same threat, “be customer-centric or die“. The only way to become truly customer-centric is by understanding your customer inside and out. And the only way to do that is to collect data. If you’re a business that believes your consumers have the same wants, needs, and interests as they did 10 years ago, you’re in for a rude awakening.

It’s time to think about the future of consumerism, and these 7 secrets about customer activation will help guide your strategy moving forward:


1. Rewards Help You to Acquire Customer Data

Before you consider activating your consumers, you must start with your data. Data is king for marketers looking to craft engaging activations that resonate with audiences. There are a few ways you can build customer personas, and dig further into their interests, to grab their attention. Most marketers understand that rewards can increase customer engagement and drive loyalty, however, they also help you to collect the data you need for future campaigns. By offering rewards or incentives in exchange for customer information, you can acquire new data about your customers, and also activate passive consumers. Social media and digital marketers are realizing the benefits of running online contests to grow their following and gather important customer information.

To see how contests and rewards can help you to acquire more customer data, check out, 4 Winning Secrets for Maximizing Contest Entries.

2. Technology Drives Activations

As mentioned earlier, technology is playing a huge part in activating customers. Traditional advertising no longer has the same effect on consumers; they must be guided through interactions with your brand or they will simply leave. For example, when adidas launched its new Originals store in Vancouver, BC, they took a different approach from traditional promotions. Instead, they invited 150 customers to come to the store opening. They sent each customer a “hype key,” or tap card, that they would scan in store. Once scanned, it then revealed a PIN code for the chance to unlock a pair of limited addition sneakers.

This tactic plays to the brands exclusive image, and that it pays to be a loyal brand ambassador. The experience was fully integrated into exploring the new store location, and drove passive consumers to actively go in-store. To see the full brand experience, download the case study here.

3. The Simpler the Activation, the Better

Customers should be able to engage with a brand effortlessly. If activations are too complex, consumers will simply abandon their journey. Make it a priority to make all touch-points seamless and easy to understand. Additionally, rewarding the customer when they have completed a step in their journey is important for moving them along your sales funnel. If you’re thinking about running an activation and a contest, let our experts help you create the perfect experience for your campaign.

4. Gamification Boosts Engagement

You make it easier for consumers to move through an activation and remain engaged when you include gamified elements. Dr. Oetker’s “Find Giuseppe” contest ran for 7 months! It’s not easy to keep consumers engaged in a program for that long. But their strategy was based on game-like elements that enticed participants to come back over and over again. Consumers were invited to purchase participating Giuseppe Pizzeria products to acquire a PIN Code and enter it on the contest microsite. Consumers could then digitally search for Giuseppe onscreen using a digital magnifying glass. Points were given to users based on their speed and accuracy of finding Giuseppe as well as for entering PIN codes. They could play the game each day for more ballots into the contest each day. They saw over 31% (25,172 participants) remain engaged for the entire duration of the contest.

See the complete case study and play the game yourself here: How Dr. Oetker Engaged 80,000+ Consumers with their Viral, Digital “Find Giuseppe” Contest

5. Customization is Key

Personalization, or  “sentient marketing,” is a vision for customer engagement that is powered by data, scaled with automation, and personalized through AI. It enables enterprises to create personalized customer engagement at scale and in real-time. Today, custom content that matches each individual consumers wants and needs is necessary to hook them in. Customizing content in your marketing communications is integral to driving consumers to your brand and converting them into sales. Therefore, brand activations must cater to these consumers in ways that feel authentic and personalized. A sentient enterprise can sense and respond intelligently to events in its environment. Sentient marketing allows for engagement with each customer based on the customer’s profile, preferences, intentions, past behaviors, and purchase patterns. Therefore, when a returning consumer participates with a brand activation, you should be able to adjust the content according to them.

6. Speed of Experience is Essential

Much like simplicity, the speed in which a customer can navigate their experience with a brand plays a large part in whether they make a purchase. Activations should appeal to your consumer, and the environment that it is occurring in. adidas’ mall activation is a longer and more complex activation, but the reward is reflective of that experience, and what a customer is willing to do for a free pair of limited edition sneakers. Therefore, you must make the effort of every activation reflective of the reward for completing it. If it’s a 20% off voucher, you can expect consumers to want a much faster experience than the one mentioned above.

7. Know What Triggers Your Customers

By “triggering” consumers, you can activate your target audience instantly. Brands who take a social stance on certain issues is hardly a new marketing strategy. However, marketing messages have a greater chance of going viral today, and making a greater impact on consumers. Marketers have an opportunity to use the data they collect, and envision what their ideal customer looks like. Gillette launched the social media campaign, “We Believe: The Best a Man Can Get” video. The campaign discusses toxic masculinity, and attempts to reverse accepted cultural norms. Although it has received mixed feedback, we assure you, Gillette, owned by P&G, a massive multi-national corporation, did not launch this campaign in hast. After looking at trends in the marketplace, they are willing to possibly alienate their existing consumer, because they know the future of their brand is not decided by them.



The bottomline: Data helps us better understand what fires up our customers; and the more you’re able to collect their information, the better your activations will be.

eBook: The Best Marketing Technology Buzzwords You Need to Know in 2019

As marketing continues to lean heavily on digital technology and automation for success, buzzwords and phrases will only continue to grow in complexity. In Volume 1 of this comprehensive book, you will understand the ins-and-outs of the most up-to-date marketing buzzwords, and how marketers can effectively use these terms in the workplace, and in every day use.


  • Diction 101:  Defining the 30 Most Popular Marketing Buzzwords
  • Grammar 201: Understanding Correct Usage of Buzzwords
  • Etiquette 301: Effectively Using Buzzwords in Professional Conversations
  • Context 401: Hashtags to Follow for Relevant Online Discussions
  • Plus, So Much More!

Download the FREE 30 page report today!