• Competitions – A competition can be a great way to build a database of customers for future promotions. Factors that will be relevant to you, and needed to be included in any agreement will be:
o Strict and clear rules as to who can enter, who decides who wins the competition, and how to vote and how often you can vote; o Ensuring that if you are running the promotion through Facebook that you comply with their strict requirements, as do your customers; o That a prize cannot be redeemed for cash; and o The ability to publish details of the winner and any photo, as well as to promote the winners details on social media.
• Newsletters – When you obtain a customers email address they need to consent to you using that email address for other purposes. Typically this is done with a “tick box” so that a customer can opt in, or out. It is important to maintain this system, and you cannot send unsolicited emails to build a customer database as anti-spam laws include penalties for this behaviour.
• Feedback on Services – A service based business will seek feedback as a form of promotion. While this is designed to procure positive feedback there is always a risk of negative remarks being made. A business with an active website is publishing material in the public domain. Business owners who procure on-line feedback need to carefully monitor that feedback. Matters to watch out for include:
o Where a customer of yours discredits a competitors product. You need to ensure that this information is balanced and fair, as your promotion of an incorrect comparison could make you subject to a claim under the Fair Trading Act; o It is important not to infringe the intellectual property of anyone else where a reference to a trademark is made without the trademark being acknowledged; o Be careful that what a customer posts is not defamatory of any person as you could be exposed to liability as the publisher.
This post was published in the FMCG Business magazine