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Campaigns and Promotions: Lessons, Challenges and Trends

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big group's Anna Papasavva explains why communication and collaboration are key

Campaigns and Promotions: Lessons, Challenges and Trends

Anna Papasavva is a campaign director at big group and has been a part of big group for over seven years now. She has risen through the ranks to become an expert in the field, with years of experience in leadership, marketing, legal compliance, and human psychology. Through her work, Anna has helped her clients create memorable experiences and craft campaigns that capture the imagination of their target audiences. She prides herself on understanding the importance of collaboration, communication and playing to her team’s strengths to achieve the best results.


Q> Anna, you’ve risen from executive to director, what experience or moment gave you your biggest lesson in leadership? 

Anna> I can’t boil it down to one thing! I’ve learnt so many lessons over the years, and I think it’s important to adapt your approach depending on the situation and the team involved. Communication and collaboration are key and it’s important to listen to individuals on their area of expertise and to play to their strengths.


Q> What are the biggest challenges that come up when including promotional activity within an integrated campaign?

Anna> From a promotional point of view, we need to be hot on legal and regulatory compliance. The UK has strict rules and regulations when it comes to consumer incentives and it’s important to ensure that any promotional activity is compliant with relevant laws and regulations to avoid penalties and damage to a brand's reputation.

We also need to be mindful of budget constraints and identify cost-effective ways to achieve a client’s objectives whilst still delivering impactful promotional activity.


Q> big group are members of The Institute of Promotional Marketing (IPM). What has been useful about this partnership for both you and the wider team?

Anna> We’re proud to be members of the IPM, and we greatly value the partnership. The team there are always on hand to provide guidance and advice across a number of our campaigns, and they also run useful webinars to keep their members up to date with new promotional rules and regulations.


Q> Promotional campaigns are all about incentivising people. Has your role taught you any interesting lessons about human psychology/motivation?

Anna> Emotions can play a huge role in decision-making, and tapping into a range of feelings like excitement, FOMO, or nostalgia, can be an effective way to influence consumer behaviour.

I’ve also learnt that people love a freebie!


Q> Are there trends within promotions? What are the current trends, and what do you think will be next?

Anna> One of the main focuses at the moment is to ensure that brands are running their campaigns and rewarding their customers in the most sustainable way possible. Experiential activity is also really popular, and we like to help our clients create memorable moments and experiences for their customers rather than just discounts or giveaways.

Moving forward I think that gamification and virtual reality will become more popular to encourage consumer participation. Brands will also explore newer technologies like NFTs and AI to create more personalised campaigns.


Q> What’s your favourite nightmare promotion campaign story what are some of the stand-out details?

Anna> The campaign that comes to mind is the Hoover ‘free flights’ promotion in the 90s. They offered customers free flights to the US when they purchased any product over £100, and the redemptions were way higher than predicted, and they had to pay out for thousands of flights. Hoover ended up losing so much money from the nightmare promotion that the company was sold off at a loss.

There’s also a documentary series on Netflix called 'Pepsi, Where’s My Jet?' about a court battle surrounding a Pepsi loyalty scheme, a Harrier Jet and a 20-year-old with a dream.

It seems the 90s were not a good time for promotions!


Q> What’s your favourite part of your role?

Anna> Firstly, the team here at big group. Everyone is super talented, which makes my job easier.

It’s also really uplifting when we receive positive feedback from a lovely prize winner. Knowing that we’ve helped someone to have an incredible experience that they will remember for the rest of their lives – like walking the Red Carpet at The BRITs or sitting behind Eddie Redmayne at the Olivier Awards – puts a smile on my face!

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big group, Wed, 31 May 2023 12:50:40 GMT