Most people don't know that one of the most famous acronyms in the American lexicon originated in the promotions industry. As legend has it, the story goes like this.

About 100 years ago, a junior executive during a "pitch meeting" was trying to impress the boss. He came up with what he believed to be a really creative way to get people to enter a promotion. After reviewing the "pitch", the boss realized it was way too cumbersome of an entry process because it made the consumer jump through too many hoops. After reading the pitch, the Boss simply stared downed his junior executive and said, "What we have here is a "MESS", just KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID.” And thus the world famous K.I.S.S. acronym was created.

What most people don't realize when hearing that story is the word "MESS" wasn't being used as an acronym. Well that is until now. I have come to believe the "MESS" that the Boss was referring to, actually stood for what I have labeled the"Multi Entry Step Syndrome". Yes, The "M.E.S.S." The M.E.S.S. is the reason I believe so many social media promotions don't live up to the internal hype.

In the last 5 years, my company, CFA, has moderated and/or advised on over 1000 social media promotions. We have worked with and for Major Brands, Companies and Agencies from around the world. As I look back over the last 5 years, overwhelmingly the promotions that produced the highest ROI and consumer participation, were ones that did not make the consumer jump through many hoops to win a prize.

Now if you intend to ignore our warning about The "M.E.S.S.", then I strongly encourage you before you make that final decision to ponder the following:

"After a complete analysis of your internal data on your CRM initiatives, including consumer surveys, rewards programs etc, is your emotional connection with your consumer strong enough to get your consumer to jump through hoops to win a prize just because you or a paid endorser invite them to do so?"

If you are okay with having a little M.E.S.S. during your promotion, that is cool. It will not be the end of the world. But if that is your chosen path please consider having CFA provide you with a M.O.P. (More Opulent Prizes) to avoid a potential really big and real MESS that you may or may not be able to clean up.

Contact Eric at eric@cfapromo.com so there is no M.E.S.S. to clean up!