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Informed Owl

Wise Local Marketing

SEE how a short-term contest for eye surgery created long-term marketing opportunities

by Rebecca Alexander, Senior Sales Director for Informed Interactive

“After more than six months, we are still getting calls from the promotion we did with you for Lasik surgery, and need to talk about doing it again.” said Gail who was attending a digital workshop in Aiken, SC. Gail Flynn is regional marketing director for Eye Care One with offices in both Augusta, GA and Aiken, SC.

Last fall, Gail shared her marketing idea with Aiken Standard sales rep, Joe Harty, to grant one deserving person free Lasik eye surgery, with the announcement on Thanksgiving Day. She wanted to allow friends and family to nominate someone who would experience a higher quality of life but who couldn’t afford it.  Gail told Joe she needed ideas to get the word out about the contest, to get as many people in the CSRA (Central Savannah River Area) as possible to nominate.

Gail also wanted to use the Lasik surgery nomination process to generate more Facebook fans and generate goodwill and name recognition for Eye Care One. Her doctors also wanted to be able to track people who entered, but who did not win, for potential future surgeries. Joe asked Informed Interactive’s Senior Director, Rebecca Alexander to meet with Eye Care One on ideas for how to fulfill Eye Care One’s vision for the contest.

This was the ideal promotion for our robust contest/survey engine, and a true partnership situation. Eye Care One needed the ability to gather essays and data about each nominee as well as be able to reach the most people in the short few weeks before Thanksgiving.  Gail and her doctors helped us craft the message that would allow future follow-up.

The contest ran for 5 weeks with promotion with online banner ads on the newspaper website, targeted Facebook ads, and email marketing and print ads in the newspaper. Seventy-seven essays nominating people for Lasik surgery were submitted. The Eye Care One doctors carefully evaluated each essay to select the right candidate. On Thanksgiving Day, a full page, full color ad announced the winner of the Eye Care One Lasik surgery essay contest.  The winner was a soon-to-be bride who shocked that her brother had nominated her. After the evaluation, she did have the surgery and was able to walk down the aisle without glasses!

lasik announcement

Gail expressed her delight that the contest had helped Eye Care One stand out in the marketplace for Lasik Surgery. The results showed a wide age range who participated, but it also showed that women were the most likely to enter.



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Read how a Lasik surgery center used contesting for long-term success...

A great case study that helps demonstrate the value of contesting for a business. It has a short-term value, but its long-term value will surprise you.

Click to SEE the value of contesting. It's crystal clear!