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If you have ever used or seen a movie where the lead character is rewarded for doing something he normally would not do, that is an example of incentivized marketing. Incentive marketing is a powerful marketing tool and has been used by businesses and marketing firms for years. People love to get "something for nothing" or receive some sort of reward for doing or purchasing something. Studies have shown that this behavior exists in all cultures and is embedded in our brains.
When someone gets a physical (or virtual) reward, our brains typically give a reward signal. This is what makes incentive marketing so effective. Because it is in our DNA, that s why incentive marketing is such a powerful strategy.
How does incentive marketing work? Motivational incentive programs reward program members with discounts or rewards for their continued participation in the program. These programs should be tailored to meet the individual needs of the individual program member. For example, if an adult swim team in a local swimming facility were interested in receiving more time on the water, rather than special swim times or prizes, they could be rewarded with a discount card or a membership to the pool itself. A company that offers health insurance or senior care programs would find that a program membership with discounts on health care products or services would be more appealing to a program member than a time-off program.
An incentive marketing strategy is most effective when designed to build loyalty programs. Loyal customers are much easier to please than customers who have only recently joined a program. Building loyalty with new customers is also a great way to retain repeat business and keep customers coming back. With a customer that is part of your program for a year or longer, they represent a significant amount of potential profit.
The traditional incentive marketing techniques of issuing free items to customers, offering cash or gift certificates, or providing prizes to participants work well when promoting new products or services. However, they don't work as effectively when encouraging customers to stay a part of a program for an extended period of time. Exchanging business cards with interested customers is one way to motivate them to remain a valued participants after they join. However, if you are looking for a more long-term approach, you should consider how your incentive marketing can build your customer base. Here are some suggestions.
Many companies use loyalty programs to encourage repeat business with their customers. Offer them free coffee for every purchase, or provide them with a coupon for a complimentary product. Offering free coffee or other gifts for long-term participation in your incentive marketing strategy has a couple of different benefits. First, the customers have something tangible that they can keep and use, which is far more valuable to them than any free product they might receive.
On top of this, when they make purchases off of your incentivized marketing offer, your company name and logo will be printed on the item. This provides a sense of recognition between you and your loyal customers. Not only will this boost sales, but it also provides another opportunity to communicate with them in a completely different way. After all, the last thing you want is for your loyal customers to think of you only in terms of how your products and services can benefit them.
In most cases, companies that are not using incentive marketing to earn rewards have a difficult time maintaining customer loyalty. They aren't taking full advantage of social media marketing incentives to attract customers, and they aren't consistently communicating with them in an effective manner. When you provide your employees with consistent opportunities to earn rewards for their participation in incentive marketing, you will see a positive impact on overall customer loyalty. As long as you take care to provide your employees with offers that are both valuable and meaningful, you can find great success when applying incentives to your marketing programs.