Incentive marketing, simply put is a specific plan to get people to do what you want them to do. This could be employees or customers; you offer a reward of some kind for performing certain objectives. When we say incentive marketing however this usually refers to customers or clients. We want them to remain loyal to a brand, product or company, and so in order to do this we set up an incentive marketing strategy that will bring them back continuously.
The first thing you need to do to create an effective incentive marketing strategy is to set a goal or objective, such as increasing the sale of a specific product. This goal needs to be simple and achievable, and must be specific and clear enough for all the intended participants to understand.
Next outline who your target audience is and how they are going to be influenced by your incentive marketing strategy. This step is important since it will influence the budget for your incentive marketing program as well as how you will be relaying the message to them and also how you will measure the results of your program. There are also other important things to take into account at this stage such as geographic boundaries or sales regions, legal considerations, the length of the program and timing, individual goals or team goals, and of course, the reward.
The next step is to measure performance. You have to have a quantifiable way of checking to see that your incentive marketing program is working. You may need to look at historical sales data in order to measure the effectiveness of the incentive marketing strategy, and this is usually the most effective way of determining the success.
When working on the budget portion of your incentive marketing strategy, you will need to keep certain items in mind. The first being: How many participants are you looking to involve in the program? Next: What is the length of time for this incentive marketing program? And, what are the expected results of this program?
The other considerations for an incentive marketing program when it comes to budget: is it an open ended program where you will have an estimated cost or a closed ended program with a fixed cost? If it is open ended incentive marketing program the estimated cost is usually a percentage (anywhere from 5-10%) of the increased income from the incentive marketing program.
You then need to select the perfect reward for the incentive marketing program that you are running. It is vital to find out what is motivating your target audience, so that you know what to offer them in order to get them to act. They will not act if they do not perceive a vested interest.
You then have to implement the incentive marketing program. It has to be timely and clear and must communicate consistently the results of their performance. This will then be followed by a celebration of the performance of the target group by awarding them with whatever rewards were promised by the incentive marketing program.
Finally an analysis of the success of your incentive marketing program will be vital to see how effective it was. Were the participants motivated in the ways that had been anticipated? Either way these incentive marketing programs are set to have short term gains and it is vital to keep them going so once one is over either plan the next one ore have another incentive marketing strategy in place to kick in right after the end of each one.