The interconnected world we live in has widened customers’ choice of brands. How can you stand out amongst local and global competitors? One way is with incentive marketing.
Incentive marketing is a strategy in which businesses use rewards and other motivational offers to market their brand, products, and services to encourage customers to act by creating a pleasant and exciting customer experience.
Keep reading as we explore several types of incentives and share a best-practice guide for incorporating them into your marketing strategy.
💡 Find out why customer experience is vital to achieving business success in this blog: 5 Reasons Why Customer Experience Matters
Types of Marketing Incentives:
1. Buy One Get One Free
This is a great incentive to use when you are trying to boost sales or unload some surplus stock of a specific item. It can also help drive awareness about a new line.
2. Loyalty Programs
Hit two birds with one stone by implementing a loyalty program. This is an excellent way to attract new customers and keep your existing customers happy and interested! You can implement different types of loyalty programs such as points-based or value-based programs. Test out which one your audience positively responds to and then implement it.
3. Sweepstakes and Contests
Gather customer data, increase brand awareness, and create excitement – this is all possible when you host contests.
An example of a successful contest is Food Networks #BlendedBurgerContest, individuals were encouraged to create their own burger patties, using 25% mushrooms. The contest helped Food Network gather tons of user-generated content for future marketing efforts and there were just under one thousand hashtags for the contest on Instagram alone – this might not seem like much but making a recipe from scratch is quite a task so in context it’s very impressive!
Other popular incentives include giveaways, referral programs, and exclusive memberships – all of these have one thing in common, they bring benefits!
Best Practice Guide:
Keep it simple
Don’t overcomplicate the incentive or the steps customers need to follow to get it. Customers don’t want to do extra work to attain the reward you offer; it should be easy to understand and achieve.
Take a look at Chipotle’s reward program for an inspiring example of a simple and clear incentive. The program follows a simple point system, where customers have the opportunity to earn more points and reward badges if they put in a little extra effort. And there is the added bonus of further incentives like a free beverage with sign-up or a birthday surprise!
Keep it relevant
If you are a software company, rewarding a customer with an in-person spa experience would not make sense. Keep it relevant to your business, some examples include rewarding them with free trials or exclusive software perks. This can help keep your customer’s attention on you and what you offer.
For example, Tim Hortons’ Roll Up The Rim campaign keeps everything centred around its business. When customers buy a hot beverage at one of their chain stores, they stand the chance to win a prize. This is relevant because the campaign centres around attracting customers to the store, buying Tim Hortons’ coffee, and repeating the process. It constantly keeps the brand top of mind.
Source: Tim Hortons
Keep it real
It’s important that you follow through on your promises. If you don’t deliver on the reward, customers can take to social media with their grievances and negatively impact your brand reputation. Use the reward delivery as a chance to get some good publicity. Ask the receiver to share it on social media for extra reach and brand awareness!
Read next: Experiential Marketing: How Brands Can Create Captivating Customer Experiences
Let’s Wrap Things Up
Incentive marketing has a diverse range of benefits from improved brand perception to a boost in sales. This strategy is not one to ignore – just remember to remain authentic when implementing it.
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