Incentive Based Marketing: How to Use Incentives as Motivational Devices

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Could Including Incentives in Your Internet Marketing Strategy Help Boost Sales? Yes it can! Everyone likes to be rewarded, especially for something they were going to do anyway. When we receive a physical (or digital) reward, our brains give us a chemical reward. We like rewards because it’s in our DNA. That’s what makes incentive marketing such an effective strategy.

Firstly, let's get the definition out of the way. Also known as rewards-based marketing, the approach relies on customer focused competitions, special offers, games and other motivational devices to push the sale of a service or product. Not only does using incentives as part of your marketing campaigns improve the visibility of the promoted service or product, but it also encouranges brand growth as you engage audiences across multiple platforms - social media in particular.

What are incentives for consumers?

Here's some popular examples of motivational devices used as part of marketing incentive plan:

Special Offer Reducing Price

Promotional / Limited Time Items

Free Vacations

Discounted accommodation

Free Item With Purchases

Free Samples

Online Competition With Prize

Incentive based marketing improves customer interaction.

Carried out from June to July 2018 and surveying more than 30,000 consumers, the study by KN Dimestore highlighted that incentive-driven advertising had a fantastic effect on brand-customer relationships, creating interaction between the two and producing great results.

A good way of drawing attention to your business, incentive-based Internet marketing rewards the customer for taking notice and makes them much more perceptible to your overall brand message. Creating an incentive that allows your customers to interact with your business is a brilliant way to make a lasting impression.

Why is incentive based marketing necessary?

When you ask people to do something for you, they will often ask why. When you ask people to give you money, they will always ask why. The job of a marketer is to begin answering that question before the customer or client can ask.

When you ask people to give you money, they will always ask why. The job of a marketer is to begin answering that question before the customer or client can ask.

No matter how proficient the marketer, the answers to that question will never satisfy 100 percent of potential clients. For some buyers, you will always need to sweeten the deal. How you do that is where the strategy comes in.

It’s a necessary and valuable strategy because it engages a segment of consumers that may not otherwise consider your organization’s products or services. But this doesn’t necessarily mean you have to pay people to interact with your business.

Non-monetary rewards, peer recognition and discounts are all effective incentives. When the performance piece of the equation is enjoyable on its own terms, such as a game or contest, the strategy really shines.

According to the 2016 Incentive Marketplace Estimate Research Study conducted by the Incentive Federation, U.S. businesses spend approximately $16.1 billion annually on non-monetary customer loyalty incentives. Total spend on incentives increased by 17 percent since 2013, which indicates that businesses are seeing positive ROI from their efforts. This is corroborated by a 2017 survey from Citigroup which found that 86 percent of customers say they are more loyal to brands that offer rewards programs.

What does an effective incentive marketing strategy look like?

If you have ever purchased a larger order of McDonald’s fries to get a Monopoly game piece, you have felt the lure of incentive marketing. You have also learned the first lesson of the strategy: The motivational device does not need to be grand in scale. Sure, you buy the fries with the faint hope of winning a million bucks, but you’d be happy to win a free burger, too. Sometimes it’s just fun to play.

Not every strategy must be centered around a game, however. Many retail brands have had great success with loyalty programs that give customers points for every purchase, and then reward shoppers with discounts or freebies in exchange for points.

Amazon Prime is perhaps the king of incentive programs. In April 2018, the Seattle-based company revealed that over 100 million people had subscribed to its Prime membership plan. Prime members get free two-day shipping, a complementary subscription to Amazon Video and discounts on other services.

Amazon’s strategy is so effective because it mitigates the risk of surprise fees during checkout. If customers click to buy an item for one price, only to see a drastic increase at the checkout due to taxes and shipping fees, they may be more likely to abandon the cart. The strategy clearly works, as a report from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners revealed that Prime shoppers spend nearly $1,000 more annually than non-members.

If you remember the key equation of ability + motivation = performance, you’ll have no problem implementing a strategy. Listen to your customers and have fun!