Remember those days, not even so long ago, that an incentive program used to consist of a nice brochure with nice incentives neatly designed, with required points to order? A brochure distributed face-to-face or by direct mailing and in a later phase by e-mailing?
Remember the tough task finding those spot-on products which last the whole campaign, motivating everyone, preferably not dropping in price, not running out of stock and not changing in model? Remember not being sure if by the end of your campaign, your catalogue would meet the needs of your target audience during the whole incentive campaign. Stimulating them to achieve your goals more quickly?
New millennium, new opportunities
Luckily, as from the beginning of the last decade, online incentive and loyalty platforms came along. Not only helping you to be more flexible in creating a tailor-made incentive catalogue, but also keeping you up with new trends or new products during your incentive campaign. The only downfall was, that even though you could show more products in more gift categories and even though you could measure the interest in those products presented, you could still miss out on nice incentives inspiring your target audience. No wonder that, as from the mid 2000’s, gift vouchers entered the arena. Spicing up the incentive offer of physical products and giving you more liberty to really motivate everyone with the right incentive at the right time.
Slowly but surely gift vouchers became, especially when the crisis began in 2008, an integral part of most incentive campaigns, because of two important factors. First of all because of speed, participants are being incentivized with a faster delivery, so between 3 to 10 delivery days could easily be saved. Secondly by saving between 50 to 80% on the delivery cost.
2014 the year of the digital gift voucher
Two evolutions have arisen that will make the digital voucher the success formula in 2014 for many incentive programs. With the rise of smartphones, tablets and the speed of the internet a new sense of interaction is required to satisfy the needs of the modern homo incentivis:
– The cash on the nail principle: the faster you can reward people the faster they will go for their next target;
– Many digital touch points offering maximum reach in which the digital voucher can be easily distributed such as e-mail, downloadable pdf, scan code and digital wallet;
– For the company an instant digital reward means another 1 to 3 business days delivery time profit and also another 50 to 100% on delivery cost savings .
A second evolution is the market pressure which the classical brick and mortar retailers are facing. Not only are they under fire of consumers consuming less due to the crisis. But they are also under pressure because of the online webshops fastly gaining market share. Therefore they are looking for and are open to means reaching a new target audience with a minimum of investment. Thus discovering the new potential of b2b target audiences.
Great opportunities for incentive marketing professionals
This evolution offers great opportunities for all actors involved in incentive and loyalty programs. Retailers can, through one strong b2b incentive platform such as Motisha, reach many different (new) target groups in different countries in one movement. Companies are, for the first time, able to minimise their incentive costs and maximise their return on motivation. And finally Incentive marketing companies can focus on the overall incentive strategy and value adding supporting services instead of more operational time consuming issues.
Therefore I proudly announce the digital gift voucher as the opportunity of 2014 in the incentive industry!
Managing Director of SwingGroup
IMA Europe Board Member
Gunther Everaert is the Managing Director and Founder of SwingGroup, the incentive marketing market leader in Benelux. He has strategically advised and developed integrated incentive marketing solutions for Fortune 500 clients such as BMW, Coca-Cola, GE, Philips and Unilever. He has spoken at trendsetting conferences such as Digital Marketing First and HRM Masterclass e-recruitment, given interviews on Belgian national radio and is a regular guest lecturer at Ghent university.