How do you successfully roll out an incentive campaign to encourage someone to do something? What are the key elements that will maximize your incentive efforts and give you a greater return on your investments? In three articles I will guide you through the necessary action points and skills required to help you achieve your incentive campaign goal(s). In this article we start with the first key driver: ‘Inspiration’.
No goal, no glory
Imagine what it would be like if the things you really love doing were that bit more difficult to achieve. Would you be willing to make that extra effort in order to carry on doing them? Maybe you love reading books from the library, but suppose you had to invite two friends before you could borrow a new book. Or you love watching your favorite football club every fortnight, but suppose you had to buy an item of club merchandise, like a cap, before entering the stadium, would you still go?
What’s in it for me?
I bet you would. Why do I believe so? Because of two factors: first of all you are already intrinsically motivated. Meaning you already love doing these things and getting something back, which gives you great personal satisfaction, each time. Secondly, you are extrinsically motivated with the incentive of achieving a double goal. You not only reinforce the community network with your own passion, creating more like-minded people to share experiences with, but by doing so you also strengthen the brand itself, by actively promoting it either directly (your friends) or indirectly (your brand identity markers). It’s obvious what’s in it for you!
Target right, future’s bright
So how do I put this in action in my own incentive campaign, you might wonder? Well, two things need to be addressed before you start rolling out a successful incentive campaign. First of all you need to clearly define your strategic business goals. Are you attracting new customers, like the library, or stimulating cross-selling, like the football club? Or do you need to attract new talent, improve your customer service or strengthen your sales channels? Once you know which goals you want to achieve, all that remains is to identify which internal or external target groups will help you achieve them. In other words, which audiences are already intrinsically motivated but are willing to achieve more with a little positive stimulation. If you are the library you might not only want to target existing members, but also school pupils. If you are the football club you might want to reach out to the on and offline fan clubs.
But two very important elements should be kept in mind. If you aren’t able to clearly define your goals or can’t define your target groups then it’s not worth going to the effort of setting up an incentive campaign. It’s not only a waste of your time and money, but it will also destroy your company brand. Secondly, you need to set up goals that are challenging yet achievable. Bringing ten friends every time you go to the library or buying your football club’s complete kit every time you go to a match, could have the reverse effect.
Inspirational goal setting
And now comes the interesting part. Once you’ve fixed your company goals, have tracked down the right target audience and know what it responds to, all that remains is to inspire them. How? Easy – create an inspirational concept that shows them their benefits in a crystal-clear way; bringing their world even closer to them. Now reinforce this message with a strong incentive, integrated in your corporate culture, and you’re onto a winner. Imagine being addressed like this: ‘Bring along two friends and the extra membership funding will mean you’ll be top of the list to read the latest books first.’ or ‘ If you buy club merchandising at five consecutive home matches you’ll receive a free upgrade on next year’s season ticket as a way of thanking you for spreading the club spirit.’
With rewards like that, who wouldn’t be interested in going the extra mile?
In the next article you’ll learn how to get this message across and how to start ‘engaging’ your target audience in this challenging journey.
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.