The overall goal of incentivized marketing remains the same, yet is greatly facilitated by modern-day technology. Because loyalty programs and the impression of incentive marketing are largely dominated by brick & mortar retail stores, it's easy to think that these tactics do not have a place in today's digital economy. This simply isn't true. In fact, businesses ranging from fast food restaurants to online retail outlets can reap the benefits of incentive marketing without spending a dime on advertising.
How is this accomplished? By leveraging technology and its often unmatched ability to deliver the message at a very high data and efficiency rate. For example, instead of printing out physical menu cards that might get lost in a crowded office environment or creating in-store displays to display recent sales and specials, businesses can distribute incentive marketing messages through social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter. Or, they might provide employees with iPhones (a physical object considered less than desirable by many people) that track their exact location in real time. These incentives and rewards are then delivered directly to the individual at his or her fingertips.
This method of incentivized marketing offers several key advantages over traditional forms of marketing. For example, unlike in-store incentive marketing, a consumer may not feel compelled to buy if they do not have an incentive to do so. For instance, in the case of coffee, the coffee shop can offer a free cup to each person that they refer to their store. Those who bring a friend or family member can receive a similar offer. The coffee shop also has the option to create their own loyalty program by offering discounts and cash back to customers that bring their friends and family to them.
The second major advantage of using incentive marketing as part of a digital business strategy is that it is a powerful tool for building employee engagement. The use of rewards in digital businesses encourages employees to take responsibility for their own health and wellbeing. Through these types of businesses, employees are given the ability to use the tools provided by their employer whether these tools help them solve a problem, make a contribution to their community or simply enjoy the perks that they are receiving from their employer.
This form of incentive marketing strategy is a powerful tool because it is a very effective method for building trust between an employee and their employer. Employees that regularly participate in employer loyalty programs enjoy a higher level of job satisfaction. This increase in job satisfaction leads to a higher level of productivity. Moreover, employees that regularly spend approximately 10% of their time participating in employer loyalty programs will be more satisfied with their jobs. When an employee participates in an incentive marketing strategy, the employee typically feels like they are getting something out of it, even if nothing extra is immediately apparent.
Another advantage of incentive marketing is that it provides an extremely powerful tool for building motivation. Motivation is a key ingredient for many success oriented businesses. It's the building block to all of the other factors that make a successful business work. With an incentive marketing strategy, it is easy for an employer to encourage their employees to participate in incentive marketing programs and successfully participate in incentive marketing programs as a group. Employees who are engaged have proven that they have a high level of job fulfillment.
An incentive marketing strategy can be used in many different ways. For example, you might invite people to an incentive marketing campaign by having coffee shop loyalty cards distributed. This would be followed up by an incentive campaign in which customers were asked to "points" whenever they chose one of your products. Points could be based on sales volume and the like. You might ask people to "points" by filling out forms. Alternatively, you might ask people to "reward" themselves by spending an afternoon doing something like going to a concert.
It should be noted, though, that no matter what incentive marketing strategy you decide on, it must be done in a way that is not frowned upon by management. A key concept of effective incentive marketing is that the rewards should be enough to motivate the person to take action. If there is too much room for interpretation as to why the employee participated in the incentive program, then they will not feel motivated to take part in the program. This ultimately leads to poor employee engagement and the failure of incentive marketing initiatives.