Managing an incentive program isn’t for the faint of heart. Research, strategy development, planning, reward fulfillment company selection, customer support, reporting—the list of moving parts is long, and the job is complex.
The basic premise of an incentive program, though, is pretty simple: If you do this, I’ll give you that. But thanks to the internet and global commerce, the carrot-and-stick approach isn’t so easy to pull off anymore. To have a shot at attracting participants, incentive program managers and reward buyers have to get more creative—and more strategic—when it comes to choosing which types of rewards to offer.
Simply put, it’s not enough to offer something. Now, you have to offer the right thing.
How to figure out what’s going to work
Strategic rewards selection begins with understanding who it is you’re hoping to attract to your program. Once you’ve identified your target audience, you can figure out which categories of rewards they find the most appealing (e.g., reward cards), and from there, determine which specific rewards are most likely to inspire your target to act (e.g., virtual open-loop reward cards).
Where to begin
You’ve got two choices: Research, or wing it. The latter is generally not advisable if you want your program to work. Research, on the other hand, can be time consuming and cost-prohibitive. But because one of the things we do at Hawk Incentives is reward preference research, you’re in luck. We’ve already done the work for you.
We recommend incentive program managers and reward buyers consult the following free resources from our reference library:
1. The Indispensable Guide to Rewards. This resource is your first stop, especially if you’re either relatively new to rewards and incentives, or have relied on the same types of rewards for the past few years. This reference guide will give you a broad overview of the different reward categories available, including new solutions developed with the help of recent technology. Keep it on hand for the next time you need to spice up your program or develop a new promotion.
2. The Right Rewards. This Hawk Incentives ebook is a super-quick, easy read that focuses on incentive program best practices and strategic application of each reward type.
Together, these resources can help you more confidently match the right incentive program solution to your business goals.
Congratulations! You can check one big item off your to-do list.