Incentivized marketing has been around as long as the human species has. Today, however, this marketing concept has become increasingly popular due to the internet and other communication technologies. Incentivized marketing has many layers to it that most people are not aware of. Prior to understanding these layers, it is necessary to first understand the core idea behind them. Simply put, an incentive marketing company is the concept of getting something for nothing or rewarding someone for a specific action.
Many affiliate marketers, business owners, and marketing professionals have different ideas about what they mean by incentive marketing. However, in essence, it is the same concept as business rewards or paying someone for a specific action. The only difference is how the action is undertaken and how the individual gets the incentive. When a business rewards its affiliate with a free product or service, the affiliate is said to have been "incentivized".
This form of marketing has been successfully used by companies and organizations for decades. For example, in 1998, AT&T introduced a program in which cars would come with built-in Bluetooth headsets for free, in exchange for using GPS navigation. This program increased sales by about fifteen percent per year, making it one of the largest incentives ever offered by a corporation. Although this program ran for several years, it was discontinued in 2005, possibly as a response to the popularity of other forms of incentive marketing.
Incentivized marketing differs from other forms of rewards in that it offers a specific benefit for undertaking certain actions. Some marketers call these actions "perks", while others use terms such as "calls", "bargains" or "buzz" to describe the benefits. Regardless of the term used, the rewards are given in order to increase sales. This is not the same as giving out rewards for poor performance or for responding to customers in a manner that does not contribute to the incentive marketing company objectives.
The key to any incentive marketing program is to be clear about what is precise that you wish to achieve by having your employees or associates perform certain actions. If you want to get customers to do a more amount of business, for example, you might offer an incentive for every five hundred miles driven, instead of simply rewarding them for mileage. Similarly, if you want to get employees to install more security alarms, install more safety windows, or take other steps that can make your business more secure, offer an incentive. These incentives should be specific, measurable, and quantifiable. They should be able to be tied into what your business has to offer, and they should be easy for the employees to measure. If the incentives can't be easily tied to your business objectives, you may be setting yourself up for failure.
Incentives aren't just something that you give a lot of money to employees, they're also things that you don't necessarily give them a lot of money to do. For example, you might offer cash bonuses for meeting a sales quota, but you might also offer points toward a new credit card or discounts at the store. You should use incentives in your incentivized marketing strategy in such a way that they're easy to attain, but that they're not so easy to defeat. If you lose a particular incentive, for example, you should be able to find a replacement that isn't as damaging to your efforts. Again, this is why it's important to choose rewards that are measurable and tied to your business objectives.
You also have to be sure that whatever incentive marketing platform that you are using will be sufficiently robust to withstand the number of people who might try to abuse the system. Any such system should have strong monitoring measures in place, and you should be able to block the accounts of people who are using their cards improperly. If you're using an affiliate incentive program through a website, you should be able to access all of the information that you need from it, including whether or not someone is making purchases under a false name or using multiple cards at once. There should also be measures in place to keep track of which customers are getting the most value for their money, and you should be able to make good determinations about that right from the start.
There are many potential pitfalls with any incentive marketing strategy. However, if you look into the details and if you take a long enough look around, you can easily avoid most of them. The trick is to set up a good system, motivate your staff, and ensure that you create real incentives for your customers. If you do that, you can be assured of a very successful incentivized marketing campaign that will pay off handsomely for you and your business.