We supply and manage marketing collateral.

Rosslyn Subjects

It ain’t how big it is, its how you use it

So what sort of reward programme should you introduce?

Well whatever you do keep the central message simple, clear and concise. People have no time for complexity. Frankly if the main message can’t be digested in a few seconds you can wave goodbye to half the audience. Do X get Y.

Points based programmes offer an excellent 360 degree, baseline incentive solution. If you’re looking something to form a platform for your activity, points are cool.

But points only work if a) the points are really worth winning and b) they expire. Why go to all that trouble if half your audience forget they have points to spend and never receive the benefit of the promotion!

‘First past the post’ competitions can be very enticing, especially if there’s a grand prize on offer. But the race must be fair otherwise everyone bar the winner will feel their efforts were a waste of time.

A combined approach can work well. Points mean prizes for everyone with an additional league table and grand prize to periodically spice things up.

What was it like on the receiving end?

But always keep your eye on the End User experience.

Imagine this, you’ve spent lots of money creating a fabulous customer loyalty programme, your best customer chooses a prize but it didn’t arrive before Christmas as promised and now her daughter is devastated. What a nightmare, and the whole process had your name on it! Now in the real world problems happen but its how they are solved that matters. My mind is drawn to a last minute sprint down Oxford Street to make sure such a situation was averted!

But sometimes its the little things that make a big difference, a great outcome for your business doesn’t always have to cost the earth or involve a complex reward programme.

Consider the small gathering on a Friday night to give Margaret in Accounts some recognition for averting a disaster. That 2 minute moment cost nothing but meant the world to a lady who’s never won a thing in her life!

Don’t paper over the cracks

So there are lots of formats, lots of devices available for changing behavior and spreading goodwill throughout your organisation and beyond; e-learning solutions, sales channel programmes, co-op marketing funds, loyalty card based programmes, vouchers, staff discounts, employee of the month, ‘a day in the life of’ blog posts, suggestion boxes, competitions, team events, league tables and luxury award dinners.

But if your salary scale or commission structure is a mess, or worse a badly kept secret mess, you are simply papering over the cracks. If staff have to endure poor working conditions and bullying then quite frankly any campaign to improve performance is likely to be viewed with derision.

So see the good in people. Treat them with respect. Because its worth it.

We will shortly be launching Firstincentive.com, a choice of three types of reward programme ideal for businesses of all sizes.

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