5 Incentives You Can Use in Your Marketing Plan

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Rewards programs have become an integral part of the marketing plans of many enterprises especially small businesses as it helps to not only attract new customers but also retain existing ones. Of course, creating a strong customer value proposition is also at the center of any rewards programs. A rewards programs could be simply built in-house by an enterprise to save costs but then if there is a budget for it, that function could be outsourced to a professional firm specializing in that field. The advantage of outsourcing the design and execution of your rewards program to a professional is the wealth of experience and long list of collaborators that the professional would have built over time. These would include third party companies and major merchants. The following advantages could accrue to a small business by virtue of such collaborative rewards programs:

i. Creation of a series of rewards that would have appeal cutting across the customer base

ii. In conjunction with partners, design a partnership plan that would have a long-term and strategic value.

iii. Infusion of the rewards program with innovative items such as experiential opportunities and local rewards.

iv. Reduction of offsetting of program costs via marketing activities that are co-funded, marketing exposure, co-branded partnerships as well as merchant funded rewards.

The fact remains however that reward programs, no matter how well designed, enticing and beneficial, still needs to be ‘sold’ to customers. There are therefore various incentives that can be used to encourage customers to buy into and participate in the reward program. Some of these incentives include:

i. Social Media Rewards: It has become impossible to ignore the social media in today’s business world. Social media networks like Facebook and Twitter provide very exciting platforms for incentivizing your reward program. If you have a twitter account (and you should), why not just offer further rewards for customers that retweet your offer? This is bound to generate positive reaction.

ii. Involve the Customers: When customers are a part of the process, they are bound to get more involved. Allowing customers to make and upload videos of their experience with your product or service will be an innovative and fun way to get their positive collaboration.

iii. Blogging: This is one avenue by which customer could also provide their unique input about the rewards programs. They could write about their views, criticisms, experiences as well as suggestions about the program.

iv. Experiential Rewards: These are unique experiences that will avail to the customers by participating in the program. The deserving customers could get the opportunity to do something special such as watching a star backstage or getting a one-on-one interview with an important personality.

v. Personalization: Small businesses can leverage on their comparatively small customer database to personalize their various collateral like information cards. By personalizing these correspondence, the response rate increases and with that the success of the rewards program.

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