Using Rewards in Your Marketing
The major objective of a rewards program in marketing is the creation of vibrant customer value proposition. There are many of such programs in existence these days including bonus points as reward for purchases made, frequent flier rewards and frequent buyer plans among others. Whichever type of rewards program you choose to implement, it is very important that it not only engages your customers and participants in the program but also differentiates your rewards program from others. Customers usually react positively to enterprises that indicate that their loyalty is valued and they prove this by participating in rewards programs.
Rewards programs therefore need to be a critical part of an enterprise’s marketing strategy. The design and inclusion of rewards in a marketing strategy however needs to be a carefully planned and executed process. In order for it to be a success, some factors must be considered and these include:
i. Determining the Behavioral Change That is Needed: The aim of initiating a rewards program is to encourage customers to make a particular change in their buying habits. You therefore need to determine the exact behavior that you desire to see. Once you do that, it becomes easier to take other steps in the process.
ii. Segmenting Your Target Audience for the Program: Certainly some programs aim very wide but then, some rewards programs specifically target some market segments. This depends on the product that is being sold. Once the product being sold for example should pertain to a particular group of people, you should make sure that the segment is narrowed down.
iii. Advertising the Program: Inasmuch as the program will benefit the target audience, they will only take advantage of it if they know about it. Radio, TV, Web-based ads, social media marketing and coupons among others are avenues you can use in order to disseminate the word and encourage customers to take advantage of the program.
iv. Spelling Out the Small Print: The lawyers call it small print but in this case, the customers really need to know the details of the program so that they do not make assumptions. Issues such as time limits need to be spelt out clearly. The various disclaimers and restrictions should also be incorporated into the materials developed for the program.
v. Educating the Staff: The importance of the staff in the success or otherwise of a rewards program cannot be overemphasized as they will ultimately execute the program. There is a need to sufficiently educate them about all the details of the program to help them tackle the program as it being executed.
vi. Evaluate the Program & Round off When Necessary: The program was designed to achieve a particular end and the only way to determine whether or not it has achieved that end is when an evaluation is conducted. The evaluation will generate the required data for further efforts regarding rewards programs. If the program was not successful, it is important to know when to simply end it. However, even if it is a success, it still needs to end in order to retain its novelty. Knowing when to end a program is equally important.
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