What if I told you, if you read this entire blog post, you will find an incentive code at the bottom of the page? Chances are you have already scrolled down and back up to check whether you read the first line correctly or not.
This is the power of Incentives! Obviously, marketing gurus and strategists figured it out decades ago and in this post-pandemic world, the concept of customer incentive ideas and programs is gaining increasing momentum.
So, what are these incentive programs that everyone’s been talking about? Let’s explore the concept and scope of customer incentives ideas and how you can adopt these strategies in your business practices.
Table of Contents
What are Customer Incentives?
Customer incentives can be deemed as rewards, that a brand rewards its customers with, for accomplishing a certain task or goal. Customer incentives act as a motivator to coax customers to perform certain brand-building activities such as purchasing from you, referring your brand to someone else, or endorsing it. The activity is the sole prerogative of the brand which the brand takes after analyzing its customer analytics and marketing objectives.
Often people confuse loyalty with incentive programs. Let’s explore the differences between the two.
Difference between Loyalty Programs and Incentive Programs
Contrary to popular notions, customer incentives and loyalty programs are two distinct strategies. Both have their own significance and are considered strong brand-building activities. Loyalty programs are primarily targeted towards retained customers to inculcate and reinforce brand and customer loyalty. These strategies either reward or incentivize existing customers in order to motivate them to keep doing business with you. It is a highly lucrative strategy that promotes brand affinity and loyalty through consistent and rewarding customer engagement activity while improving customer retention rate and gaining a significant competitive edge.
Customer incentives, on the other hand, helps in customer acquisition. Customer incentive ideas leverage the fact that incentives are more valuable and a better motivator than coupons and discounts. The idea is to incentivize customers that successfully accomplish your marketing and brand-building targets. Incentives could be in any form – cash, store credit, etc. Most recently, brands have started incentivizing customers by gifting them experiences rather than gifts. Experiences build a positive association with the brand and offer better value for your investment in the customers.
How can Customer Incentive Ideas and Strategies Help Your Business?
- Customer Acquisition – Among the prime advantages of adopting a customer incentives strategy is customer acquisition. Incentives are a great way to attract new customers and expand your client base. With the right kind of customer incentive ideas and engagement strategies, you can even successfully retain these customers and turn them into brand advocates.
- Lead Generation – A good incentive program gets customers excited and they begin to advocate or promote the brand within their circle. Incentive strategies help tremendously with lead generation. These leads can be turned into customers through engaging brand-building activities.
- Brand Loyalty – When a brand consistently keeps its clientele engaged through innovative incentive ideas, it improves customer retention rate. A customer that repeatedly purchases from a brand, develops an affinity towards it which helps in boosting brand loyalty among customers.
- Data Accumulation – Data and analytics is the backbone of a successful marketing strategy, however, data accumulation is a difficult task. An incentive program helps in data accumulation which can further be used to create a strategic marketing program that best appeal to your target audience.
- Increase in Revenue – Customer retention and brand loyalty have an incredible impact on sales and revenue. Such brand-building activities offer many benefits and great ROI to the brand, especially in the long run.
How Can you Adopt Customer Incentive Ideas in Your Business Practises?
Thinking about how you could incorporate customer incentives ideas in your existing marketing strategies or business plans? Listed below are some options to help you adopt a customer incentives strategy.
- Referrals – One of the most common ways brands adopt incentive strategies is through referrals. Customers that bring in other customers or help with lead generation are extremely valuable. Incentivizing these customers can go a long way in building a base of brand advocates and motivating them to refer your brand to as many people as possible.
- Subscription – More often than not, brands struggle with registrations and subscriptions. An efficient way to ensure customers subscribe is by offering them an incentive for subscribing to your brand. Subscriptions can also work as the incentive itself. Imagine you are OTT platform, by offering free subscriptions you can encourage desired customer behavior which could offer high ROI.
- Content Creation – In this day and age, content is the king and it comes in various formats. User-generated content is the key to highly efficient and organic brand promotion. You could offer incentives to your customer to create and circulate user-generated content for you, it could be reviews, blogs, images, podcasts or even video. Pick a format that resonates with your brand image and work with it.
- On Next Purchases – Customer retention is one of the major problems brands face worldwide. A good way of ensuring repeat purchases is by offering customers incentives on their next purchase. An incentive acts as an additional motive for customers to re-purchase from your brand, repeatedly.
- Online Endorsements – A great way to gain online traction and engagement is by asking customers to recommend your brand online. You could incentivize customers for sharing your posts on your social media, liking and commenting on your posts as well.
- Offers on Brand Extensions – To encourage cross-selling, you can even offer incentives across your brand extension. This way customers have more options to purchase from, which in turn increases the likelihood of customers developing a strong affinity for the brand as a whole.
- Free Shipping – Many brands offer free shipping as a part of their incentive programs Often customers are reluctant to buy products because of the high shipping costs involved. Offering free shipping encourages the customers to repeatedly purchase from the brand.
- Gifting Experiences – A trend that rapidly catching up is to offer experiences instead of gifts to customers as incentives. Experiences have a stronger impact on the audience than gifts, they have tremendously help in creating a positive association between brand and customers.
To learn more about how you could leverage the benefits of an incentive program, connect with Annex Cloud.