Program AdviceI’ll open today’s post with a confession. While I regularly read and digest materials from industry publications, I don’t necessarily do so in a timely fashion. So, I hope that you’ll excuse me as I reference an article that appeared in the MarketingProfs newsletter several months ago. This article, Seven Common Mistakes Marketers Make , is obviously directed at marketing professionals. But I think that it is valuable program advice for incentive program sponsors as well.

Good Advice for Program Design

  • First, consider the mistake entitled “focusing on competitors within your industry only.” In this section, the author points out that it’s important for a company to compare itself not only to competitors in its specific vertical market, but also to those companies that are perceived as cutting edge – regardless of industry segment. In the context of incentive programs, that might mean comparing your B2B program’s design to one of your favorite B2C programs. Many times, those B2C programs include communication and engagement features that B2B sponsors don’t see replicated in their competitors programs.
  • Secondly, the author submits that it is a mistake to “start with the design, not the desired outcomes.” As you may know if you’ve been a regular reader of this blog, this is a particular focal point of mine. An incentive program will never be successful if the program’s objectives are not clearly articulated from the onset. Define what success will look like and the rest of the planning process will fall in line.
  • And the final point to which I would draw your attention is the mistake of “asking for too many outcomes.” This mistake to avoid is closely related to the one noted directly above and happens with unfortunate frequency in the design of incentive programs. We have found that once the program objective is clearly defined, there are typically two or three key behaviors that will contribute to achieving that objective. Your program should clearly award program participants for exhibiting just those behaviors. It’s been said many times, in many different contexts – keep it simple!

These points strike me as timeless – which I hope makes up for my delay in bringing them to you. Please let us know if we can help apply them to a current or future program.

At Quality Incentive Company, Rob is responsible for leading the company’s business development efforts in both the employee recognition and sales/channel arenas. He has more than 10 years of experience in the recognition and incentive industry, having served as president and CEO of Atlanta-based Loyaltyworks before joining QIC in 2011.

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