There’s a very interesting, somewhat tongue-in-cheek article in a recent edition of the Marketing Profs news compilation and blog. (Side note: If you haven’t already checked out this excellent service, I highly recommend it). This particular article, Destroy Your Website in 13 Easy Steps, by Andy Crestodina, highlights some practices that companies definitely should avoid if they want their web sites to be interesting and meaningful. I found it to be thought-provoking with some strong parallels to recognition and incentive program design.
I’d also be less than honest if I didn’t say that I enjoyed the self-proclaimed “snarky” tone of the article – sarcasm can be effective! But rather than continue in the ironic tone of the original article, I thought you might appreciate a discussion of those parallels in more direct terms.
So, here are some thoughts that I submit for your consideration, leveraging a few of the article’s key points.
- It’s not all about you (see #1 in the article). I find this to be a central point to remember in many walks of life, whether one is developing content for a web site or designing a recognition or incentive program. In order for a program to be successful, the sponsor should remember that it cannot just provide a solution to a particular business challenge or opportunity. It must also fully meet the participants’ interests, needs and desires. If it does not, the chances for sustained success are much reduced.
- Avoid jargon and unnecessary graphics (#s 4, 5 & 6). You should clearly and simply articulate the reasons, rules, procedures and branding for your program. We have found that people don’t need flowery language, buzzwords or showy graphical elements to engage them if the basic program design is solid and well-grounded.
- Involve the right people in your program design (#13). Certainly, it’s helpful to make sure that you communicate your program plans with every department that a program might touch. But that’s different than soliciting design input from all those departments, many of which may know very little about your program’s objectives and participants. Remember the old adage about “too many cooks.”
At QIC we promise to keep these points foremost in our minds as we work with you to design –and manage – your recognition or incentive program. And we also promise to go light on the sarcasm.