Who isn’t? Unfortunately, when incentive program budgets get cut many immediately opt for a slimmed-down communication campaign. Your fabulous trip to Tahiti becomes your best-kept secret, and you don’t see the desired behaviors or increase in performance from your participants.
Here is a simple, two-step Cliffs Notes guide to communication and incentive program success:
- Fund it
- Have a Strategy
In order to have a killer communication strategy, start with the basics:
What is your objective? Define the desired outcome for the entire incentive program, and what series of smaller objectives do you have to achieve for this goal. What elements of your communication will create program awareness, inspire performance and deliver program information?
Who is your audience? Identify your target audience and the characteristics that are relevant to this particular group. These characteristics include demographics, personality traits, attitude, values and if available, behavior to past communications.
What is the message? The success of an incentive program has direct relation to the perception of the program’s value. Expectancy theories of motivation and achievement hold that the effort exerted in pursuit of a reward is directly related to the value of the reward offered for that performance. Communicate that value by staying relevant to your audience and highlighting benefits that are important to them. Our words, tonal quality, creativity, brevity —all the thousands of symbols that we use, intentionally and unintentionally—are perceived and translated according to our audience’s perceptions, shaped by age, gender, culture, intelligence, and the experiences unique to every individual.
What are your channels? Identify which communication tools will trigger a response from your audience. Your audience’s age, gender, education and culture have also shaped the way they learn, respond and communication to different communication channels. Do you need to integrate online and offline, personal touches, and how many times do you need to reach this audience to breakthrough?
Are you measuring? Evaluating analytics and the audience’s response to different mediums of communication and making proper adjustments is key to connecting and maximizing their engagement.
Give your incentive program a chance to thrive. Fund it, understand what your audience needs and expects, and adapt your messages accordingly to enhance the likelihood of achieving your program goals.
For further reading on communication campaigns, click here.
Written by Kelly Woolsey
JNR Incorporated is a results-based, globally recognized leader that specializes in creating custom travel, meeting, event, prepaid card and merchandise programs that motivate, engage and inspire the employees, customers and channel members of our clients. We have over 30 years of experience working with Fortune 500 companies of many diverse industries. Our programs are tailored to fit the specific needs of marketing, sales, management and human resource professionals. The unique solutions we apply are measurable and proven to increase performance, loyalty and revenues.