Automotive Manufacturers Can Engage Consumers with Incentives

Those involved in the automotive industry can utilize incentives to achieve a wide array of objectives. Incentives can be valuable no matter what segment you operate in and no matter who your target audience is.

In this blog, we will focus on automotive manufacturers and how they can engage their consumers by offering various cash and non-cash incentives.

Automotive manufacturers looking to increase sales of new vehicles and strengthen existing customer loyalty should look to three distinct incentive program solutions.

Purchase Incentives – Close More Vehicle Sales and Move Product Faster

As an auto manufacturer, the word “incentives” probably means cash back to the customer. Administration is typically most efficient and effective on a prepaid debit card. These cards empower the customer by giving them the freedom to spend their money as they choose.

While cash is helpful in moving inventory and adjusting price levels, non-cash incentives such as merchandise, travel incentives or gift cards are more powerful in sweetening a deal when cash is not enough. By utilizing corporate discounts based on quantity, these incentives can offer a higher perceived value to the recipient while being very low in actual cost to the company. Procuring hundreds or thousands of a particular item will allow your cost per item to come in well under the retail price the consumer would otherwise pay.

Although offering a gift may be appealing to some, it is important to offer a “cash out” option that equals the promotional value of the non-cash items to accommodate those who need the extra cash in-hand to make a down payment and ultimately close the deal.

Gift After Purchase/Customer Loyalty Incentives – Keep Customers Loyal Long-Term

Although most manufacturers feel that cash is the most effective way to sell cars in the short-term, merchandise and travel can be interesting after-purchase gift options to increase the loyalty of your customers in the long-run. Getting caught up in the pressure to sell today and ignore long-term loyalty is understandable, but not wise.

Carefully selected merchandise will allow you to target a very specific demographic of consumers based on their interests and needs. Incentive travel for your most loyal customers can deliver priceless, memorable experiences that are impossible to replicate. Automobile manufacturers that prioritize customer loyalty are already starting to understand that non-cash incentives are crucial.

The following are some rather positive statistics compiled by Incentive Performance Center about these Gift After Purchase/Customer Loyalty Incentives programs.

  • 75% of recipients told others about the gift
  • 30% of those recipients told 4 to 7 people
  • 98% would recommend the brand to others
  • 71% said the gift exceeded their expectations

Loyal customers are great brand advocates. They possess lower selling costs, increased profitability over time and tend to be more willing to pay higher prices for your product. The lifetime value of a loyal customer is truly astounding.

Test Drives – Increase Showroom Traffic and Sales Revenues

There is a direct correlation between the number of test drives taken and the number of vehicle sales. This has been tested in many studies and is widely accepted in the automotive industry. Offering non-cash incentives that directly appeal to your target market is the most effective way to ensure that your budget is being allocated to the appropriate audience.

The incentives should be attractive enough so that your focused demographic is intrigued, but carefully targeted to avoid accommodating a mass number of unqualified individuals that come in to the dealership and waste the time of the personnel with no true interest in making a purchase.

Incentives given in exchange for test drives are an essential component of efforts to effective sales strategies.

In conclusion

As an automotive manufacturer, a fundamental understanding of incentives is paramount. A failure to grasp or deliver incentives successfully simply represents a lost opportunity to achieve greater profitability. While this blog specifically discusses how automotive manufacturers target consumers, future blogs will examine how other automotive audiences can benefit from these programs.

If you’d like to explore this topic further, please read the full study compiled by Incentive Performance Center here, explore how we deliver incentive programs here or send me an email at so that I can provide you more detailed information on any of the topics covered in this post.

By JNR Incorporated

Written by Kristopher Hewkin


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.

Spanish Spotlight: The Top Ten Cities to Visit

Our March expedition through Spain began with a fabulous Catalan Stuffed Peppers recipe to give you a taste of the traditional cuisine. Then we offered a peek into the Las Fallas Festival to give you some perspective on their customs. Now we want to give you an overview of the top ten cities to visit in Spain according to TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice. While the cities that top the list may seem obvious, we hope that you will come across a few lesser-known locales that may have never crossed your mind before!

10. Benidorm, Spain

Location: Western Mediterranean seaside city located in the Province of Alicante on the Costa Blanca.

Claims to Fame: Benidorm boasts four miles of golden beaches, access to Mediterranean Sea recreation including scuba diving and waterskiing and a historic city center with blue-domed 18th-century churches and alleyways.

Top Attractions: Levante Beach, Balcon del Mediterraneo, Placa del Castell

9. Salamanca, Spain

Location: Northwestern capital city of the Province of Salamanca located alongside the border with Portugal.

Claims to Fame: Salamanca is referred to as Spain’s “golden city” and is rich in architectural, religious and gastronomic culture. Renaissance and Gothic style architecture are prominent in both the old and new cathedrals.

Top Attractions: Salmanca’s Plaza Mayor, St. Stephen’s Convent (St. Convento de San Esteban), Casa Lis (Museum of Art Nouveau and Art Deco)

8. Marbella, Spain

Location: Southern coastal city in the Province of Malaga on the Mediterranean Sea.

Claims to Fame: Marbella is a sunny beach town with plenty of modern-day resort amenities. The city is famous for La Fontanilla Beach, theme parks, wildlife parks and a historic quarter filled with whitewashed buildings and remnants of a ninth-century Arab fortress.

Top Attractions: Marbella Old Quarter, Iglesia Mayor de la Encarnacion, Puerto Banus Marina

7. Malaga, Spain

Location: The capital of the Province of Malaga lies on the Costa del Sol (Coast of the Sun) of the Mediterranean Sea.

Claims to Fame: Malaga is one of the oldest cities in the entire world, founded in the 8th Century by the Phoenicians. The city is rich in art of all kinds including glass, crystal, contemporary installations and the works of Picasso, who was born in Malaga.

Top Attractions: Museum of Glass and Crystal, Alcazaba, Kelipe Centro de Arte Flamenco

6. Palma de Mallorca, Spain

Location: The capital city of the Province of Balearic Islands is situated on the south coast of the island on the Bay of Palma.

Claims to Fame: Palma de Mallorca is often considered the economic and cultural hub of Majorca and a great place to experience the island’s many gold and white beaches. This city was once a Moorish casbah, or walled city, and has a maze of narrow streets that can be quite fun to explore on foot.

Top Attractions: Soller Railway, Cathedral (Le Seu), Bellver Castle (Castell de Bellver)

5. Valencia, Spain

Location: The capital city of the Province of Valencia is located on the east coast of the Iberian Peninsula facing the Gulf of Valencia on the Mediterranean Sea.

Claims to Fame: Valencia is home to many monuments, City of Arts and Sciences, a highly modern complex of museums, cinemas and theaters. The local food, namely the paella, is also something that every visitor should experience!

Top Attractions: Bioparc Valencia, Oceanografic, Palacia del Marques de Dos Aguas

4. Granada, Spain

Location: Capital of the Province of Granada located at the foot of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and at the confluence of four major rivers. The Southern Spanish city is just one hour from the Mediterranean Coast by car.

Claims to Fame: The Alhambra citadel, a Moorish fortress with epic archways and ornamental mosaics, one of the most famous buildings in the nation is located in Granada. The nightlife is also quite vibrant with the bars of Calle Elvira being the most notable hotspot.

Top Attractions: The Alhambra, Carrerra del Darro, Generalife

3. Seville, Spain

Location: The capital and largest city in Province of Seville, located on the plain of the River Guadalquivir.

Claims to Fame: Seville was founded as a Roman City and is the home to three UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The Alcazar palace complex, Cathedral where Christopher Columbus was buried and Metropol Parasol are just a few of the amazing sites that ooze with antique charm.

Top Attractions: Alcazar, Plaza de Espana, Giralda Tower

2. Madrid, Spain

Location: Spain’s capital and largest city is located on the Manzanares river in the center of both the country and Community of Madrid.

Claims to Fame: Many of Madrid’s buildings are so grand that they appear to be castles straight out of classic fairytales. The architecture here is quite impressive and the splendid sites like Retiro Park and numerous museums make it one of the most interesting places to visit in Spain.

Top Attractions: Prado Museum, Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum (Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza), Royal Palace of Madrid

1. Barcelona, Spain

Location: This capital of the autonomous community of Catalonia within the Province of Barcelona is located on the eastern coast at the mouths of the Llobregat and Besos rivers to the west near the Serra de Collserola mountain range.

Claims to Fame: Famous residents included Spanish surrealist Salvador Dali and Spanish Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi, who designed several of the city’s architectural amazing buildings. Park Guell, street performers and numerous tapas bars make Barcelona a great place to spend a leisurely day.

Top Attractions: Guell Palace, St. Mary of the Sea Cathedral (Iglesia de Santa Maria del Mar), Camp Nou

Are you overwhelmed with all that Spain has to offer yet? I know that my “bucket list” grew quite a bit after composing this blog.

If you’re looking to book an incentive travel trip or meeting in Spain, or simply need some advice about what to see and do while in Spain, please send us an email at

By JNR Incorporated

Written by Kristopher Hewkin


Year in Review: 4 Discoveries from the 2013 Incentive Federation Study


Anyone familiar with the Incentives Industry will recognize and understand the prestige of the Incentive Federation Inc. (IFI) – a collection of organizations who consistently take the pulse of the industry. The IFI publishes an annual report at the end of each year to summarize their findings, based on surveys with those who do business in the industry, to keep all interested parties in the loop. There’s no better way to close out 2013 than with a summary of where our industry is at after another prosperous year.

Those who seek improvements in the performance of their business through motivated people, increased in employee engagement, improved customer loyalty, and strengthened channel sales revenues, should take notice of this study’s results. This 2013 research, which surveyed 2,000 business executives, is rather fascinating.

1.       The Incentives Industry is massive – Over $263 billion by some estimates

A 2011 report entitled “The Economic Significance of Meetings to the US Economy” estimated the direct spending of the meetings industry alone to be $263 billion. Further, the new IFI study measured non-cash incentive programs including merchandise or gift cards to be valued at $54.3 billion per year, incentive travel spending at $22.6 billion. Together, these segments compile a $76.9 billion sum for the Incentives Industry.

2.       Companies that do not allocate budget to non-cash awards might be behind the competition

56% of companies use non-cash incentives for non-sales employees, leaving the 44% who do not in the minority of the population. Other statistics of note include: 46% use non-cash incentives for sales incentive programs, 32% for customer loyalty and retention programs, and 26% for channel sales programs. These numbers really underscore how important non-cash incentives are when you consider that these strong figures are occurring in conjunction with economic challenges.

3.       Small firms (annual revenue between $1 million and $10 million) account for half of the non-cash industry spending

If your company is categorized as a “small” firm (86% of US companies are in this category), then it’s important to understand that industry giants and Fortune 500 entities are not the only businesses benefiting from non-cash incentive programs. In fact, smaller companies see some of the best return-on-investment on incentive programs, including travel, reward cards, merchandise, and points-based campaigns. Devoting more resources to employee motivation, incentives, rewards, and awards can help your organization reach new levels of productivity and profitability.

4.       Experiential/Adventure Travel will revolutionize the future of the Incentive Travel Industry

Though you may have never heard of experiential travel or adventure travel, it is being used for 30% of customer loyalty travel incentives, 25% of channel and employee travel incentives, and 20% of sales travel incentives. Renowned industry blogger Kevin J. Wright says Adventure Travel has been growing over 65% per year since 2009 and isn’t’ expected to slow anytime soon.

Please visit our website at for more information on how non-cash awards such as incentive travel, gift cards, incentive cards, merchandise, awards, and effective marketing communications campaigns can increase the performance of your business.

Questions? Comments? Please send me an email at or comment below to open a discussion.

Written by Kristopher Hewkin