Offering Prizes as part of a Customer Reward Program is becoming an increasingly popular way for corporations to establish direct links with their existing and potential customer base. Since on a fundamental level the use of a prize as a giveaway, contest or sweepstake; acts as a catalyst in motivating people to participate.
These types of corporate marketing and/or customer retention campaigns are a great way to:
• Naturally build on brand integrity and consumer trust;
• Enhance a marketing campaign by effectively attracting additional attention;
• Retain customers by truly rewarding them for their loyalty;
• Attract new customers by quickly converting gathered leads;
• Introduce a new and compelling product/service;
• Differentiate an offering against market competition by offering meaningful value to targeted demographic groups;
• Engage customers in a product’s/service’s transitional development process;
• Gather vital customer information and monitor behaviour.
However, while many corporations appreciate the value such a marketing activity could bring, most unfortunately fall short in achieving their desired objectives.
In our experience, this can be predominantly attributed to the fact that many corporations have a fragmented view of what they are striving to achieve, of how to develop a comprehensive 360° engagement process and more critically, an understanding of how this offering is perceived by their existing and potential customer base.
Despite extensive customer research often undertaken by these corporations or their marketing agencies, many of these programs fail to provide a meaningful value proposition that:
• effectively engages the target demographic groups;
• is easy to engage with;
• offer Prizes that are proportionate to the engagement effort; or
• invest resources in the management and follow up of the engagement process .
The greater the value of the offering, the more valuable the result!
The prize linked rewards need to be a manifestation of a wider “do good” attitude of the Corporation. The value of the offering in these programs is not only the financial value – although it is very important. The real impact comes from linking the brand, customer and the customers’ inherent beliefs and values in a truly engaging, fun and rewarding manner. In a program that is genuine and makes total sense to all parties involved.
Accordingly, additional collateral benefits could be incorporated which fit well into the corporate social responsibility strategy. Indicatively, parts of the Prize Pool can be directed to social welfare causes or the program is tailored to support causes which are linked to the Corporation’s business area. For example, in case of a bank, this could be a financial inclusion programme.
In order to develop a Prize reward program that best serves corporate policy and objectives, the following core components / features need to be addressed.
1. Prize Engagement method / Game – needs to (be):
• Fun and easy to engage with;
• Realistic and achievable;
• Provide direct (financial) and/or indirect (emotional) value;
• Reflective of the corporate brand;
• Transparent with clearly defined processes and corporate objectives;
• Form part of a “value proposition” that triggers interest to engage;
• Non-discriminatory against any participants; and
• Appeal to the targeted customer demographic profiles.
2. Technology / Platform Interface – needs to:
• Accommodate and not hinder customer’s participation;
• Facilitate multiple-touch points of engagement (mobile, tablet, computer);
• Automate the management process;
• Use existing best of bread solutions;
• Support customer engagement and behaviour analytics;
• Be flexible to enable the introduction of additional features and/or offerings; and
• Form part of an extensive marketing campaign strategy (including Social Media) that creates awareness and triggers engagement.
3. Have clearly defined operational requirements and the appropriate allocation of human resource which are focused on the development of the engagement cycle (entry – confirmation of entry – result – follow-up) and on building an ongoing customer relationship.
4. Assure that the prize structure is compliant with the regulatory framework of each jurisdiction.
5. Conduct market research prior to the launch of the campaign to verify engagement assumptions related to the perceived value of the proposition and the efficiency of the technology platform; and post launch, to verify the quantification/qualification of the analytics results.
Aqueria International is increasingly engaged by major corporations from various sectors seeking to enhance their customer relations and differentiate their offering against market competition.
In such cases, Aqueria Int. often applies its customer centric knowledge and insights for the development of innovative and vividly compelling Prize Reward Programmes which tap into the consumer psychology, are engaging, value driven and flexible so that they consistently meet evolving customer preferences.