Use an Incentive Program to Boost Your Market Share Growth

by: Nichole Gunn October 7, 2021

As many industries shift and emerge from the drastic changes brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, they may be facing changed market landscapes. As the pandemic proved, you can never be too prepared for unknown business challenges. An incentive program can help you protect your business from unanticipated hardships, along with boosting market share growth with a solid competitive advantage. In this article, I’d like to highlight four strategies that position your incentive program to help you grow market share.

Implement your incentive program with an ROI focus.

An incentive program capable of helping you with market share growth should be conceived, launched, and managed with a focus on ROI. Working with industry experts, your own internal sales & marketing subject matter experts, and incentive program professional, you can create data-driven goals from the start. An ROI calculator can help you determine what size, investment, and pay-out will help you achieve your goals.

The collaboration between your internal leaders and incentive program experts is the best way to determine the specific features and tools to achieve your goals, as well as the key performance indicators (KPIs) you should track to assess goal progress.

Ongoing assessment and ROI measurement are the last, crucial pieces of an ROI-driven incentive program. Tracking KPIs (program enrollment rate, account activation rate, and marketing engagement rates, for example) will help you tweak the program as it goes to maximize results, and present proof of its value to decision-makers and executives.

Choose incentive rewards that match your goals.

Choose rewards that are best suited to your goals in order to maximize incentive program results and contribute to market share growth. Here are the unique advantages and best-uses of each reward type:

  • Merchandise rewards

    Merchandise, or online rewards, are typically redeemed from an online rewards catalog using reward points. Incentive program participants accumulate reward points over time to redeem them for merchandise like laptops, TVs, home goods, even travel rewards and event tickets. Because of the range of items from low-value to high-value, as well as the accumulative nature of reward points, a merchandise rewards program is great for a long-term incentive plan with a large, diverse participant audience.

  • Debit and gift cards

    Debit and gift cards can be used nearly anywhere, and program participants tend to spend them quickly. This makes them an excellent form of short-term sales performance funds (SPIFFs). When you need a quick turnaround on reward redemption and incentive results, card-based rewards are an ideal choice.

    As a bonus, you can distribute debit cards in virtual, e-code form. Incentive program participants can then spend their debit card funds in local online stores, eliminating international shipping risks and wait times.

  • Incentive trips

    Group incentive trips require a larger investment than other reward types, but with the biggest impact and ROI. As an S. Travel Association study estimated, incentive travel ROI is “$2.90 for every dollar spent.”

    Group incentive trips build strong, emotional bonds and lasting memories between you and your attendees. This makes them excellent rewards for your top-performing salespeople or customers, to retain their talent and business.

The right incentive reward strategy balances audience motivation and a distribution system that works best for your business.

Focus on gathering data and insights.

You can use your incentive program to gather sales and customer data. This data not only improve the incentive program’s performance, it can inform your future sales and marketing strategies, making steady gains in your market share.

Use an online document upload and authentication tool to allow your incentive program participants a quick, easy method of submitting files to your incentive program. You can then reward salespeople and distribution partners for submitting sales documentation that yields data—warranty registrations, receipts, invoices, feedback surveys, and rebate sign-ups, for example.

Another method of using your incentive program to build data and insights is to offer participants rewards for submitting surveys, feedback, testimonials, reviews, and referrals. With only forms, you can automate this process to deliver rewards immediately for the data that helps you develop better strategies and strengthen your market share.

Segment your audience and personalize their incentive program experience.

Segmentation and automation help you influence large incentive program audience, but still delivering personalized experiences.

Using incentive program organization and segmentation technology, you can divide your participants into segments according to role, region, performance level, department, or organization. Once you’ve created your segmentation or hierarchy structure, you can develop specific goals and messaging for each group, so they have access only to the tools and features relevant to them.

Segmentation not only facilitates personalized program experiences, it allows you to set up varying pay-out rules and send personalized incentive program. Studies indicate that “67% of consumers think it’s important for brands to automatically adjust content based on current context.” This expectation is sure to be reflected in your incentive program participant expectations. By meeting and exceeding participants’ preferences with personalization, your program will yield greater engagement and results, which will help you boost market share growth.

For many industries, there is no “back to normal” after the pandemic. They may have found their industries changed for the long term, or even permanently. As you rethink proactive sales and marketing strategies, count incentive programs in as a tactic that can give you major advantages over your competitors. By running an incentive program with ROI-driven planning, strategically selected rewards, data-retrieving tactics, segmented audiences, and personalized experiences, you can run the kind of incentive program that helps you boost market share.


About Nichole Gunn

Nichole Gunn is the VP of Marketing at Incentive Solutions, an Atlanta-based incentive company that delivers advanced, agile B2B customer loyalty and channel sales incentives programs.