The Incentive Insider | November 2021

by | Nov 1, 2021 | Newsletter

The Exciting Evolutions of Q3

Our Q3 was filled with impatient excitement and the electric energy of change in the air! Since acquiring OneAffiniti, we have so many plans, ideas, and improvements to both companies’ offerings underway. Merging and meeting departments spent Q3 getting to know each other and beginning to understand what our future looks like as a powerful partnership. From our new org chart to our 2022 product updates, we have lots to share with you as we round this monumental year to its close.


We’ve Restructured Leadership!

With the acquisition of OneAffiniti (1A), we needed to do a little rearranging to our company’s organizational structure. As roles and responsibilities shift, we aim to make the best use of our leadership’s talent and experience. Here are the big changes we’ve made to our executive leadership team:

Joel Montgomery
Chief Strategy Officer
Joel takes over as the ‘ Chief Strategy Officer, leading corporate vision and strategy, including mergers and acquisitions, partnerships, product roadmap, and international expansion. “Joel is a proven leader,” says CEO Mark Herbert. “As the former CEO of OneAffiniti, he helped lay the groundwork for our robust new service offering. He brings in-depth knowledge of the TCMA space and its customers, as well as a bold vision of the technology’s upward trajectory.”


Nichole Gunn
Chief Marketing Officer
Formerly Incentive Solutions’ VP of Marketing and Creative Services, Gunn will fill the newly-created Chief Marketing Officer role, presiding over planning, development, implementation, and monitoring of business marketing strategy. “Nichole is a creative innovator always pushing the team and challenging the status quo. She has been the backbone of Incentive Solutions, directing our marketing through every period of growth,” Mark says.


Michael Heldebrandt
Chief Revenue Officer
In the Chief Revenue Officer role, Michael will drive integration and alignment between all revenue-related functions, including marketing, pricing, sales, customer support, and management of revenue. Including his leadership over OneAffiniti’s North American business, Michael has 25 years of international sales and marketing experience. “Michael’s expertise in Channel marketing and strong desire to see brands and channel partners succeed will contribute to the growth of services we offer,” says Mark.

Kelly Held
Chief Information Officer
You may have known him as Incentive Solutions’ VP of Technology. Now Kelly will move into the C-suite as Chief Information Officer. He’ll be responsible for assessing current processes, security, recommending software upgrades, and directing the executive team on the best business strategies.


John Madden
Chief Technology Officer
Previously Chief Technology Officer for OneAffiniti, John Madden will fill the same role overseeing both OneAffiniti and Incentive Solutions product lines. He will oversee the development and dissemination of technology for external customers, vendors, and other clients to improve and grow business.


Simon Hjorth
Chief Operations Officer
Previously Chief Marketing Officer for OneAffiniti, Simon will now serve as the Chief Operations Officer over both product lines. He brings 30+ years of marketing and tech experience to his role, working with companies like Lexus, Dell, and Microsoft.


Scott Bedora
Chief Financial Officer
After serving as Incentive Solutions’ CFO since 2012, Scott will retain the role overseeing both product lines. Scott has filled various leadership and finance positions in franchising, healthcare, and software development companies. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree and is a Certified Public Accountant in Georgia.


All C-suite roles report directly to CEO Mark Herbert. For more information on our organizational restructuring, see the press release. We’re so excited to see what great things we accomplish as a blended leadership team!


That’s a Wrap, Here’s a Recap: BthruB Leadership Summit 2021

We wrapped up our sixth annual BthruB Leadership Summit in September. It was our pleasure to share incentive insights and ideas with our client family again, not to mention kick back with a bit of virtual fun. Here are the highlights:

We announced updates to our incentive platform! We were thrilled to give BthruB attendees a sneak peak of the product updates we’ll be officially unveiling next year! Our IT team has been hard at work developing new features and capabilities to improve our software’s performance and reduce the amount of time channel marketers spend on it. A quick recap:

    • Updates to sales claims and audit management will include data entry service and updates to the claims verification page, to provide claims detail visibility and reduce program administrators’ manual work.
    • New reports track events such as participant engagement level change, allowing program administrators to know instantly when and where to increase re-engagement efforts.
    • A progressive web app will improve the incentive software’s mobile experience. The platform will offer a more mobile-native experience without the development, deployment, and maintenance of a traditional mobile app.
    • New, dynamic reporting dashboards will allow program administrators to:
      • Access more comprehensive data to report on program activity levels, direction and trends in KPIs, and forecasts for the next six months of program activity.
      • Compare performance between participant types, promotions, dealers, and products.
      • Correlate incentive program performance with outside initiatives and trends.
      • Filter data to drill down to specific segments, such as participants at a specific engagement level, or data from custom date ranges.
      • Track award value and activity per participant.
      • Follow claims flow through the approval process, viewing claims count in each stage, from submitted to pending to approved.
      • Track total value vs. non-participant value—for example, see how much revenue participating dealer sales reps are driving vs. non-participating sales reps.
    • Programs will feature increased global support and localization capabilities. Run international incentive programs with localized languages, currency, and support.
    • Dynamic, real-time segmentation will foster targeted ad campaigns, promotion eligibility, and communications.

Changes to our incentive software will focus on activity, trends, and value, giving clients greater insight that will allow them to make predictive program changes and support business decisions with better, more easily-accessible data.

Our top clients shared insights about their successful incentive programs.

Client attendees at the BthruB Leadership Summit are pioneers in their industries and often lead the charge with innovative incentive program strategies. We always learn so much about how our incentive technology is used when these clients share with us at BthruB. This year’s insights included these findings:

  • Incentives are an effective way to motivate mid-sized contractors to sell-serve online, driving customers to a lower cost-to-serve channel.
  • Program participants generate 262% more revenue per month than non-participants!
  • Incentives drove a 35% YOY increase in active customers buying from the manufacturer online, and was an important way to engage with customers when they couldn’t meet face-to-face during lockdown.
  • 2X point-earning opportunities and surprise Lunch and Learn point-earning opportunities were very effective.
  • After finding that 75% of redemptions happened in the top two tiers of their three-tiered loyalty program, restructuring the program to eliminate the bottom tier proved successful. When asked what they wanted out of the program, top program participants said they wanted to redeem for swag (polo shirts, truck wraps, etc.) from the sponsor, to receive more points for selling multi-zone and higher quality equipment, and more consistent sales promotions for a more predictable sales cycle they could prep for each year.

As one of our clients put it, “We manage a lot of channels of business and want to make sure we’re engaging the right customer segments in the right way. Our loyalty program is a small piece of a larger customer experience. Different things motivate different customers. Some prioritize having the right inventory on hand. Others prioritize having a great customer experience in our locations and online. We need to consider what are our high-level business strategies, what’s our customer loyalty strategy, and how does our loyalty program fit into the whole thing?”

We couldn’t have said it better. Year after year, we find that the best way to run any channel incentive program is with an open mind and flexibility. This is how companies discover what it takes to motivate their unique channel member base, gaining a significant competitive advantage. Thanks to all who participated and contributed at the 2021 BthruB Leadership Summit. We can’t wait to see what next year’s event has in store!

Incentive Travel Updates

We’re calling it: incentive travel is back! We’ve booked three incentive trips for October, and our 2022 is packed with trips we’re looking forward to! We can say with confidence that clients and participants are ready to travel again. The U.S. currently plans to open travel back up to international visitors on November 8th, which is big news for those in the travel industry and points to more travel ban lifts in the future.

Wondering what your options are if you want to plan an incentive trip for U.S.-based participants? CNN has an up-to-date list of countries open to vacationers with U.S. passports. This list includes Austria, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Bermuda, Costa Rica, Barbados, the Bahamas, and many more! Australia and New Zealand remain closed for now, but there are plenty of destination options. If you’ve been hesitating to schedule your next incentive trip and would like to know more about current COVID-19 policies and group travel options, you can always give our Incentive Travel Director Deven Crane a call at 678-514-0227.

Star Performer of the Quarter: Derek Bambach

Derek Always Drives Us in the Right Direction!

Since he joined Incentive Solutions in 2019, Derek has proven himself and invaluable asset to our company. Technological innovations have defined Incentive Solutions since our beginnings in 2009, and those innovations aren’t always easy to bring to fruition. It takes not just the raw talent of our amazing developers, but the insights and foresight to understand what changes are most needed.

“Derek’s role usually involves running a product team, including stakeholders like myself and other leaders,” says Incentive Solutions President and CEO, Mark Herbert. “Sometimes it’s like herding cats to get everyone focused on right things. It can be a huge challenge and not everyone can do it. But Derek has done an amazing move our product forward.” Thanks so much for steering us in the right direction, Derek!

New Hires on the Block!

Maynav Golomb Travel
Registration Manager
Maynav joins Incentive Solutions with over 10 years of experience in the meeting, conference, and trade show planning industry. She has handled both pre-planning and onsite event management. Her skill set includes registration management, housing, transportation, trade show boot builds, graphics management, special events, and more. Welcome aboard, Maynav!


Evander Manalese
Data Entry Specialist
Evander worked as a non-voice customer service representative for five years before he joined Incentive Solutions, handling billing, technical support, and review modification requests for a home improvement company. He’s also been a car reservation representative for Hertz, helping customers book and modify car reservation across North America. Best of luck in your new role, Evander!


Francis Ventura
Data Entry Specialist
Francis, who goes by “Ken,” has been in the customer service industry for seven years. Before joining the Incentive Solutions family, he was a phone representative for a credit card company, then a leader of an email/chat representative team. Welcome, Ken! We’re so happy to have you!.

Read The Quarter’s Best Blogs!

4 Secrets to HVAC Customer Loyalty Management
These loyalty program best practices help HVAC marketers build better channel partnerships, improve customer retention, and gather more end-user data. Read More!

The Difference Between Long Term & Short Term Incentive Plans
Check out this infographic for a side-by-side comparison of how incentive program goals, strategy, and rewards differ according to long-term or short-term sales and marketing goals. Read more!

Long Term Incentive Plan Best Practices
These long-term incentive plan best practices help turn “new incentive energy” into a sustainable asset that incrementally grows your business over time. Read more!

<strong>About </strong>Nichole Gunn

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.

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