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5 Things you should know about bulk rewards

Year-end is a busy time for brand and loyalty marketers.

Summer campaigns kick off, encouraging holiday spending and participation in competitions with prizes. In the world of work, HR professionals look to reward their employees, while client service staff prepare to offer gifts to VIP customers and channel partners. Coordinating large-scale rewards can be a daunting task, which is why we’ve compiled this useful checklist for those bulk rewards.

The summer holidays. For most of us, they bring a much-needed break from work, not to mention the promise of some R&R! Not so for brand and loyalty marketers, for whom the holidays mean big business. Why? Because, traditionally, marketing budgets follow projections, which typically forecast higher spend over peak holiday seasons. And in Mzansi, peak season is year-end: Summertime, when brand love and loyalty soars.

So, it makes sense that brand and loyalty marketers look to reward the people loyal to their brands and businesses at this time of year. After all, it is the season of giving.

Only, planning a year-end campaign, competition or summer promotion can be overwhelming; particularly when it comes to managing bulk rewards. Offering a prize of a holiday getaway for two, for example, simply doesn’t compare with the logistical challenges of sourcing and distributing tens of thousands of digital vouchers as prizes.

HR professionals and client service staff feel similar pressure, especially those who work at large-scale corporates, which usually require the coordination of rewards for employees and channel partners located in regional offices and dealerships across the country.

So, how can we help these overburdened brand managers and HR professionals? With a checklist, of course! This simple, yet effective starting point can help you to plan your rewards, at any scale.

A step-by-step guide to managing short-term, large-scale rewards

Rewarding the people who matter, en masse.

Step #1: Set your objectives

You’ll want to be able to measure the effectiveness of your year-end campaign or loyalty-building initiative when it’s over. So, it helps to get clarity around your objectives from the get-go.

If you’re a brand manager or advertising account executive running a year-end campaign, consider these retention-based metrics:

  • Repeat customer rate
  • Referral rate
  • Retention as a percentage of profitability rate

If you’re an HR professional, think about the following measures in support of building loyalty among your employees and customers:

  • Engagement rate
  • Referral and recommendation rate
  • Retention rate

Step #2: Select relevant rewards

Loyalty 3.0 seeks to connect with customers, channel partners and employees, personally, towards building enduring relationships and authentic brand communities.

So, abandon your old, ‘one-size-fits-all’ rewards approach in favour of a more personalised reward strategy – one based on deep segmentation, a refined member lifecycle and behavioural analytics, as opposed to one-dimensional transactional data.

Also, run small-scale surveys among your target audiences, and find out what people’s reward preferences are. The more personalised your rewards, the more your customers, channel partners and employees will cherish them and your brand, as a result.

Step #3: Establish a cost-to-benefit ratio

Bulk rewards require careful rationalisation. Be sure that you’ve factored all costs involved in the sourcing, supply and distribution of your rewards. Consider that digital rewards are a cost-effective alternative to tangible prizes and rewards, since delivery is electronic. But remember, you’ll want to partner with a fully digitally-integrated, bulk reward provider, who can manage the supply and fulfilment of digital rewards, successfully.

Step #4: Ascertain your reward timeframe and include it in your Ts&Cs

If you’re running a summer promotion or competition, you’ll want to set a closing date for entries. Bear in mind that your rewards, particularly digital rewards, such as retail vouchers, may have a longer-term expiry date. This will impact your post-campaign assessment, given that redemption statistics are a key measure of efficacy.

Step #5: Provide your target audience with reward redemption information

While the focus of your year-end campaign will be on the rewards, don’t forget to include information for your customers, channel partners and employees, about how they can redeem their rewards. Again, choose a bulk rewards provider who can provide these support platforms and services.

Year-end promotions and loyalty initiatives may present challenges to brand managers and loyalty marketers, particularly if they involve large-scale rewards. But with the right reward partner, one that operates as a single-source supplier with a fully-integrated suite of rewards, your year-end campaign can result in deeper engagement and lasting loyalty. And what better way is there to end 2018?

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