There is a growing number of manufacturers who are launching multiple micro-incentives programs that are more targeted and to a smaller group then they have ever run before. This type of tactic stands out monumentally next to the all powerful nation-wide program or even the 3-4 regional programs that have been the cornerstone for traditional channel incentive strategies. This growing trend is changing the way that Channel Marketing Managers and Sales Managers are allocating their budgets, in fact it is allowing them to increase their ROI because of how granular they can make their programs, right down to a specific town or store location if they wanted.
Using technology to create programs that are agile and customizable allow the Marketing Managers to:
1. break into a local market that is dominated by a competitor with very generous programs while maintain your current baseline programs in the retailers that are directly surrounding your new market.
2. conversely if you are dominating in specific region, why not test scaling back your marketing incentives so that you can find the sweet spot that leaves your sales unaffected but frees up some budget to put in other areas.
3. easily implement programs that coincide with product launches that are being launched in a number of territories scattered around the country.
4. customize programs to each dealer based on their needs (compensation structure, your competitors they carry, intensity of competition in the surrounding area, etc.)
5. quickly react to dramatic and unexpected changes in the socioeconomic environment such as natural disasters, competitive landscape, interest rate changes, etc.
At this point complete program flexibility is in the infancy of the trend cycle and is a currently being leveraged as a competitive advantage for many of the manufacturers that have harnessed this kind of technology in their loyalty and incentive programs.
The problem with trends is that at some point they change from being a trend to just being. They become the norm and at that point those things no longer give you any edge because they are just price of entry and everyone is doing it. There is no better time to start to leverage completely customizable incentive programs to give that bring that competitive edge to your channel marketing efforts.
Travis Dutka is a communicator at 360Incentives.com who likes iced espresso. Connect with Travis on LinkedIn here.