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Trend: Corporate Incentive Programs Key To Economic Recovery

Berkeley Payment Solutions has released some data from their annual “Canadian Incentive Trends Outlook” survey which surveys Canadian executives from marketing services organizations, incentives firms, and corporations. The past global recession played a big factor in opinions of executives this year and according to the survey which was conducted back in May 2010 and represents a wide cross section of companies from financial services and consumer packaged goods to telecommunications, government, and charities.

“As the Canadian economy continues to grow into the second quarter, and as consumer confidence and the job market improve, Canadian businesses are continuing to seek more effective ways to attract and retain customers and employees in a cost-effective and personalized way,” says David Eason, CEO, Berkeley Payment Solutions. “To do so, high-performing companies are increasingly implementing innovative incentive programs that are carefully tailored to their specific, and often evolving, business goals and needs.”

What Is The Benefit Of Corporate Incentive Programs

According to the survey results:

  • 86% felt they gained a competitive edge over the competition as a result of the incentive programs they have implemented
  • 83% of respondents indicated their 2010 incentive budgets either remained the same or increased, with only 17% noting a decrease, when compared to their 2009 budgets
  • 85% of respondents revealed that the number of incentive programs they are running in 2010 is either remaining the same 48% or increasing 37%
What type of Corporate Incentive Programs Are Companies Using
  • 65% – sales programs
  • 61% – employee programs
  • 56% – and to a lesser extent in consumer (35%)
  • 23% – rebate programs
  • 21% – channel programs.
Why Use Corporate Incentive Programs

Of course as corporate budgets were cut over the last few years due to the recession many executives were faced with the question – should I still use a corporate incentive program? That’s a debate you could have for hours, but marketers feel that ensuring your brand is visible is a key to riding the wave.

When asked why they implemented incentives programs, respondents noted that their program objectives were to increase sales (78%), motivate employees (61%), increase customer loyalty (57%), increase brand awareness (51%), support a product launch or promotion (50%), and retain employees (32%). The results showed that in many cases, individual companies have utilized incentives programs more than once to support various company initiatives and business objectives.

Prepaid corporate incentive cards ranked as top choice for delivering corporate incentives

What Type of Corporate Incentive Programs Are Most Valued By Recipients?
  • 74% – Visa, MasterCard, or American Express prepaid corporate incentive cards
  • 55% – Retail gift certificates
  • 51% – Individual travel
  • 42% – Experiential events such concerts and special events
  • 9% – Traditional incentives such as catalogue
  • 4% – Company selected merchandise

They do say “cash is king,” so it shouldn’t be too surprising that corporate incentive cards ranked the highest amongst the data from above.

“As companies search for cost-effective alternatives to manage and deliver reward and incentive programs, one of the best ways to motivate employees is to give them the flexibility and choice offered by a prepaid incentive card,” said Mike Bradley, Head of Products, Visa Canada. “Prepaid incentive cards deliver efficiencies for businesses and enable them to provide an award the recipient can use how and where they choose.”

Surprisingly only 50% of respondents increased their prepaid corporate incentive card programs during the economic downtown.