I have been in the business of recommending, designing, implementing, and managing channel incentive strategies for my clients for a long time now. Over the years, this experience has enabled me to recognize some of the most critical components of a successful channel incentive program, including identifying the behaviors you want to drive, developing the right rule structure, targeting the right “player” in the channel, and executing a sticky and engaging communications strategy. However, I’ve also noticed that one component that can sometimes get lost amidst all these program nuances is the actual incentive reward you choose to offer. Hiding in plain sight, the most obvious and central element of your incentive program—the incentive itself—can become secondary in importance if you’re not vigilant about it.
Tue, May 27, 2014 @ 04:40 PM
Topics: Channel Incentives
Thu, Feb 20, 2014 @ 11:40 AM
In Part One of this three part globalization blog series, we looked at the challenges that businesses are faced with as they try to operate in and navigate through an evolving global marketplace. We identified two major hurdles to success – market saturation and product flexibility – and promised to explore possible solutions. Here in Part Two, we examine one creative idea that has helped two companies respond to the issue of market saturation.
Thu, Jan 30, 2014 @ 02:03 PM
When deciding how to fund an incentive program, there are a number of considerations that need to be addressed in the planning process. For some companies, the benefits of running a structured program greatly outweigh the costs of administering the event or program and they are willing to invest in communicating and administering the program. Others, however, look to outside sources of funding to help offset these costs. There is no “right” answer as this is a corporate philosophical issue. Whenever our team is meeting with new or potential clients, we’re always eager to hear their creative funding solutions, and I thought I would share one client’s strategy … which was very creative.
Topics: Channel Incentives
Fri, Jan 24, 2014 @ 02:48 PM
In today’s global and telecommuting marketplace, conducting in-person meetings or “workshops” with a vendor partner is rare. Due to varying locations, busy schedules, and more travel expense restrictions, the face-to-face time usually suffers. Because of this, the development of a global channel loyalty program will often consist of many video and web conferences, but only a couple of in-person meetings. In many cases, those in-person meetings turn out to be one-way presentations rather than creative collaborations.
Thu, Nov 28, 2013 @ 12:11 AM
I was recently invited to speak at HMI’s Incentive Leadership Forum. The annual event is a way for HMI to host their most strategic clients in an ideal location, with its goal being to bring together forward-thinking executives and industry thought leaders to discuss the latest trends and concepts in the world of performance improvement. This year, The Forum took place at the spectacular Paradisus Palma Real Resort in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. It offered a perfect blend of academic theory, real-world research, and presentations on innovative best practices. Some of the presentation topics included:
Tue, Oct 22, 2013 @ 03:48 PM
As defined by Rajat Paharia, Founder and Chief Product Officer, Bunchball, Gamification is the integration of game mechanics and theory into non-game applications and processes in the workplace. Simply put, the concept applies a game-oriented approach to non-game activities, making them more engaging. Game mechanics motivate participants to get involved and solve problems.
Tue, Oct 15, 2013 @ 03:32 PM
As a distributor, you’re often faced with the challenge of managing numerous vendor marketing programs and SPIFs. In fact, I’m sure many of you have a small army of vendor/manufacturing program managers to do just that. As the popularity of these short-term promotions remains steady, let’s take a look at why, in spite of the demand, these SPIFs often fall short and rarely impact long-term behavior. Then, after making our case, we’ll uncork some straightforward solutions for how to gain the long-term channel equity that organizations continue to search for.
Topics: Channel Incentives
Tue, Sep 17, 2013 @ 04:03 PM
One of HMI’s strategic partners, Channel Marketing Group, a strategic planning and marketing consulting firm specializing in distributors in the construction and industrial trades, recently surveyed distributors about their marketing tools. The firm surveyed over 1000 distributors, with almost 200 responding.
Tue, Jun 11, 2013 @ 03:45 PM
Throughout my career in performance incentives, I have come across channel marketing leaders who are desperate to earn the immediate business of their channel partners. They offer money bonuses, SPIFFS, discounts, rebates, you name it. While these expensive tactics can succeed in the short-term, providing brief upticks of sales and market share, after the spiff ends, the business always seems to fall back to pre-spiff levels. These professionals want their channel partner business to flourish so badly, they have a hard time realizing that long-term success can rarely be achieved with short-term strategies.