Tech No Chances

By Malcolm Fleschner

With automatic data collection and reporting, simplified communications and increased overall efficiencies, it seems as though today’s Web-based incentive programs will do everything but rub suntan lotion on your vacationing contest-winners’ backs. But before casting your lot in with just any online sales incentive solution provider, consider the following points suggested by incentive systems expert Anil Aggarwal.

1. Portal framework
Most providers use similar technologies – the issue is how effectively they use those technologies to simplify life for you, the end user. By selecting a provider that offers a portal framework you’re able to choose from a menu of customized components, granting you a quicker ramp-up time.

2. Ease of use
A good online incentive program allows participants to view results and their account histories, while management receives password-protected access to create and communicate incentive offers and view administration screens.

3. Hot buttons
Because different participants have a variety of hot button incentive reward items, good online systems let you track responses to the programs you offer. Based on these results you then can change reward choices in the future to offer even greater appeal.

4. Instant gratification
Web-based incentives dramatically decrease the lag time between the conclusion of the contest and delivery of the reward. The next step is technology that allows promotional codes to be created online in real time and customized for redemption value, delayed activation dates, expiration dates and code prefixes and suffixes.

5. Breakdowns
A good program’s reporting structure gives you specific information about how participants are doing on a monthly, weekly and even daily basis and also verifies the level of participation across the organization.

6. Real-time administration
Make sure the online incentive system you choose offers a full range of administrative tools that allow you to create, modify and maintain your programs in real time.

7. Customized options
In a professional environment where distractions abound, an effective communication strategy is key to maintaining your program’s momentum. Look for an online provider that allows simple, customized email options to provide regular updates and reminders to your program’s participants.