Motivation in Small Business

How many times have you heard about incentive marketing companies? If you are like most business owners you probably have not. Many people confuse incentive marketing with sales training and think that they are one and the same. In fact, they are two completely different concepts. Below I will explain the difference between incentive marketing and sales training.

Business Dictionary defines incentive marketing as "the use of special promotional devices or other incentives to encourage the purchase or rental of products or services". Now, to me, the term icky seems like something an automatic robot would say when gesturing for a check-marked outboard labeled sales widgets. However, if we use the term incentive marketing we are talking about using rewards to encourage a customer to take a certain action. The reward isn't always money. Sometimes rewards are services, good thoughts, or even simply discounted merchandise. The important thing is the action is taken.

One example of incentive marketing can be found on the Amazon Prime storefront. Here you can find numerous incentive programs. For example, one customer may find the Kindle free when they buy one, or a hundred dollars may be saved on a digital camera when they purchase one hundred dollars or more. Incentive programs like these are not very hard to find. Incentives are easy to find and are usually what draws customers into a business in the first place.

Sales training and other incentive marketing programs are harder to find. Most of these types of marketing incentives are given out by way of a coupon or gift card. A potential customer has to actually collect the coupon or card in order to get the incentive. This type of marketing is also harder to track sales through. If every time a customer uses their incentive card only one customer buys from that particular business, it would be very hard to track sales and incentive results.

Other examples of incentive marketing can be through membership websites, music sites, or sports sites. Sites devoted to one activity have the intent of encouraging visitors to use their incentive programs consistently. Sites with sports clubs or music channels have the intent of encouraging music lovers to download music or use their incentive programs on a regular basis. Membership sites and incentive programs are very different than regular retail sites. Retail sites generally just want members and customers.

The main reason that incentive marketing is so popular is that businesses gain leads and sales by encouraging members to take action. When someone becomes a member of a site they typically receive a newsletter with information about upcoming events. This information is sent to the person's email on a daily or weekly basis. The newsletter and emails from the site are sent to a wide audience for brand awareness and a way to gain leads.

If an incentive marketing company targets a specific audience then this is a great way to drive awareness and even conversion. For example, if you run a fitness center you can create a blog on your site that features some of your special offers. This blog should be set up as an incentive marketing channel. You could place a small "code" in the blog's navigation that directs readers to visit your incentive marketing page where they can gain more information on your products or services and take advantage of the discount. If people like the content on your blog they will likely also follow the link in the "about the author" section to visit your incentive marketing page where they can learn more about what incentive marketing channels you operate and how you can gain new customers.

If you want to create motivation within your employee's incentive marketing can be effective. You can reward employees who reach a specific milestone or who meet a certain percentage of the required quota of a project you are working on. You could also create incentives for people to recruit others to work under them such as by having them receive a percentage of the overall sale or bonus of someone who joins a team or manages to get a certain number of sales or customers done in a certain amount of time. You could even offer employees free travel when you meet a certain minimum amount of sales or customers done so you could increase the incentive you are giving through incentive marketing.