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Don’t Forget Your Sunblock

Brian McHugh | July 30, 2020

Photo by Ethan Robertson on Unsplash

As a parent to three young girls (all under the age of four), life is busy even in the best of situations. Trying to be a parent during a global pandemic, it is mission impossible.

These past few weeks in Boston have been oppressive with heat and humidity, and to beat the heat, we have tried to take our girls to the beach in the safest and socially distant way possible. This past weekend as my wife and I were packing up for the beach (e.g. bathing suits, swim and regular diapers, sand toys, snacks, change of clothes, towels, and more snacks), we realized we were missing one crucial addition: sunblock. We had to make a special stop to get sunblock and I was overwhelmed by all the choices, most notably what Sun Protection Factor (SPF) to buy. SPF 15? SPF 30?

As I realized all the options, I was thinking about how sunblock and going to the beach can be an analogy for running a performance incentive initiative for your business. Just like strategic planning and business operations, going to  the beach takes a lot of effort with three young girls. You must have a methodology, a plan, and execute it for it to be worth it.

For my wife and I, it involves packing the night before, being the first one at the beach when the parking lot opens, and trying to time it so we don’t interrupt any nap time. Of course, we must always have a plan B in case it don’t work out. Then there’s sunblock. Not only do you have to apply to three squirming children, but you need to reapply throughout the day to ensure you don’t get burned. In theory, the higher the SPF, the higher the sunburn protection.

What about running promotions and incentives, how does this apply? How can you increase the protection you are offering to your customers, your investment, and ensure it’s a success so you’re not applying aloe for the next week?

Here is why you need to consider a Simple, Personal, and Fulfilling (SPF) metric when it comes to your performance marketing customer initiatives.

Simple:

How simple are you to do business with? For your incentive programs, how easy is it to understand and to earn? Is it easy to join? Do participants know how to earn rewards? Do they know how to redeem? Does your sales team understand and buy in so they can easily speak towards it? If you offered goals as part of it, are they viewed as fair and achievable?

Personal

We have talked before about the importance of a personalized approach and how it’s table stakes in today’s business environment. But in any strategy, are you targeting the right customers? Are the rewards and communications tailored to the participant? Have you considered their demographics and what motivates them? Are you using data to tailor your offering? Do you understand the value you bring to your customer? And are you delivering upon that value?

Fulfilling

Are the rewards offered “worth it”? Are you giving enough value with your rewards or with the additional resources provided by the program to warrant a change in participants’ behavior? If you understand what customers value in you, are you tailoring those rewards to be of value to your customers? For some, it may be merchandise, experiences, or trips, but for others it may be helping your customers grow their business.

Conclusion:

Just like purchasing the right sunblock or reapplying it while you are at the beach, it is essential to consider the right metrics for your business when evaluating your promotions and incentives. Any strategy needs to be customer-focused and create a “barrier to exit” so that it will keep your customers from spending their share of wallet with your competitors.

Planning for 2021 should be starting now, including reevaluating your existing program. If you are running a customer incentive program now or considering one, do not forget the program’s sunblock. It will protect your investment.

If you need some help picking out the best sunblock for your program, give us a call. Until then, we are off to our favorite beach in Cape Cod.

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