I have yet to meet a client who doesn’t want more audience engagement with their marketing, training, and incentive programs. Even if the data said they were getting 100% engagement my clients would still ask, “Can’t you get more?”

The old “turn it up to 11” of marketing speak.

Everyone wants more.

I believe, your best return on marketing money is when you get the engagement you don’t have to buy. Once you get emotional connections and engagement not based on a quid pro quo you can stop relying on throwing more “incentive” dollars at your channel partners to get them to buy again.

Think about it… if you use promotions exclusively, you’re just training them to wait on the next promotion.

Stop doing that.

Start leveraging different ways to get more engagement without simply buying it.

3 Non-Award Ways to Get More Engagement and Program Participation

  1. Leverage social proof in your communications.
    Simply letting your audience know how many, how much, what percentage, etc., of the market trusts you will communicate to others they too should trust you.
    As powerful an influencer as this is, I’m shocked how little I see it applied in most marketing programs. Trust me, when I find out everyone in my neighborhood has internet from the cable company and I’m on satellite – I start to look more closely at cable and will probably bow to pressure and switch at some point.
  2. Create a design team from your audience to provide input on your future marketing and sales plans.
    That’s right – get a board of directors from your customers. Get them to weigh in. They will appreciate being asked (they rarely are) and probably know more than you do about what will work in the markets.
    You can do this with a small team of people who can rotate out of the team regularly to maintain new ideas and avoid groupthink. You can also do this with annual/semi-annual surveys of the total audience to get input. Everyone loves being asked their opinion.
    And BONUS – if you can incorporate their suggestions – and reward them for that input – you’ll get a fan for life! I mentioned this in a post recently – “no one’s baby is ugly.” Use that to help you create better engagement.
  3. Create a list of influencers in the market and enlist them and their networks.
    Your incentive and reward strategy is no different than other marketing tools. You need to promote your program as much as the program promotes your products. Most companies forget to market the program. Can you find influencers in your vertical to get involved and get them to tweet, post, update, etc., about your program? Are their specific companies or buyers who can be advocates for your brand? If not in the channel you’re targeting what about an adjacent vertical where there isn’t any competition? Could they be a distributor of your program? Could they refer their customers to your site and program? Think about it.

Those are three ways to drive engagement in your program/initiative that almost cost ZERO!

Using better psychology in your program design is openers in today’s world. Another gift card or 100 more points isn’t going to do it.

Knowing the human operating system opens up a variety of ways to influence your audience behavior. Start studying now.

Or touch this hyperlink gently and set up some time to chat.