Corporate incentives are undergoing a significant evolution. The days of points-based catalogues and company-selected merchandise are falling out of favour as companies seek more flexible and cost-effective options that deliver measurable results. In particular, Canadian executives are beginning to embrace prepaid corporate incentive cards as the tool they believe is most likely to motivate recipients. These findings are from the second and final set of results to be released from the inaugural Canadian Incentive Trends Outlook for 2010-2011, which surveyed Canadian executives from marketing services organizations, incentives firms, and corporations.
Conducted in May 2010 by Berkeley Payment Solutions, the survey included companies of all sizes and across many sectors from financial services and consumer packaged goods to telecommunications, government, and charities. "The Canadian corporate incentives landscape is shifting dramatically as more flexible and cost-effective options become available to companies across the country," said Berkeley CEO, David Eason. "The emergence of new incentive solutions has created a new playing field that allows businesses of all types and sizes to reward performance, desired behaviour and loyalty - all while improving the bottom line and driving business results." Prepaid cards ranked as the top method of incentive delivery and most likely to motivate recipients. When asked what they believe recipients would be most motivated by, 73% of respondents stated that it was company-branded prepaid corporate incentive cards, while 16% stated retail gift cards, and 11% pointed to points-based merchandise programs. When asked to rank the specific incentives they believe to be valued most by recipients, survey respondents indicated they were Visa, MasterCard, or American Express prepaid corporate incentive cards (74%), retail gift certificates (55%), individual travel (51%), and experiential events such concerts and special events (42%). Traditional incentives such as catalogue and company selected merchandise ranked extremely low at 9% and 4%, respectively.
Respondents list ROI, recipient experience and brand image as top considerations in incentive program design. According to the survey, Canadian companies are recognizing the broader business and bottom line implications of their prepaid corporate incentive card programs, with over half (59%) of respondents stating that prepaid corporate incentive cards provided the highest ROI to their company, when compared to retail card programs (27%), points-based programs (13%), and merchandise catalogues (1%).
Article appeared in PaymentsBusiness.ca.