The Incentive Insider | June 2021

by: Nichole Gunn June 3, 2021

Q1 of 2021... We've Only Just Begun!

And just like that, the first quarter of 2021 is already over! It was very hard not to put a lot of pressure on 2021 to be more optimistic than its predecessor. We have to say, so far, we're feeling pretty hopeful. The year has already brought wonderful new faces to our corporate family, exciting new opportunities, and some big developments underway that we can't wait to share with you. We're looking forward to being the valued partner and trusted resource who helps you hit the ground running, finding new ways to grow and evolve in these hopefully post-uncertain times.

Vaccinate. Congregate. Celebrate!

covid-19 vaccination

With 50+ million Americans already fully vaccinated, many businesses are beginning to make preparations for their employees to return to the office and resume business as usual (at last!). The CDC recommends that businesses encourage vaccination: "Strong confidence in the vaccines within your workplace leads to more people getting vaccinated, which leads to fewer COVID-19 illnesses, hospitalizations, and deaths." Here are some ways companies are encouraging employees, sales representatives, and other corporate partners to get vaccinated and back into the swing of things:
  • Bringing mobile vaccination clinics to the workplace.
  • Enrolling as a vaccine provider (for healthcare facilities).
  • Spotlighting leaders as vaccine supporters.
  • Sharing vaccine information and updates through breakroom posters, emails, and other channels.
  • Surveying employees to gather information about their thoughts and concerns related to the vaccine.
  • Celebrate vaccinated employees and partners with recognition efforts such as stickers and sharing selfies on corporate social media.
If you're like us, you've sorely missed seeing your employees and corporate partners in person! Nothing can really replace the spontaneity, creativity, and enthusiasm that comes from in-person brainstorming. Here's hoping you join us on a safe, fast journey toward full vaccination and togetherness!

Check Out Our Q1 Product Updates! rewardtrax incentive platform

We're constantly tweaking and updating our incentive platform, RewardTrax®, to be easier to use for program sponsors, and a better experience for program participants. Check out the product updates we made in Q1:
  • A refreshed visual design for our incentive software's user interface begins our longer-term project to improve the user experience. Stay tuned for further developments.
  • Improvements to the usability of our program reporting feature, making program analytics easier to access.
  • Greater control over fields in program enrollment forms.
  • New statuses and features that clarify and improve the sales claim process.
  • Automated emails to request additional participant information where needed.
  • Functionality that requires participants to update their information when the force profile update feature is activated.

We're Managing the Very First Post-COVID-19 Group Stay in Saint Martin!

saint martin incentive trip 2021

What's it like to be the first group to stay in a popular vacation spot after COVID-19 shut-downs? Incentive Solutions is finding out with our upcoming spring trip to Saint Martin! Our Travel Account Manager, Amy Green, is helping clients plan a forty-person trip to the beautiful Caribbean island that kicks off at the end of May. Unexpected air travel policy changes that meant cancellation and rescheduling flights. Overnighting attendees so they wouldn't be stuck on routes with three connecting flights. In order to return to the U.S., all attendees will need to have a COVID-19 test on site before leaving, a process which Incentive Solutions is managing so our client doesn't have to. The trip has involved extensive collaboration with the local Ministry of Tourism and constant communication to ensure the trip adheres to pandemic travel policies. "The rules are changing day by day, based on what's going on in the world," Amy Green says. "There are a lot of nuances. It's been important for us to stay in contact with local partner. We have a strong relationship with our local Saint Martin contact and we've been working with destination management companies who help with airport transfers, activities, and ground transport. None of this would be possible without collaboration and leveraging relationships, which has been the biggest lesson in planning this trip. We have people looking out for us so we can look out for our clients, and we all want the trip to be a success."

The Location of 2021's BthruB Leadership Summit is...

the epicurean bthrub location

Our virtual BthruB Summit in 2020 was a great success. Nonetheless, we're excited to escape our little digital rectangles and experience the BthruB Leadership Summit as originally intended—an in-person event where B2B and incentive professionals can get together in a relaxed, intimate atmosphere to swap ideas, share successes, and get creative. We're pleased to announce our plan to bring BthruB back to the "real" world in 2021. Our location? Drumroll, please.... The Epicurean hotel in Atlanta! The Epicurean is a brand new hotel opening its doors this summer. Self-described as a "foodie paradise" and a "wine lover's dream," the Epicurean aims to treat event attendees to a luxurious atmosphere that inspires creativity and innovation. The perfect spot for the BthruB Summit!

Communication Corner: The Year in Review

communications corner year in review 2020

Every year, we assess the performance of our incentive marketing communications to make sure we're helping clients promote their incentive programs to the best of our ability. Here are some of the findings from the 2020 year in review:
  • Monthly email statements sent to participants earned a 37.7% average open rate and an 8% average click-through rate, compared to 18% and 2% respective industry averages.
  • Account activation call campaigns resulted in 11% of accounts activation.
  • Redemption stimulation campaigns resulted in a 7.6% reward redemption rate.
Along with our communications year-in-review, we conduct a yearly Voice of the Participant survey to gauge participants' experience with our incentive software. Here are some of the results:
  • Participants gave the quality of our reward catalog items an average score of 4.2 out of 5.
  • Participants' average score of the ease of reward catalog navigation was 4.1 out of 5.
  • Participants' average score of the reward catalog's expansiveness was 4.1 out of 5.
Click here for the full results of our Communications Year in Review and Voice of the Participant survey!

It's No Secret - Catie Is Going to Secrets Papagayo Costa Rica!

secrets papagayo incentive solutions

After the stressful year we all just had, a vacation sure sounds great, huh? We thought so too! That's why we recently gave one lucky Incentive Solutions employee (and guest!) an all-expenses paid, five-night stay at Secrets Papagayo in Costa Rica! We held a live drawing on April 2th and the lucky winner was . . . Catie Paris, one of our amazing Merchandise Redemption Specialists! Catie will soon be soaking up the sun beside gorgeous, tropical Pacific waters. Or maybe she'll zip-line over the jungle? How about a serene sunset sail? Whatever you do, Catie, bring us lots of pictures!

Star Performer of the Quarter: Jeannine Scarpino

star employee jeannine

Who's a Performer Like You've Never Seen? Jeannine!

Have you seen The Devil Wears Prada? The main character, Andy, changes before your eyes. She starts off shy, without much experience, but something about her catches Miranda's (the "devil's") attention: her underlying strength and tenacity. She transforms into a strong, confident performer, setting a new standard of performance in her workplace. This quarter's star performer, Jeannine, has a very similar character arc! "Despite her lack of experience, I quickly found that she has drive and passion," says Nichole Gunn, VP of Marketing at Incentive Solutions. "Her creativity and logic work in perfect harmony." The leadership decision this quarter was unanimous, which is unprecedented! Jeannine, you've become an inspiration and leader in this organization, holding us all accountable with grace and a smile. You should be proud!

New Hires on the Block

Alexis Carden Participant Services Coordinator Alexis comes from a small West Coast family and has just married into a massive British family. In her spare time, she plays with flowers and pushes herself to craft everything that can be crafted. Her hobbies have ranged from building old cars to wedding floral design. She's homed many types of animals and reptiles throughout her life, but currently has a dog named Murcie and a cat, Petunia, (who thinks she’s also a dog). On the weekends, you'll find her with her hubby in their crafting spaces, chowing down on Uber Eats and talking to their four-legged children. Welcome, Alexis, and good luck in your new role!
Daniela Conroy Marketing Communications Specialist Originally born in South Africa, Daniela Conroy is a recent graduate from the University of Georgia with a degree in Digital Marketing and a Workforce Diversity Certificate. While she Daniela attended UGA, Daniela gained experience in both the non-profit and for-profit sectors with her work for organizations such as the UGA Office of Global Engagement, Extra Special People Inc., Grace and James Kids, and more. Daniela is an avid runner (who once ran 100 miles in one month!) and loves spending time with family. Welcome to the Incentive Solutions family, Daniela!
Marisa Owens Executive Assistant A North Carolina native, Marisa earned a BA in Psychology from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Marisa started her career in pharmaceutical sales before life events brought her to Atlanta. Marisa moved into administration and brings over 15 years of said experience. She thrives on leading organizational endeavors as well as promoting personal and professional development. Marisa and her husband live in Alpharetta. They have two grown daughters and a miniature schnauzer named Ozzy. When not working, Marisa enjoys chairing her neighborhood social committee, playing tennis, hiking, traveling, giving dinner parties, and generally having fun! Fun fact? She's been an extra in two movies and loves anything to do with classic Hollywood. We're so excited to have you, Marisa!
Chris Rooker Director of Human Resources Chris is a nature-lover by heart, having grown up in the National Park Service in amazing places like Death Valley, Yosemite, and Mount Rainier. But she also loves all that comes with city life in Atlanta, which gave her a career in Human Resources and Information Technology. She enjoy walks at local parks with her husband and two bearded dogs, as well as showing Southern hospitality to family and friends through cooking. Welcome aboard, Chris!

Read The Quarter's Best Blogs!

Help! My Competitor Provides Incentives and It’s Killing My Market Share!

If your competitor provides incentives, it could be their “secret sauce” to offering a better customer experience than you. Here are some of the ways the competition’s incentive program could be better than yours, and how you can fix that. Read More!
market share competition
b2b customer experience

5 B2B Customer Experience Best Practices

To keep up with the changing demands of today's customers and out-maneuver your competition, focus on live chat offerings, website improvements, personalization, and boosting customer confidence. Read more!

How to Gain the Customer Loyalty Competitive Advantage?

How do you stay competitive in terms of your B2B loyalty program? By aligning your loyalty program with overarching customer retention goals, using trustworthy loyalty technology, and marrying automation with personalization, you're off to a great start. Read more!
customer loyalty competitive advantage square

About Nichole Gunn

Nichole Gunn is the VP of Marketing at Incentive Solutions, an Atlanta-based incentive company that delivers advanced, agile B2B customer loyalty and channel sales incentives programs.