5 Ways to Increase Market Share Using Incentive Rewards

by: Nichole Gunn October 12, 2021

Some of the common ways to increase market share are product improvement, adjusting price points, utilizing VC funding, streamlining processes, or driving new sales and marketing initiatives. Not every market share growth strategy has to be a drastic company change, however. A reward program can help you increase market share while aligning with your existing goals and objectives. Let’s look at five ways to increase market share using incentive rewards:

1. Develop a cost-effective rewards strategy.

If you have a more cost-effective rewards program than your competition, your ROI can be much greater, and you can siphon away their market share. So, what makes a rewards strategy cost-effective? A tactical approach to incentive rewards takes into account the individual strengths and best-uses of each reward type. Here are those strengths and best uses:

  • Debit Cards

    Debit card incentives can be used nearly anywhere, with the same versatility as cash, but with some advantages cash can’t claim. For one, you can brand debit cards with your own corporate logo to reinforce brand affinity and positive associations. Also, you can distribute debit cards in a virtual, e-code form. This eliminates international shipping risks and wait times, allowing incentive program participants to spend their debit card funds in stores that do business or deliver locally.

    The ease and speed of using debit cards means that reward program participants typically spend them quickly. When you’re running rapid-fire initiatives such as short-term sales performance funds (SPIFFs), debit cards are a great option with a fast turnaround.

  • Gift Cards

    Much like debit cards, gift card incentives shine as short-term rewards. They’re easy to use, so they require little to no learning curve. You can excite reward program participants and associate yourself with their favorite brands.Incentive Trips

    Group incentive trips are a little more intensive, requiring more time and a bigger investment than other reward types. But, with that, they typically produce the most ROI. As an S. Travel Associated study estimated, incentive travel ROI is almost 300%!Incentive trips build strong, memorable, and emotional connections between you and your attendees. This is what makes them such an excellent reward for your top-performing salespeople or customers, those who are most essential to your success.

  • Merchandise for Reward Points

    With an online, points-based reward program, your participants earn reward points then exchange them for merchandise in an online rewards catalog. Participants can spend their points on merchandise like laptops, furniture, TVs, media, even flights and event tickets.

    Because of the wide range of low-value to high-value items featured in a rewards catalog, a points-based program can be very appealing to a large, diverse reward program audience. The accumulative nature of reward points also makes them well suited to long-term incentive strategies.

incentive travel study
The Incentive Research Foundation

2. Reward participants for gathering or submitting customer data.

A reward program can help you collect sales and customer data, creating sales and marketing strategies driven by facts and trends. These informed strategies are one of the best ways to increase market share.

For example, you can use a reward program with form submission capabilities to reward participants for submitting testimonials, reviews, referrals, and feedback surveys. By automating this process to deliver rewards instantly, your participants have an engaging and exciting reason to send you sales and customer data they previously had no motivation to give up.

Additionally, an online document upload and authentication tool can provide your participants a quick and easy way to submit files to your reward program. This is especially useful in rewarding salespeople when they submit invoices, receipts, warranty registrations, or other documents validating their sales claims. Participants can upload a text or .pdf file, or simply snap a pic of the document—and upload it directly to your program. With authentication rules pre-set, you can instantly validate documents and reward participants.

3. Train up salespeople and employees to create a high-performing workforce and sales force.

A rewards program with a training incentive platform can act as a performance-enhancing tool for both your sales force and employees in general. Upload educational content in multimedia formats, such as PDFs or videos, and quiz them after to test their product or process knowledge. When your program participants pass these quizzes, you can instantly reward them with points or card-based funds.

Rewards provide a driving force for your salespeople and employees to complete ongoing training, which enhances their engagement, confidence, and performance. Having a more motivated, knowledgeable team is among the top ways to increase market share and out-perform your competition.

4. Segment participating groups to make the program more personalized and effective.

You might wonder how your reward program can be effective in the long-term with similar rules, goals, and rewards. People eventually get bored of everything and the program will lose its effectiveness, right? That’s where segmentation and personalization come in.

You can use segmentation and organization hierarchy tools to separate your reward program audience into various groups according to department, corporation, role, or performance tier. These groups will have different permissions and access levels to your reward program, as well as different goals, promotions, reports, and analytics.

Segmentation not only makes these personalized program experiences possible, it allows you to personalize your reward program marketing. When you deliver strictly relevant content to segmented, specified audience, your engagement and marketing efforts produce better results.

marketing personalization strategies
McKinsey research

5. Keep all reward program goals aligned with sales and marketing goals.

Last, but certainly not least, having an aligned sales and marketing strategy is one of the key ways to increase market share. Some of the ways you can make sure your reward program fits in with your overarching sales and marketing plans:

    1. Determine the reward program’s goals as a united sales and marketing team. You should come together with ROI-certified reward program experts to determine what your most pressing business objectives are.
    2. Identify key performance indicators (KPIs) and establish accountability for their progress. When you identify a KPI, after all, you’ve only finished half the battle. Meet together as a unified sales and marketing team, with individuals selected to be accountable for reporting on KPIs and intervening if the numbers don’t indicate goal progress.
    3. Make your goals visible and understandable. There should be no confusion over what the reward program goals are and what they’re designed to accomplish.
    4. Study reward program benchmarks. What reward program KPI metrics are typical for companies like yours? How long does it take them to reach their goals? How do they scale and repeat reward program success? The reward program provider you work with should be able to steer you with input and proven, successful processes that come from direct experience.

When you implement reward program strategies such as those covered here, you establish an important advantage over your competition—many of whom likely run their reward programs with little formalized structure or strategic design. Rather than simply using incentive software as a method of doling out rewards, use your program wisely, as a complementary asset with well thought-out goals. With this approach, you can turn your reward mechanism into one of the most cost-effective and long-term ways to increase market share.


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.