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Corporate Incentives and the Cloud-Expanding a Booming Industry that Shifts People's Behavior

Rodney Mason, GVP, Marketing, Blackhawk Engagement Solutions
Rodney Mason, GVP, Marketing, Blackhawk Engagement Solutions

Rodney Mason, GVP, Marketing, Blackhawk Engagement Solutions

According to Mercator Advi­sory Group, the incentives space was an estimated $41 billion industry in 2014. Cor­porate incentive programs are used by many of the world’s largest brands to en­gage with their consumers, employees and sales channels. And cloud-based SAAS technology is providing the backbone for this industry to grow exponentially into the future.

“Cloud-based SAAS technology allows incentives providers to offer platforms to their clients that are carefully designed to drive engagement and provide rewards”

Corporate incentives are all about inspiring actions and shifting people’s behavior. Whether it be inciting a shopper to make a purchase thanks to a rebate, motivating an employee to participate in a wellness program with a prepaid card, or incenting a sales partner to reach a sales goal with a thoughtful reward and recognition. Today, many big brands that utilize corporate incentives hire an outside vendor to design the programs and provide the actual rewards. This relationship (between sponsoring organization and incentives provider) is where cloud technologies are enabling a dramatic improvement and shift in the industry.

First, cloud-based SAAS technology allows incentives providers to offer platforms to their clients that are carefully designed to drive engagement and provide rewards. These platforms, once implemented, allow a program sponsor to manage their own incentives programs, rather than rely on their incentives provider for each activity. Managers at sponsoring organizations can make on-the-spot decisions about who to deliver a reward to, and what type of reward should be delivered.

In line with this, reward selection portals are now also stored in the cloud, allowing incentives providers to give clients end-to-end incentives capabilities. Not only do the incentives platforms dictate program design, capabilities and scope, but reward portals offer organizations access to a variety of proven reward options, including gift cards and e-gifts.

The cloud-based incentives platforms now also allow sponsoring organizations to effectively manage and manipulate their corporate incentives programs. They provide valuable, real-time results report­ing on where every reward dollar has been spent, which rewards have been redeemed and which rewards their constituents pre­fer. The cloud-based incentives platforms also eliminate significant overhead that was needed in the past for warehousing and fulfillment of actual rewards.

The exciting capabilities of cloud-based technologies have already had an impressive impact on the incentives industry allowing for more control, better access and increased efficiencies for organizations purchasing incentives programs. I anticipate the possibilities for further cloud-based integrations and overall incentive program improvement will only improve into the future.

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