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Does Your Fountain Have Pennies In It?

As a child I learned that throwing coins in a pond or fountain rarely yields the desired results– unless you count mom or dad, with pant legs rolled up, chasing after them. Too many enterprise programs today resemble a wishing fountain – especially if there is a rewards component. Wishing is not a strategy.

You may have seen this offer: “Buy a new smartphone and get a $50 Visa.” Who is the customer? Is he or she a new customer? Would they have purchased a phone anyway? When the Visa gift card arrives – do they remember why they are receiving it? How is it tied to their new phone?

Did the carrier just throw 5,000 pennies in a fountain?

Or how about an internal program? “Attend the latest training session and receive a gift card.” Is the administrator more concerned with how much the attendee likes the gift card they chose or how many attended the training session? But even more so, training for what? How did this training impact the organization?

Was the whole thing a fistful of pennies lying at the bottom of the pond?

At Tango Card we have one very simple thesis: The Right Reward with the Right Delivery is Strategic. Let’s break down what we mean by this:

The Right Reward is two simple things: Relevant and Engaging. Relevant – measured by how meaningful the reward is to the recipient. For example a steakhouse gift card isn’t relevant for a vegetarian. The Right Reward also pertains to how the card is used – it should include mobile, online, in-store, and the ability to spend now or later. A reward that takes all year to earn is not very engaging at all. Neither is a reward that arrives 6 weeks after it is earned.

The Right Delivery is instant! We believe the reward in any program should be delivered instantly, thus engaging right at the moment of the desired behavior. When a new phone is purchased the reward should be immediately unlocked and available on the phone the moment it’s powered up. When an employee earns a reward it should be on their phone or in their email without delay. An instantly delivered reward reinforces the message and is infinitely more engaging.

Strategic. This is the key point. Real rewards are a cost and should be tied to real results. The program with the reward should measurably increase sales, drive new customer acquisition, or improve employee engagement.

We believe that when the reward is right and the delivery is right – the results will be too.

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