Blog, Eftpos Gift Card, Staff Rewards, Tips & Insights, Visa Corporate Gift Card

Why employee appreciation is an essential component of a successful workplace

A disturbing number of employees will say that a lack of recognition for their work is the biggest barrier to them maximising their productivity. It doesn’t need to be hard to show recognition to people, and a little appreciation can go a long way.

Employees will feel recognised as important parts of the company if employers simply show appreciation. Appreciation leads to happy employees, and happy employees lead to improved productivity. When staff feel valued for their hard work, they will become more loyal to their company. This yields a creative and positive working environment – but just how do you show appreciation in an effective way?

How do we define appreciation?

In general terms, appreciation is the recognition of the good qualities someone or something has to offer. In the workplace, appreciation starts with the simple gesture of thanking a person for a job well done. This can also be used to show appreciation for swift work, or for good preparation before arriving at a meeting.

You will find that appreciation plays a fundamental role in the workplace for the creation of a positive culture and strong employee-leader relationships. Appreciation is a great motivator, enabling people to be at their most productive and feel committed to their job.

What practical benefits can you expect to see from appreciation in the workplace?

There are many advantages to showing appreciation for your employees. Here are just a few:

Appreciation leads to greater productivity. Employees who feel that their hard work is appreciated will have a sense of their value within the organisation. This gives them the impetus to continue working hard and striving to get results.

Appreciation boosts the morale of workers. When one employee is acknowledged for their dedication, there will be a ripple effect throughout the workplace as employees show more appreciation for their peers and their management teams.

Appreciation leads to increased engagement. This means that not only will your employees become more productive, they will also feel more engaged and dedicated to the work they do.

Appreciation builds loyalty among team members. People who feel valued at their place of work are far more likely to want to stay there.

Ways to show appreciation

Appreciation is something that should be offered daily. It can be as simple as offering positive feedback and showing gratitude for the work being done day in, day out. Special efforts should always be met with thanks and positive feedback.

Some people think the concept of showing appreciation sounds vague and unnecessary. Why should additional appreciation be shown – employees are being paid for the work they do. But the happiness and morale of a workforce are about more than money, particularly when the workload is challenging and people need to work together as a team.

Organisations that fail to make the effort to show their employees are appreciated are likely to see things like errors creeping into work. Employees who make errors will feel defensive and threatened when they are pointed out, and frustration will abound in a disjointed team that does not know where it stands with one another.

The idea is to really watch your employees and notice when they go above and beyond to get the work done. For instance, if someone stays behind to do some extra work on a Friday evening, a leader can approach that person and thank them, explaining exactly what they are being thanked for and acknowledging the benefit for the organisation.

This is a basic yet effective example of showing appreciation, and it can lead to that individual feeling more valued. They may feel more engaged with the organisation and the work it does and make more effort to ensure they are working to the best of their ability, all thanks to a little acknowledgement for the effort they make.

Showing appreciation with rewards programs

Many companies recognise the value of workplace appreciation and implement systems to motivate employees. These systems are employee reward programs, offering rewards beyond an employee’s salary for doing their job well.

Some organisations offer incentives like free gym memberships or money off at certain venues for eating and entertainment. Others offer company outings or early finishes on certain days. One incentive program that has shown itself to be effective is the offering of gift cards.

Corporate reward programs are aimed at developing strong relationships between companies and their employees. The concept is simple – offer gift cards for desirable products and services from well-known brands as rewards for good performance at work. This could come in the form of navigating busy seasons, completing important projects or being recognized as an outstanding worker for a certain month. It could even be more personal, setting individual targets for improving and rewarding employees who meet those targets.

Essentially, it is an additional incentive on top of salary, and the results can be very impressive if corporate reward programs are implemented correctly.

How can I implement a corporate reward program?

It may sound like a big undertaking to design and implement a reward scheme to show appreciation to your employees. But there are actually organisations out there whose entire purpose is to do just that.

Rewards Come True is one such company, focused primarily on reward cards as a means of incentivising employees or customers. They are partnered with a range of brands and offer a number of ideas for implementing rewards and loyalty programs that you can adopt. They will advise and support you throughout the time you partner with them and your employees will feel the benefits.

Don’t ignore the importance of appreciation

As you can see, appreciation is a powerful thing. You can start showing it to your employees in simple ways by simply thanking them and acknowledging their efforts. But there are things that speak louder than words, and corporate reward programs are very effective methods of making your employees feel valued and appreciated.

Take the time to make your employees feel like valued people within your organisation and the benefits are there for the taking.

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Blog, Staff Rewards, Tips & Insights

How to find the right reward system that suits you and your company

Embrace the new year with a motivational, productive team and find simple ways to reward your staff with Rewards Come True

Not only does rewarding your staff with something they’ll love giving them a reason to work hard, but it will show how much you care about their well being and keep them motivated and productive all year-round. Between digital gift cards, physical gift cards, employee incentives, staff rewards, corporate incentives, B2B rewards, corporate promotions, sales incentives and B2B promotions – the possibilities are endless.

Introducing effective rewards and recognition system is the key to building employee engagement in the new year. Over a quarter of employees rank recognition for their work in the top three reasons for employer retention rates. Furthermore, of those in the study to rank their employer as just “okay”, 44% did so because their employer’s recognition of staff work was not frequent and timely. 

But how do you go about choosing the right rewards system for your company? We’ve put together a guide of factors you should consider.

How easy will it be to integrate into the company?

When you can integrate your new rewards system seamlessly with your existing software, it saves dramatically on admin for both you and your staff. It also ensures that it’s more likely to receive a positive reception when first introduced if it fits straight into existing systems.

You might find that digitised and online reward systems work better, for this reason, however, if you and your staff primarily work in a physical and tangible workspace then you should also keep to this sphere when considering a rewards system. 

What’s your budget for a reward scheme?

Before you start considering potential vendors for your rewards system, you should consider what your budget is. SHRM recommends that you budget at least 1% of payroll on a rewards and recognition system.

Also, check what your potential vendors include in their services – some may quote a lower cost on paper while masking a lot of hidden fees. Ensure that the price you’re quoted includes transaction and processing fees as well as extra taxes.

What are your desired outcomes of introducing a reward scheme?

It’s crucial to identify the intended outcomes of introducing this new reward system early. To do this, focus on setting quantifiable and realistic expectations that you can measure – this will help you to plan future budgets and calculate the positive impact of the reward system.

You should always be able to track the results of a reward system with sound analytics. If you haven’t produced outcomes that will produce these then you need to revisit them.

Suiting your company values and organisation ideologies

Many employers find that reward and recognition systems are the perfect way to spread staff uptake of the company’s core values and ideologies. To ensure that you reap the full benefits of this, you should research the message that each of your vendors and their rewards packages will send, then compare these to find one which will emphasise your unique values.

You can do this by fact-checking their statements. If a vendor’s programme says that it is focused on promoting social recognition then take a virtual tour of the programme and check the relevant features that promote this.

Any reward scheme should be engaging, enticing, and fun!

Of course, any reward system relies on the level of staff engagement it achieves. When you’re considering your options, you should try and make sure that your final decision is a programme which will prove fun for your staff. They need to be able to get something out of the system and enjoy it. 

The interface itself must be simple to use and user-friendly to ensure retention rates and avoid staff complaining about its use. Mobile-accessible programmes are reliable and incredibly successful.

We recommend programmes that combine gamification elements, such as a leader board or badges. 

Consider how much you can customise the reward system to your company

No two companies are alike. It stands to reason, then, that no two reward systems should be alike. 

Top-quality programmes will include easily customisable options to tailor the system to your staff and your company. Common customisable features may include award titles, point allocation, social features, and staff capacity.

Your staff should feel at home in the programme. They shouldn’t have to learn a new system. 

How adaptable is the reward scheme? Can you scale it for company growth?

Of course, you should also consider how scalable a programme is. Will you be able to adjust it for company growth? Any programme you choose should have a threshold band of staff numbers which will allow you to grow your company without the need for a reward system replacement each time. 

Here at Rewards Come True, we offer the full suite of services you need to introduce an effective staff rewards system. If you have any questions or want to find more information about the kinds of services we have available, don’t hesitate to get in touch or browse through our website.

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Blog, Eftpos Gift Card, Staff Rewards

How do employee incentives work? 4 fantastic ideas

In simple terms, an employee incentives program is something a business implements to motivate employees to perform better. It can also help improve job satisfaction and help individuals meet specific goals.

A good incentive program is designed around the types of actions you wish to reward. It provides a tool for both managers and colleagues to acknowledge the efforts and successes of one another. When used correctly, they make employees feel valued which, in turn, can improve performance and productivity. Rewards come for employees who achieve positive outcomes and go above and beyond for the business.

What does this look like?

To understand what behaviours you want to incentivise, you should start with your core business values. Identify the types of behaviour that reflect those values to help leaders, managers and staff understand what is expected of them. Your core values should be embedded in every aspect of your business, not just incentives.

It is easy to see how a carefully devised employee incentives scheme can boost your organisation’s culture. It adds real purpose and direction to the actions of every individual and helps everyone focus on the things that should be achieved.

If you need some ideas about how to incentivise your employees and see a measurable return on investment, below are some fresh examples to consider.

1. Compensation

This generally covers the more basic the incentive programs. They usually come in the form of performance-related bonuses, stock options and profit-sharing schemes.

If you want to think outside the box with compensation incentives, you could link it to an individual’s career progression. Spend some time with each employee to devise a career roadmap that enables them to visualise the stages they must progress to in order to get promoted and enter the next salary band.

2. Recognition

If budgets are a concern, you may be happy to learn you can implement more cost-effective programs to demonstrate your appreciation of your staff. Truth be told, the simpler gestures often show gratitude more effectively because they are personal and direct.

‘Thank You’ culture: Your company business meetings are an opportunity to get the whole team together and offer praise where it’s due. You could even arrange special ‘Thank You’ meetings in which star performers are recognised and their good work is highlighted.

Colleague appreciation: We spend a great deal of time with our colleagues, and positive interactions in the workplace help boost job satisfaction. Work to create a culture in which colleagues are encouraged to appreciate one another, perhaps through internal publications aimed at mentioning or nominating individuals who have made a special effort. This enhances the community in your workplace and promotes a sense of pride.

Customer shout-outs: Employees who work hard to keep customers happy deserve recognition, and customer feedback is very effective. Enable your customers to nominate employees who have excelled in order to maintain and encourage high standards of customer service.

Personalised notes: Taking the time to produce a handwritten letter is more personal than a positive email. It can be significantly more valuable for the employee and can be more meaningful than a monetary reward.

A recognition platform can be very effective in recognising the achievements of employees and encouraging them to appreciate one another.

3. Rewards

The classic example of a reward incentive is to offer sales-related bonuses. But these can feel quite outdated in many industries and it doesn’t encourage employees to work hard for the company – it’s all about the money.

The success of your business hinges on more than just sales. And if employees are only thinking about targets and profit margins, they are likely to focus on easy targets and underserve a significant portion of your target customers.

Your business needs to produce satisfied customers if it is to succeed in the long term. You need to take care of them throughout their journey in your company or they are unlikely to become loyal customers. This is why you should focus on offering meaningful rewards to all members of your organisation – think things like peer-to-peer referrals wherein colleagues can provide points that can later be spent on things like digital gift cards that will improve their work-life and life outside of work.

4. Appreciation

This type of incentive program can include things like birthday celebrations, company parties, early finishes on Fridays, prizes, regular team lunches and extra holiday time. It’s all aimed at encouraging unity.

Give each department a social budget for the leadership team to access for team treats. Appreciation from line managers should come more often than just at the Christmas party.

Strategic employee incentives: a powerful tool

Incentive schemes are very effective at boosting productivity and reaping the benefits for your organisation’s profit margins. In order to succeed, however, they need the backing of a corporate culture that acknowledges and appreciates high performance.

A reward and recognition program should have structure and help create greater transparency across departments. They are an excellent platform to raise awareness of the aspirations of your business. They can also help employees contribute to the wider success of the organisation by aligning with your core values.

We offer a range of structured employee incentive programs that include technology that can be integrated with your business. They provide a pre-arranged scheme that will engage employees and support feedback as well as personal enrichment for all individuals. You will also get actionable insights to show how well the incentives are working and what sort of contribution they are making to the culture of your organisation.

You need to think carefully about the employee incentives you offer or you may just be spending money on a rewards scheme that makes no real difference to the things you wish to improve. Think about the culture and values of your business, and the aims it has for success, and then consider how you could motivate employees to work towards a vision of progress. Employee incentives just might get you where you need to be.

Speak to one of our experts at Rewards Come True on how you can create employee incentive programs today.

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Blog, Staff Rewards, Tips & Insights

The right way to implement a rewards program for your business

Committed employees are the lifeblood of any business; without the hard work that they put in, any company would struggle. This means it is necessary to recognise their contributions. First and foremost, it helps them understand just how much you appreciate them and creates an incentive for them to continue working well.

This is especially true in the context of the recent coronavirus pandemic. Your workers had to contend with a sharp upheaval in the way they work – if your business was around at the time, then it was undoubtedly their hard work that kept everything going. This makes it more vital than ever to reward their help, and a dedicated employee reward program could be just what you need to achieve this.

1. The benefits of an employee rewards program

As mentioned above, acknowledging the work of an employee goes a long way toward making them feel like a valuable part of the company. Even simply notifying your worker that they are doing a good job can serve as a way to motivate them – but going beyond this could yield even greater results on this front. A program that rewards your employees directly can help craft a company culture that focuses on positive reinforcement and always strives for self-improvement. On top of this, engaged employees bring more profits. 

This can do more than help an employee improve their conduct; it can unite departments that will now want to work closer than ever to deliver the best results. By doing this, you can also better retain employees; workers often leave their roles because they do not feel engaged, so an easy response is to put the effort in to engage them. A unified workplace that encourages its employees can do better – so a rewards program will help to enhance the business and its overall performance.

2. The popularity of loyalty programs in Australia

Even outside the world of work, Australians enjoy loyalty programs. Roughly 88% of Australian consumers are part of at least one such program. However, their report also found that people used these programmes far less during the coronavirus pandemic – a 43% rate compared to 2018’s 53%. 

Additionally, customers split their loyalty between behaviour and belief. Behaviour refers to those who simply want a more practical way to buy from their preferred brands, whereas belief relates to emotional connections a buyer has with the brand; this has become a far greater priority for shoppers in recent years. In the context of employee rewards, belief is more of a focus: it is nearly impossible to separate the emotional link to the workplace.

3. What employees look for in reward programs

Most Australians do enjoy being part of rewards programs. Of course, this is not a one-size-fits-all approach but can provide a good springboard for developing a robust scheme.

No matter the industry, most people seem to prefer prepaid rewards such as prepaid gift cards – and would even appear to choose them overpaid time off. These can take the form of physical or digital gift cards, and though employees slightly prefer physical rewards, you would be missing out if you do not take advantage of digital solutions and their flexibility. For example, you can load digital gift cards into an online wallet for ease of access. To help satisfy everyone with their staff rewards, you should employ a mixture or let them choose themselves.

Regardless of a worker’s age or gender, the above trends were consistent. Demographics did not significantly influence the results, meaning a pre-paid gift card could have success regardless of your company’s makeup. Similarly, this suggests that both older and younger generations cannot agree on the issue of physical or digital – so do not immediately dismiss this as a case of older workers preferring the physical and younger ones preferring the digital.

4. How to keep your employees engaged

Rewards are a simple way to keep your employee engagement high – they will, in effect, always have a goal in mind. A prepaid card can be a strong incentive no matter the amount, but this must not be your only approach. The best way to keep workers engaged is to better understand them alongside the rewards they prefer. Gift cards can be your grandest corporate incentive, but they must not be the only ones.

Personal recognition boosts productivity and means a lot to your workers, so the individuality of a gift card or any other reward might be instrumental to its success. The way you approach the reward might also be a vital factor to consider – some employees are uncomfortable with public recognition and might prefer to be given a reward in private. Of course, this might suppress the implicit competitive aspect of a rewards scheme, but you can never underestimate the importance of your employee’s comfort to their work ethic.

Timing is another vital aspect of boosting engagement – the slimmer the lag between an employee’s reward and what you are rewarding them for, the more they will feel as though their actions directly contributed to that reward. Bosses must use these incentives quickly so that everyone knows just how much the company values their contributions.

5. How to make your business stand out

Workplace satisfaction is paramount to the success of any company – and rewarding your employees is a big part of this. These rewards, especially the ever-popular gift cards, can even match your business, its image, and its ethos. Your business can stand out by offering the rewards your workers want, when and how they want them. By doing this, your employee satisfaction and retention will stay high.

Rewards Come True specialises in custom corporate promotions and has helped Vodafone, Unilever, Shell and other companies create exciting programs to boost engagement in employees and customers. For more on how Rewards Come True can offer prepaid incentives to your workplace, get in touch today.

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Blog, Promotional Ideas, Tips & Insights

7 tips for building a powerful B2B marketing strategy

Running an effective B2B marketing campaign requires businesses to think outside of the box. The strategies that work well for your B2C audience are unlikely to serve the B2B sphere.

To succeed in the ever-changing B2B market, you will need to stay on top of emerging trends, continually re-envisioning and updating your strategy to fit.

In this article, we will walk through eight key tips for building a powerful, high-converting B2B marketing strategy, helping you capture the market and take your business to unprecedented heights.

What is B2B marketing and why do I need to build a strategy?

So, let’s start by defining what B2B marketing is and why building an effective strategy is so important. 

Essentially, B2B marketing involves a company selling its products or services to other companies. The other companies are typically larger. For example, a small packaging manufacturer might sell wholesale boxes and envelopes to a company to package its products.

Crafting an intelligent, targeted B2B marketing strategy is crucial for any business hoping to thrive in the modern world. With eCommerce taking the stage, more and more customers—including business clients—shop from the comfort of their homes. If you want to succeed in this new market, a strong B2B marketing strategy is paramount.

Now you understand why B2B marketing matters, it’s time to discuss how you can craft a winning strategy for your business.

1. Research, research and more research.

Market research is the initial stage of crafting an effective B2B marketing strategy. This process is all about getting to know the market, including your customers, clients, and competitors. Heavy research is crucial for designing new marketing campaigns, improving existing ones, and making sure your business is heading in the right direction.

The overarching goal behind the research process is to understand what makes your product unique, your target audience’s needs, and how you can position your company as a provider of the solution to those needs. In this way, you’ll have a clear picture of who your target audience is and how to reach them with your message.

2. Craft creative and engaging social media promotions.

In the world of social media promotion, some businesses overlook the B2B market. But in reality, there are ample opportunities in the social sphere for companies to grow their clientele.

There are incredible opportunities for businesses to promote their products and services to other businesses through social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. LinkedIn is an especially effective way to grab the attention of and build lasting relationships with other businesses in and outside of your industry.

3. Offer B2B rewards.

In order to promote their business, companies need to do a lot. They can advertise on TV, they can buy ads in magazines, they can attend trade shows and many other things. However, companies often choose not to invest in advertising because it is too expensive.

Instead of going this route, they should try out promotional gifts as an alternative method for b2b marketing and promotional events.

To promote a business effectively to B2B clients, you’ll need to try a range of distinct approaches. Many businesses look to traditional approaches like TV advertising, buying ads in magazines, and attending trade shows. 

But in our ever-changing world, it is vital to branch out and regularly refresh your approach. One way to do this is to offer promotional gifts as an alternative to events and other B2B marketing strategies.

Some effective examples of B2B rewards and promotional products include:

4. Run regular B2B promotions.

Many of today’s companies run promotions for their products and services to reach their target audience. In the same way, B2B businesses can use promotional campaigns to market themselves and build stronger client relationships.

You can target and promote to existing and potential B2B audiences in a number of ways, including through social media, email, and in-person events. 

Offering branded promotional products is a fantastic way to position your business as an industry expert and to connect with future clients. Consider offering:

  • Personalised jackets and shirts
  • Pens, post-it notes, notepads, and other types of stationery
  • Water bottles and travel mugs
  • Cardholders

5. Harness the power of email marketing.

Devising an intelligent email marketing campaign is a powerful way to reach out to clients and establish stronger, longer-lasting relationships.

Essentially, email marketing is all about creating value for the customer. This value can take the form of discounts, free content, or other beneficial offers. Email marketing is also an essential part of an effective lead generation strategy—so it is crucial not only to engage existing customers but also to find new prospects and grow your business.

Keep in mind that email marketing for B2B audiences requires a different strategy than marketing to B2C customers. Make sure the information and promotions included in your marketing campaigns are relevant to your client’s industry and interests.

6. Reach a B2B audience through targeted advertising.

B2B marketing is more complex than you might think! With so many different audiences and potential lead types, it’s sometimes hard to understand who your target market is and how to reach them. But thankfully, there are simple ways to reach your desired B2B audience through social media advertising.

Social media is one of the most popular ways for businesses to reach and connect with other businesses online. Most social media sites offer a range of targeting options, allowing businesses to send the right message based on an individual’s profile and interests. As such, you can specifically target clients within your industry or those interested in your services and products.

As your understanding of your customers improves, so too does your ability to precisely target likely new prospects.

7. Implement a high-converting SEO strategy.

The B2B sphere is full of opportunities for businesses both online and offline. But in order to capitalise on these opportunities, you need to build a powerful SEO strategy and implement it well.

One vital factor in building a successful SEO strategy is understanding organic traffic. Paid traffic is great for generating leads, but organic traffic will send your website higher up in search results and increase your conversions. With the right organic SEO strategy in place, you will know clients visiting your site are genuinely interested in your solution because their search queries are directly associated with your content and solutions. The better these are aligned, the better your rankings will be. 

Start building your strategy today!

B2B marketing is all about understanding your audience. By continually researching and checking in with your existing and potential client base, you can craft a powerful strategy and reap the amazing benefits.

Remember—offering targeted promotions and rewards is a fantastic way to engage B2B clients. Visit Rewards Come True today to learn more about smart promotional targeting.

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Blog, Eftpos Gift Card

Find your niche in the FMCG wellness market

Although consumer behaviour is shaped by a wide range of internal and external factors, there are several themes that have a significant influence on buying choices. For many consumers, concern regarding the effects of the pandemic, as well as anxiety regarding the future of the planet, has prompted them to change their shopping behaviour. The current FMCG market is dominated by demand for products that promote wellness, environmental responsibility, and a kinder, more compassionate lifestyle

Here we consider some examples of how manufacturers and hospitality businesses have taken advantage of this trend to increase their sales, as well as suggest how other businesses who wish to push their brand as one that fits the health and wellness niche can create a product that ticks the right boxes.

The rise of Kombucha, bottled water and non-alcoholic beverages

Recent figures show that sales of kombucha are likely to reach US $1.8 billion by the end of 2021. A fermented tea product that originated in China, kombucha is lauded for its health benefits. Similarly, sales of bottled water are predicted to top US $1,105 million in 2021, with an average growth in the market of 4.59% predicted between 2021 and 2026. Low-alcohol wine has been another success story – current predictions suggest that its market share is likely to increase by 15% year on year from 2021 to 2025.

There are a number of similarities between these products; not only do they claim health benefits, but they’re also designed to be luxurious, indulgent products. Smaller manufacturers are able to compete successfully with more established names by crafting brand stories that emphasise the premium nature of their product, its ethical and environmental credentials, and the active nature of its healthful properties. 

The rise of organic and/or plant-based meals.

Recent studies suggest that Australia is second in the world for veganism. The number of vegans and vegetarians is predicted to increase as time goes on. Many people are stopping meat consumption due to health, environmental and ethical concerns. This trend has opened up the market for plant-based foodstuffs. 

Just like everybody else, vegans don’t always have the time to make their meals from scratch or search for plant-based snacks amongst the huge variety available. This has prompted a demand for everything from luxury plant-based snacks as an indulgence to plant-based ready meals, vegan fast food and “make it quickly” kits. 

Plant-based eating is perceived as a way to enjoy clean, healthy nutrition that also tastes amazing. For manufacturers, marketing plant-based products as a healthy, ethical choice is a great way to tap a market that’s only going to get bigger. Paradoxically, sales of vegan processed products are growing at a faster rate than natural foods that are vegan (fruit, for example). If you’re planning on launching a vegan FMCG, now is a great time to do it!

The success story that several plant-based food manufacturers have made shows that building a strong brand is paramount for sustainable sales growth. Dairy-Free Down Under, for example, is seeing sales soar of non-dairy cheeses and spreads. Many traditional manufacturers are also boosting sales by introducing a plant-based addition to their current merchandise. Nestle, for example, has introduced a plant-based KitKat as an alternative to the traditional dairy containing Kitkat. Four n Twenty has launched a meat-free, plant-based pie and most major fast-food chains now have plant-based alternatives on their menus.

Of particular interest is the growth in “alt-protein” products – items that are plant-based, but marketed as direct alternatives to traditional meat products. Alt protein options include burgers, sausages, steaks, grills, rashers and pies that are all 100% meat and dairy-free. Alt protein items are designed to provide an indulgent treat (similar to a meat burger or patty), at the same time as being marketed as a healthier, kinder and more ethical choice. With a great taste along with great values, alt protein products usually achieve spectacular sales in the current environment.

How can businesses take advantage of these trends?

By recognising what the main trends are with respect to healthy eating, food as a wellness product and ethical considerations, it’s possible to create a brand identity that’s going to work well in the current climate. For businesses in the hospitality business, adding plant-based alternatives to your menu is almost always going to be a winner. Food and beverage manufacturers may wish to consider launching plant-based alternatives or drinks that are designed to promote wellness and/or a more natural lifestyle. 

Ideally, a plant-based product needs to taste amazing, at the same time as having impeccable, plant-based credentials. From recyclable or reusable packaging to the use of ethically sourced materials and ingredients, a plant-based wellness product should show evidence of care in its sourcing, manufacturing and distribution. 

The right brand stories are essential for wellness and food-based health products. Key messages include “being kind to yourself”, “non-guilty pleasures”, “good for you and the planet”, “high-grade nutrition”, “natural ingredients”, “health benefits” and “ethical sourcing”. 

Research shows that consumers are tending to buy their foodie treats in bulk, often online. One of the results of lockdown shopping restrictions is that consumers are less likely to impulse-buy a treat whilst they’re out and about, and more likely to stock up on a regular basis. Another consequence of spending more time at home is that consumers want to create restaurant-class meals without leaving the house. Convenience and ease are also rated highly – meal kits, for example, are growing in popularity as people look for ways to recreate their favourite restaurant dishes quickly and easily at home. 

The growing interest in wellness foodstuffs and healthy, plant-based living is also reflected in other consumer behaviours besides food choices. For example, employee incentives such as EFTPOS Gift Cards, which can be spent with ethical retailers, are a popular option. If you want a market to diversify into that’s predicted to grow year on year, despite the difficulties the pandemic continues to cause, tapping into the more mindful Australian consumer could be a good option.

If you are looking for flexible card designs, Rewards Come True offers a range of EFTPOS and Visa gift cards where businesses can customise their own brandings onto the gift cards. Need help getting started? Call the team on 1800 043 656.

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Promotional Ideas

Good, or Greatest Ever – Celebrating Australian Alcohol Campaigns

From the iconic ‘hard-earned thirst’ slogan used by Victoria Bitter to the memorable ‘It’s a big ad’ used by Carlton Draught, alcohol brands have long been creative, bold and visionary in their marketing campaigns.

That has been heightened during the global COVID-19 pandemic, with brands forced to rethink their marketing and sales incentives to target consumers stuck at home in lockdown and unable to go to licenced venues.

A report released in May 2020 (at the height of the pandemic and lockdowns in Australia) highlighted the marketing tactics being used by alcohol companies to reach consumers stuck at home. The report titled An alcohol ad every 35 seconds showed that consumers saw 107 sponsored alcohol advertisements during a one-hour block on a Friday night across Facebook and Instagram.

Because COVID had changed our lives so dramatically, a shift in marketing strategies was required as well. A new range of promotions tapped into Australia’s long history of successful alcohol campaigns.

Alcohol’s Marketing Strategy is Working

Data from research company YouGov showed that 20% of Australians admitted to purchasing more alcohol during the pandemic. Of those that purchased more, 70% said they were drinking more than normal times, and a third said they were drinking at least once a day.

Jacob’s Creek was a shining example of alcohol brands providing value to their consumers in a bid to increase sales. The winemakers launched an advertising campaign that urged consumers to use their time at home to become wine experts.

“Social distancing? There’s never been a better time to become a wine connoisseur. Before we give you our tips on how to do a Music and Wine Tasting Experience at home, learn how to taste wine,” they posted along with tips on how to appreciate and understand the drop they were drinking.

Finding the humour during a pandemic

The use of humour is a very effective way for alcohol brands to connect with consumers and promote their products. Humour can be used to make people feel more comfortable about the product being advertised, which makes it easier for them to remember the brand name and purchase it when they see it again.

Because of the unique circumstances, it meant that new standards were being set by industry heavyweights. In some instances, alcohol brands pushed the boundaries too far.

An example was a Thirsty Camel liquor store in Western Australia that posted an image of a shopping trolley loaded with bottles of wine, with the caption: ‘People: *stocking up on toilet paper and water*’ and then ‘me:’ captioned above the cart full of wine.

Source: DrinkTank

This was found to breach the Alcohol Beverages Advertising Code (ABAC) alcohol advertising regulations because it made light of excess alcohol consumption at home during lockdown, isolation or quarantine.

University of the Sunshine Coast marketing and advertising expert Kelly Choong said leveraging current trends and topics were common. Many alcohol brands and businesses were simply using these strategies to survive during challenging circumstances.

“In times of desperation, you might find some companies or brands will push the line as they try to find ways to survive,” he said.

Connecting with customers

While it has proved tempting for some brands to promote excess, for other’s it’s been an opportunity to assert their values, and to connect with their customers. 

Brisbane Distillery Company, a boutique company that specialises in quality local spirits with a heavy focus on gin, provided one of the leading examples of this solidarity. Unable to open their doors for regular business, the company elected to use their products to create hand sanitiser for health care workers and consumers.

At the time, hand sanitiser was in short supply. It was a way Brisbane Distillery Company could improve their standing in the community and build strong customer relations that would benefit them in the long run.

Similarly, six of Lion’s beer brands took out full-page newspaper ads to encourage their customers to stay home, so they could enjoy a beer with their friends in the future.

Alcohol brands pitch their health credentials

For as long as there has been alcohol there have been two sides to the coin. Alcohol unites strangers, removes inhibitions and brings people together. But it’s also been mired by associations to binge drinking and anti-social behaviour

Keen to overcome this, and to cater to an emerging “sober curious” market there are now plenty of alcoholic beverages that tout their low-calorie count, gluten-free ingredients, or organic production methods.

And this shift isn’t just happening among small craft brewers either – big names like Budweiser and Stella Artois have also joined the movement by highlighting certain aspects of their products that make them healthier than other types of beer out there today.

Low/no alcohol growth and premiumisation trends

Alcohol brands are looking to capitalise on the dual trends of low/no alcohol drink growth and the premiumisation of home consumption during COVID lockdowns.

The two trends have been driven by several factors, including health concerns, changing consumer preferences and lifestyle choices. As a result, consumers are drinking less, but they want to enjoy quality drinks when they consume them. This has led to an increase in demand for high-quality products that can be consumed at home, including an appetite for indigenous botanicals.

Vinomofo is one brand that has delivered a VIP experience to its consumers to significant effect. In addition, the company launched a range of initiatives during COVID, including a lucky dip where consumers had a chance at winning a $700 1995 Penfolds Grange.

On top of this, they also ran a campaign called Random Acts of Kindness that encouraged consumers to purchase a premium product as a gift for someone that might be struggling in lockdown. The result? Sales increases between 50-70% across their range.

From humour to solidarity, health-focused branding and capitalising on two trends – low/no alcohol drink growth and premiumisation of home consumption – brands have taken different approaches to suit their audience in this challenging time. And as a result, we have seen more memorable campaigns that will be remembered for a long time to come.

Are looking for a way to improve your customer relations and foster more loyalty from your consumers? Contact Rewards Come True on 1800 043 656.

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Customer Incentive

Making Promotions Work for Your SaaS Business

When successful, SaaS businesses create opportunities to drive repeatable and predictable revenues long term. However, the front-loaded expenses associated with developing the product, and finding an audience can be onerous. At a time when digital transformation is accelerating, capturing and converting more revenue per customer is crucial. Here, we explore how rewards and incentives can be used to influence acquisition, adoption, and retention strategies. 

1. Customer acquisition campaigns

The lifeblood of any SaaS is customer acquisition. Getting new users to try, learn, and adopt your technology is a big ask – it requires them to change their business as usual and trust new, untested technology in the hope it will be a positive change. 

To attract new customers businesses try a range of techniques. They will offer free trials, discounted subscriptions, lifetime deals for early adopters, vouchers, even cashbacks. Others will partner with affiliates or influencers to get their solution in front of new audiences. 

One of the cheapest and most effective ways of gaining new users is word-of-mouth. So what better way to drive uptake than to leverage your existing users. Incentivise existing users to invite their network with referral links that reward themselves and their recipients with gift cards.  

2. Customer retention promotions

Once you’ve gone through the expensive exercise of acquiring new customers, it’s often cheaper to retain them than it is to acquire more new users.

Free trial periods are a great way of getting customers to try your platform, but how can you increase those that opt-in to an ongoing subscription?  Likewise, how can you incentivise customers to renew their annual subscriptions? You might start by rewarding your customers. 

Free trial customers can either be easier to acquire but harder to convert (no credit card required) or hard to acquire and easier to convert (credit card required). In either event, most SaaS businesses will offer either an extended free trial near the end, or a limited time discount within the trial period. 

Free trial retention

In both scenarios, the transition from non-paying, to paying customers can be streamlined by offering a limited time once-off cashback in lieu of a discount, as a way of maintaining brand positioning, and price integrity. Often the cost-per-acquisition of a new client is high, but their lifetime value often means such a discount can be substantial enough to persuade wavering buyers.

Renewal subscriptions

Rewarding loyalty programs can help improve customer stickiness at every stage. This might take the form of a sign-on cashback or gift card once they enter their first paid subscription, and potentially build at subsequent subscriptions based on their consumption profile.

Such an incentive can act as a tie-breaker when customers are deciding between SaaS solutions. Further, it can be customised to your branding, and delivered digitally or physically, to ensure your brand is associated with their guilt-free purchases. 

Better still, why not build this type of digital reward into your subscription workflows? As a new customer signs on, or an existing customer renews, use your automation technology to distribute the appropriate reward in real-time. True Rewards offers custom branded rewarding experiences which can be delivered via an easy plug-and-play API widget. 

3. Social Media Promotions for SaaS

With everything going digital, customers are seeking services online, especially via social media platforms. Why not seize this opportunity to promote your services?

Conducting giveaways on social media accounts has been widely implemented by all sectors of businesses. By using social media to promote a giveaway, businesses benefit from the potential network effect of those that enter encouraging their own networks to also enter.

To ensure your giveaways are effective and create a buzz online:

  • Create a simple branded landing page that explains the promotion and how to enter.  
  • Use a platform that enables multiple entries for completing specific tasks, such as sharing, liking, commenting, forwarding, and other means of promoting your campaign.
  • Capture the data you need to qualify them as potential leads within the landing page form, at a minimum email, name, phone, and company/job role.
  • Use branded hashtags on social media to enable discovery from new entrants.
  • Continue to market to landing page visitors via email, social media, and retargeting.
  • If they’ve not become customers, consider using an incentive, such as a gift card, to lure them to your SaaS.
  • Consider adopting regular, seasonal promotions that reflect wehn your customers would be considering your solution.

4. Increasing share-of-wallet

Motivating your customers to test new products, or adopt additional products and services can be the surest and quickest path to additional revenue. This might involve offering promo codes to remove the financial risk out of being a beta user. Likewise, lifetime deal sites are often used by SaaS businesses to increase their user bases by offering a one-off price for life. Users like it because it gets them access to tools they need cheaply, and SaaS businesses like it because they can learn and grow more rapidly with an existing, sticky user base.

A similar approach can be used to upsell into other parts of your portfolio. Offering a cashback on a product upgrade, or bolt-on subscription products and services can reduce the friction between a user being interested, and taking action. This temporarily reduces the cost for the user but can be made up if your business is able to retain them on that service ongoing. 

5. Custom SaaS promotions 

As part of the iGo group, Rewards Come True and True Rewards support businesses to build, monitor, and deliver ground-breaking promotions and gift rewards to their customers. Our end-to-end platforms gather real-time analytics when a promotion is up and running so you can monitor progress and make adjustments as needed.

Kickstart your promotions. It is never too late to start rewarding your customers with a custom branded promotion, or gift card, that builds your brand equity, and improves customer retention. Talk to an expert on 1800 043 656 to decide if these solutions are a good fit for your SaaS business.

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Tips & Insights

4 ways customer feedback can grow your business

Introduction

In this article, I will be going over five ways to get more referrals using incentives

Referral programs are a great way to grow your business and get more customers, but they can also feel like an uphill battle when you’re not receiving enough feedback from current customers. If you’re struggling with getting new clients, it may be because of bad habits that are holding you back.

What a referral program is and why it’s important

A referral program is a strategy that businesses use to get new customers. The idea is that if your customers know they’ll get a kickback for referring you to friends and family, they’ll be more eager to send people your way. There are many ways you can do this – you could offer them prizes for referrals, give them discounts on future purchases or even just ask their opinion of your business!

Why you’re not getting referrals already

1) You don’t have a referral program in place or one that’s enticing enough for your customer base. Consider Gift cards.

2) You offer discounts on future purchases instead of giving out prizes for referring friends. Consider cashbacks.

3) You ask your staff to refer people without any incentive for them to do so. Consider employee incentives.

4) Your staff are too busy working instead of spending time on customer relations. Review your CX.

5) You don’t ask for feedback from your customers. Consider Digital Rewards.

Let’s get into it! How can you come up with a referral program that will benefit not just you, but also your customers?

Here are 4 ideas to get you started:

1 ) Offering incentives.

Depending on the type of business and the products you sell, you could offer prizes such as gift cards, a free day of service, or even new products. This is definitely the best way to get people to refer their friends and family.

2) Understanding your customer.

Knowing what your customers want allows you to come up with a program that caters to their needs. Next time you are doing business with one of your clients, try asking them what you could do to improve your service. Chances are they will have some good ideas that would be beneficial if implemented

3) Internal marketing

Use software to make sure everyone in your team knows about the referral program and how it works so that everyone can effectively participate! This is an easy way to get your employees involved in growing your business

4) Ask for referrals!

Another way to get more feedback from customers is by making sure you are asking them for it! If you’re not calling or emailing your clients to ask for feedback, you should start doing that immediately. It’s a great chance to strengthen the relationship between yourself and your customer while learning more about how to improve your business! Incentives are an easy way to engage your customers and get them active in the growth of your business. If you’re having trouble getting new clients, it may be as simple as coming up with incentives that benefit both you and your customer!

If you follow these steps and make it a habit to ask for feedback, you’ll be building better relationships with your customers and possibly making more money in the long run. How can you use customer feedback from referrals to grow your business?

Take action on one of the five tips you’ve learned today

If you’re struggling with getting new clients, it may be because of these bad habits that could be holding you back every day. If all of this sounds intimidating and you want help enacting these principles, let us know. Our team of experts are ready and waiting to partner with you to create promotions and incentives plans that drive new business.

Need help getting started? Call us on 1800 043 656.

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Staff Rewards

Employer Vaccine Incentives – the Path out of Lockdowns?

As another outbreak hits Australia’s east coast, the media debate turns to how to move beyond lockdowns through higher vaccination rates. Despite health authorities making this a key measure of opening Australia’s borders our full vaccination rates still rank below Kazakhstan and Peru.

Motivating vaccine uptake globally

So, what can authorities learn from overseas about encouraging vaccine adoption, and what part might incentives play?

The US continues to be the country with the highest COVID-19 death toll. Among these 99.2% were among unvaccinated people.  To reach the crucial herd immunity levels needed to reduce transmission, estimates suggest 70-90% of the world’s population needs to be vaccinated. Yet, in many countries such as America, and the European Union, those willing to get that jab don’t exceed 65%.

To rectify this, nations have trialed several incentive programs:

Meanwhile in Australia

Australia’s response has been more muted. Research from the University of Melbourne suggests “right now, the incentives to get vaccinated are all wrong.”

Their research indicates that direct cash incentives are the most effective way to encourage participants they argue, that the payment infrastructure exists, and that the model is familiar from the “no jab, no pay” and “no jab, no play” programs to encourage childhood vaccinations.

What can you do?

 In the absence of government intervention, what can you do to de-risk your business? At True Rewards and Rewards Come True we’ve experienced an influx of employer vaccination incentives. Increasingly private businesses are stepping in and incentivising their own staff and their families to get vaccinated with an instant digital gift card as a reward.

Can your business afford to lose key staff for two weeks or more? Consider how you could ensure your business continuity, and make it easier for your staff to make a health-positive decision if they wish. Call us on 1800 043 656 to discuss solutions, or request a callback.

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Tips & Insights

Survive the Cookie Apocalypse with Consent-based Marketing

We’ve all seen it. We visit a website on an impulse, browse their products, and then promptly forget about it. At least we would, but afterward, it seems like every website suddenly knows we’re in the market for sports gear, summer fashions, or engagement rings. This is just the cost of entry to a hyper-connected online world – hyper-personalised ads are here to stay, right? Wrong. Cookies are disappearing from the internet and as they do so marketers will need to adjust their targeting strategies accordingly.

Initially conceived as a mechanism to improve website usage, such as remembering passwords, cookie use has long since broadened. As web users we have made an unspoken pact with publishers – we consume their content for free, and in exchange, they use our data to monetise their content by selling it to third-party advertisers.

What’s changing

It’s these third-party cookies that will be gone in late 2023 when Google Chrome joins Firefox and Safari in removing support. While Apple has already required iPhone users to opt-in to third-party tracking cookies on iOS devices with App Tracking Transparency (ATT), Google is opting for its own Federal Learning of Cohorts (FLoC).

Data surveillance backlash

These changes follow a growing backlash to digital surveillance driven by the Cambridge Analytics scandal, GDPR, and CCPA laws. In response, Apple has sought to highlight its privacy credentials with a focus on hardware sales reducing its motivation to capture users’ details for advertising. Meanwhile, Google’s motivation is to assuage

growing concerns people have about their privacy and how their personal identity is being used, [that] risk the future of the free and open web.

DAVID TEMKIN
DIRECTOR OF PRODUCT MANAGEMENT, ADS PRIVACY AND TRUST

What does this mean for marketers? It means the cookie apocalypse is coming! Marketers need to reset their thinking for what this new cookie-less marketing looks like, and how to adapt to content-based marketing.

Marketing with third-party cookies

Currently, advertisers can access incredibly granular targeting options. This can include what keywords a user has searched, what they’re in-market to buy currently, their age/gender, whether they’re in a relationship, how old their kids are, their income, and much more. With access to this data advertisers have been able to pinpoint the exact messages, behaviours, demographics, and life stage that correlate with conversions in their business.

  • Ad retargeting – servings ads based on previously viewed content
  • Behavioural advertising – targeting individuals based on their activity across multiple websites

Consent-based marketing

After 2023, advertisers won’t necessarily know whether we’ve viewed their ads. Whereas before they were able to retarget ads to, for example, offer discounts after a certain time period, now they may be unable to connect ad views with a given user. This could mean that ads and conversions aren’t linked, that converted customers continue to see acquisition ads, and that more calibrated messaging is weakened.

Further, the information advertisers know about their audience is diminished. Those that have relied on third-party cookies will have fewer targeting options – a shift to contextual over demographic – and will find it more difficult to convert as a result.

  • Focus on first-party data – growing investment in capturing and enriching customer data
  • Flight to walled gardens – major social media, AdTech platforms, and publisher power will increase as the main conduits for first-party data
  • Universal IDs – other AdTech and MarTech platforms are launching their own solutions such as ID5 and Unified ID with the goal of matching and unmasking site visitor
  • Traditional marketing – reconnecting with customers via more traditional channels such as direct mail

Cookie-less marketing beyond 2023

When the cookie crumbles marketers will need to be ready. To prepare now, their key focus needs to be on capturing and enriching their customer information so they can continue to “own” their audience to continue targeting them via eDMs, direct mail, SMS, outbound calls, and other 1:1, or 1:many relationships.

At iGoDirect Group, we’re ready to bridge this gap. Here we’re invested in marketing automation technology and account-based marketing for our own business and continue to offer data enrichment promotions and services for clients.

All of our technology is based on consent-based engagement with customers and clients. Our True Rewards platform distributes digital gift cards at scale, powering cashback promotions and sales incentives to capture more customer data in a give-to-get relationship. Further, our consumer and B2B promotions at Rewards Come True encourage clients and customers alike to exchange their data for opportunities to win. Separately, we engage with consumers and clients to capture their feedback in custom surveys that provide opted-in insights in everything from buying behaviour, to branding impressions, and product feedback.

Ensure you’re ready for the switch – kickstart a campaign to capture more first-party customer data today with iGoDirect Group.

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Digital payments

Top 5 digital payment technology trends in 2021

 

Digital wallets are one of the hottest trends in retail and for good reason. CBA data shows that, in Australia alone, the 12 mths to March 2021 saw monthly digital wallet transactions increase 90% with the value of transactions more than doubling to $2.1 billion. This explosion in popularity is driven by both an immediate need for contactless payments, and the increased convenience on offer.

With open digital wallets, users can make purchases at many different locations using their stored credit or debit cards (ApplePay, GooglePay). Not to be confused with closed digital wallet only allows users to make purchases from the service that issued it (Loyalty Cards, PayPal).

In this article, we explain the 5 digital wallet trends you need to know.

1. Open Digital Wallets accelerated adoption

2020 was a historic year for open digital wallets and accelerated digital transformation. Amid the virus scare consumers around the world adopted contactless payments when purchasing goods like never before. In 2020, 46% of people relied on their digital wallets, up from 18.9% just 2 years prior in 2018.

The popularity of digital wallets can be especially evident in cash-based countries, such as Brazil, Mexico, and Malaysia. There, 2020 was the first year that instore cash payments were overtaken by digital wallet payments, a trend that’s unlikely to reverse.

Further, this trend is expected to continue. Over the next 5 years, growth of 83% will take payments from $5.5 trillion in 2020 to over $10 trillion in 2025.

Recognizing that consumers around the world increasingly prefer to utilize funds stored in an open wallet for online transactions, many wallets have started providing a marketplace for purchasing 3rd party gift cards. SamsungPay and PayPal are just two of these mobile wallets which allow you to use your digital currency from your open wallet as easily as cash at local retailers or restaurants.

Open digital wallets have become yet another distribution format for solving payment challenges and driving revenue via digital gift cards.

2. Security and authentication

With the acceleration in digital payments, naturally, security is front-of-mind. Biometric signals such as fingerprint, facial, and heartbeat recognition, will power an approx 2.5 million new biometric cards this year. Happily, digital wallets on newer devices such as ApplePay have fingerprint and/or FaceID as part of their existing payment authentication.

3. Frictionless payments

Contactless payments, frictionless payments, and even “contract-free” payments are becoming more commonplace. Mobile wallets are at the vanguard of this movement, leading the covid-safe payment processing of 2020 and 2021. The widespread adoption of QR codes, NFC payments, will give way to more confidence in emerging technologies such as voice-activated payments. In a May 2021 study, 37% of consumers reported having made payments via smart speakers or other connected home devices in the last 12 mths. digital-payment-trends-statistics1

4. Mobile-point-of-sale (mPOS)

As consumers have become more mobile, so to have merchants. Freed from their bricks-and-mortar confines, providers like Square have enabled merchants to accept mobile payments via mPOS systems at concerts, farmers’ markets, or wherever their business takes them. This is expected to continue to grow with a 19% compounded annual growth rate between 2020 and 2026. This virtuous cycle of mobile wallets and mPOS increasingly reduces the need for consumers to “not leave home without their American Express.”

5. Real-time payments and request-to-pay (RTP)

Digital payments above anything else are connected by two things: mobility, and immediacy. It’s here that mobile digital payments and real-time digital payments, and request-to-pay technologies overlap. In Australia, both of these are being powered by the New Payments Platform infrastructure. Using PayID, users can create easy-to-remember usernames to accept payments. Technologies like Osko drive real-time payments, and Beem It offer request-to-pay technology provided by Bpay and Eftpos respectively.

Digital gift cards can act as a substitute for this technology for real-time payments. Employers and B2B partners can leverage the technology to pay out incentives in real-time, whether it’s for good work, referrals, or cashback on purchases.

Conclusion

Changes to digital payments have accelerated as a result of COVID-19’s need for contactless technologies. A range of technologies that had been emerging have seen their use mainstreamed globally, even in cash-based economies.

This convergence of technologies is normalising digital payments backed by biometric authentication, contactless NFC payments, being made in real-time via QR codes or mPOS terminals.

These forces combine to cement a bright future for digital gift cards. Stored on users’ mobile phones behind TouchID/FaceID, making contactless payments via NFC, QR, so that users can make payments in-person, or online without the need for any contact.

Considering digital gift cards for your rewarding, incentives, or cashback offers? Ask for a free demo of our True Rewards platform today by completing the form below.

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