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Opinion: Are customer rewards in brand campaigns necessary?

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Nellie Mwandha, the Head of Customer Experience & Value Management at Multichoice Uganda.

Nellie Mwandha

By Nellie Mwandha

Customers like a good giveaway or promotion from companies which they receive or consume a product or service. Whereas December is filled with contest campaigns to reward customers, January has back-to-school offers always roaming. While this might seem expected, to companies, this is a valuable marketing technique and a time to emphasize their place in the market. But what is the essence of the customer rewards from the non-business objective? Is it necessary?

The best-known way to express how valuable someone is to you is by gifting them. This is similar to companies and their customers; it is key to establish a rewarding system with prizes that are beneficial for the intended party. Most rewards have been known to come as branded merchandise; like T-shirts, caps and flasks, trips, tickets, cash, and service upgrades amongst others. The question companies ought to ask themselves is whether the gift comes in a timely season and does it really show how valuable the customer is to you?

Why give me a rope when it’s a torch that could help me? Being able to recognize the times and assess the needs of the people during a certain time can help guide your brainstorming towards what kind of prizes to attach to the customer reward campaign that companies plan throughout the year. Much as they could be monthly specials or short-term giveaways, the thought process put into the execution can make or break the intended purpose of the promotion.

Putting a loyalty-minded strategy at the back of your mind while developing the ideas will help inform the decision on what exactly would be valuable to the customer. The end result is to establish a loyal base that is willing, on their own free will, to try out more products and services that you provide. The one thing that deters participation is the nature of reward attached to the mechanics of the campaigns. Make them simple and easily understood, but not forgetting the main objective as to why it has been put in place.

For example, in January parents are looking for school fees and requirements to take the children back to school, so companies are going to come out with back-to-school promos with rewards like money, scholastic materials, etc. This essentially has been done by several businesses, but school fees can’t be the only need given the other customer base that might not be parents. So, you need to think outside the box so that every customer can feel included. Case study; the step-up campaign by MultiChoice Uganda where you subscribe for one package and get upgraded to a better one. As children go back to school, parents can get time to watch their favorite shows without the child trying to take the remote away. But not only do parents benefit from this, but the rest of the customers can also enjoy the offer.

According to sweepstake statistics by Outgrow, 33% of the participants are willing to receive information about the brand and its partners and an average of 34% of customers are acquired through contests. So, why not put extra thought into what is most likely to draw more numbers towards what your company is offering, the prize.

It is great to have people excited about your brand through customer promotions, so creating valuable givebacks can increase customer satisfaction levels, participation, and loyalty but can also be a breakthrough in their lives for which they will be eternally allegiant to your brand.

About author: 
Nellie Mwandha is the Head of Customer Experience & Value Management at Multichoice Uganda.

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