By Lucy Guzman on May 17, 2023
You already know the value of a loyal customers who buys from you again and again. It’s common knowledge that it costs five to seven times more to get a new customer than to retain a current customer.
You also know the value of loyal employees. The costs of recruiting and training new employees, not to mention the drop in productivity while they get up to speed, can cost you many thousands of dollars.
So along with everything else you do to engender loyalty from both customers and employees, it can be quite worthwhile to sweeten the pot with marketing incentives to show your appreciation. Incentive marketing has many benefits. You can use it to help you acquire new customers, acknowledge loyal customers, encourage referrals, boost promotions of new products, motivate employees and enhance brand recognition.
But there are all kinds of incentives out there. What is the most effective when you are really trying to impress?
One of the marketing incentives that is probably most familiar is discounts. Sure, people like to get things at a good price. But discounts don’t engender loyalty. If that’s the only reason people are buying from you, they will be gone as soon as the competition offers a better price, in many cases even if the competitive product is inferior.
So, you might consider giving gifts to reward loyal customers or employees. Certainly, gifts are more memorable than discounts, but the shine of a new gadget or gizmo fades quickly. There is even a name for this: hedonic adaptation.
But you know what doesn’t fade? Exciting experiences live on in memory. People spend time anticipating events. They enjoy sharing experiences. They remember and talk about them often for years to come.
There is no doubt at all. People value enjoyable experiences more than they do money or physical gifts. 78% of millennials (the largest age demographic) would rather spend money on an experience than a product. And spending on experiences is increasing. People today spend 70% more on experiences than they did in 1987.
And people don’t enjoy experiences in silence. Today, everyone and their Aunt Betty is on social media. And they are just looking for great lifestyle content and adventures to showcase to their friends, family and colleagues. In fact, 98% of people create digital or social media content around experiences they enjoy and events they attend.
Sure, people enjoy discounts and presents. But the memory of a great experiences lasts longer and engenders deeper, positive emotions. And if your company made that experience possible, that positive feeling is transferred to your company.
Ok, so it’s clear that experiential marketing incentives are more effective than transactional incentives or goods when you want to make a big splash with an important client. But what kind of experiential incentives? There are many different kinds such as tickets to concerts, plays, sporting events or a myriad of other possibilities. There are fun launch parties where companies only invite VIPs. I’m sure you can think of a lot more. But there is one kind of experiential incentive that beats all the rest hands down: travel marketing incentives.
Studies show that travel is the top-performing incentive category. Travel marketing incentives produce the highest return on investment (ROI) compared to other categories of marketing incentives. Companies that implemented travel incentives in a recent study experienced a 28% rise in revenue and a 15% boost in employee productivity. Yes, travel marketing incentives are effective beyond motivating customers. In a survey of incentive program owners, travel was identified as the most effective reward for enhancing employee engagement and productivity.
Here’s why travel marketing incentives are so wildly effective:
Top Memorable Experience: A vacation to a desirable spot gifts your customer with an adventure they will remember for years to come.
Enduring Loyalty: Since your company made their luxury adventure possible, this forges an enduring and emotional connection with your brand. Customers tend to associate the positive emotions and memories from their vacation with the brand, fostering greater loyalty and a higher likelihood of repeat purchases for years to come.
Exclusivity: Offering a complimentary luxury vacation as an incentive often carries an air of exclusivity, as it is not widely accessible. This exclusivity generates a perception of value and scarcity that enhances its appeal to customers.
High Perceived Value: A luxury vacation is perceived as an incentive of exceptionally high value, igniting a profound sense of excitement and anticipation among customers.
Social Proof: People usually share photos, videos and stories about their vacations directly with family, friends and colleagues and also on social media. This creates a sense of social proof for the vacation-goer, while at the same time this sharing elevates the brand’s visibility and reputation. While sharing photos of a product launch may have its merits, it can hardly compare to the allure of fabulous times in destinations like Bali, Paris or New York City.
Anticipation: The time people spend thinking about their vacation and how your company made it possible is not limited to the time on the vacation or even the time spent sharing photos and stories afterwards. There is also a great deal of time people spend anticipating, looking forward to and planning their vacation.
Active Participation: Unlike a discount, money or a gift that sits on a shelf, travel and vacations demand active participation. This makes your customers more invested in the experience.
There is little doubt that your customers, prospects and employees would think the world of you for gifting them with a vacation to a luxury resort in a desirable location whether in the US or around the world. That’s the gold standard of marketing incentives. But if you handle it on your own, it would likely be both prohibitively expensive and a logistical nightmare.
Fortunately, it doesn’t need to be either.
Umbrella Local has partnered with an industry insider that aggregates room inventory for over 5,000 hotels around the world. Most are 4 stars or more, and all are at least 3 stars. We have over 50 wide-ranging international destinations such as Paris, London, Bali and Thailand and 30 destinations in the US such as Hawaii, Las Vegas and New York City. Because hotels are rarely at capacity, they reserve a percentage of rooms for us.
So how does that help you?
For one low price, you can gift your customers, prospects and employees with unlimited vacations through Umbrella Local. We take care of the details.
Find out more and see customers talk about the amazing times they had on their vacations on our website.
Also, please contact Umbrella Local here or call us at 1(646)440-1426 to set up a free consultation about travel marketing incentives. And watch customer gratitude translate into loyalty for years to come.
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