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4 Interesting Rewards & Incentive Takeaways From the 2017 IMA Summit

Posted, by Deborah Merkin
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The 2017 Incentive Marketing Association (IMA) Summit is over, but there were plenty of meaningful takeaways that could be gleaned from the three-day event in Orlando.

Related: 4 Things to Know Ahead of the 2017 IMA Summit

After reviewing many presentations from the IMA Summit, held in late July, we've compiled a list of four interesting points related to incentives and rewards.

1) Make Gift Cards a Cross-Generational Reward

While Baby Boomers, Generation Xers, millennials, and Generation Zers differ in age, there was one incentive and reward type that appealed to all four workforce groups: gift cards. 

Baby Boomers typically prefer physical gift cards, while Generation X employees use plastic and digital gift cards, with plastic being their first choice. 

Meanwhile, millennials favor eGift cards over physical gift cards, and Gen Y preferred only digital gift cards.

Gift card delivery preferences were different between the groups, but they do share some similarities in the types of gift cards they want to receive. 

Rather than every group wanting retail store gift cards, all of them enjoy getting gift card incentives and rewards that promise a memorable experience, such as what Home Chef or Go Play Golf offer, for example.




2) Form Valuable Partnerships 

By establishing strong partnerships with data analytics and subject matter experts (i.e. financial, human resources, marketing), as well as technology companies, you can work together to provide employees with great reward choices.

Cultivating partnerships can help guide you in your decision-making process when the time comes to either develop your rewards program or change an existing one. There are several reasons why these relationships are beneficial to your company. Your partners can:

  • Collaborate with you on ideas to generate sales
  • Examine your company through a different lens 
  • Take your biggest challenges and turn them into great opportunities

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3) Take a Fresh Look at Millennials 

Generally speaking, millennials are largely perceived as job hoppers and unpredictable shoppers, but companies should take a fresh look at this group because evidence suggests they'll be incredibly dedicated if their needs are met.

Studies show that more than half of millennials say they're extremely loyal to their favorite brands. Among the most popular types of brands are movie, TV and video streaming services, gaming companies, and wearable technology. 

Understanding millennials' allegiances to modern brands can help you come up with an incentive plan that rewards exceptional workplace performance, or recognizes healthy behaviors both in and out of the office. These incentives and rewards can come in one of several forms, but millennials have shown an affinity for gift cards, so buying brands like Xbox Live or Crutchfield Electronics might play well to their interests.




4) Use Mobile Devices to Buy Now & Spend (More) Later

Some companies are now using digital gift cards as incentives to motivate their employees. The primary benefit of eGift cards for employers is how they can be bought and delivered instantly via an employee's mobile device.

Studies show that it typically takes about three months for recipients to use their gift cards. However, when gift cards are used, recipients spend, on average, nearly $30 more than the value of the card.

With mobile device use on the rise, your company may want to consider including digital gift cards as part of your incentive and rewards program. By doing so, you'll be able to offer more reward choice to your employees.

Did you attend the 2017 IMA Summit in Orlando? Let us know what information you found to be most useful for your incentive and rewards program.

Topics: Gift Card Incentives & Rewards, Events and Trade Shows

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