Hello.  I am Mike May, President of Spear One.  We manage meetings, club trips, incentive programs, and engagement campaigns for Fortune 2000 clients.

Let’s talk about something that is breaking many incentive programs today.  That is weak communications. 

To avoid dooming your program, here are the 4 keywords for effective communications – funded, creative, parallel, and repetitive. 

The first one is the biggest problem – underfunded communications.  Too many people try to cut budgets here.  But then your program becomes your best kept secret.  Winners ask “now why am I getting this?”  That’s a bad technique for motivating desired behaviors.  10% of your budget must go to communications. 

Second, you expect me to say creative, and I will.  But here’s the problem.  Most people give lip service to creativity, but their efforts are quick and boring.  People are overworked, doing the jobs that 3 people did before.  Creativity is lacking.  If you want to break through the clutter, you better have compelling graphic designs and strong messaging! 

Number next is parallel mediums.  That means use varied messages and varied formats.  Not 100% email.  We get 200 emails a day and read every one with our finger on the delete key.  You must add parallel mediums of print, videos, PPT decks, team calls, auto dialers, and of course social media.  Think about the news.  Individuals get information differently.  Baby boomers read newspapers. Generation Y and Millenials read Twitter or RSS feeds.  

Last and #4 is repetitive.  That does not mean that 1 or 2 emails are going to connect.  Your incentive program is top of mind to you, but not to others.  A Sales VP once told me: “look, I get about 10 announcements a week from marketing.  I’m in a fire fight here.  I can’t be weapon shopping.”  So, if you want to break through, spaced repetition is a key to effective communications.

So to wrap up—good communications are…funded, creative, parallel, and repetitive.

I am Mike May with Spear One in Dallas, TX.  You can follow me on Twitter at @SpearOne.  Have a great day.