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Did you know more than three quarters of companies design and manage their reward programs internally? Not only is this true of the loyalty programs for returning customers, and welcome programs for new customers, but it also covers incentive programs for sales teams and distributors, HR programs for rewarding employees, and more. Because of this, even though all of these different programs have different audiences and goals, the programs themselves all start to look alike. They all follow a basic formula:

“Win this great gift, if you do this.”

Too Much Focus on the Gift

So, what’s the root of this homogeneity? It might be easy to conclude it starts with the lack of imagination from a company’s marketing department or a limited vision from their providers. But if you look closely, you'll see that it's largely due to the fact that the "gift" part of the program takes up almost all of the marketing departments' time and concerns:

  • What gifts should we choose? 
  • What’s the budget? 
  • How will the gift be delivered to the recipient? 
  • Will the recipient be satisfied with the gift? 
  • What happens if the recipient does not receive the gift or is not satisfied?

And these are just the beginning of a never-ending litany of questions about administration, accounting, and seemingly everything else under the sun. Because roughly 80% of the responsibilities of designing a campaign revolve around managing gift and budget questions, it’s incredibly easy for those designing a rewards program to lose sight of their actual goals, or how the program is actually supposed to function. It creates a certain inertia that a business is so happy once they’ve answered all the gift questions, they neglect all the rest. They run out of enthusiasm for that last 20%.

And like so many people who are burned out on a project have done, they just peek over at what everyone else is doing, and they copy it.


Earn vs. Burn

When looking to build an effective, personalized rewards program, there are two vital parts of the program you need to keep in mind: the Earn and the Burn.

The Burn portion is what most people think about when designing a campaign: the moment when the participant burns their points to get the gift they’ve been promised. But equal attention must be paid to the Earn.

The Earn portion of a campaign sits upstream from the gift and contains all the activities, behaviors, and goals a program participant needs to meet in order to earn points. Depending on the objective of your campaign—loyalty, challenges, referrals—these activities should be different, ranging from filling out a post-purchase survey, to meeting a sales quota, to successfully recommending new customers or partners. 

The Earn portion of your campaign is both the most important and the most frequently neglected. It’s the storytelling portion of the rewards program composed of the moments that help you best understand your participants, gather actionable insights into their behaviors, and synthesize those insights into strategies that will help you grow and evolve your business.

This is the part of the program that most interests an organization. This is the reason that organizations invest in these programs to begin with. And this is what tooodooo is designed to help your organization get better at.

tooodooo: Your Challenges, Our Solutions

While, for standard marketing programs, enterprises will often deploy legions of technical expertise and testing solutions, we’ve seen how rarely rewards programs get the same resources. A company may spend tens of millions on a gift budget with the hopes of conquering, qualifying, and transforming contacts, but comparatively little technical expertise. With those financial stakes, it just doesn’t add up.

This often isn’t a business’ fault, however. Even as our team looked at the websites of agencies claiming to specialize in incentive programs, we were surprised how little emphasis was put on topics like SEO, SEA, SMA, Inbound marketing, and networking. The number of times A/B testing was touted as a service was jaw-droppingly low. Despite the concept of “one to one” connection in marketing having been introduced over 30 years ago  (cf. Don Peppers & Martha Rogers in The One to One in practice), in 2022 we saw a shocking dearth of rewards programs with personalized objectives, and an even more shocking shortage of tools to help companies build them.

That's why we created tooodooo: to completely relieve marketers of the management of the Burn, in order to give them the time and energy to tackle the Earn! But it doesn’t stop there! For as little as $49 / month, tooodooo provides a platform with the customization features and the marketing capabilities to implement the best Earn strategy possible, plus the tools to help you measure your most important results.

Whether you are:

  • in the marketing department of a company
  • or in a marketing agency that would like to capture the marketing budgets of incentive agencies, specialized in reward management

I strongly encourage you to ask our team for a demo. We’re here to amaze you.

Laurent Pioche - Co-founder of tooodooo