Wireless Industry: How Do Incentives Fit In?
The Wireless Setting
The wireless industry is a highly competitive market. Employees at most wireless retail locations have several brands competing for their attention as salespeople. If you are a carrier, OEM, or accessories manufacturer, ensuring that your brand is top of mind is a priority. And if you’re a store owner, your goal is to motivate your employees to increase sales overall. Implementing an incentives program is just the thing you need to reach your goals.
How It Works
At the top of the channel, you have the OEM, carrier, or accessories manufacturer. These parties have a product to sell, but they don’t sell directly to the end user. In a B2B2C situation, they sell to a retail chain who then sells to the consumer.
This works well since the manufacturer simply cannot afford the resources to man stores and sell directly to the consumer. They rely on retail stores to distribute to consumers since retailers have an efficiency advantage due to many options available to sell.
However, that means that the manufacturer is detached from the end user. They might know general sales numbers by broad area such as the North East or South West, but they don’t know who bought their product. And if they can’t pinpoint who their target demographic is, how can they improve sales numbers?
That’s where a channel incentives program comes into play.
The manufacturer purchases a channel incentives program and provide information and marketing distribution fund dollars for product promotion to retailer stores.
The retail store then encourages their employees to sign up and report their sales of the specific brand in exchange for rewards. The retail store and the manufacturer provides incentive promotions and contests that influence the employee to sell through training, games, contests, and rewards.
When the employee uses the incentives program effectively, they will be better suited to influence customers to buy your brand.
That’s all well and good, but where does the profit come from? Why should the manufacturers assign so much money? Where is the return? Further, why should the employees or the retail stores participate?
The obvious answer is that when more customers buy a product, everyone benefits. The employee gets to reap the rewards for incentive promotions, the retail store gets more profits, and then even more profits climb up to the manufacturer.
But there’s more worth to a good incentives program, and that’s analytics. Companies can see exactly who is selling their product right down to the individual user. They get so much more information about where they are doing well, poorly, or where one type of marketing may work for one area, but does not work at all in another area. The possibilities of knowledge gained are endless.
For example, let’s say you are a company that sells smartphones. With a channel incentives program, you can see that John Smith sold your Sports Pro X phone in Cody, Wyoming. You could even go so far as to know the specific store they sold it at. You could also see that Jane Doe sold your Slim Sleek Vanity phone in New York City.
The true profit here is to see who is buying what product in which areas, and market appropriately based on the information you learn. If these examples were an indicator of a larger trend, you might find people in rural parts of the country tend to buy more durable options, where city dwellers prefer thin phones. You can then market your sports-friendly options to rural areas, and your city-appropriate phones in metropolitan areas.
These are just examples, of course, but the concept will hold true for more complicated products or services.
And if those wireless industry marketers are smart, they will see these statistics and reports during a promotion (not just after) and adjust strategies if it’s simply not working.
All of these tactics can be used to make sure marketing funds are used to garner the best ROI.
If you are curious for more information, I suggest you check out our e-book, How WorkStride Works for Wireless to learn more.