Incentive Program “Framing” – Not the Picture Kind

In digging through some of the posts and articles I’ve starred in my reader this morning I ran into a post I put into the pile about a year ago. March 2011 to be exact. It was the LeadFormix blog and it was entitled: “Focus on Generating Opportunities not Leads.”

You can link out to the article which isn’t bad but the reason I starred it for future reference is that it made me think about how you frame an incentive activity and how that can affect the program outcome.

Leads Vs Opportunities

Many lead generation incentive programs are focused on filling in blanks. Adding people to the CRM database. The rules might be something like: “10 Points for every lead that includes, company name, contact name, company size, competitor – you name it.”

Each program will have it’s own data fields.

Overall, the goal of the program is to create a list of possible contacts that could buy our product. The company can then send a sales person to hunt them down and sell them – or put them in a marketing database for newsletter follow-ups and other e-marketing initiatives.

The point is that the goal of the program – based on the rules – is really about filling in data. It’s about filling in form fields. It’s very – tactical.

What if you changed the framing on the program rules from “lead generation” to “opportunity identification?” What if  you rewarded people for similar “data” fields but also added something in there about defining how they could use the product or service you are hoping they buy?

Frames are Small But Important

Adding the idea that we are rewarding people for identifying opportunities will change the way they approach the program. No longer are the participants just filling in fields – they are thinking about your product and service and connecting it to the data they pass onto sales and/or marketing.

While it may seem trivial – changing the framing can affect the program results. Changing the frame changes the interaction your audience has with the program.

Think about your incentives – both internal and channel – can be reframed to drive different behaviors? Can you change how you position what it is you are really trying to do and realize greater success?

Or- you could do a lead generation program and get leads – whether they are real leads, real opportunities or just names pulled from the phone book.

What do you think? Does reframing change the program outcome or are we talking distinctions without difference?

Originally posted: Incentive Intelligence

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