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The appropriateness of tactical incentives

incentive   /ɪnˈsɛntɪv/  noun

a formal scheme using rewards and recognition to promote or encourage specific actions or behaviour by a specific group of people during a defined period of time; particularly used in business management to motivate employees, and in sales to attract and retain customers

For businesses, an incentive is a great tool to help increase performance among a workforce or to shift consumer preference in the market. A study by the International Society of Performance Improvement shows that “if selected, implemented and monitored correctly, incentive programmes […] increase performance by an average of 22%. Team incentives can increase performance by as much as 44%.”

But for how long should an incentive run and how often should they be implemented within a marketing plan? Is it worth pursuing an incentive scheme if budget is limited?

There is undoubtedly a strong case for long-term programmes – they are frequently used to build ongoing brand loyalty within a business and oftentimes outperform their short-term counterparts for this reason. But is this reason enough to completely discount short-term incentives from your marketing agenda?

The ‘tact’ of tactical

A quick search of the word tact in the dictionary displays ‘a keen sense of what is appropriate, tasteful or proper’ as one of its definitions. We think this is the perfect approach to tactical incentives. As simple, tightly-focused and hard-hitting programmes that can be launched whenever they are appropriate to inject a bit of energy and drive into a target audience, tacticals are a great tool to enhance your ongoing communication with your audience. We’ve used them to help businesses overcome negative brand perception, to boost motivation within a workforce and to effectively train staff on key product messages.

Just as date nights are essential for a romance to work and flourish, tactical incentives are key to keeping things fresh in your business. They are the perfect companion to product launches, ensuring that your disparate sales staff are trained up on the core USPs of the new range. The short and punchy nature of tactical incentives makes them fun and engaging, and can add just the right amount of buzz within your workforce to keep staff excited and intrigued about your brand. They can even be used to effectively overcome any barriers in your business, whether it is negative brand perception, low performance rate or lack of brand confidence.

Not only can tactical incentives meet and exceed your business objectives to give you immediate results, but they can also be delivered cost-effectively for the budget-conscious. Incentive plans need not be expensive. In fact, high budget programmes often fall prey to over-engineered structures. Tacticals ensure that your message remains simple, but without foregoing the fundamentals of an effective programme – easy implementation, versatility and measurement – which make them an ideal fit within any marketing plan. It is certainly worth pursuing an incentive scheme, even if your budget is limited. The return on investment speaks for itself.

Whether you want to implement a few days’ training activity or drive a lengthier month-long challenge to strategically boost engagement, consider what you want to achieve with your target audience and build a programme around this objective. Speaking from our experience with tactical incentives, you’d be surprised what you can achieve in just ten days or within a few short months.


When it comes to incentive marketing strategy and effective programme delivery, we at FMI know that you don’t need spend your entire budget trying to reinvent the wheel. Our comms and incentives teams have considerable industry experience and extensive reward options to help you achieve greater successes in your business.

If you have considered implementing tactical incentives to increase brand engagement and drive sustained behavioural change, feel free to contact us.


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