Communication Psychology and Your Incentive Program

April 24, 2015 Deb Broderson

I was at the Channel Focus North America and Latin America event earlier this week and as you can imagine there were any number of interesting and lively conversations.  One of the discussions was around the psychology of communications,  which started me thinking that since we trademarked the Science of Motivation™, we should talk more about communication psychology and the science of communications.

Communication Psychology?

communication psychology and 7Those of you with a marketing background are probably familiar with the Rule of Seven,  and while rule is about prospects,  it also applies to all communications. The rule of seven basically says that the prospective buyer should hear or see the marketing message at least seven times before they buy something from you.  In this case,  while we aren’t talking about customers but instead your employees and channel partners,  the concept still applies.


Apply the Rule of 7 to your incentive program.

Think of getting your potential participant involved in the program in the same way you think about making a sale.  Your incentive program requires a blend of activities that both advertise the program and provide publicity (success stories, quotes from happy participants, etc.).  Each activity adds an element to what the target participant will see, hear and retain.

Success requires Omni-channel marketing.

Start communicating early and don’t stop! Provide proactive updates and give your participants a reason to stay involved. Incentive programs are about engagement and understanding the What’s In In For Me (WIIFM) concept. Consider elements that include social, direct mail, email, company meetings, break room posters, etc.

omni-channel communications

Basic communication premises

  1. Participants will respond to the program as they see it – not as you want them to see it.
  2. Effective communication starts with hearing and understanding, not telling. Gather their input in the early stages and use what you were told.
  3. Be clear and concise – no marketing speak.  If participants don’t understand the messaging,  it’s just noise.
  4. It is not about any one single message, it’s frequency, timeliness and value.
Tell us,  what are you doing?
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