4 guidelines for picking the right consumer rewards

consumer rewards

You’ve just been tasked with developing a new consumer rewards program and you’re caught completely off-guard. You’ve heard that these kinds of programs can work and be highly successful, but you have no idea what goes into building one. The more time you spend researching incentive programs, the more you begin to understand that if you really want to launch and drive a successful program, you’ll need to do a good job of selecting the right consumer rewards.

If what you’ve just read sounds like you, or if you’re part of a special team that’s designing a new consumer incentives programme, we’ve put together a list of four guidelines that you can use to pick the right rewards.

Effective consumer rewards are built on data

Like compiling any business strategy or project plan, analysis of your goals helps you establish a clearer plan of action. When it comes to consumer incentive programs, developing a sound understanding of your consumer market is important.


Demographic data is regularly collected by governments and private organisations through a census. Governments use this data for a range of purposes, such as planning and development for transport, healthcare facilities and law enforcement infrastructure. As you’d imagine, being able to know what the population density is in a specific area helps government determine whether to channel more investment to the development of a new public hospital.

When it comes to private organisations, this kind of data is used for research and marketing. It’s common practice for marketers to refer to their target market using demographic information. After all, being able to segment your market by age, gender, ethnicity, income and other equally valuable characteristics helps you establish common factors that your target customers share.  


Psychographics take understanding your customers further. Using psychographic information allows marketers to explore characteristics beyond the external (demographic factors) to focus on your target customers’ psychology, lifestyles and behaviors.

Psychographics can include insights such as where your target customers like to travel on holiday, what kinds of hobbies they have and also their interests. But it doesn’t stop there. Understanding the values or opinions they hold and how they behave is just as important. While psychographics are not as easy to quantify as demographics, psychographics help you find hidden opportunities, when assessing your target customer.

Psychographics in action

At last year’s South by Southwest, researcher Alexandra Samuel explored psychographics as the hidden gem that most marketers miss when assessing how purchasing decisions are made. She found that while the family tech market in the US is made up of households with different incomes or with younger and older kids, who make somewhat different technology purchases, their reasons for purchasing are much more closely tied to parent psychographics.

She learned that parents who trust their kids to make their own tech decisions tend to evaluate tech purchases in terms of fun and entertainment value. Parents who focus on minimizing screen time gravitate towards software and devices that support their kids’ literacy, math and academic skills. Parents who actively guide and encourage their kids’ technology use typically look for purchases that offer a balance of fun and educational value and that offer ways to engage and play as a family.

Knowing how parents relate to the technology their kids use therefore gives marketers an edge, as they look to more impactful marketing approaches . Similar insights can work for your consumer rewards program.

Focus on ROI

The secret to driving a successful incentive program is knowing what to measure. Often,  program designs focus on measuring consumer purchase behaviors, with a lot of attention on purchases with high margins. Customers who perform those behaviors are then rewarded with discounts or merchandise. The challenge that this approach presents is that it ignores high-value behaviors that lead customers to make the purchase.

For marketers to create that right kind of value in their consumer rewards programs, measuring each touch point that your customer has with your brand is vital. Doing so allows you to measure which touch points contribute to the financial growth of  your business.

Another important element of impactful incentive programs is the customer experience that you create. Today, it’s common to find look-alike marketing tactics almost everywhere and consumers have become numb to them. If you are able to tap into unique reward experiences for your target customer, there’s a better chance of you seeing a higher ROI.

The value of an incentive

Most consumer rewards programs struggle to drive meaningful engagement from consumers. While marketing and program administration are factors that can influence engagement, we’ve found that incongruent rewards are often to blame.

Make sure that your rewards relate to your audience by applying the  insights you’ve uncovered while researching demographic and psychographic data.

Using your new knowledge about your target customer will help you determine which human needs to appeal to, making your marketing messaging stronger.

The expediency factor

Consumer rewards programs are designed as a means of influencing more of the right behaviours, that drive revenue and in competitive markets bad customer experiences often results in lost sales opportunities. Delaying reward payouts is one such way that brands create poor customer experiences.  

As you examine which rewards you plan to offer your consumer base, consider how long it will take to deliver the rewards and what delivery methods you’ll use.

At TuYu, we’re able to reward consumers immediately by paying cash directly to their mobile wallets. Immediate rewards meet consumers’ desires for instant gratification and drive engagement.


Determining the right rewards for your consumer incentive program can seem like a daunting task. However, understanding who your target audience comprises of and what their interests and opinions about your products or services are will help. Focusing on the right behaviours and how to deliver the right rewards as soon as possible will help your program generate the right levels of ROI and engagement.

Not sure how to plan your consumer rewards program?

TuYu helps companies reward consumers directly to their smart and feature phones at either the click of a button or through an automated integration, making rewarding a quick and simple process. Rewards are redeemed in-store at 70 000+ till lanes, using your mobile phone.

Call us on 021 812 1495 for help on setting up your incentive program.