Neuroscience (Yes, Neuroscience) Can Amplify Your Holiday Promotions and Create Year-Round Profitability
You don’t have to be a brainiac to know how integral consumer rewards are to driving holiday revenue. But it can be tricky selecting ones that cut through the noise to impart the value of the reward while also creating a lasting effect that drives incremental value throughout the year. There are plenty of different types of rewards and reward-based promotions to choose from—all of which can drive better purchase intent and sales lift than discounts and discount-based promotions. But did you know science has uncovered which can best magnify the success of your holiday marketing promotions?
It works to your advantage to offer rewards that engage shoppers and encourage specific purchases this holiday season—but new research shows not just any rewards will do. Biometric research from the Incentive Research Foundation (IRF) found that at an unconscious level, people are overwhelmingly drawn to gift card rewards over other options like cash or merchandise.
For the IRF study, scientists asked participants which kind of rewards they preferred. Then, they gave participants different types of rewards while tracking their unintended physiological responses when receiving them. (These responses include things like eye movements and heart rate.) The study found that subjects consciously cited cash as the most appealing reward, but subconsciously showed a much more favorable response to gift cards. Participants’ pupils dilated and heart rates increased at higher rates when given gift card rewards. Whether they realized it or not, test subjects found gift cards most exciting and stimulating. These unintended responses are part of the “halo effect.”
Theresa McEndree is the Vice President of Marketing at Hawk Incentives, a Blackhawk Network Business delivering incentive programs that build relationships with easy-to-use platforms, global rewards and comprehensive service and support.