Often used in the context of sports, the phrase “the best defence is a good offence” suggests that the best way to protect your team and your goals is to foray into competitor’s territory. In the current atmosphere, this can be applied to a shifting market where share of wallet is paramount for survival.
In a world that has seen such dramatic changes, two things have happened: Your customers’ priorities have no doubt been shaken and behaviours have changed, but also your competitor’s. Customers will be looking at best offers and vendors will scramble to best serve them, not to lose their business.
In these changed conditions and relationships, it is the perfect time to review the objectives for your B2B incentive and rewards program. If your program design is on autopilot and still operating as though nothing has changed, you are flirting with disaster. Chances are that if your program doesn’t have a strategic design with share of wallet at the forefront, then your competitor’s program does. This means you’ve stayed offensive and even worse, passive and will lose business.
Your strategy must be to deepen your share of wallet and leave competitors in the offensive approach of price reductions, or margin fights which in the long run won’t do any good to their brand.
It’s not too late to adapt the design of your program to the changing market, but it is crucial to think of market share as your offence. Assess your program now and to your competitor’s tactics on how they go about the current situation.
In simple terms, share of wallet determines how much a B2B customer can spend on required business goods and services. This is not different to how you view your wallet with grocery and supermarkets all vying for their piece of your weekly spend. Promotions, offers, advertising are the levers to get your attention. In the B2B market, you can follow a similar pattern but increasing share of wallet is one of the primary challenges that can be solved by a rewards and incentive program.
While we see a downturn in a market or vertical, spending by customers typically remains, although not at the same volume, value, or frequency as it was. The challenge becomes how to attract the repeat purchase from the customer database without having to resort to price reductions, offers or discount.
An incentive and reward program with share of wallet at its heart helps navigate that price problem. Rather than using price to gain new customers, you use rewards to shift the spend of a customer more heavily to you (especially if they’re also buying from a competitor). A good example are airline loyalty programs. They drive repeat purchases with status points. Customers often choose a more expensive airfare (which means greater share of wallet for the airline) simply to get the gold status and the benefits that come with it!
Transfer this concept to the strategy of your B2B programs. The aim is to not just reward a transaction but to recognise customer loyalty and shift the value beyond a single purchase to one that benefits both individual and business. Increasing a customer’s share of wallet is much more reliable and profitable than trying to acquire new customers.