spend $176 billion per year to motivate and recognize their employees, channel partners and
customers, according to preliminary findings of the Incentive Federation's Incentive Marketplace Estimate Research Study. The research also revealed that
92 percent of companies with revenues of $5 million or
more use at least one form of noncash incentive programs.
The survey of 1,000 business executives responsible
for noncash incentive programs in companies with at least $1 million in
revenues was conducted in May by Rickard Garlick & Associates Consulting and Market
Research Services. The current research — the first major study conducted by the IFI since 2016 — shows that the
noncash incentives market has grown by nearly 50 percent in six years. The full findings of the 2022 study will be released in mid-September.
Among other findings from the preliminary report:
- Sales incentives and employee rewards are the most prevalent forms of noncash incentives;
- More than half of companies have noncash customer-loyalty programs, while 48 percent offer noncash channel/distributor/partner programs;
- Gift cards are the most popular noncash reward, followed by award points for redemption;
- Travel is the most popular reward for sales
and channel/distributor incentive programs; and
- Branded/logoed merchandise is the
most popular customer gift — used by 75 percent of companies with more than $1
million in revenues.
“This study reaffirms that the use of noncash incentives
has been and continues to be an important part of many businesses’ growth
strategies. The growth in the use of noncash incentives is an important signal
that U.S. businesses value tangible incentives over simply using cash to recognize
performance and loyalty,” said Mike Donnelly, IFI chair and president of Hinda Incentives.
“The federation’s [inaugural] research in
1996 revealed that only 26 percent of U.S. businesses were using noncash incentives,
and our 2000 research reflected a $27 billion marketplace,” said Steve Slagle, IFI's managing director. “The growth in the marketplace over 25
years is certainly gratifying and a tribute to the excellent work by the
industry’s companies to educate businesses about the value of all forms of