Parago launches gift card rewards platform

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By: Wise Marketer Staff |

Posted on October 2, 2006

The US-based incentive marketing programme provider Parago has launched a new platform to simplify the incentive and marketing process for channel sales associates and corporate management. The 'Spark' platform provides almost immediate rewards for channel partners through branded, re-loadable debit cards.

The platform's first user, US-based technology firm CA, is using the new channel sales programme to motivate its on-site IT service providers as part of a recently launched OnSite PC Protection programme for its security software solution.

Building awareness
Spark is effectively an online incentive and communications platform that connects a company and its sales channels, enabling a paperless method of rewarding sales representatives with prepaid, client-branded debit cards, while also building awareness of products, services and special promotions.

Sales representatives enter sales information through the Spark solution at a company-branded web site and receive prepaid, branded re-loadable debit cards after their first claim. Subsequent sales are entered into the system, and rewards are credited to the cards within 72 hours, eliminating time-intensive paperwork and delayed rewards.

Improving on the past
Channel incentives have been around for a very long time and have historically been paper intensive. According to Kenneth Johnsen, president and CEO for Parago, "The client-branded, re-loadable debit card acts like a pocket billboard, reinforcing a specific brand as the sales representative uses the card in his or her daily life. Spark provides a measurable, cost-effective solution for companies that look to maximize ROI and increase profitability through channel marketing."

The initial system configuration is fully customizable and takes approximately 8 to 12 weeks to build, depending on the client's requirements. Once the programme is live, updates to promotions and specifications for certain sales channels can be updated within 48 hours, providing for scalable, multi-layered sales incentive plans. Naturally, the system built-in fraud detection and audit features for security.

Competitive incentives
Using the Spark platform, CA will manage its Onsite PC programme online, and is able to customise the programme to include promotions and sweepstakes at any time, to provide additional incentives for its channel partners' sales force.

According to George Kafkarkou, senior vice president of worldwide commercial sales and strategy at CA, the company is using the system to issue rewards and also as a vehicle to proactively reach out to sales channels, establishing top-of-mind presence for resellers that also sell competitors products.

Channel sales representatives can use the programme's web site to check their account balance, read about new products, and get promotional information and training materials.

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