You are familiar with the concept of rebates, perhaps you even applied for one on a recent purchase, but how do rebates apply in a B2B context? Read on to learn how your business can save time and money by cultivating the right partner relationships.
INTRO TO REBATES
Rebates are a promotional tool that serves to encourage relationship-building between partners. In a market research context, rebates typically surround a purchase revenue commitment. For example, an online panel provider may offer 2% value towards future purchases to a market research customer if they achieve an annual spend of $100,000 or more in a given year. The promotion is applied post-sale once the rebate conditions are met. A rebate program structured around annual buyer spend might look like this:
In this example, if annual spend was $250,000, the rebate would be $250,000 x 2% = $5,000 towards future purchases.
Rebates may have a tiered structure or rely on just one baseline (e.g., a rebate of 4% will apply when annual sales exceed $100,000). An annual timeframe is typical for rebate programs. The right partner can help put together a plan that will meet your business objectives.
KEY BENEFITS FOR ONLINE PANEL PROVIDERS
Rebate programs are attractive to online panel providers because they remove variability and create a predictable revenue stream. Revenue commitments allow research panel providers to invest budgets in participant recruitment and other initiatives to optimize customer success. Fostering brand loyalty is another key consideration for implementing this type of promotion.
KEY BENEFITS FOR ONLINE SAMPLE BUYERS
For buyers, the most obvious benefit of a rebate program is the cost savings. In addition to the outlined financial incentives, a rebate program enables researchers to save time by collaborating with one vetted provider instead of juggling multiple providers. As the demand for faster insights continues to increase, these savings can allow researchers to remain competitive.
JOINT BUSINESS PLANNING BENEFITS
Rebate programs support joint growth for both parties. A commitment to work together results in stronger, more efficient processes, including the opportunity to review completed projects and define areas for improvement. Rather than sporadic ad hoc collaborations, repeated partnership allows the supplier to understand the client’s expectations around communication, data collection techniques and preferences, and more.
Forging an alliance can also lend itself to strategic level business planning. Based on the opportunity, a research panel supplier may dedicate specific team resources to focusing on managing an account, saving a buyer time rehashing their needs with a new set of project managers for each project. Improved communication can save businesses time and money.
Dedicated profiling or recruiting efforts may also be possible. For example, suppose a firm is angling to land significant alcoholic beverage research work in the coming year. In that case, a partnership with a sample supplier could include more in-depth profiling on the topic to support these efforts. Rebate programs reinforce a mutual commitment to each other to continuously improve the process and approach.
TIPS FOR GETTING THE MOST OUT OF A REBATE PROGRAM
To get the most out of a rebate program, buyers need to plan and assess. Analyze your data to understand your current partner outlook. How much are you spending? How many research panel vendors are you currently using? If you are juggling a handful of providers, could your time be better spent partnering with one vetted supplier?
Check on program progress at least a couple of times per year. Set up quarterly meetings to ensure you are on track to meet expectations. At the end of the rebate period, plan a call to discuss the results and how you can further work together to support mutual success.
WHEN PARTNERSHIP IS NOT A GOOD FIT
On occasion, a supplier may not be able to meet a project’s needs; for example, they may not be able to reach the target audience or accommodate the project timeline. While keeping a stable of suppliers in the wings is common practice for many buyers, if the budget is spread across many vendors, buyers may miss reaping the program's benefits.
BUILDING A STRUCTURE OF TRUST
Trust is the key to any great relationship. Rebate programs encourage commitment to build a formal structure of trust. The buyer entrusts the supplier with the allocated spend, and the supplier rewards this loyalty. Businesses on both ends benefit from streamlined processes and growth. Connect with Paradigm to learn if a rebate opportunity is a fit for your business!