The term incentivize means giving encouragement or positive motivational influence, usually in the form of a monetary reward.
The root word, incentive, is used quite frequently in sales to refer to the bonuses that salespeople get when they reach a certain sales quota. Marketers use incentivize to refer to the perks given to customers, both prospective and existing, to get them to buy or continue buying a product or sign up for a service.
Although incentives are usually viewed by people as a form of monetary reward there are actually different kinds of incentives. These are:
Material rewards. For example, monetary rewards. Material rewards can also come in the form of gifts, all expense paid vacations, extra rest days, etc.
Moral incentives. These include an increase in self-esteem, better reputation, and admiration from others. These incentives come when a person acts in a way that affirms the person and society’s general moral belief.
This incentive is double-edged, since acting opposite to societal norms can have negative repercussions. In this case, the incentive turns from something positive into something negative.
Marketers also use this for their benefit, by organizing events that will profit the environment or other high profile charities. This boosts the company’s reputation and increases brand awareness.
Coercion. This refers to any tactic that forces a person to act against his will in response to a threat. In marketing this can come in the form of steep fees such as cancellation fees.