In addition to addressing regional challenges, Compaq was well aware that a soft economy and market speculation regarding the Compaq/HP merger could further impact sales. They needed an incentive program that would ensure that resellers would focus on the Compaq offering. Part of COMPAQ COMmunity, Gold Rush was launched as the 2001 fourth quarter sales incentive program, offering "instant rewards" to those who met their targets in a number of categories. To succeed, the Gold Rush program needed to generate sales without encouraging competition on price, keep the resellers’ attention for the quarter, provide obtainable targets, and offer an incentive that went "over and above" that of any of Compaq’s competitors.
Utilizing the Internet as its chief communication vehicle, the Gold Rush program opened the door for more direct interaction between Compaq and its reseller partners. Sales representatives registered online to participate in the competition, tracked their performance and reward potential through the Web site, and received personalized motivational messages timed to spur them to action and keep them engaged in the competition.
Through a launch brochure produced in Korean, English and Thai languages, a mid-campaign teaser mailing of a “Solid Gold Hits” CD, and regular communication of winners’ names on the Web site, participants were motivated throughout the quarter to stay with the program. Participants received timely answers to questions, despite varied languages and times zones, through an Internet help desk, phone line, and local coordinator. In addition to offering 24/7 access to the program through the Web site, Gold Rush utilized the Internet to create a customized program with the ability to personalize rewards or add special incentives at the country or regional level.
With solid branding, the Gold Rush campaign rewarded its audience with gold coins that were stamped with the Compaq and program logo. Gold is a high-value motivator in Asia, and as a long-term asset, served as a constant reminder of Compaq’s appreciation of a job well done. With monthly and quarterly targets, regional prizes, and gold awards for top sales by product and region, enthusiasm and a stronger partnership between Compaq and its sales reps was achieved.