Promoting, protecting, and researching the optimal use of incentives, corporate gifts, rewards, recognition, awards, incentive travel, promotional products and related promotions in business.

Current Legal/Legislative Updates and Industry Initiatives

2022 Marketplace Estimate Research Study Shows $176 Billion in Annual Incentive Spending

IFI Board Chairman Mike Donnelly presented results from the IFI’s major 2022 Research Study at the IMA Summit in July. The study reveals U.S. businesses report spending $176 billion on sales, employee, channel/distributor, and customer loyalty incentives and corporate gifting this past year. The figure represents a 49% increase over the total spend of $90 billion revealed in the IFI’s 2016 study. Additionally, 84% of businesses with at least $1 million in sales reported using at least one form of non-cash incentive. However, the use of non-cash incentives within companies with $5M in revenues or greater is 92%.

The study, conducted in May/June 2022, sought responses from companies that use incentive tools and services such as award points, gift cards, travel and trips, merchandise (both branded and logoed) and experiential awards (which were included for the first time in this latest study).

“Richard Garlick and Associates Consulting and Market Research Services, LLC conducted the study for the IFI. Garlick explained the latest reported results reflect some updating of the methodologies used and simply demographic and economic differences:

— The previous iteration of the study asked respondents to identify their incentive expenditures using ranges, rather than asking for specific estimates.

— The current study used simulations that incorporated data variability.

— The number of U.S. based companies with $1M or more in annual revenue has increased from the 2023 census company numbers used in the 2016 study

— Another reward category (experiential) was added.

— Inflation is a factor.

The full study white paper, with extensive explanations of the methodology and approaches used as well as detailed comparisons of the types of incentives used for the various audiences will be made available according to the following schedule. The reports will also include easy to understand and useful infographics that can be shared with clients:

Incentive Market Sizing Study release schedule

  • Advance release for IFI members/sponsors: August 1
  • Public release: September 15

Other’ study releases

  • Reference Deck for study (members) August 1
  • Reference Deck for study (public) September 15
  • Infographics (members) August 1
  • Infographics (public) September15

The IFI wishes to give its members and research study sponsors advance releases for their use and dissemination before the general public has access to the data. The incentive trade press will also receive the releases following the release to the IFI members and sponsors.

To be able to (partially) fund the costs of the study, we sought sponsorships from our IFI membership and the industry. We are pleased to report that we have already received commitments from the following companies to sponsor this important research study. These sponsors will have their company names and/or logos associated with the final reports indicating their support to the industry and the research. To gain the

Major Association Sponsors

Incentive Marketing Association

Incentive Research Foundation

Promotional Products Association International

Major Corporate Sponsors

Blackhawk Network

E2E Group


Hinda Incentives

Inspirus/Sodexo Benefits and Rewards Services, USA

Marketing Innovators International

Promotion, Incentive & Engagement Professionals

RepLink/DataDirect Group

Tango Card

Contributing Sponsors

All Star Incentive Marketing

Citizen Watch America

Fujifilm North America

Seiko Watch of America LLC


Enterprise Engagement Alliance

Logos Communications

The 2022 study explores the use of non-cash incentives in sales programs, channel programs, employee programs and customer loyalty programs and the use of award points, gift cards, trips and travel, merchandise, and experiential awards across those types of programs in companies reporting more than $1 million in annual revenues. Those same elements have been used in previous studies to ensure comparisons that help measure changes, incidence, and growth more accurately, with experiential awards being added this year to reflect the growth in use of those awards.