Here’s the Newest Employee Perk

Medical, dental, 401Ks, stock options, and intranet rebates? If your corporate culture allows it, this may be the next company perk coming your way. Employees are saving money, bosses are suddenly popular, and advertisers are finding new customers. It’s no wonder corporate intranets are becoming the hottest medium for advertisers looking to reach new audiences.

So far, so good

Human Resource departments want to offer more perks to their employees, and advertisers want to reach more employees. It’s a match made in corporate heaven. And from discounted rates offered at the local dry cleaners or tailored credit card offers from the leading banks, intranet advertising is working.

One of the early success stories comes from the cable world. As cable companies continue to expand the availability of cable modems, the need for qualified potential users has grown dramatically. Corporate intranets have become the avenues of choice for discounted cable modem offers. Intranet users are being distinguished as web-savvy individuals who need fast internet access from home. Reaching the right people at the right time, these special offers are leading to results.

You gotta give to get

If the advertisers are willing to provide a real value to employees via intranet advertisements, corporations are going to listen. Not so much for the ring of the cash register, but for the satisfaction of a happy employee. For many of the companies that currently accept intranet advertising, the additional revenue would be merely a rounding error. In effect, the limited impressions they could sell would not justify the effort required to set up and maintain the program.

However, throw in the ability to provide additional benefits to employees at no cost, and advertisers have themselves a deal. Some arrangements are barter deals, others are yearly contracts, and some are even free. The only obstacle that remains is organizing the program and identifying these forward-thinking companies that are accepting intranet rebates for their employees.

Will it get out of hand?

Don’t expect interstitials, audio banners, or any other rich media to appear throughout your intranet anytime soon. Most ads are static banners with the offers posted directly on them.

This does not mean that there won’t be advances in intranet advertising. However, the advances aren’t in technology, but in the evolution of the offers themselves. Some intranets will offer special discounted menus from the local food outlets, while others will simply provide movie times with discounted ticket pricing.

The Bottom Line

Although it might not replace stock options or a company car as the most-coveted employee benefit, intranet advertising will nevertheless find its place in the corporate menu of benefits. And it’s probably a mite more useful in some cases since it provides employees with valuable information that they can use.

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