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Engagement Strategies Update - September 2009 (1st Edition)

News Briefs

Smartbox Experience Inc. Special 10% Off
Smartbox Experience Inc. Special 10% Off
Smartbox Experience Inc. Special 10% Off
Smartbox Experience Inc. Special 10% Off

Be Our Guest with The Motivation Show's Preferred Buyer Program

The Motivation Show Preferred Buyer Program is an exclusive opportunity for qualified buyers of merchandise incentives, recognition awards, promotional products, gift cards and business gifts to visit North America's largest incentive, recognition and meetings industry event. Enjoy complimentary accommodations and other benefits in exchange for meeting with key suppliers. Preferred Buyers will receive the following benefits:

  • Two nights accommodation in an official Motivation Show participating hotel
  • Local round-trip transfers between O'Hare or Midway airport, official hotels and McCormick Place
  • Complimentary Exhibit Hall registration for all three days
  • Complimentary Full-Conference registration to attend any education session of your choice
  • Personalized schedule of eight 30-minute dedicated appointments with program sponsors
  • Access to the exclusive Preferred Buyer Lounge on the exhibit floor, providing refreshments and Internet access
  • Access to hospitality functions and networking events sponsored by participating organizations.

There are a limited number of Preferred Buyer openings, so don't delay – apply now! It takes just 10 minutes to complete the application at: www.motivationshow.com/attendees-imra.php

Note: Qualified applicants who do not receive Preferred Buyer status will receive complimentary Exhibit Hall registration ($20/$40 value) and a 50% discount off of the Full-Conference registration (a $145 value!). The deadline to apply online is July 30, 2009. Contact Kim Lebel, Program Director at or call 630-929-7937. For complete information on Motivation Show schedules, speakers and special events, go to: www.motivationshow.com


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Engagement Index Drops 15%, Luxury Brands Remain Strong

The 2009 Most Engaged Customers annual study, conducted by PeopleMetrics, reports a 15% drop in overall customer engagement, showing that companies are having a harder time engaging their customers. Luxury brands are best at engaging customers, but low price providers like Wal-Mart and Radio Shack are showing the biggest engagement gains since last year. Despite discount brands making big strides, luxury still prevails. Brands like Ritz-Carlton, The Four Seasons, Cartier, Armani and Coach are among the top ten companies when it comes to customer engagement. These top-ranked companies respond quickly and effectively to service issues and understand the central role employees play in engaging the customer. For the most part, winning companies have fewer service failures, but the true differentiator is the ability to resolve problems successfully. Customers who feel their problem was handled well are nearly as engaged as customers who never had a problem in the first place (49% vs. 52%, respectively). Top-ranked companies also outperform the rest by acquiring high percentages of customers through recommendations. The 2009 Most Engaged Customers study is the first to reveal that the power of recommendations extends past the initial sale. The study shows that a referred customer is more willing to forgive a service failure if they chose that company on the strength of a friend or family member's recommendation. Nearly two in five customers who experienced a problem, and were referred, remain engaged. Conversely, only one in four non-referred customers remains engaged after experiencing a problem. To download a free Executive Summary of the 2009 Most Engaged Customers Study, go to www.people-metrics.com

Dittman Incentive Marketing

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Forum Announces October Think Tank

On Wednesday, October 14, the Forum for People Performance Management and Measurement at Northwester University will hold its 2009 Think Tank at the Union League Club in Chicago. The Think Tank will explore the impact the shifting economy has on the value of human capital. High-level corporate executives representing a wide range of industries and academics interested in researching people performance will gather to:

  • examine how people performance strategies can have a positive impact on organizations
  • create networking opportunities for individuals who have a shared commitment to strategies that support people in the workplace
  • initiate a dialogue that allows participants to explore areas of interest and concern in order to accelerate resolutions and generate new insight
  • focus on navigating people performance issues in this changing economy

Keynote speaker at the Think Tank will be Michael Lee Stallard, Co-founder, President and CEO of E Pluribus Partners, a consulting firm that specializes in helping leaders create "Connection Cultures" to form strong bonds among the management, employees and customers of an organization. Stallard, formerly Chief Marketing Officer at Morgan Stanley and Charles Schwab, is the primary author of the book Fired Up or Burned Out, and a contributing author to What Managers Say, What Employees Hear. If you are interested in receiving additional information regarding this event, please contact Annalisa Jacobs at


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Learning Executives' Confidence Rebounds in 2nd Quarter

Learning executives are more optimistic than they have been in almost a year, according to the latest measurement by the American Society for Training & Development (ASTD). The Learning Executive Confidence Index (LXCI) for the second quarter of 2009 posted a significant rebound in all indices, building on the stabilization recorded in the first quarter of 2009. The current LXCI surveyed 193 learning executives about their expectations in four areas: impact on corporate performance; ability to meet learning needs; status as a key strategic component; and availability of resources. Learning executives revealed a more positive outlook in all areas, the first time in a year that index has risen. When the four different measures are combined, the overall LXCI for second quarter 2009 was 59.4, compared with 55.2 for first quarter of 2009. The 4.2-point change shows an overall rebound in optimism and indicates that collectively learning executives expect their learning functions to remain the same or marginally improve over the next six months. To find out more about the LXCI, go to www.astd.org/content/research/LXCI.htm


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Insights from Engagement Strategies e-News

Whitepaper Connects Engagement with Economic Recovery

One of the greatest opportunities to increase corporate profits – and subsequently boost the economy – lies in motivating workforces to improve performance, drive greater customer engagement and ultimately increase revenue, according to a new report from the Enterprise Engagement Alliance (EEA) and the Human Capital Institute (HCI). The Enterprise Engagement Alliance is a coalition of companies and associations dedicated to promoting the importance of engagement, founded  last year by the Human Capital Institute, Peppers & Rogers Group, 1to1® Media and Selling Communications, Inc. Entitled The Economics of Engagement, the report provides a comprehensive analysis of research in the field of Enterprise Engagement and offers how-to information on benchmarking tools that can quantitatively measure the benefits of employee and customer engagement. These measurement tools are critical to demonstrate the bottom-line impact of enterprise engagement, both to corporations and to the economy as a whole, using financial language that senior executives, investors and economists are accustomed to. "One of the most encouraging findings of this report is the revelation that vast reserves of overall performance potential are essentially hiding in plain sight," says Bruce Bolger of the Enterprise Engagement Alliance. "Engaging the people that companies deal with on a day-to-day basis – both internally and externally – in a comprehensive, compelling and connected way will create a result that is more than just the sum of its parts. Naturally, as with any such investment, the return needs to be demonstrated to decision makers, and there's a growing body of evidence in the engagement arena that does just that." For a copy of the report, click here.

Partners for Incentives

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Coming Up In Engagement Strategies Magazine

The debut issue of Engagement Strategies Magazine is mailing this week! Here's a preview of what you'll find inside:

Managers Making Out-of-Touch Decisions...

"Just think of how many out-of-touch decisions upper managers make, and the people close to the customer can't imagine how or why they were made. We see that every day, and it's demoralizing for the customer and for the employee." Read more of this revealing Q&A with management guru Curt Coffman, author of First Break All the Rules – What the World's Greatest Managers Do Differently, in the ESM cover story. To make sure you get your copy, click here.

Shell Gift Card

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Cutting Costs Without Cutting Engagement

Today, businesses everywhere are being asked to do more with less. In this environment, loyal, motivated employees and partners are critical to continued success and profitability. And companies know it: Hay Group's recent Reward in a Downturn survey is just one of many showing that engagement is the top concern of employers right now. Experts suggest a number of ways to preserve – and even build – employee engagement while still making targeted cuts in the abovementioned areas...

AstraZeneca Leads the Way to Enterprise Engagement

You know that a new business sector has arrived when an industry-leading company puts someone in charge of it. If anyone had any doubt about the emerging importance of engagement, take note of Melanie Lewis, the new Director of Sales Engagement for AstraZeneca, by any measure one of the world leaders – not only in pharmaceuticals, but also in financial performance. So what's the job of the company's first Director of Sales Engagement? To find out, make sure your subscription is up to date at http://www.engagementstrategiesmag.com/495.html

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News From Selling Communications Inc.

Engagement Business Exchange Broadens Industry's Reach

The Engagement Business Exchange (EBEX) is a cooperative effort of the nation's leading brands, their incentive fulfillment companies and Solata Technologies that is specially designed to help incentive and marketing firms provide full-service solutions to companies with smaller budgets. This new online tool helps incentive and marketing companies easily set up highly personalized points programs for their clients. The system includes an automated function that creates targeted reward programs using any desired reward or vendor, along with a component that manages end-to-end redemption, fulfillment and tracking. EBEX is only available to incentive and marketing companies, and includes an optional service providing these companies with expert assistance with design, execution and measurement of their client programs.

Rodger Stotz, Program Managing Consultant for EBEX and Former Managing Consultant at Maritz, supports the core mission of the Engagement Business Exchange. "Numerous attempts have been made to create do-it-yourself incentive program services for the corporate market," he says. "They have never worked, because it's difficult to efficiently provide expertise and support to smaller users. In order to take advantage of the growth opportunities in our business, we need a legion of professionals serving all volume levels of the marketplace just like in the direct marketing and advertising fields. I look forward to helping EBEX partners bring state-of-the start thinking to smaller programs."

For more information, click here.

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About Selling Communications Inc.

Selling Communications, Inc. is a fully integrated, target marketing, media and technology agency that improves results for clients by focusing on the people who matter most. We can help your business grow and save you money by targeting key prospects, getting their permission and strategically integrating your marketing and sales communications with the specific audiences most likely to affect your business performance.

Take advantage of these SCI services to improve your business development:

  • Results Marketing Agency Solutions: Identify and get permission to communicate with the people who matter most through an integrated program rooted in permission-driven databases, direct mail, e-mail, Web sites, brochures, newsletters, public relations and sophisticated telephone sales that produce results. Go beyond the traditional sales and marketing approach by providing useful information and resources to build better, more measurable relationships.
  • Target media: Build your brand and bring it directly to your power buyers through our stable of established niche print and online magazines in the sales, marketing and meetings fields (including this newsletter), the Sales Marketing Network at Info-now.com and SMERF Meetings Journal.
  • Integrated Communications Technology: Build permission-based databases through Solata software to effectively communicate with the people who want to hear from you and precisely track the results in real time. Solata is also available to other media companies and marketing agencies seeking to profit from integrated, permission-based marketing and communications.

For more information on Selling Communications, its products and services, contact Jim Kilmetis at 914-591-7600, ext. 229 or send an e-mail to .

Tapping new customers, and keeping those you already have, costs less than you'd imagine...

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