Published in conjunction with

The Enterprise Engagement
Alliance Networking Expo
Enterprise Engagement Alliance

On Target (Fall 2008)

Married to the Idea of Engagement

Engagement here, engagement there, engagement everywhere. Are you engaged? Who’s engaged? What is engagement? It used to mean that once you were engaged your life was set on a course that would change you forever. It had nothing to do with politics or business. I’ve never seen a word explode onto the scene like the word engagement has. But what does it mean for our marketplace and your business.

As it turns out it means it means lot. Take a look at what Forbes magazine is saying about Engagement:

“Three leading organizations in the fields of human capital, business strategy and marketing have undertaken a unique joint effort to support the emerging area of Enterprise Engagement - the process of improving financial results by linking external marketing and customer loyalty to employee engagement and performance. The three organizations are:

  • The Human Capital Institute, one of the nation’s fastest-growing organizations, with over 125,000 members.
  • Peppers & Rogers Group, the globally-recognized authority on customer strategy and one-to-one marketing founded by business visionaries Don Peppers and Martha Rogers, Ph.D.
  • Selling Communications Inc., a media, marketing and technology company that is a pioneer in integrated, permission-based marketing.”

The key line here is “the process of improving financial results by linking external marketing and customer loyalty to employee engagement and performance”

Sounds a lot like what incentive companies, meeting planning companies, marketing services companies and distributors have been doing for a long time. Specifically, business engagement is getting employees and customers on the same page and rewarding them to do so – and rewarding them even further when in doing so they improve the financial results of the company. That sounds very familiar to me.

As an old mentor of mine, Don Campbell, used to say: “There’s nothing new under the sun, there’s just new packaging.” In this case, while engagement might just be new packaging, it is packaging that is raising the awareness of what the Incentive market does to entirely new levels and to entirely new groups of businesspeople well outside our traditional borders. We’re being written about in Forbes, Yahoo Finance, Morningstar, the Dallas Morning News and Marketwatch. There are new power players coming into our market like the Hay Group, Towers Perrin and Mercer consulting, presenting our ideas to new decision makers. The leading incentive companies in our market are shifting their messaging to be more aligned with the engagement movement. In short, this movement is taking our business to new levels, and that’s a good thing for all of us

I think we all need to pay attention to this trend. Our organization is shifting the emphasis of our New York Incentive, Rewards & Recognition Show by expanding it to include the Enterprise Engagement Expo where the ideas, trends and research in this field can be properly presented. We’re also offering an Enterprise Engagement Pavilion where these new members of our community can exhibit, and we’re sure these decisions will bring many new curious end-users to the show where they can meet these new players and learn about this new content, while at the same time meeting our existing industry standard-bearers.

I think all members of our community should, pardon the pun, become engaged in this new field. It might be just packaging, or it might be the start of an entirely new business discipline. Either way, your clients are going to want to know about it, and they’re going to look to you for answers. Best of all, you’re going to be meeting potential new customers and competitors you never knew existed – so you’d better be ready.

I know I am.

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Fall 2008

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