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Rewards & Recognition (November 2010)

News Briefs

Incentive Legislation Campaign Advocates Wellness Incentives

Representatives of the Incentive Legislation Campaign (ILC) traveled to Capitol Hill on November 10th to meet face-to-face with staff advisors of targeted members of Congress as part of the ILC's effort to institutionalize the power of wellness incentives as a way to encourage a healthy American workforce. Seeking to amend the Internal Revenue Code by including employer deductions and employee tax exemptions for wellness incentives, ILC representatives met with the Senate Finance Committee senior benefits counsel for Senator Baucus, tax advisors for Senators Hatch and Enzi, health care policy advisor for Senator Harkin and a legislative aide for Senator Cornyn. Incentive Federation Executive Director George Delta, who worked with ILC Legislative Counsel Jim Miller to organize the meetings, explained that upcoming tax reform and health care issues on the horizon for the 112th Congress that begins in January could provide a workable venue to promote the use of incentives as a means to reduce health care costs. Delta explained that ILC members will continue to gather data and case studies that can be brought to Capitol Hill early next year once the 112th Congress has established its legislative calendar and agenda. For more information, go to @@http://www.incentivefederation.org/


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Starr Tincup and I2I Join Forces to Help Incentive Firms Differentiate

Based on a cab-ride conversation between Bret Starr (Founding Partner, Starr Tincup) and Paul Hebert (Managing Director, I2I), the two companies are partnering to help incentive companies identify what makes their company special, different and valuable and how to market those qualities to their clients. Starr Tincup, a marketing services company out of Forth Worth, TX has been a force in the human capital space for years helping over 150 companies define and promote their brand in the marketplace. Starting in late October, Starr Tincup and I2I will offer a white paper on differentiation in the incentive marketplace. This will be followed by webinars and additional materials to help incentive companies determine if they need to invest in creating a brand position. For more information, go to www.i2i-align.com or @@http://www.fistfuloftalent.com/

Fire Light Group

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IRF Survey: Incentive Use Trending Upward

A newly released Pulse Survey from the Incentive Research Foundation reveals that economic trend lines for the incentive industry have stabilized, and in fact are on an upward track since the IRF's last look at industry trends in 2008/2009. Survey respondents predict that the incentive business will improve in both 2011 and 2012. Given the extended general economic slowdown, IRF wanted to see how the industry outlook had changed for 2011 and beyond. Data was collected from survey participants – including incentive providers, corporate incentive travel buyers, incentive suppliers, and others – from September 13 through September 30, 2010. Participants were asked specifically about trends related to travel programs, merchandise non-cash programs, budgets for 2011, and a number of other issues of interest to the industry. Overall, Pulse Survey respondents predict that business will be better for the incentive industry – 68 % say it will be better in 2011, and 77% say it will be better in 2012. However, there is still work to be done in terms of communicating the value of incentive programs to stakeholders and to the media – only 11% of survey participants indicate that they feel the industry is "doing enough to demonstrate the business value of incentives." For more information, go to @@http://www.theirf.org/

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Dittman's Susan Adams Awarded Shining Star by IMA

Susan Adams, Great Escapes Solutions Director at Dittman Incentive Marketing, recently received the Shining Star for Outstanding Performance Award from the Incentive Marketing Association (IMA). Adams earned the award for her generous contribution of creativity, time and effort to advance the Recognition Council of IMA and the industry. The Outstanding Performance Award comes from peer nomination. As a leader in IMA's Recognition Council, Adams oversaw the development of the Recognition Council's website (@@http://www.recognitioncouncil.org/) and edited the Council's white papers. "Susan continually pursues excellence for the Incentive and Recognition Industry, for our company, and for our clients' and their employees," notes Dave Dittman, EVP of Dittman Incentive Marketing. "She is a key contributor to the community of strategic thinkers who continue to raise awareness about the importance of recognition and rewards in the science of motivation."

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2010 Incentive Gift Card IQ Reveals Trends

Incentive magazine's most recent Incentive Gift Card IQ Report found that while budgets did shrink, use of large-denomination gift cards grew and deployment of travel cards surged. The number of programs with the biggest budgets – those with $250,000 to $499,999 and $500,000 and above in the coffers – fell substantially to less than half of 2009's number. Overall, fully 38.4 percent of our respondents said their gift card budgets decreased this year versus 2009, as opposed to just 18.6 percent who saw their budgets increase. The smallest incentive gift card programs, with budgets of under $1,000, more than doubled in number, however. And per-recipient spending increased in only the three largest budget categories: $200 to $499, $500 to $999, and $1,000 and up. In those, budgets doubled or nearly doubled. Taken together, that suggests managers are using gift cards to recognize top performers who might be missing other, more substantial incentive awards because programs were canceled in the wake of the anti-incentive climate that dominated 2009. Also of note, the inclusion of travel gift cards in incentive programs nearly doubled, suggesting that many companies replaced group travel programs with individual travel. For more information, click here

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Taraci Motivation Named U.S. Representative for FAUCHON Paris

Taraci Motivation recently announced that they have been named the exclusive U.S. representative for Corporate Sales for FAUCHON Paris, the luxury chocolate and gourmet food line from France. Founded in 1886 by Auguste Fauchon, FAUCHON has established a tradition of culinary excellence in its areas of expertise: chocolates, truffles, confectionery, jellies and preserves, even champagne and wine. "When you give FAUCHON, you're offering a gift of incomparable prestige and quality," says CEO Tom Taraci. The line includes chocolate assortments of nine and twenty-five pieces and five gift box assortments. Corporate discounts are available upon request. Custom, made-to-order and gift assortments are also available. Gift boxes can be logoed if required and gift cards can be included in each shipment. For more information, go @@http://www.taraci.com.

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Insights from ESM Rewards & Recognition e-News

Engagement Event Returns $2 for Every Dollar Spent

The Enterprise Engagement Alliance (EEA) recently announced that research measuring the return on investment (ROI) of an annual meeting of healthcare insurance brokers that stressed training, relationship-building and networking opportunities found the sponsoring company enjoyed a return of almost $2 for every $1 invested in the program. Initial results reported in March revealed that the program had a profound impact on the way brokers thought and felt about the company, its products and its people. Part 1 of the report, The 'ROI in Channel Partner' Conferences – A Case Study, noted that the annual gathering translated into higher sales, performance and engagement among those who attended. Part 2 of the report examines the actual change in sales of Allsante, Inc.* products among program participants, summarizing the ROI the company achieved from the event. EEA analysis of the methodologies and findings reveals that Allsante earned significant ROI from its annual event. "After all variables were accounted for, a highly credible and conservative estimate of 190% ROI was arrived at," says Allan Schweyer, Chairman of the EEA. "In other words, the company enjoyed a return of almost $2 for every $1 it invested in the first six months following the event, and our researchers say it's likely that the returns, if calculated after another six months have passed, will be even greater." Parts 1 and 2 of the study, The 'ROI in Channel Partner' Conferences – A Case Study, can be downloaded at @@http://www.enterpriseengagement.org/

* The company in this report is referred to as "Allsante, Inc." at the firm's request, due to competitive reasons.

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In the Next Issue of Engagement Strategies Magazine

The September/October issue of Engagement Strategies Magazine is out! Here's a look at what you'll find inside:

Is Engagement Your Silver Bullet?

William Schiemann, CEO of Metrus Group, notes that many firms exhibit some decline in employee engagement – and it costs them dearly. Research demonstrates that when engagement plummets, customer service, quality and productivity also drop, while costs and employee turnover rise. A recent cross-industry study conducted by Metrus Group found performance differences of nearly 10% between organizations where employee engagement was high and those with low-engagement operations. Many employers thought that with unemployment hovering at 10%, people would be delighted just to have a paycheck. And they were correct – up to a point. Many employees are delighted to have a paycheck, but it doesn't mean they're satisfied, committed or even engaged with the organization. To make sure you get your copy of Engagement Strategies Magazine, go to @@http://www.enterpriseengagement.org/account/login/ and update your subscription today!

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Can CSR Clear Up the Industry's Image Problem?

Caught up in the backlash against the major corporations whose questionable business practices helped precipitate the current economic crisis, the image of meetings and incentive trips in the general media has largely been one of excess and irresponsibility – right up there with exorbitant bonuses, private jets and company limos on the list of things people think of when they hear the words "corporate greed." So how does the industry fight that perception? Many ideas have been proposed, but one seems to offer more promise than the others – find ways to "humanize" meetings and incentives, make them less about money and excess and more about people and service. The recent rise of Corporate Social Responsibility offers that opportunity...

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GAP Focuses Resources on Employees with High Potential

For GAP Inc. and its stores, engagement is part of the definition of a high-performing employee. "We think of a high-performing employee as one who is very engaged," notes Marko Satarain, the company's Director of Talent Management. "If they're engaged they'll produce more and stay longer. So there's a business imperative as to why we would want to hire and retain a high-performing or highly engaged employee. If an employee is engaged, we know their productivity levels will be higher than the norm, they'll stay with us longer and it will actually influence and inspire their contemporaries or counterparts to perform better as well." Read more in the next issue of Engagement Strategies Magazine – coming soon.

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News From Selling Communications Inc.

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

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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:

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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