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Leading Edge/News (Winter 2009)

CEOs Disconnected from Employee Recognition

Globoforce, a global employee recognition strategist and technology provider, recently announced the results of a survey of HR execs and other key titles who were asked to rate CEO perceptions of recognition programs as they relate to corporate objectives within their organizations. The study revealed that organizations still have a long way to go in aligning recognition programs with their company’s mission, values, strategic objectives and goals. Some key findings:

“In a time when our economy is in crisis and employee appreciation, motivation and engagement are crucial to boosting employee morale and productivity – as well as bottom-line business results – nearly 50% of global business leaders cannot afford to let precious resources and dollars be squandered on hundreds of unchecked, unmeasured and disparate recognition programs, which is exactly what’s happening,” says Eric Mosley, Globoforce CEO. “To be successful in the 21st century, recognition programs need to be strategic and in line with senior executives’ expectations, and high-ranking company officers need to buy into the goals and objectives of the program. Our research and experience working with Fortune 500 companies tells us that many senior level executives are beginning to sponsor and participate in the strategic employee recognition implementation process, but this latest research shows that much more work needs to be done.”

For more information, go to http://www.globoforce.com

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Study: Engagement and Retention are Top Concerns

According to research by Philadelphia-based Right Management, two-thirds of organizations aren’t planning to make cutbacks in 2009, but instead anticipate focusing their talent management efforts on retaining and engaging their workforce. When Right Management asked more than 700 human resource professionals if they would be focusing on reducing their workforces or retaining and engaging employees, here’s what they said:

67% plan to focus their efforts on retaining and engaging workers

33% plan to reduce their workforce

“While layoffs are anticipated given the market volatility, what’s surprising is that so many organizations are planning to invest in their employees,” says Douglas J. Matthews, President and COO of Right Management. “Organizations need to keep key positions filled. And the best strategy is to develop the employees they have to meet current and future needs so they can respond quickly to changing market demands and remain competitive.”

For more information, go to http://www.right.com

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Maritz Whitepaper on ‘Driving Channel Performance’

Sound channel management solutions are the key to channel partner development and engaging channel partners to improve performance and drive growth. Maritz recently released a whitepaper that addresses how vendor companies can improve their channel alignment strategies, build stronger business relationships and foster channel partner loyalty programs.

“Companies that are appropriately aggressive in downturns build market share and thus outperform their competitors on recovery,” said Mike Spellecy, Vice President and Managing Consultant for Maritz’s Channel Effectiveness Practice. “When a market is flat or down, there are two sources of volume – maintenance of or building penetration with existing accounts and stealing mindshare from competitors.”

According to Spellecy, companies that understand and support channel partners’ business goals and collaborate with them to achieve shared success are more likely to be successful. For more information, visit http://www.maritz.com

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Rymax Announces Exclusive Partnership with Avanti

Rymax Marketing Services has signed an agreement with Avanti, a leading manufacturer of quality towels and linens, to expand Avanti’s previous partnership level with Rymax. This is the first time the brand is available exclusively through a single representative in the incentive industry, allowing Rymax to offer a wider assortment of product in the home commodity category. Rymax will service Avanti linens from their offices throughout the country for programs including: Corporate Gifts, Sales Incentives, Employee Recognition, Loyalty Programs, and more.

“This is a new business venture for both Avanti and Rymax,” says Paula Ambrozic, Director of Corporate Compliance at Rymax. “Rymax has never exclusively represented a linen company; we are eager to further satisfy the needs of our existing clients, and those of clients to come.”

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DreamSeat Debuts New Line

The XZipit line from DreamSeat is a line of furniture that has the ability to interchange logos between a Home Theater Chair, Rocker/Recliner, Office Chair and (soon to come) Game Rocker. With its patented hidden zipper design, the XZipit line allows you to zip in and out any embroidered logo imaginable, including company logos, branded messages, photographs, or team logos licensed by the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and college. You can uniquely brand an item as a premium or incentive and have the flexibility to change its branding at any time.

Companies looking to offer a reward or incentive for loyal customers, clients, or salespeople will find that DreamSeat offers top-notch service, timely delivery and the highest quality licensed furniture. The company’s client list consists of major companies such as Coors Lite, Miller, ESPN Zone, Coca-Cola, Hockey Night in Canada and numerous others. Most items ship within 48 hours and all embroidery is done in house. Contact James Kilmetis at Jkilmetis@seatingsolutions.com or call (631) 656-1066, Ext.45. For more information, go to: http://www.XZipit.com

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Johnsonville Sausage Runs Mobile ‘Pull’ Campaign

Johnsonville Sausage, a national brand of brats, Italian sausage, smoked links and breakfast sausage links, conducted a text-to-win mobile marketing campaign for this year’s Super Bowl. Fans could enter by mailing in an entry form, entering online or via short message service (SMS). Fans that entered have the opportunity to win one of three packages sponsored by Johnsonville Sausage and Coleman Outdoor Products.

“This kind of ‘pull’ text message campaign ties directly to space advertising, giving companies an additional revenue source, as well as the ability to build a personalized cell phone database,” explains Dan Vorland of Omaha-based Direct Response Lists, Inc. “It’s designed to be incorporated with your overall marketing strategy to help increase sales, brand loyalty and keep responders engaged. And the best part is that brand recall rates from mobile marketing are 20 times greater than web and 10 times that of direct mail.”

For Johnsonville, the goal was to increase awareness of their product during the most congested advertising weekend of the year. “There’s a lot of advertising out there from a lot of different brands during the Super Bowl, and they felt the mobile channel was an effective way to way to punch through all that noise,” says Vorland.

For more information, visit the Direct Response Lists website at http://www.directresponselists.com

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Reward Program Members More Likely to be Word-of-Mouth Champions

Consumers who are loyalty reward program members are far more likely to be Word-of-Mouth (WOM) champions for their favorite brands than non-members, and the more active their program participation, the more likely they are to exhibit WOM behavior, says a recently released study by COLLOQUY. The study, “The New Champion Customers: Measuring Word-of-Mouth Activity Among Reward Program Members,” offers significant evidence of a direct and important correlation between reward program activity and consumers’ positive WOM endorsement activity. Some key findings:

The study reveals that a company’s loyalty marketing database is an under-utilized social network that marketers would do well to exploit in the pursuit of positive, profitable WOM activity. You can download a copy of the complete survey at http://www.colloquy.com/whitepaper

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Dittman Launches Two New Travel & Meetings Tools

Dittman Incentive Marketing recently introduced two new products designed to make meeting and incentive planning easier and more personal. The first is an individual incentive travel product called Great Escapes that gives winners freedom of choice combined with the level of personal service they expect and deserve as peak performers.

“The key thing that elevates the Great Escape program,” notes Executive Vice President Dave Dittman, “is the level of personal service we inject into the process.”

With Great Escapes, winners visit a custom website to select the travel program they want from a menu of offerings. They register for that trip, including their preference of dates, and if they have any questions they can call a dedicated, toll-free line set up just for their program. Travel counselors answer questions and make their reservations for them. And a short time thereafter, winners receive a highly personalized mailing with all their documents.

“It’s as turn-key as it comes,” says Dittman, “and in the end the incentive winner feels that his/her achievement has been recognized and rewarded with a level of professional, personal service that befits the effort it took to achieve it.”

The second product, MyDepartureLounge.com, is an electronic platform created by respected leaders in the travel incentive and recognition meeting industry. Unlike other off-the-shelf meeting registration products, it offers an extraordinary level of ease, customization and scalability, including:

“MyDepartureLounge.com takes online event and meeting registration to another level of convenience and efficiency,” says Dittman. “No matter what the size of your company or audience, MyDepartureLounge.com can help ensure your event is well attended, well organized and well run.”
For more information, go to: http://www.dittmanincentives.com

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