Incentive - December 2009 - (Page 5)

HEADLINES Joining the ‘Social’ Revolution PAGE 6 Companies are tapping into social media not only to promote their brands to consumers, but also to engage and develop their workforces Corporate Gift IQ PAGE 10 The economy has taken a toll on both the number of times and amount of corporate gifting by organizations this year Canadian Loyalty Firm Buys Carlson Marketing New owners to keep the firm’s leadership, focus on loyalty, events, and engagement BY LEO JAKOBSON AND STACY STRACZYNSKI arlson Marketing, one of the largest firms in the incentive industry, was sold to Montreal-based loyalty management firm Groupe Aeroplan for $175 million. Groupe Aeroplan has no intention of absorbing Carlson Marketing into its operations or changing the executive team—or even the Carlson name. “This is not a merger, these businesses will carry on independently,” says Rupert Duchesne, president and CEO of Groupe Aeroplan. “It would be very unwise to make any changes, if at all, quickly.” Instead, the management teams will look for best practices and areas of expertise where the two firms can collaborate. “The benefit is there is a real focus on the forward movement of this company, and it’s very clear where we want to go,” says Fay Beauchine, president of engagement and events for Minneapolis-based Carlson Marketing. “We want to build our loyalty practice, to continue to grow in engagement and events, and we are not connected with the broader Carlson enterprises, with their broad set of priorities.” Seller Carlson Companies is focusing on its hospitality and casual dining interests. “Both Carlson Marketing and Groupe Aeroplan have always Carlson Marketing President & CEO Jeff Balagna (l.) speaks with Groupe Aeroplan President & CEO Rupert Duchesne had the view that loyalty, engagement, and events all really function in the same zone,” Beauchine says. “That is all about influencing the behavior of a consumer or a channel partner in a way that results in a deep, emotionally satisfying business relationship, or influencing the behavior of employees through engagement practices and event management. We see them as all interconnected.” Maritz and Synygy Team Up To Offer ‘Total Compensation’ Cash and Non-Cash Programs In what seems to go against the wisdom of the incentive and reward industry—that non-cash is always preferred over cash for maximizing motivation—Maritz and Synygy, big players from each respective side, have partnered to develop total compensation solutions for their clients, from cash-based sales rewards, to incentive programs, to fulfillment of rewards and recognition programs. “We always think cash versus non-cash, but it should be cash and non-cash, with each serving a role,” says Paula Godar, director of brand communications for Maritz. “We call cash ‘compensation,’ and every sales force has commissions and bonuses. No one in our industry has thought that should go away. But non-cash grabs attention and emotions, and it helps people set goals and perform in ways they may not for just cash compensation. Synygy is very aware that travel and merchandise capture the imagination of salespeople and are key parts of performance improvement.” —Donna M. Airoldi | December 2009 | Incentive |

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Incentive - December 2009

Incentive - December 2009
Editor’s Note: The Age of Friending
Cover Story: Social Media Can Engage Employees
Original Research: 2009 Corporate Gift IQ
Potentials: Here and Now
Travel News: Where to Go and How to Get There
Strategies: Morale-Boosting Leadership
Primer: Social Networking and Incentive Programs

Incentive - December 2009