Page 1














What are you doing about it? P3

Consumers reward quality customer service P4

What’s trending P16

BOOK REVIEW “The Thank You Economy” P22



FALL 2011

driven M A G A Z I N E


RATIONAL INDULGENCE The new norm in postrecession incentive travel


BLOCK THE EXITS Or start building employee loyalty



p. 18

3 FROM THE DESK OF Beth Schelske, Vice President, Performance Solutions Group 4 NEWS Customer service, social media and sustainability

Focus on love, gain loyalty If you’re not creating love, go back to the drawing board

6 A CLOSER LOOK Travel, by the numbers 16 REWARDS What’s trending 22 BOOK REVIEW “The Thank You Economy”

FEATURES 8 BLOCK THE EXITS Or start building employee loyalty 12 RATIONAL INDULGENCE Group incentive travel is coming back 14 MAKING POINTS PERSONAL Reward points can be very rewarding 20 HEALTH & WELLNESS PROGRAMS Demonstrate that you are invested in employee loyalty

p. 12

« Rational indulgence

Group incentive travel is coming back, including “voluntouring,” a way to give back to the local community

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Driven Magazine Fall 2011

Mark True Editor Molly Van Gorp Christina Zurek Contributing Editors Amber Baker Ben Puttmann Graphic Designers Julie Johnson, CRP Morgan Kent Molden Contributing Writers

Headquarters ITAGroup, Inc. 4800 Westown Parkway West Des Moines, IA 50266 Phone: 800.257.1985

Sales Offices Atlanta, Boca Raton, Chicago, Dallas, Des Moines, Detroit, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, San Francisco and the greater New York City area

? Send your questions or comments to and we may address them in the next Driven Magazine.

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Driven by... change? CHANGE HAPPENS. There’s rarely anything you or I can do about it. Except to be flexible, adaptable and rely on the talent, skills and knowledge we possess at the moment when change happens. Our cover story (starting on page 8) provides some ideas to address the economic change that’s eventually coming. We don’t know exactly when it will begin to look any better, but history tells us that the U.S. and world economies will eventually improve and we’d better prepare for that change. Recent research tells us that when it happens, employees are likely to bust down the doors looking for greener pastures if their current employers don’t do something to earn their loyalty now! On page 12, you can read about changes in incentive travel and meetings to deal with realities of the economy today. Organizations like yours are approaching incentive travel and meetings with one eye on the budget and one eye on the result to ensure they create loyalty, even when economic conditions are less than ideal. Sometimes, we get to initiate the change, as we have with this publication. Driven is ITAGroup’s

new executive leadership magazine. Four times a year, we’ll address the issues you may be facing in your role. We’ll enlist smart people inside and outside the walls of ITAGroup to share their perspectives. Of course, we’ll look at those issues within a loyalty context because that’s in our DNA. Along the way, we hope you’ll provide some feedback or ask questions, challenge our thinking and begin to talk about loyalty as the business touchstone that it is. Please feel free to drop us a line at to ask us a question, give us a story idea or tell us how we’re doing. Even better? Tell us about the biggest loyalty issues you’re facing in your business. Let’s talk loyalty.


Beth Schelske Vice President Performance Solutions Group ITAGroup, Inc.

Fall 2011 driven magazine



U.S. consumers reward great service; Canadians reward great employees Social media is growing, with LinkedIn delivering the most ROI. ITAGroup achieves sustainability certification. U.S. CONSUMERS REWARD COMPANIES WITH GOOD CUSTOMER SERVICE A majority of Americans report that quality customer service is more important to them in today’s economic environment (61 percent) and will spend an average of nine percent more when they believe a company provides excellent service. Only a little more than a third of Americans (37 percent) believe, however, that companies have increased their focus on providing quality service: » 27 percent feel businesses have not changed their attitudes toward customer service. » 28 percent say that companies are now paying less attention to good service. These findings were found in the “American Express Global Customer Service Barometer,” a survey conducted in the U.S. and eleven other countries exploring attitudes and

preferences toward customer service. CANADIAN COMPANIES TO INCREASE USE OF EMPLOYEE INCENTIVES IN COMING YEAR In the “2011 Canadian Incentive Trends Study,” released this summer by Berkeley Payment Solutions, findings indicate that increasing employee motivation has become a key area of focus among Canadian companies. Eighty-eight percent of respondents said employee motivation is a top management priority in the coming year. In contrast to last year’s findings, corporate incentives are now being

used for employee programs more than any other type of program. When asked why they implement employee programs, “Motivating Employees” was the top reason, ahead of “Increasing Sales,” “Increasing Customer Loyalty,” “Supporting a Product Launch or Promotion” and “Increasing Brand Exposure/Awareness.” SOCIAL MEDIA USE HIGH A majority of companies are engaging in social media as a marketing channel, and a large number of those consider the professional networking site LinkedIn to offer the best ROI.

Fall 2011

ITAGROUP ACHIEVES SUSTAINABILITY CERTIFICATION ITAGroup, Inc. announced that its ISO 9001:2008-based Business Management




McCormick West Chicago, IL


Toronto, Canada

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The “BMA Project Case Study,” a survey of Business Marketing Association members by research company Itracks Online Data Collection, found that 89 percent are using social media as part of their marketing strategy. LinkedIn was favored as providing the greatest ROI by 48 percent of respondents, followed by Twitter (20 percent), Facebook (15 percent), blogs and videos (11 percent) and YouTube (6 percent). In another study, from BtoB magazine, LinkedIn was also found to be the top social media platform for BtoB marketing. Twitter and Facebook came in second, followed by a customer community.





System has achieved an additional certification: the BS8901:2009 Sustainability Management System for Events Standard. This new certification enhances ITAGroup’s ability to operate meetings and events that reduce carbon emissions and waste, improve resource efficiency of the entire event supply chain; directly reduce environmental impacts such as carbon usage, waste management and effects on biodiversity, and improve social impact, such as community involvement and fair employment. BS8901 is the British Standard developed specifically to help the meeting and events industry operate in a more sustainable, environmentally friendly manner. It was designed to ensure an enduring and balanced approach to economic activity, environmental responsibility and social progress related to meetings and events. To achieve certification, organizations must identify and understand the effects their activities have on the environment, society and the economy, and put measures into place to minimize the impact of those activities. ■

» 2011 INC. LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE—DALLAS, TX KEN LEHMAN (second from left), founder and chairman of Winning Workplaces, presents a 2011 Top 50 Small Company Workplace award to (left to right) ITAGroup's Molly Van Gorp, Corporate Marketing Specialist; C.J. McKoy, Director of Human Resources; and Thomas J. Mahoney, Jr., President and CEO, at4the 2011 Inc. Leadership Conference 5 in Dallas last spring. 3 The award recognizes the nation's best small and mid-sized company work environments.

» ITAGROUP, INC. AND WOODBERRY EVENTS ANNOUNCE JOINT VENTURE ITAGROUP, INC. and Woodberry Events, Inc. jointly announced a strategic business decision to come together to best serve their clients and grow market share. Mary Bussone, ITAGroup Sr. Vice President (left), Sarah WoodberryTrauner, Woodberry Events Founder (middle), and Thomas J. Mahoney, Jr., ITAGroup President and CEO (right) celebrate the combination of their companies during a June announcement to employees.

» APP IN THE CLOUD JEREMY BIELSKI (left), ITAGroup Manager of Emerging Markets, and Chet Hogenson (middle), Business Development Manager, prepare a demonstration of the company’s new PerformanceSuite® App at Dreamforce ’11 in San Francisco, August 30th. The app allows companies to operate promotions for employee loyalty and sales productivity natively from their Salesforce platform.

Fall 2011 driven magazine



Travel, by the numbers. Business travel organizations track numerous statistics to prepare their members for changes affecting the bottom line. Here’s a look at some of the numbers organizations are keeping an eye on during today’s tough economy: WHERE DOES TRAVEL COST THE MOST/LEAST?


Discriminatory travel taxes and fees enacted on travel-related services impose an average increased cost on visitors of 56 percent over general sales tax, according to a July 2011 study by the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) Foundation. U.S. cities where travelers incur the lowest (green) and highest (red) total tax in central city locations, factoring in general sales taxes and discriminatory travel taxes: LOWEST 1. Fort Lauderdale, FL 2. Fort Myers, FL 3. West Palm Beach, FL 4. Detroit, MI 5. Portland, OR


4 2 1



HIGHEST 1. Chicago, IL 2. New York, NY 3. Seattle, WA 4. Boston, MA 5. Kansas City, MO

3 2 1


“A traveler who visits Chicago pays 80 percent more in taxes during their one-night stay than a traveler visiting Ft. Lauderdale.” — Joe Bates, GBTA Foundation director of research ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////




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The U.S. Travel Association forecasts a rebound in business travel over the next few years.




“This study shows that not all spending cuts are smart cuts. When companies reduce their travel budgets, there are negative consequences that we can now quantify, in terms of lost revenue and profit growth, and in terms of giving competitors a distinct advantage.” — Adam Sacks, Managing Director of Oxford Economics

BUSINESS TRAVEL PAYS In 2009, Oxford Economics conducted a study of business travel, sponsored in part by the Destination & Travel Foundation, to measure the return on investment in business travel. The research shows that for every dollar invested in business travel, businesses experience an average of $12.50 in increased revenue and $3.80 in new profit. The average U.S. business would forfeit 17 percent of its profits in the first year of eliminating business travel—and it would take more than three years to recover lost profit.

$1 Business Travel


$12.50 Increased Revenue

& $3.80 Increased Profit

He’s not just another sales person.

He’s your sales partner. He wants your recognition and support. And his loyalty has to be earned. Right now, he’s looking for a reason to represent your product and be a valuable member of your sales team. So give him one. ITAGroup helps identify moments of truth when sales and channel partner loyalty is born. And then we create loyalty solutions that connect company and partner for a long, rewarding relationship.

4800 Westown Parkway West Des Moines, IA 50266 800.257.1985 //

Let’s talk loyalty.


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» Block the exits or start building

employee loyalty Two out of every three of your employees are likely to be heading for the exits and new jobs when the U.S. economy turns around. AN ENGAGEMENT STRATEGY focused on transparency, communication and recognition could stem that rush to the door. “It’s been a difficult couple of years, no doubt, but I believe that some companies are in for a rude awakening when employees begin to get more confident in their ability to find new employers,” says Beth Schelske, ITAGroup, Inc. Vice President, Performance Solutions Group. “Those employees who have survived layoffs and budget cuts, done without merit increases and have taken on more work—without being recognized for their efforts—have had enough.” THE DATA IS IN Recent research says employee loyalty is falling and employers don’t seem to be noticing the problem. Employee loyalty has reached a three-year low, according to MetLife’s 9th Annual Study of Employee Benefits Trends1. And while employees have perceived less loyalty from their employers each year, employers believe employee loyalty is holding steady. “The widening gap in loyalty perception is a sign that employers may be taking employee retention for granted. They are not paying attention to serious cracks in the loyalty foundations of their workforce; cracks that can expand to threaten their

ability to retain the key talent they need most,” wrote the report’s authors. A March 2011 Deloitte survey2 showed that companies are not dealing very well with frustrated employees. “While corporate executives and talent managers may be tempted to believe the talent market has returned to normal and they can go back to ‘business as usual’ now that the economy is growing again, our survey suggests that this strategy could leave companies on the losing side of the competition for talent,” warns the report. When the economy tanked, executives turned their focus to layoffs, budget cuts, falling revenue and rising costs. Engaging employees dropped off the table, as illustrated by one human resources professional highlighted in the MetLife survey: “Because of the market, I don’t think we’re as concerned with employee job satisfaction... you can get the same employees without all the bells and whistles,” the executive was quoted as saying. BUT NOW WHAT? Research shows employee and employer confidence in the health of the U.S. economy is growing, but it’s a bumpy ride. “Even amidst the volatility in the recovery, we continue to caution employers about the rising

Fall 2011 driven magazine


number of workers likely to make a job change,” says Roy Krause, President and CEO of SFN Group, Inc. “Now is the time for employers to ramp up retention efforts to ensure their best talent doesn’t opt to seek other opportunities.” Three ways to quickly turn the situation around are: 1. Build transparency within your organization 2. Provide opportunities for growth 3. Reward employees for meeting or exceeding expectations BE TRANSPARENT AND TRUSTWORTHY When trust is low, people often begin to focus on protecting themselves rather than producing results for the company. In a difficult economy, every opportunity lost and every dollar wasted just adds to the paranoia. More than 40 percent of respondents in a 2008 Towers Watson survey3 of 90,000 employees worldwide gave neutral or negative responses regarding their trust of supervisors; management trusted employees even less. Likewise, the Deloitte survey shows nearly half of those who plan to look for a new job when the economy improves say it’s because they don’t trust their employer because of business and operational decisions made over the last two years; 40% say they’ll leave because they have been treated unfairly or unethically by their employers. Forty-six percent of the Deloitte survey respondents say a lack of transparent leadership communication will drive them to seek new employment opportunities.

“Regardless of the economic environment, business leaders should be mindful of the significant impact that trust in the workplace and transparent communication can have on talent management and retention strategies,” says Sharon Allen, chairman, Deloitte LLP.4 “It isn’t complicated. When leaders treat their people as their business partners and involve them in making important decisions, those people feel respected, and respect leads to trust,” wrote Ken Blanchard and Terry Waghorn in a article5 on leadership in 2009. “If you respect your people and they trust you as a leader, they will give their all to get the best results they can for your organization.” What does it take to be transparent? » Tell the truth and make sure everybody understands it, from senior leadership down to frontline employees. Relentlessly communicate truth—including the financial impact of decisions big and small—to close information gaps and help those responsible for fulfilling the mission understand the mission. » Encourage others to tell the truth, even when it’s uncomfortable. Reward those with differing opinions by giving them fair consideration and valuable feedback. » Admit mistakes. When leaders admit their mistakes, they teach employees to admit to mistakes so they can more quickly move on to corrective action. » Share the bad news, too. Treat employees like adults, providing information that affects them.

And when something changes, let them know that, too, quickly and accurately. » Be visible and accessible. Leaders who share information can also gather a lot of valuable data—from individual and department performance issues to employee morale—that’s not necessarily apparent in monthly sales and production reports.

PROVIDE OPPORTUNITIES FOR GROWTH While employees often like the work they do, the biggest motivator to leave a company is that they don’t have opportunities to grow or advance with their current employer.6 The lack of an established career path for employees is a huge debilitating factor in many organizations. Equally crippling is the perception that organizations don’t develop leaders. Fifty-three percent of employees who said they are either passively or actively seeking new employment in Deloitte’s March survey rate their companies’ efforts to create career paths, develop leaders or retain top performers as “fair” or “poor.” How do you establish growth opportunities? » Identify superior employees who fit the long-term needs, goals and objectives established by your organization through job performance, internal references and organizational fit. Communicate your findings to those employees so they understand the opportunities and the steps to take advantage of them.


“While corporate executives and talent managers may be tempted to believe that talent marketing has returned to normal, our survey suggests that this strategy could leave companies on the losing side of the competition for talent.” – Deloitte Consulting LLP survey

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» Provide formal and informal training through training and a variety of job experiences to test your assumptions and allow employees to test themselves. This is a safe place to assess capabilities without risking the loss of the employee. If it’s not working, you can likely find another job for the employee within your organization, thereby retaining the investment already made in that employee. » Make the move when the employee is ready. Experiences gained in a job-rotation program or job-shadowing initiative help determine when and if the employee is ready for the additional responsibility. Make the change according to the schedule, or be ready to explain the reasons why, and establish a new expectation if you don’t act on schedule. And if there are no opportunities for advancement, be transparent. Explain the situation and collaborate on career advancement alternatives. Consider rewarding high-potential employees with professional development opportunities and projects to help expand their skill sets. REWARD AND RECOGNIZE Employees who toil away with little or no recognition are not ideal candidates for longevity. Sure, some employees avoid the spotlight, but human nature suggests that most people are motivated to perform at a higher level by some level of recognition. Maslow recognized that humans must have their physiological needs met, feel safe and be loved, but they also have a need to be respected and to have selfesteem and self-respect. They want others to accept and value them. A well-designed reward and recognition effort addresses this need and responds with a purposeful, consistent and appealing program.

Development and implementation of a successful recognition program includes the following steps: » Determine purpose—i.e. achievement, service, financial results, etc.—and measurable goals and budget to stay focused and deliver solid ROI. » Identify employee preferences —tangible awards, privileges and certificates, etc.—to ensure relevance and effectiveness. » Establish recognition strategies so you know from the outset who recognizes whom, what criteria will be used to determine eligibility for rewards, when or how often the recognition will occur, how the recognition will be accomplished, etc. » Create benchmarks and document progress with ongoing measurement so you can make adjustments in the program along the way using real data rather than guesses. » Communicate often so employees understand and embrace opportunities to provide ideas that improve the workplace, products, service and/or the brand. » Allow for ongoing feedback so you can adjust the program as appropriate to ensure maximum effectiveness. ■

1 Met Life, Inc. 9th Annual “Study of Employee Benefits Trends” 2 Deloitte Consulting LLP, “Talent Edge 2020: Building the Recovery Together—What Talent Expects and How Leaders are Responding,” April 2011 3 Towers Watson, “Closing the Engagement Gap: A Road Map for Driving Superior Business Performance,” 2008 4 Deloitte Consulting LLP, “Trust in the Workplace: 2010 Ethics & Workplace Survey” 5, “Make Sure Your Employees Trust You—Or Else” by Ken Blanchard and Terry Waghorn 6 Blessing White, “Employees Will Stay for the Work but Leave for Career,” April 12, 2011

WALKING THE WALK AT ITAGROUP As an organization that values loyalty and helps our clients create loyalty, it’s incumbent upon ITAGroup to practice what it preaches. Employee recognition programs have long been part of the company’s culture. In 2009, for example, ITAGroup deployed its Magnificent Moments program to reinforce the company’s seven corporate objectives. The program utilized a mix of non-monetary e-card awards, award points and sweepstakes entries to engage, motivate and reward its employees. Employee participation exceeded goal by 35 percent, manager/supervisor participation exceeded goal by 11 percent and employee satisfaction exceeded goal by 14 percent. For 2010–11, ITAGroup implemented its High-Voltage Heroes program to recognize outstanding service to clients and colleagues, support healthy habits and reward new employee and client referrals. HOW’S IT WORKING? Employee retention currently stands at 94+ percent. The company was named a 2011 Top 50 Small Company Workplace by Inc. Magazine and Winning Workplaces. This award recognizes the nation’s best small and mid-sized company work environments. “This award confirms what we have known all along—that the 100 percent employee-owned ITAGroup has a culture that is committed to excellence for both customers and our team members.” says ITAGroup President and CEO Thomas J. Mahoney, Jr. ■

Fall 2011 driven magazine


Rational Indulgence Shorter trips, fewer activities and more socially responsible experiences are the new norm in post-recession incentive travel.

GROUP INCENTIVE TRAVEL is coming back, albeit with a slightly different look. Business leaders want to reward outstanding performance with incentive travel, but in a way that doesn’t seem flashy or wasteful. “We’ve created a variety of unforgettable experiences while cutting some of the extravagance that was more common before the recession,” says Jill Anonson, ITAGroup Industry Relations Manager. “We rely on a number of strategies to cut costs while still providing a lot of value…and a lot of memories.” THE RETURN OF INCENTIVE TRAVEL The New York Times claimed the return of incentive travel in a March 7, 2011 article, citing the need for companies to offer their employees an incentive to work harder “as the economy begins to return to health.” 12 driven magazine

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Nevertheless, organizations are still sensitive to charges of extravagance—and are choosing less lavish options in response. “They may choose to stay at a higher-level hotel but shorten the duration of the program or scale back on the kinds of activities or hosted events they offer,” says Anonson. Even with the cuts, travel is still a popular incentive: A recent survey of travel program managers1 shows 48 percent of respondents said attendees were grateful to have earned the trip and 39 percent said attendees were as positive as in years past despite scaled-back programs. OTHER OPTIONS Keep the fun, cut the cost Interactive team- and culturebuilding activities ramp up the fun factor without ramping up the price. Travel programs are including casual, do-it-yourself activities that emphasize teamwork and relationships while creating fun.

Photo: -Rui Manuel Teles Gomes /

One ITAGroup client added competition to the mix when they included a pizza-making contest as part of a sales meeting. Sales staff formed teams by district to see who could make the best pizza and were judged on creativity, appearance, flavor, teamwork and cleanliness of their workspace. “The participants liked the camaraderie and the opportunity to connect with their senior management in a less formal atmosphere,” says Sarah Haines, ITAGroup Travel Direction Manager. “As salespeople, they really got into the competition aspect of the event, too.” Give back to the community Social experiences deliver intangible value as participants gain a sense of fulfillment by supporting a not-for-profit charity with donations or sweat equity. “Voluntouring” is the buzzword, and it’s growing in popularity around the world. Thirty-five percent of meeting planners recently surveyed1 said they included some sort of corporate social responsibility component in their programs. “One would be hard-pressed not to realize the poverty that sometimes lies just past the high walls of the nice resort properties we visit,” says David Abers, ITAGroup Program Manager. “Our participants have responded very positively

to opportunities to share some of their bounty with the people in need in these countries.” Abers ran a program where participants assembled school supplies for 100 students at an elementary school in the Dominican Republic. It was so successful, another client has agreed to donate 100 bicycles to the same students—who have to walk up to five miles each way to school—when they visit the country for their incentive trip in 2012. “It doesn’t have to be a significant part of the schedule to be a significant part of the experience,” says Abers.

“‘Voluntouring’ is the buzzword, and it's growing in popularity around the world.” Fun in the sun at prices that can’t be beat Cruises are generally less expensive than land-based programs, and the new generation of ships offers meeting facilities and a lot of the amenities you’d expect from a five-star resort property, including leading-

edge technology, specialty restaurants, adventure experiences and culinary activities. Cut the quantity, not the quality Before they skimp on the quality, travel planners are cutting back on the length of the trip to reduce costs. Cruise lines are adding shorter itineraries, too, which means there are more three-, four- and five-night cruises to the Caribbean, Bahamas, Mexico and other ports of call. Eliminating one night’s hotel can save tens of thousands of dollars in room and activity costs, depending upon the size of the group. It also means one less day out of the office or away from family or responsibilities back home. “One of our clients cut the second day of hosted events on a three-and-a-half-day program,” says Sarah Kohl, ITAGroup Program Manager. “The extra leisure time received the highest satisfaction ratings on the participant survey.” “In the end, it’s the experience that counts, not the amount of money spent to make the experience,” says Anonson. “As long as we know our participants, understand what motivates them and challenge ourselves to deliver remarkable experiences—no matter the budget—incentive travel will be a valuable part of a motivation program.” ■

1Source: Incentive Research Foundation and Corporate Meetings & Incentives (CMI), 2011 “Incentive Trends Survey”

Fall 2011 driven magazine


Making points

personal Reward points can be very rewarding

For some organizations, sales and channel loyalty programs are investments designed to motivate sales partners to give them their business. For the people earning reward points, such as the following three families involved in a customer loyalty program for a national bank, the rewards are very personal. POINTS ASSIST BREAST CANCER PATIENTS Albert Wund uses points earned in an incentive program to assist breast cancer patients through a foundation established in his daughter’s memory. Wund is the Finance Manager at an Edison, N.J. auto dealer, where he earns reward points for doing business

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with a specific lender. He recently used his points to purchase a 42-inch flat screen TV which he donated to the Christina S. Walsh Breast Cancer Foundation as a prize in a raffle to be held at the Foundation’s Annual Comedy Benefit. Albert and his wife, Susan, are part of a dedicated group of individuals who operate the New Brunswick, N.J.-based organization, which was founded in 2004. The Wunds’ daughter, Christina, wanted to help other breast cancer patients in financial need. Two months after she passed away from breast cancer, the Foundation was established in her memory to carry out her wishes. The Foundation has raised more than $300,000 for patient relief. “The programs launched via the Foundation

“Cash is nice, too, but the chance that you’ll spend it on something special like this is pretty remote.” support treatments for uninsured patients and other necessities and financial obligations that would not be covered by insurance,” says Wund. “And we’ve been able to assist the patients’ families who may require meals, hotel accommodations, hospital parking, and who incur other financial burdens associated with caring for their loved ones," he added. “I’ve accumulated a lot of points so I thought I should use them for something good,” explains Wund. “The work of the Foundation keeps Christina’s memory alive while respecting her wishes to help others, so it’s a good thing,” he says. For information regarding this Foundation visit: REPLACING A BELOVED PET Danny Howell wanted to surprise his wife, Allison, with a new pup. Her 11-year-old Cane Corso passed away years ago and he knew she wanted another. There were no Cane Corso breeders in his home state of Arkansas, so he contacted a personal shopper who worked for the loyalty program he participated in as an auto dealership Finance Director. “The Cane Corso is a rare breed that almost died out in the 1970s, but the personal shopper found a breeder, worked out a price and allowed me to use the points I earned in the program to buy the pup,” says Howell. “The personal shopper said she’d never purchased anything like that, but it took only 24 hours to come up with an answer. My points paid for the dog and the shipping,” he says.

The owner of this 1966 Mustang Fastback said the motivation was “insane” as he earned the points to restore the classic car.

Gianna, the 12-week-old pup, arrived at the Howell residence in January 2011 and is a “blast to be around,” according to Howell.

CLASSIC CAR RESTORATION Mark Foster knows cars. He’s a Finance Manager for a Chicago-area car dealership, so when he wanted to restore his 1966 Mustang Fastback, he used points earned as a part of a bank channel loyalty program to get the job done. “The car was in decent shape, but it needed a full restoration,” says Foster. “The personal shopper said she’d take care of everything, using my points to pay for the parts and the labor at a local business that specializes in Mustang restorations.” Points earned by doing business with the bank helped pay for the entire restoration, which was completed in late 2010. “It was awesome,” says Foster, who has a history of buying and selling cars. "They made it brand-new…new engine, new transmission, everything was new." Foster said the loyalty program was a big motivator and it was always in the back of his mind. “The amount of motivation is insane,” he says. “You’re doing that much business, working that hard and it’s good to know someone’s on the other end, saying ‘thank you.’” “Cash is nice, too, but the chance that you’ll spend it on something special like this is pretty remote.” ■

“Gianna” is a beloved family pet, purchased from a specialty breeder using points earned in an incentive program. Fall 2011 driven magazine



Engage key audiences with functional and stylish awards ITAGroup’s Outstanding Performances® catalog features nearly 10,000 items, including the following stand-out products currently offered to support ITAGroup clients’ loyalty programs across the country.

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Who says awards can't be functional or stylish? ➊ The TUMI® T-PASS COLLECTION allows you to go through security without removing your laptop from the case. The front section has highly visible and easily accessible pockets and compartments for all of your tech and business accessories. And it’s rugged, too, made from Tumi's signature ballistic nylon.

➋ The KRUPS® CITRUS PRESS makes getting healthy more stylish with exclusive designs in stainless steel, chrome and wood options.

➌ Enjoy a glass of wine right away with the SKYBAR™ WINE CHILL DROP. The sleek, attractive shape adds a stylish note to your table while cooling a single glass of wine to the ideal serving temperature up to 20 times faster than your refrigerator can chill a full bottle.

➍ Be green with this reusable MINI-TOTE FROM BUILT. It’s perfect for storing those healthy snack options for work or play. The neoprene expands to fit a variety of containers, and the soft handles make it easy, for anyone to hold. Plus, it’s machine-washable.

➎ The CANON EOS Rebel T3i is one of many different Canon models that combine the latest in cutting-edge technology, smart shooting options and user-friendly functionality. From its newly designed, easy-to-grip body to its no-compromise photographic performance, this camera offers shutterbugs at every level a lot to love.

➏ The SAMSUNG ULTRA SLIM 9000 SERIES gives TV watching a whole new name. As thin as a stack of four credit cards, the Samsung 3D Smart TV with apps is just what you need.

➐ With the NECKTIE OF THE MONTH CLUB, you’ll get a new, 100-percent silk designer necktie hand-selected by a team of New York fashion professionals. These are the same neckties you’ll find in fine menswear shops and upscale department stores nationwide.

➑ The CALLAWAY® UPRO® MX GPS breaks new ground with a multi-gesture touchscreen. With a simple finger swipe, you can easily navigate the advanced features like never before. With more than 25,000 courses preloaded on this sleek and compact device, you can enjoy the incredible innovations right out of the box.

Fall 2011 driven magazine


Focus on love, gain loyalty BY MARK TRUE


mong the bubbles inside a can of cola, there’s emotion, rising up to build a connection between the cola and the customer. No company understands that connection more than the Coca-Cola Company. It’s a connection that’s part of the culture, according to a brand consultant who has worked with the bottling giant and their distribution channel. “I worked with Coke distributors from 40 different African countries last year, and they were the smartest group of people I’ve ever worked with,” says Joe Calloway, brand expert, business consultant and author of four groundbreaking business books, including the best-selling Becoming A Category of One. “The one word they used over and over was…love. They constantly ask themselves, ‘Do our customers love us?’ because they know that if their customers don’t love Coke, they are at risk to Pepsi.” Brand— like loyalty itself— is about feelings rather than thinking. It’s the audience’s perception

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of what it’s like to do business with you, to interact with you. It means opening the can of cola and having an experience. At Coca-Cola, they hope the experience is love. “Companies want customers and employees to love them, but they don’t talk to them about love,” says Calloway. “Brand management has this huge emotional component, and it results in loyalty. There’s a direct connection between brand management and emotion and love and loyalty. “If you look at your strategy and tactics and discover that your company is not creating love, then it’s time to go back to the drawing board.”

Brand starts at the top Managing a brand that builds the bottom line starts at the top of an organization. It’s a critical skill for the chief executive officer, and those who don’t understand it have little chance of creating a culture that supports a consistent, emotional and profitable experience.

Employees are the brand Every job in every company ultimately exists to win and keep customers, and it takes a thorough review of every job, every action, every communication— through a brand lens—to understand how it affects the relationship with the customer. Employees, more than anything else, are the brand, even if the employee doesn’t have direct customer contact. They create the relationship with the customer. The more consistent that contact, the more consistent the brand experience, until the brand becomes the default choice for the customer because it’s exactly what they expected, every time. That love delivers loyalty.


anagers make the organization function as it is designed to function, but the CEO reminds us of who we are. Every successful organization with a great brand has a CEO who manages the brand all the time. They talk about it at every opportunity to make sure they have it right and everybody understands their roles as part of the brand. In Becoming a Category of One, Calloway digs deep into the story of Tractor Supply Company and its then-CEO, Joe Scarlet, who said they talk about brand all the time—from senior management all the way down to store-level employees. Or take the case of Pinnacle Financial Partners CEO Terry Turner, who, as Calloway explains in his book Indispensable, starts every meeting by saying “Let’s remember who we want to be: We want to be the best financial services company in Tennessee and we want to be the best place to work in Tennessee.” Each new associate undergoes a three-day orientation conducted by the CEO himself to ensure new employees understand and embrace the mission, vision and values of the organization. “I think looking through the brand lens is one of the more effective ways to be successful,” says Calloway. “The trick is to get the employees to think that way, so you have to talk about it all the time. It’s not enough to have a quarterly meeting to talk about brand and then check it off, and say ‘that’s done.’ “Average CEOs don’t think about their organizations in this holistic manner. They think it’s one of the things they should do instead of everything they do.”

Giving lip service to brand


Organizations fail to tap into the power of brand to build loyalty among employees and customers when they don’t think about it or just give it lip service. The problem is created when they don’t have alignment throughout the organization. Different departments are good at what they do, but often they aren’t on the same page as to who they are as an organization and what they want to be. Southwest Airlines— a poster child for great brands— understands that a brand creates feelings, either positive or negative. The more positive, the better.

Former Southwest CEO Herb Kelleher said of the spirit of Southwest Airlines, “I don’t like to define it. It’s a spiritual thing. It’s about how we treat people. We hire great people who care about people, and we foster that culture…and that becomes our brand.” Brands are built from the inside out, starting with employees. “What you want to do is create a community of true believers,” says Calloway. “Companies that have created that kind of culture— for example— have created incredible customer loyalty because they’ve created incredible employee loyalty.”

Brand and culture “Brand and culture are incredibly intertwined,” adds Calloway. “Culture is how we play the game, how we behave with each other. It’s very much a people thing.”

“If you look at your strategy and tactics and discover that your company is not creating love, then it’s time to go back to the drawing board.” Employees have to believe in the brand. If they don’t buy it, it’s never going to sell with customers. If the advertising doesn’t match up with how people feel about your brand, there’s a disconnect. Likewise, if there’s a disconnect between what your customers think and what your employees think, it affects overall performance. “Employees either feel that way or they don’t,” says Calloway. “They love working here or they don’t. It’s a tough standard to reach, but that’s what you have to aim for.” Apple, Zappos, Trader Joe’s— they all have a real sense of pride, a feeling that ‘this is our house, our turf.’ And it’s got to be fun. “That doesn’t mean foosball tables and pizza parties…although it could!” says Calloway. “Your workplace could be the quietest place in town, yet everybody’s having a ball! If that’s not happening, you’re going to have trouble with your external brand.” ■

Fall 2011 driven magazine


Employer loyalty exercised through health and wellness programs by Julie Johnson, CRP

Engage employees and increase loyalty by creating a health and wellness program. It demonstrates that you care about your employees’ health and overall well-being and that you are invested in their longevity. With over 87 percent of healthcare claims resulting from a person’s lifestyle,1 employee wellness programs produce significant bottom-line results for every organization. A health and wellness program produces improved work performance benefits (see Figure 1):

70 60

DECREASED HEALTHCARE COSTS—Implementing a wellness program has been shown to decrease healthcare costs for organizations through a concentrated focus on prevention.








INCREASED MORALE AND EMPLOYEE CULTURE— According to New Scientist magazine1, happiness is highly influenced by a person’s physical and mental well-being. By nurturing their well-being, you directly impact employees’ happiness on the job. Programs also allow individual and team activities, further driving connections at the workplace. REDUCED ABSENTEEISM AND SICK LEAVE— The healthier an individual is, the less likely he or she will require sick leave and unplanned absenteeism, thereby directly reducing bottom-line costs. INCREASED PRODUCTIVITY—In addition to happiness, productivity often increases as an employee’s health improves. INCREASED LOYALTY—Showing you care demonstrates your loyalty toward your employees and establishes a mutual sense of commitment. In turn, this increased loyalty decreases turnover and increases retention. An organization’s initiative to implement a wellness program is important, but employee participation is critical to

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Figure 1: Wellness program benefits (Source: the National Business Group on Health)

its success. This can be challenging for a variety of reasons, including fear of getting started or a simple lack of program awareness. Providing incentives jumpstarts your program and helps maintain and develop it as an established component of a total benefit solution. According to the 16th Annual Employer Survey on Purchasing Value in Health Care, 58 percent of large employers use incentives to promote healthy lifestyles. An independent university study shows 62 percent2 use incentives. This tactic encourages and communicates the importance of the program and ignites employee interest and participation. Wellness programs have been shown to produce a return of $24 to $13 and a 30 percent reduction in medical and absenteeism costs.4 Aside from the financial benefits for organizations, the benefits of helping employees establish a healthier lifestyle are endless. ■

SEVEN STEPS TO A BETTER WELLNESS PROGRAM Consider the following best practices when building an incentive-based health and wellness program:


TRUSTED ADVISOR When partnering with an outside vendor, make sure they are exactly that — your partner. Know who you are dealing with, their experience, their credentials and their stability.

➋ UNDERSTAND THE LEGAL OBLIGATIONS The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, better known as HIPAA, imposes important employee privacy requirements of which you need to be cognizant.


Create an implementation and design strategy for entering the existing culture and motivating people toward the desired behaviors.

➍ FOCUS ON RESULTS The strategy you choose should be focused on achievement of specific goals and benchmarks. Regular reporting and an analytical plan for measuring the ongoing performance of your program are critical. While a thorough analysis may take years to complete, be sure you know the results you are

looking for up front and have checkpoints along the way to ensure you’re making the progress you expect.

➎ COMMUNICATE The program will not engage employees and produce results if employees are uncertain about the benefits available to them or how to participate. Use a variety of media to explain the program, the procedures and the results.

program encourages people to participate and remain engaged in the program.

➐ FOCUS ON PEOPLE Establish a wellness program to improve the health of your employees, not to lower the costs for your organization. While cost benefits are important, it is key to have reasonable expectations and motivational choices to ensure everyone can participate and accomplish their goals.

➏ REWARD BEHAVIOR AND CHANGE Adding a structured incentive to a wellness

Scientist, 17:55 18 April 2005 by Shaoni Bhattacharya. 2 Indiana University-Purdue University, Fort Wayne (iPFW) study, 2006. 3 The National Business Group on Health/ Fidelity Investments’ Survey: Employer Investments in Improving Health, 2010. 4 The Wellness Councils of America (WELCOA). 5 The Art of Health Promotion Survey, American Fall 2011 driven magazine 21 Journal of Health Promotion. 1 New


The social media revolution isn’t what you think it is— it’s actually a consumer revolution. THANK YOU ECONOMY, noun: A burgeoning economic atmosphere in which the only companies that will compete are those that use the power of their relationships strategically online. ABOUT THE BOOK Gary Vaynerchuck’s “The Thank You Economy” manages to sell the social media revolution for what it is: a path to excellence by way of caring. That’s it. Just care about your customers. At its core, “The Thank You Economy” is about developing outstanding

to do with tweeting press releases and trying to get more Facebook “likes?” According to Vaynerchuck, everything. He says a social media platform shouldn’t be about pushing your company’s latest product or competing for the most “likes” with others in your industry. If it is,

use Facebook and Twitter to create conversation among your base, you’ll capture the Holy Grail of social media: a loyal pool of engaged people who will not only give you feedback, they’ll spread their devotion to your business to their Twitter followers and Facebook friends.

Don Draper would have dropped his whiskey glass in joyful delirium if you had told him that his agency didn’t have to run focus groups anymore to find out what people wanted.

– Gary Vaynerchuck

relationships with customers and business partners. Vaynerchuck’s spin is that you develop these relationships online. Many don’t see the connection between caring and social media. What does caring have

you’re doing it wrong. Using social media for gain is accomplished through building relationships, keeping people engaged and making them feel genuinely and wholeheartedly appreciated. If you can

And in the TYE, wordof-mouth marketing is king—even if the words are spread online. WHAT I LIKED ABOUT THE BOOK » It’s a marriage of oldfashioned values and

new media platforms » It provides a wealth of case studies » It confronts the naysayers and the fearful ■

WANT MORE INFORMATION? Check out these similarly structured titles: SOCIAL MEDIA ROI BY OLIVIER BLANCHARD: Use this book to bring true business discipline to your social media program and align with your organization’s goals. ENGAGE BY BRIAN SOLIS: This updated version, released in March 2011, is ripe with guidance on building your brand on the Web. THE ZEN OF SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING BY SHAMA HYDER KABANI: This guide outlines the most popular social media tools and teaches readers how to use them, step by step.


» ABOUT THE REVIEWER Morgan Kent Molden is a Communications Specialist and Copywriter in ITAGroup’s Group Event Management division.

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Fall 2011

He’s not a market segment.

He’s your customer. He has unique wants and needs. And his loyalty is there for the taking. Right now, he’s looking for a reason to love your products and services. So give him one. ITAGroup helps identify moments of truth when customer loyalty is born. And then we create loyalty solutions that connect company and customer for a long, rewarding relationship.

4800 Westown Parkway West Des Moines, IA 50266 800.257.1985 //

Let’s talk loyalty.

4800 Westown Pkwy West Des Moines, IA 50266

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She’s not a human resource.

She’s a human. She wants to be recognized and appreciated. And her loyalty is up for grabs. Right now, she’s looking for a reason to stick with you and be a productive member of your team. So give her one. ITAGroup helps identify moments of truth when employee loyalty is born. And then we create loyalty solutions that connect company and employee for a long, rewarding relationship.

4800 Westown Parkway West Des Moines, IA 50266 800.257.1985 //

Let’s talk loyalty.


Enjoy ITAGroup's best-in-class magazine, Driven, and catch up on the latest industry news, trends and information on how to drive loyalty.