Inspired Promotion

By Malcolm Fleschner

Salespeople may not be artists, writers or architects, yet creative energy abounds in most sales organizations. Unfortunately, sales managers’ creativity too often is focused on working directly with their salespeople, leaving little time to promote reward programs and incentive contests. To resolve this dilemma, many organizations choose to turn over the heavy promotional lifting to outside experts.

That’s precisely what Software House International (SHI), a global technology solutions reseller did. Looking for a way to promote its Casino Night-themed contest aimed at increasing sales of McAfee Security software products over a three-month period, SHI turned to ID Partners (IDP), a New Jersey-based promotional products solutions provider. Using a Las Vegas theme, IDP kept the contest fresh in each of the 250 SHI reps’ minds by mailing teasers every three weeks throughout the contest. Some examples included a slot machine stress reliever, a music CD, a dice cube with chocolate poker chips inside and an electronic poker game.

Next IDP created and emailed eight riddles, all tied into the Casino Night theme, to every member of the SHI sales force. Reps who provided correct answers to the riddles won cash prizes at Casino Night. Other themed prizes were also awarded.

Fun is fun, naturally, but what matters most is the bottom line. Not only did 75% of the salespeople respond to the riddles, but the team overall generated a 220% increase in McAfee software sales compared to the same three-month period the previous year.

Janet Valvano, marketing manager for SHI, expressed appreciation not only for IDP’s creativity, but also for the way the two companies worked together on the project.

“We needed something unique, exciting and, most of all, entertaining to keep our brand top of mind with the sales reps,” she said. “IDP not only provided engaging gifts that reps have kept on their desks for the past year, they developed and implemented a turnkey marketing campaign that was innovative, clear and tactical. They are a true extension of our marketing team.”