Sony Mailers Promote Incentive Program to HR Execs

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Sony Diversified Markets has sent 75,000 mailers to a list of prospects with a sprinkling of existing customers to promote its Sony Collection online incentive program.


Dropped in equal installments Nov. 6 and 13, the mailer targets vice presidents of marketing and sales and senior executives in training and human resources. It encourages these marketers to offer Sony products as incentives for employees.


"I would say that this kind of product runs well in the first quarter, so that's why we targeted November and December, so people who've used these programs will consider using Sony electronics for their 2003 programs," said Matthew W. Staudt, president of Interactive Marketing Group, the Allendale, NJ, agency on the account.


The mailer is a No. 10 package with a full-color, six-panel brochure showing different templates and color schemes. A letter urges recipients to call a toll-free number for a visit from a Sony representative.


"What they're trying to do is build their base of leads that they can distribute to their rep organizations," Staudt said.


The Sony Collection incentive program was transformed only in September from a paper-based system to an online application. In its new iteration, reps from Sony's premium incentive sales group work with clients to customize the program.


Branded "Rewards made to order," the application lets the customer choose its own color and visual themes as well as the Sony products to be included in the incentive program. Sample programs pull up immediately on-screen and can be printed to fulfill the program's requirements.


Under the Web-based system, Sony reps can go online and create a program for the end user, incorporating four, six or eight out of 1,600 Sony products as employee rewards for crossing milestones. Little paperwork is involved.


"[Traditionally], they used to produce spec sheets where they selected products only featured," Staudt said. "So you ran a program, you ran it with only those products. So what we've done is eliminated the need for the generation of all those reward sheets."


Migrating to an online format trims production, printing and storage costs. And the application's back-end reporting features offer more tracking and fulfillment capabilities.


"I guess the bottom line with this is there's a high notoriety associated with the Sony brand already, and what they're looking to do is remain on the forefront of technology to promote these programs to corporate America," Staudt said.


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