Mercury Insurance and Next Level Performance are honored to receive two notable incentive industry accolades for the recent Treasures of Tuscany program: SITE Crystal Award for Most Effective Incentive Marketing Campaign and Incentive’s Motivation Masters Sales Incentive Finalist.
Mercury partnered with Next Level to deliver a best-in-class incentive travel program as a reward for channel partners who hit the year’s challenging goals. With a communications plan designed to keep everyone engaged and a highly desirable location, Mercury achieved great results, and delivered on its promise of an unforgettable experience for program winners.
Mercury Insurance is a market leader, offering personal automobile, homeowners, renters and business policies. The Treasures of Tuscany program was designed to generate sales growth for Mercury’s independent agency distribution channel, and to drive incremental results for internal staff.
Mercury is known for service, financial stability, and corporate culture. In fact, it has recently been cited by Forbes as one of America’s best employers and as one of the most trustworthy financial service organizations.
The program had to reflect the organization’s values, deepen relationships with channel partners, and drive sales throughout the year.
We started with a stellar destination: Florence, Italy. The Next Level team knew that Florence provided a unique opportunity for impeccable service, once-in-a-lifetime experiences, and immersion in a rich and vibrant culture.
Tapping local partners and a five-star hotel, Next Level crafted an itinerary of unforgettable moments, including spectacular venues of world-renown – such as the Uffizi Gallery – and only-in-Italy experiences such as visits to local markets. Guests explored Siena, a private winery, and even tried their hand at preparing Italian cuisine. Evening events ranged from a rooftop overlooking the Duomo to a gala dinner at the Winter Garden with an interactive opera performance.
Every detail was crafted to express Mercury’s appreciation for their channel partners, and to reflect the service for which Mercury is known.
Next Level Performance then created a robust, year-long communication plan to drive interest in the program, and to capture the unique experiences that awaited. Branding every component for Mercury, the marketing and communications team set out to motivate eligible channel partners with images and information that would allow them to envision themselves in Tuscany.
With a series of visually exciting ePostcards, Next Level kept the program front of mind. Channel partners were also invited to visit a program website, where an enticing video and program information could be found. In addition, visually stunning calendars were delivered, so that the images of Tuscany could inspire throughout the year.
The look and feel of the program experience carried through into winners’ materials. From the branded registration website, to the pre-trip mailing, and on-site materials, no element was overlooked. A cohesive program experience made the connection between the destination and brand.
Mercury Insurance achieved dramatic results.
The target was 8% annual growth for the winners of the trip. With the success of the 2016 program, Mercury saw a 14% overall increase in sales.
The company attributes this to the program, in large part because mindshare increased across winners and non-winners. Mercury’s reps have a choice of solutions, and they opted to recommend Mercury to their customers. The program, and its communications, inspired and kept Mercury top of mind.
One important result of a great incentive program is that the excitement builds year over year. Next Level Performance and Mercury Insurance continue to partner on the program each year. Engagement with the channel has been strong, with consistently high click and open rates on communications, and increased traffic to the website. As past winners and non-winners focus on reaching their goals and achieving the next trip, both Mercury Insurance and Next Level Performance look forward to welcoming them at the next incredible travel experience.
For the full version of this case study, or to download a copy, visit here: Case Study: An Award-Winning Incentive Program Drives Results for Insurance Company
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As Vice President of Travel & Engagement at Next Level Performance, Susan serves on the board of the Incentive Research Foundation (IRF), and chairs the IRF Research Committee. She has also served on the board of the Incentive Marketing Association (IMA) and is a past president of the Recognition Council, and a past member of the Performance Improvement Council and the Incentive and Engagement Solution Providers (IESP). She is interested in the strategies and benefits of employee engagement, incentive, and recognition programs. An avid traveler, she is also passionate about the art and science of incentive travel.