100 Years – Huzzah!

Paul Nolan

Happy 2019! If you’re a reader of mastheads, I’m tempted to say you need to get a hobby. But if you read this issue’s small print, you may notice that this is issue No. 1 of volume No. 100 of Sales & Marketing Management magazine.

That means this publication has been published in one form or another by one company or another for a century! That life span is unheard of in this digital era and rare even in the halcyon days of print journalism.

The magazine’s current publishing group, Mach 1 Business Media, began publishing Sales & Marketing Management in 2012. I am honored to have served as its editor since that time.

I don’t know off the top of my head what the issues of the day were for sales managers and marketers in 1919, but in our first issue of this year, we take a look at two important topics — cash and non-cash.

Our discussion on cash focuses on compensation plans for sales teams. There are a lot of moving parts to an effective sales compensation plan, but those we cite in our cover story say keeping things simple is the formula for success. Salespeople become disengaged and discouraged if they are unsure how their commission is calculated, or if they have too many metrics to keep in mind.

Non-cash or “branded currency” is definitely something that wasn’t a focal point in this magazine’s early years. Today, gift cards are the most commonly used incentive (outside of cash) to drive performance and to reward top performers. Our “Trends In...” coverage, which begins on page 32, includes insights from some gift card insiders who have helped this industry emerge.

Gift cards are a lot more than a way to get a sandwich or a cup of coffee, although if that’s what motivates someone on your team to take a step that leads to success, then the gift card purveyors have you covered.

Gift cards haven’t been around for a century, but they have changed with the times over the last 30 years. It’s important for sales managers who use them to motivate workers and for marketers who use them in loyalty programs to understand their new capabilities. Dive in!

Here’s to another hundred years.