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As we approach the end of the year and the season of holidays, it is a good time to reflect on the purpose of Marketing and how it ties into other programs that are essential for a business to get and keep customers. Marketing ultimately serves to drive revenue by reaching out to customers and telling a story about your business and your brand. No matter the voice, the approach, and the other bells and whistles of marketing, customer engagement starts with appealing to the needs and wants of the customer. That connection ultimately drives sales and loyalty.

Seasonal Opportunities for Customer Engagement

Another important tool to the same end is a seasonal gifting program. These branded touchpoints can be anything from a card to a high-end, customized gift. Making these gestures keep a business top of mind with its existing clients, which can generate referrals and repeat business. For leads that are in the sales funnel, seasonal recognition can be an additional point of contact. Since it is commonly recognized that a new customer needs a minimum of five touchpoints to achieve a sale, gifting becomes a critical strategy. Furthermore, while existing customers may represent an easier subsequent sale, 68% of existing clients who stop working with a business say they did not feel appreciated. A seasonal gifting program provides critical customer contact and engagement.

Some Important Rules of an Effective Gifting Program

In order to get the most out of corporate gifting, it should be planned, strategic, and intentional. Here are some dos and don’ts:

Do make it personal.

While budget and the length of the contact list often influence the type of gift that might be made, it’s important to include some element of personalization. For cards, a handwritten signature, along with a small note, can make a huge difference in the impact of the gesture.

Do include your brand.

There is some debate about whether the gift itself should be branded, but no matter if it’s a fruit basket, a pen, or a leather portfolio, your logo should be part of the gift. If it doesn’t seem suitable to brand the gift itself, then be sure to use branded packaging. We talked to David Rowley of Minuteman Press, who suggested that ribbons, wrapping paper, boxes, and bags can all be customized with color and logo.

Don’t get lost in the mail.

During the holiday season, cards are plenty. When designing the card or gift, clearly mark it with your brand, so it doesn’t get overlooked or go in the recycling pile.

Don’t give just anything.

The point of a gift is to stay top of mind. Some businesses make the mistake of giving a gift that fails to have an impact. One example is selecting something that gets put away instead of an item intended for regular use or placement on a desk.

Good marketing and a good client appreciation program both convey a customer-centric brand ethic that makes can be the defining characteristic that leads to an initial or repeat sale. With the holidays approaching, this additional gesture creates a lasting, beneficial impression. If your brand isn’t conveying gratitude for its customers, it may be time for a refresh. Contact us today to talk about your branding needs.