Christmas just passed. That's bad news for marketers that are still wrapping up their prospect gift lists for the holidays. But if you happen to be one of them, don't worry. These four last-minute tips will help you find the kind of gifts your prospects can't wait to open - and you won't have to join the holiday power rush either.
A shortened holiday shopping season this year is pushing more and more consumers to finish up gift-buying much later than usual. In fact, as of 9th December, the average holiday shopper has only managed to check off about half of his/her gift list. So, at the very least, you're not alone.
That doesn't make things easier on your part though. From crowded parking lots to long checkout lines. That's time and effort you could've spent on more important things, and not even shopping online can completely get rid of the holiday rush's many inconveniences. Fortunately, you don't have to become a glutton for punishment just to get your prospects something for Christmas. Here are four last-minute gift-giving tips to make the both of you happy:
1. Avoid aiming for the 'perfect' gift.
When all else fails, gift cards seem to save the day. As much as 80% of consumers say they plan to buy gift cards this season and, for seven years now, gift cards have topped the National Retail Federation's most-wanted gifts. They're widely appreciated and rarely disappoint. You'd they'd be the perfect presents to give prospects.
But are they?
Gift cards may be appreciated, but they're really not that memorable. They may not disappoint, but they're not that spectacular either. (This goes especially from the view of an executive.) So, it looks like even the 'perfect gift' may not be what you need in lead generation or B2B marketing for that matter.
2. Make the thought behind really count.
Now that gift cards are out, you're left with one less gift idea. So what do you do? A wish list would be great, but can you realistically ask each and every one of your prospects what they want for Christmas? And even if you're able to, can you grant all those wishes?
The key here is to give prospects and leads items that remind them of you. Send them promotional products they can use regularly and be sure these include your company logo. These freebies don't have to be big-ticket items. Just little things that help them get routine tasks done.
But if you still think promotional products aren't a viable option for you right now, sending a personalized greeting card never hurts.
3. Give experiences instead of things.
If there's one myth about gift-giving you should debunk forever, it's the mistaken belief that gifts need to be stuff. The truth is that gifts of experience make us happier more than gifts of stuff ever could. This has been shown by research time and again, so it's really worth looking into as one of your gift ideas.Consider inviting prospects to special workshops or empowering seminars. Want to make them happy? Give them something that they'll carry in their minds and hearts than just their pockets.
4. Let prospects have the gift of insight.
Speaking of intangible gifts, there's one present that no self-respecting B2B lead can refuse: the gift of insight. Suppose you're this hotshot CIO in a midlevel company. Would you rather (A) open a holiday-edition email newsletter about the latest ways to fine-tune a cloud environment or (B) unwrap a box with what feels like a scarf inside? You'd most likely go for choice A, unless you think the scarf comes in your favorite color.
That's why, in content marketing, useful/actionable insights are gifts that keep on giving. So, this holiday season, help your prospects solve a problem or broaden their knowledge with a special-edition whitepaper, blog post, newsletter, etc. It won't cost you as much, but it's going to be extremely valuable.
Keep in mind that your gift-giving gesture has to align with your marketing campaign. Your gifts serve a specific purpose such as getting your prospects to agree to a phone meeting, to return your voicemail, or simply for nurturing your relationship. But beyond pure business reasons, sending out gifts this Christmas is all about bringing a bit of happiness to others. You want to keep your clients and prospects happy. So spread the holiday cheer!