The premise behind marketing is to get the attention of your target audience. But brand awareness alone isn’t enough to drive sales. You need something to boost your engagement rate.
The difference between advertising and a wasted budget is the ability to compel potential customers to act. For B2B marketers, that means you need to court not one person but often several decision-makers.
- Getting the Right Attention
- What Is Gift Marketing?
- Benefits of Gifting Marketing
- Elements of Successful Campaigns
- 6 Effective Gifting Campaign Ideas
- How to Succeed at Gift Marketing
Getting the Right Kind of Attention
Companies spend a lot on giveaways and incentives to create awareness, but these gifting marketing campaigns fail when not executed well. More often than not, people rarely hear about or remember giveaway winners. As such, audiences feel like they’re gimmicks.
It’s even worse with collecting business cards to raffle away an iPad at events. Everyone knows they’ll be on the receiving end of a marketing automation drip hawking whitepapers, ebooks, and coffee chats. Then, days later, they’ll unsubscribe, block calls, and go about their day.
Beefing up your marketing campaigns with thoughtful gifts fuels brand advocacy throughout the buyer’s journey. But it’ll take much more than a laptop sticker with your company’s logo and a Starbucks gift card to achieve marketing campaign success.
People don’t always want branded swag like t-shirts emblazoned with the logo of a company they patronized once; they want high-quality gifts with meaning and value.
Gifting amplifies marketing campaigns
Don’t be one of those marketers who does the same thing every year.
Nail your outbound marketing campaigns by infusing them with more creativity. You want to make recipients stop in their tracks and feel pleasantly surprised with your marketing offer.
Gift-giving unlocks that possibility. But, like a gift, it can’t come with expectations. Reciprocity isn’t guaranteed. That said, when you factor gifting into a broader Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC), you’ll find that you’ll spend less on inefficient and ineffective marketing channels.
We’ll showcase several campaign examples made better with gifting. Along the way, you’ll also be able to pick up gift marketing ideas to improve campaign performance and return on investment (ROI).
The role of gifts in marketing campaigns
Marketing gifts are promotional items companies give away to encourage their audience to become customers or clients. Traditionally, marketing gifts included company branding, such as shirts, cups, and notebooks. A newer type of marketing gift lets recipients pick out items within a budget set by the business.
A marketing gift can create a lasting impression and increase your brand awareness. But I must caution you: avoid giving gifts that are generic and self-serving.
Instead, opt for personalized gifts to deliver a higher impact. The personalized gift sector in the US is worth over $25 billion for a reason — a gift with a personal touch means a lot more to the receiver.
That doesn’t mean you can’t put your company name on merchandise; just make sure these thank-you gifts are earmarked for internal team members and close partners.
What Is Gift Marketing?
Gift marketing is the practice of using a gift to gain attention for a broader marketing or sales effort. This practice improves response rates and revenue attainment of existing marketing and sales activities because the message is hard to overlook and is crafted specifically for the recipient.
Rather than spending your ads budget on expensive cost-per-click (CPC) ads, attracting visitors who are most likely not ready to buy, you can redirect that spend to your recipients — not ad networks. And when done well, watch your conversion rates soar!
Another effective marketing strategy is to use gifts to casually elicit feedback. For instance, after people register for a webinar, why not send them a gift in anticipation of their attendance? Or, after downloading an in-depth report (such as international gifting tips ?), ask for feedback and leverage the gift in exchange for their time.
The big idea here is to uncover buying intent where it exists and, if it doesn’t, to stay top of mind so prospects come to you first when they are ready.
Benefits of Marketing Gifting Campaigns
In addition to getting a good response and improving brand awareness, there are several other benefits to creating a masterful gifting marketing campaign.
- Higher ROI compared to passive ads
- Stand out among higher-profile prospects
- Add a physical element to an abstract campaign idea
- Re-engage with opportunities that have lost steam
- Strengthen your outreach to an influencer or potential partner
- Increase customer loyalty and mitigate churn risks
Salespeople and marketers alike want better tools to engage their audience. Snazzy social media graphics can only go so far. Slick, prospecting emails won’t do it alone. With gifting as an accelerant, your campaigns can take off and double, even quadruple, pipeline and revenue.
Elements of Successful B2B Marketing Campaigns
So, what should every B2B marketing program include? Here are five elements of profitable marketing campaigns:
- Marketing strategy: Establish a pathway for prospective buyers to agree with your POV and create opportunities for them to engage sales. Marketing campaigns roll up to a broader go-to-market (GTM) marketing strategy to engage new or existing audiences.
- Target audience: A well-defined audience classified with a set of situational needs or attributes complements your product or service. This focus lends itself to attracting and retaining the best-fit accounts.
- Key message: The messaging is the core of your marketing campaign. It should demonstrate value — be useful or entertaining, but rarely both. Boost awareness by advancing a provocative campaign idea, instead of discussing features or pricing.
- Social proof: Validation from customer reviews, approved logos, or other user-generated content signals your brand’s credibility. Think about unique ways to involve customers in your B2B marketing campaigns.
- Consistency: Brand consistency is powerful. It helps your company be recognizable with a consistent look, feel, and tone to heighten brand loyalty and customer advocacy. Plus, it promotes a more profound sense of trust and familiarity.
Looking for inspiration for your next digital gifting campaign? Here are several solid examples!
6 Effective Gifting Campaigns to Try
Gifting works best when integrated within a strategic digital marketing or sales campaign.
The following campaign ideas can be highly successful. Pick the gift idea that most appeals to you and experiment with it, or try them all out and see which one works best for you.
1) Elevate your marketing events.
Hosting events or webinars to promote your company and your services or products is a common marketing strategy, but you can take it further. Give everyone who attends the event something distinctive to thank them for attending and participating.
Although you can send Amazon gift cards, it would be much better to make the leading gift resonate with the campaign and the recipients.
Be strategic — don’t discuss gifting too early. This perk should be a pleasant surprise, not the sole motivation for attending. One idea that worked well for us was awarding promotional gifts to the most active participants in these events. It makes the event fun for everyone.
2) Scale user-generated content (UGC) efforts.
Marketing on social media is nothing new, but you can use it to give away gifts in an exciting new way in exchange for original content from users.
What do we mean by content? Photos, reviews, quotes, testimonials, suggestions, customer tips, and more. These can all be used to help attract tomorrow’s customers. Collectively, they make your marketing campaigns more authentic and compelling.
Suppose you have a huge campaign launch coming up. Gift marketing lets you capture real customer feedback while providing an incentive that doesn’t significantly influence the results. With our corporate gifting platform, we ask users to give answers or schedule a live discussion as a part of the gift redemption process.
3) Revamp marketing nurtures and sales cadences.
Nurture streams are nothing new to a B2B marketer. But, historically, they’ve been misused.
It’s important to examine the current sales cadences and tailor them to show their value — either in your product or your content. These automation campaigns can build trust and strengthen relationships, but you must fine-tune them to the audience and their needs.
100% of the marketing and sales costs have gone to waste on ancient leads with minimal-to-zero engagement. But, if you can enrich your prospect data and qualify them, you can recoup some of that wasted spending. If someone changes jobs or gets promoted or the company has grown significantly, you can resurrect them into your pipeline.
Another idea is to go the direct mail route and send a locked gift box. Within the swag box, provide a high-quality client gift that will knock their socks off. The following week, send them a branded keychain with a key to unlock it. By adding a little mystery and adventure you can unlock opportunities gone dark.
4) Promote content consumption and engagement.
Digital marketing likely forms a big part of your overall GTM motion, and many of your customers engage with it. Invite your audience to stumble upon a secret gift message to send to your chatbot or sales team. This tactic can build stronger connections with your audience and encourage further engagement with your content.
How? Tuck this elusive call to action (CTA) within the content, or you can do it from a Drift chatbot. Then, when people get the premium content, include a passphrase from one of the key topics. When the phrase is correct, they can redeem a gift.
You can use digital swag to promote your company effectively and satisfy your customers simultaneously. Digital swag is online gifts you can send to your customers through special gift codes, social media, or email marketing.
You don’t have to limit yourself to digital gifts. Take a more altruistic approach and donate to your recipient’s favorite charities. This gift marketing strategy effectively engages senior company leaders who “have it all.”
5) Collaborate with influencers and tastemakers.
Influencer marketing is another fantastic avenue for more authentic and affordable marketing strategies. Working with influencers can get your brand in front of a loyal audience more than traditional forms of marketing.
With micro- and nano-influencers set to become a mainstay in 2023, you should include influencers as a part of your GTM strategy. The algorithms do most of the work once you have a solid partnership with a creator underway.
However, don’t simply use them as a vehicle for ads. Instead, gather their insights to improve your product, messaging, and ideas for what their audience loves. And be sure to send the right gifts to take the relationship to the next level.
6) Celebrating company milestones and achievements.
Never let a win go to waste. Whether it’s a funding announcement, a customer retention milestone, or an exceeded revenue target — make it count! Winning is infectious. High morale can increase employer brand loyalty and even drive more enthusiasm in their sales and support conversations.
Gifting is effective in celebrating these wins across the enterprise. Gifting stands out even more when many of your employees and partners work from home.
First and foremost, a handwritten note to high-performers goes a long way. You don’t need a gift for that (but it helps). Sharing gratitude is essential to heighten workforce engagement rates and even referrals.
Several more gift ideas for team members:
- Physical gifts to promote an upcoming event or product launch
- Holiday gifts to express gratitude, especially at the start of the new year
- Commemorate strategic partnerships and integrations with great exposure
- Tote bags filled with eye-popping company swag for a President’s Club trip
- Branded swag on employee anniversaries or gift cards as a reward for exceptional performance
How to Succeed at Gift Marketing
Planning a corporate gifting campaign can be fun, but there are fundamentals to follow. These tips, or best practices, are how you’ll get the results you want and avoid turning off potential customers.
1) Let recipients choose their gifts.
We’ve consistently seen that, when people can choose their business gift, they’re more satisfied. This flexibility also reduces stress over picking the “right gift.” While we enjoy freebies, selecting an item yourself is even better.With Alyce’s swag store, your target audience can choose from over 30,000 gift options, including gift cards, experiences, and high-quality gear. Accepting a gift has a familiar e-commerce experience, and they’ll receive it days later.
Make it possible for your customers to choose from a handful of gifts so they can find the one that has the most value to them. Plus, it’s a great conversation starter when you follow up with them.
2) Provide reasonable gift spending limits.
Budgets keep marketers from going overboard and spending all the revenue they’ve just generated. The truth is that every marketing campaign has a budget that factors in the outcomes from content, email campaigns, and advertising.Plan your gifting marketing campaign thoroughly and be conservative with the conversion rates.
It’s better to have money left after the campaign than overspending. With appropriate financial limits within your gifting platform, your sales team can have the flexibility they need to move deals forward.
3) Remember that a warm message and a gift crushes a gift alone.
With a personal note that you address personally, recipients are sure to appreciate your outreach. The enclosed gift is just a cherry on the top. Convey your warmth with a personal video embedded from Vidyard to ensure you are seen and heard.
Be sure to remind recipients they have the choice to exchange or donate it to a charity. This level of effort means you’ll have to invest more in gifts, but the outcomes are much more impactful. For example, sending a thoughtful gift after being a guest on a podcast. It’ll be something the host brags about to their loved ones.
Personal gifting can be as simple as a personalized message or a unique gift card. It all depends on your audience. Use information such as social media profiles and marketing data to find the perfect gifts.
Amplify Your Marketing Campaign Success
Gifting marketing campaigns pave the way for a deeper connection with prospects and customers. If you stick to the advice shared here, you’ll build a brilliant campaign to enhance your business’s performance and customer retention.
Over the long term, campaign performance and results only improve with gifting. Also, you won’t need to hand over more and more of your marketing budget to Google each year since your sales team will be consistently closing more deals every month.
Ready for a better way to do gifting? Connect with our experts, and we’ll happily share several more ways to delight your prospects and customers.