As a marketer, my real responsibility is to gain and maintain a loyal customer base. After all, what is the point of getting new customers to just replace old ones? Somewhere along the way, everyone got into the habit of sending Christmas gifts and cards (now holiday gifts and cards) to their customer base in December. I, for one, have been on both ends of this tradition. In one sense, it’s nice to have your office become a stockpile of cute calendars, pens and have your bulletin board covered with pretty cards. On the other hand, who they fooling? As a customer, in the deep recesses of your mind, you have a feeling that they just pulled the “Active Customer” file from the database and probably shipped off the extra stuff in the promotions closet. Some appreciation!
As a marketer, I finally got fed up with the hassle of the holiday customer gift routine. Budgets are stretched by that time of year. You are competing with others for unique gift ideas for your customers and find out that:
a) it costs more than you’d planned or,
b) due to seasonal demand, you just can’t get what you really want.
Also, as any marketer worth her (or his) salt knows, every campaign needs a follow up. I got tired of hounding account managers (who were juggling their own holiday vacation schedules) to reach out to the gift recipients by phone or in person.
My solution: Thanksgiving Customer Gifts
This really is the best of both worlds. You have a built-in holiday about gratitude. Your gift to your client will arrive alone, instead of being added to a pile. You can plan to get much closer to the holiday since few people take off the majority of November to make their rounds to the relatives. Also, your account managers have plenty of time (fewer excuses) to do a follow-up call or visit.