Gifting is a very human practice, as old as our species! Even before civilization, when we were still living in caves, giving gifts was a way to show love, affection and appreciation.
Fast forward to the twenty-first century, and gifting is big business. The gift card market alone was worth close to $400 billion worldwide last year.
The undeniable power of gifting has long been a part of B2B marketing strategy too, and it shows no signs of letting up. This year, the corporate gifting market is expected to hit a value of $242 billion, with 8.1% forecast growth through 2024.
Corporate gifting is clearly here to stay. Not just that, as more businesses discover the powerful relationship-building potential of gifting, they are making it a priority rather than just one of the usual marketing activities, and spending more on gifting to clients and partners than ever.
If you’re considering a move to corporate gifting, or are already doing it and want to get better results, here are our tips to gifting campaign success:
Before considering what you need to do to succeed in corporate gifting, first a word about what not to do. Most importantly, you don’t want to be sending just another generic gift or the usual boring swag featuring your logo. Remember, most companies these days are gifting just like you, so it is even more important to stand out from the crowd. And you simply won’t be able to do that if you rely on same-old gifts and tactics.
Get creative with your messaging
A gift is just a gift without a story to open up a channel of communication between your brand and the recipient. That means getting really creative and original with the messaging of your gifting campaign. For example, a brand was hosting a virtual “happy hour”, so it gifted attendees with save-the-date tumblers and their choice of alcoholic beverage. The gift was accompanied by clever messaging to encourage RSVPing, such as “Don’t make a ‘pour’ decision” by missing out and “Great minds drink alike”. Find a way to connect the gift to the campaign goal and to the needs and interests of the recipient. Creativity pays off in engagement.
The days of just sending out a gift and hoping it hits the mark are over. To succeed, gifting campaigns must be based on a workflow of touchpoints specifically designed to engage the customer along the way and make them want to take part in the gifting experience. Watch our advisor Lauren Pica, who was first introduced to Outgage gifting as a customer, as she describes how she received a locked cookie jar as a gift. In order to open the jar, she had to sign up for an introductory call during which she discovered the secret lock. By creating intrigue and interactive touchpoints as part of the workflow, businesses can transform gifting from a hopeful attempt to entice the audience, to actually engaging their interest and curiosity.
CTAs are critical
The best corporate gifting campaigns are based on a workflow of different touchpoints at various stages. That means you need to be clear about the actions the recipient should take at every stage. Make sure to create strong Calls-to-Action that not only describe for the audience what to do and how to do it, but give them a compelling reason to do so. Returning to the example of the virtual happy hour, the audience was first directed to a landing page featuring an invitation to the event, including the date and time. The page included an online form, with the heading “Where’s the party?” and a short description, “Let us know what address we should send your gift to.” This is a great example of the type of clear, purposeful CTA that should appear throughout the gifting workflow. No more generic “Request a call”. Rather, use the gift-giving experience to direct the audience’s next interaction with you. (BTW, that particular campaign resulted in an incredible 49% attendance rate at the virtual happy hour!)
You can’t understand what you don’t measure. This is very true of corporate gifting. If you just send a gift to a customer, there is no way of knowing whether they received it, if they enjoyed it, or even if they opened it! But with an omnichannel gifting campaign that incorporates digital touchpoints and physical gifts, you can gather vital data about the campaign touchpoints and use those analytics to understand your audience and optimize future campaigns. With Outgage’s gifting platform, you can actually create and distribute the campaign via the dashboard, and then track and analyze the campaign performance via the same tool. That’s the kind of visibility you need to make sure you indeed stand out in the competitive and crowded B2B gifting market.
Corporate gifting is not going anywhere, and now is definitely not the time for complacency. Rather, turn on your creativity and build a gifting workflow that puts you ahead of the rest. And watch those interactions and conversions light up your Outgage dashboard!