There is a great deal of hoopla in small business marketing to attract and retain customers. One such trick is to convince prospects and customers that the spirit of Christmas springs up again magically in July, by using some Christmas in July promotions.
I am OK with this practice, because I realize that it is just another way to have a SALE. But July might also be a great time to have business owners begin thinking about gift giving.
I was reading a story in a lawn care site that was suggesting that Christmas in July would be a great way to promote landscaping services. But, the important take-away from this article was the suggestion that business gift giving might be very effective at times other than just the Holidays. Frances Cole Jones discusses this topic regularly in her blog and wrote about it in her book the WOW Factor.
Businesses use gift giving for various reasons, but most use the gesture as a way of saying “Thank You” for the positive relationship with customers. In fact an American Express 2009 survey found that 82% of gifts where for thank you, 38% just to celebrate the season and 25% used a gift to stand out from competitors.
The survey pegged the average gift-spend at $455 per business, with most companies budgeting to send the gifts out in the third quarter of the year.
A review of US census statistics shows that there are over 25 million small businesses operating in the US, and the Amex survey found that 47% of these business people will give gifts during the year. What this means is that over 11-million businesses will spend around $455 on customer gifts this year, or a total of $5.3 billion dollars!
When you consider the extra expenses incurred from personal deliveries or UPS shipments, there is some serious money changing hands, just to show appreciation to customers.
As you know, we focus on gift giving in our company and we are looking for ways to make the process more entertaining and engaging. We like party games, but there are probably many other ideas.
So if you are thinking of Christmas time this July, we suggest that it doesn’t take much extra effort to make your business gift giving a bit more fun and exciting this year. After all, we are all attempting to stand out from the crowd…
What are your gift giving plans for your company?