Gift Giving is Marketing

The Art of Marketing

So how’d you do?

The holiday season is when everyone gets to experience what it’s like to be a marketer. You’ve got a list of tasks to complete, with measurable goals, and you have to complete the tasks, ideally successfully, or everything changes.

Your tasks are noted on your list of gift recipients. You have a list of a variety of people based on your relationship with them. You have to choose something that is applicable for them, and reflects you.

Half way through you give up. You can’t POSSIBLY meet all their needs and expectations adequately, you say. It’s too much, there isn’t time.

Of course there’s time. It’s not as if the holiday season creeped up on you unexpectedly. You’ve known the whole year it’s coming, and yet you still saved your planning an initiative for the last minute.

You compromise. You do a broad stroke approach for most. Innocuous gifts that will be relatively appreciated by all (not to knock gift cards, we all love them, ESPECIALLY when they come from someone who used to give you the stuff you never understood anyway). You try to appease the largest group with an all encompassing approach that will meet their needs and perhaps may make them think of you as they use the gift. You can get creative and personal, by buying store or service-specific ones that show you really did think about it and got them something they need, deserve, wouldn’t have gotten for themselves. But we all know we see the wall of gift cards at most stores and convenience stops, discretely placed in your face, the “oh shit, I forgot that person” placement in stores, which in ancient times held the old-time display of Jean Nate Bath Splash and Old Spice gift sets.

Still there are gifts you have to get right for your “core” recipients, your tried and true and important targets. If you get those wrong you will risk problems, humiliation, anger, resentments, and a degradation of the relationship.

The goal for these recipients is not just to meet the expectations, but to exceed them, to delight them, to personalize it.

So how’d you do?

  • Did you like being a marketer for a day?
  • Did you see the immediate responses in their eyes when you gave the right gift, or the wrong one?
  • Did you get the social media feedback you had hoped for?
  • Did you deliver on time?
  • Did you have a back up plan for those you “missed”?
  • Did you give a gift that did double duty, not only delighted them but deepened the relationship and increased the engagement?

Yep, it’s true, the end goal for all marketers is similar to proposing. Timing, appropriateness, approach, message, and the deliverable.

(Not too much pressure, right?)

Happy Holidays.