Tech Line

‘Tis the Season to Celebrate the Customer: The Manner of Giving Is Worth More than the Gift

Marketers are a unique breed. In my experience, they often come from the humanities rather than business world, and most have, to one degree or another, a creative streak. Coming up with new ads and campaigns and blogs and social posts and emails and words after words after words is not the bailiwick of the data scientist nor financial analyst. It is the job of marketers, up and down the line.

Yet despite this artistic bent, even the best marketers can become enamored with “it’s-all-about-us”-itis. Oh, they talk about caring what the prospect or customer wants or needs, but, in reality, they often only want to pound how great their company/product/service is and why, dear customer, you must send your money our way for the privilege of buying it.

Now, no one is suggesting that marketers don’t need to help sell; it’s a big part of the job. But there has to be room for, and the occasional focus on, what the customer needs, what the customer has done, what will make the customer happy by making an emotional connection. And there’s no time better than the holiday season to give that a go.

Expressions of Celebration

Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hannukah, Diwali, Kwanza, or any other end-of-year, solstice-related holiday, the primary activity for them all is “giving.” Presents under the tree, eight nights of little gifts, tins of sweets or a box of chai, handmade items for the children—all expressions of celebration for both the year gone by and the new one on the way. 

Gifts and recognition are especially appreciated by customers and prospects during the festive season from early autumn through January 1. Businesses in all industries, of all sizes, have the opportunity to celebrate and recognize prospects, customers, partners, and employees in some small way. One caveat: this recognition and celebration must be given freely, with no implicit quid pro quo.

So, to help you get in the spirit, we suggest cozying up by the proverbial fire to flip through our final e-book for the year, PFL’s Essential Guide to Celebration & Recognition: A Win-Win. We all love to get those surprise boxes silently left on the porch by Amazon, UPS, and USPS (the new “under the tree”?) that contain gifts and treats of various sorts—in fact, here’s a whole collection of them curated by PFL’s experts.

But a gift doesn’t have to be an actual thing. It can simply be recognition for a particular accomplishment during the year or job well done.

But a gift doesn’t have to be an actual thing. It can simply be recognition for a particular accomplishment during the year or job well done. That’s why we’ve included in our “celebration” e-book a few examples of how some of the biggest brands in the world recognize and give back to customers—all without asking for anything in return. See how Bank of America, Duolingo, Paycor, YouTube and others make personal connections with their customers.

The Spirit of the Season

The moral to this holiday story? We might say “it is better to give than to receive,” but, aside from being trite, that’s really not what the business of marketing is all about. We  quote, instead, in the spirit of the season, this thought from Pierre Corneille, 17th century French dramatist: “The manner of giving is worth more than the gift.”

For businesses, the manner of giving means using a personal touch that sets brands apart and makes them feel truly valued. Celebration and recognition are essential components of a successful marketing strategy, which are amplified when using a personalized direct mail strategy. By genuinely acknowledging and celebrating customers and prospects—especially at this time of year—businesses can pave the way for long-lasting relationships and sustainable growth in an ever-evolving marketplace—all while making people happy.

As we say in the title of our e-book, it’s a win-win. 

From the marketing team at PFL to you and yours, no matter what you celebrate, no matter what your business, we wish you all the best this holiday season.