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Holiday Business Gifts: Gift Planning As an Extension of Your Marketing Plan

“Roses are reddish, Violets are bluish, if it weren’t for Christmas, we’d all be Jewish.”

~Benny Hill

This is the time of year businesses recognize their clients, employees and strategic alliances – those people who helped to make their business successful.

Consider your gift project an important part of your marketing plan. Besides recognizing the people who mean so much to your business success, you want to be able to create goodwill, reinforce your image (brand) and be remembered throughout the year. These are the goals of any good marketing plan and can also be applied specifically your gift program.

Last year I wrote about how to set up your gift list. This year let’s talk about the ubiquitous gift cards. They are everywhere, even in the checkout line of the supermarket. Talk about convenience.

A few people have told me they are buying gift cards this year. It made me wonder about how gift cards are perceived when they’re given as well as when they’re received. How does the gift card meet your marketing goals?

Here are my lists: the pros of gift cards, the cons, and some criteria of what makes a business gift special.

THE CASE FOR GIFT CARDS

The gift card is…

  1. The most impersonal present there is. You’re letting them buy whatever they want.
  2. The gift that says, “we’re close enough that we don’t need to make a big deal about gifts.”
  3. A safe gift with unlimited possibilities. We won’t choose an unwanted gift or, worse, a gift that will be “re-gifted.”
  4. An opportunity to give an “experience”, such as a night out to their favorite restaurant.
  5. Appropriate for many situations. No one thinks it’s crass to give a gift card these days; they’re generally accepted. It’s not like you’re handing over cold hard cash, is it?
  6. Pragmatic and very practical.
  7. Convenient. It is so easy for a last-minute gift or when we’re too busy and running out of time.

THE CASE AGAINST GIFT CARDS

The gift card is not…

  1. A token of your relationship.
  2. A recognition of what would make someone happy that makes gift giving special.
  3. Personal. We didn’t take time out of our routine to consider what you would like and what would make your busy life better.
  4. Thoughtful. Giving a gift is more important than a mere transaction. It is an important occasion and we want to show our appreciation. “We just couldn’t spare the time to give an actual gift.” It is sort of a cop-out, a “lazy” gift.
  5. Memorable. There is no relationship invested in it and not so memorable. Will the card even be redeemed?
  6. Not necessarily specific to a client’s interests. “Here is a restaurant gift card. Although we don’t know you well enough, this is a very popular restaurant and some of my clients love it, we think you will love it too.”
  7. Appreciative. A good gift gives something extra along with it, some feeling, emotion, and recognition to show your appreciation.

MARKETING – RECOGNITION GIFTS

7 WAYS TO MAKE A GIFT SPECIAL

  1. The gift is useful or enjoyable.
  2. It is memorable.
  3. It has a high perceived value.
  4. It is a gift you know the person will like.
  5. It may be personalized; it can have their name on it.
  6. It reinforces the company brand, even if your company name or logo is not on the gift itself.
  7. It will be visible, useful or available when the person is most likely going to need or think about what your company offers.

The Quick Way To Start An Internet Business

Choose A Niche

If you haven’t already found a niche, you’ll want to decide on a niche that is going to spark your interest and also be profitable. However, do some research to make sure it’s something you want to work in since you are going to have to work in that niche, create compelling content and promote products regularly.

It’s a good idea to try to break your niche down into something that doesn’t have a lot of competition either. For instance, the “weight loss” niche has huge competition so maybe consider “weight loss recipes”. You also should consider if you are selling your own products or someone else’s products.

Take the time to research some competition sites as well. This can take time but you will want to see what they are offering and how they are running their business. See what you can do differently or better that will gain your own customers and consider new techniques you can incorporate into your business. Look at sites that are doing well so you know what you need to aim for in your business. You should then take a look at your own website and see where you can improve.

Choose A Name

A name that is relevant to your niche and the products you are offering is better than a name that has no relevance. A name that is simple to remember is also a benefit. Customers want something they can remember even if they don’t have anything to write on. The last thing you want is a website that is hard to remember or is long. You might want to include your product name in it as well if possible.

The name you choose will often be the domain name that you register. Sometimes the name you want won’t be available as a.com domain name so check to see if you can register a.net or.org with the name you want.

Build Your Site

Now it’s time to build your website. Make the design relevant to what you’re offering. Don’t have apples on your website if you are selling hunting equipment. There are a number of online resources that will offer free sites until you can get the money to invest in one.

If you know a site designer personally, you can ask them to make you one as well. This will allow you to get one professionally done for cheap or even free. Make sure if you pay to get one done for you that it’s what you want since some companies won’t change the layout or design once it’s made unless you pay more.

Promote Your New Business

Now you can get busy promoting your business and your website. Begin with search engine optimization. You can submit your site to almost all search engines for free. Upon submitting, there will be a robot sent to “crawl” your website and this is how your site is monitored. Make sure you use niche relative keywords and phrases in your website content as well to ensure your site is better optimized for the search engines. Try other marketing techniques that don’t cost a lot of money such as article marketing.

Getting a simple online business set up can be done in about a day or two, but for bigger, more detailed projects, it can take weeks to get things up and running.

Considerations When Establishing A Small Business

Studies completed all over the world reveal frequently that the probability of a small business failing is greater than before. One would wonder if the people who started such business would have the required business acumen to be successful. Perhaps the reason is that small business owners are not putting emphasis on the most important factors that would guarantee their success. Here are some important factors that must be considered that will increase your success rate in setting up a new business.

Have a good reason why you intend to start your own business

Many people get into small business for all the wrong motives. A business should not just serve as an alternative solution for your boring day job however it needs to be something you are truly passionate about and it needs to enhance the lives of others too. Business need to generate you an income true but this should not be your sole reason behind establishing one. If your company is based on this kind of cheap reasons then you’re certainly going to failure. Determine a company concept that you’ll appreciate applying and making a good results or else you are going to have gotten your self just another uninteresting work to do.

You must have a clear vision of what you want to achieve.

Regardless of whether how small or big your new business is, you should have a vision. What concerns is how big your vision for it really is. A proper company must have short term and long-term visions. These are important because they work as frequent pointers of where the business is credit in terms of where the company should be in a few months or years time. In business there are great times and incredibly bad instances. Your vision will help keep you heading when the latter hits.

Capital investment

Business and funds come together. The former can’t occur without the second. If your small business offers sufficient fluid funds your odds of declining because of financial impotence are decreased to nought. Before setting out to begin your company, make certain that you’ve got sufficient capital and a little more to spend not only to the latest technology needed for your company but also sufficient to engage capable and certified individuals to work for you.

Contemplate whether your debut is timely

The success of your small business depends a whole lot on whether you are providing your prospective customers a timely solution. Could your company solve existing issues that customers have? Have you got lots of opponents? If the answers to these concerns are yes and no correspondingly, get the chance and gone with it. Businesses that are not solution centered have lesser probabilities of survival in today’s vicious industry and the less competitors you have, the greater the chances of you getting a lead before others become popular. And the only way that you can truly start a business successfully is by dong extensive research.