Clients are incredibly important part of business; their relationship makes your company what it is. It’s important to be thoughtful when choosing gifts for them.
“A thoughtful gift and accompanying personal note provides a way to show your appreciation for your client in a powerfully human way,” said David Sturt, executive vice president of marketing and business development for O.C. Tanner, an employee recognition and corporate gifting firm. “It highlights the significance of the personal relationship itself, rather than on the day-to-day transactions of products and services. It elevates the relationship.”
Thoughtful gifts also have a natural reciprocal quality to them. When someone is appreciative of you, it elicits a natural response to see the things you appreciate about them, Sturt added.
Whether it’s a holiday greeting or a token of gratitude, here are 12 gifts for your business clients that fit any budget.
To keep your best clients coming back in the new year, try sending them one of these cool holiday gifts. Each item is under $20 — so you don’t have to break the bank in the process, either.
Thank your clients for their loyalty with a delicious bouquet of color, chocolate and sweet delight from Edible Arrangements. These fruit-based concoctions feature fruit in the shape of flowers, dipped in chocolate and will please any client you work with. Depending on the size of the client’s office, you can choose from a range of small arrangements to large that come with a personalized note.
The holiday shopping season is the retail industry’s busiest time of year. However, not all holiday shopping is done at big box stores: Small business owners also anticipate this time of year as bringing in serious revenue. Small Business Saturday,encourages consumers to shop local, and is a great opportunity to the small retailers to increase their profits for the year. Founded by American Express in 2010, Small Business Saturday is an annual shopping day supporting the independently owned businesses that help create jobs and help make local economies thrive.
According to a press release, small businesses will be offered new resources for a successful holiday shopping season. “Our ultimate goal is to help small businesses do more business — and for Small Business Saturday, that includes arming them with the tools to help make the day a success,” said Amy Marino, vice president and head of Small Business Saturday at American Express.
Among the new tools being rolled out this holiday season by American Express are free business boot camps, online “SBS 101” education content, and customizable print and digital signage for this year, which marks the seventh-annual Small Business Saturday. Items such as event flyers, posters, save the dates, and social media assets will be available for business owners to customize and download for free to promote their business.
The SBS 101 content will include a multi-media hub featuring how-to guides, and tips and insights from small business owners and influencers. This tool is designed to educate, prepare, and inspire small business owners to participate in Small Business Saturday.
Most small businesses rely heavily on marketing strategies to retain current customers and attract new ones. However, the digital realm, including social media, is changing rapidly, and marketers must adapt their strategies quickly if they want to continue to reach their customers. The Content Marketing Institute (CMI) named story-driven content, video, native advertising and influencer advertising as some of the top upcoming marketing trends to watch in 2017. Business News Daily spoke with some marketing experts to discuss the trends for digital marketing in the coming year. Story-driven content Heartwarming and captivating stories help connect consumers to a specific product or service.
The goal of story-driven content is to tap into consumers’ emotions and make them feel something remarkable toward your brand. This strategy is particularly relevant to the millennial generation, which happens to be the largest target consumer demographic right now, according to Pew Research Center.
Strategic communication expert Supriya Venkatesan said stories are a major part of the future of marketing. “The most effective content will be story-driven and match millennial values of doing social good — which is a relatively modern marketing trend,” she said. “Platforms like Upworthy and campaigns like Dove Beauty are a huge success because they recognize that millennials crave authentic transparency and goodness.” However, a company’s reputation can be jeopardized quickly if it relays the wrong value or message to its customers. For instance, Kirsten Clodfelter, co-founder of Rise Marketing, cited a 2014 incident when DiGiorno accidentally used a domestic violence hashtag to sell pizza. “Businesses need to challenge themselves with really thinking about how to meaningfully engage using different social media channels in a way that’s more significant than just using the latest hashtag or putting emojis in their post,” she added. Video content Author and copywriter Brit McGinnis believes the future of marketing will be all about customization and understanding the complexities of a company’s audience. “Everything will be customized to find smaller numbers of more devoted customers,” she said.
This means methodologies will require less empirical analysis and more qualitative understanding of targeted consumers. One way to capture an audience, for instance, is to create video content. According to HubSpot, videos often drive higher audience engagement online than other types of content, such as text and photos. “Video marketing is a critical tool for businesses right now, whether you’re looking at creating short, shareable content for social media or thinking about something more targeted, like recruitment strategy,” Clodfelter said. She added that videos should also serve a culturally relevant purpose.
While some consumers have already begun their holiday shopping, the post-Thanksgiving rush is about to begin, and retailers across the country are preparing for big sales and promotions. This is especially true of e-commerce businesses, which need to anticipate an influx of website traffic during what’s likely to be their biggest sales period of the year.
As a small online retailer, your website needs to be in tip-top shape for the season, to help you keep up with your larger competitors. Frank Yue, director of solution marketing and application delivery at Radware, a provider of DDoS protection services, said that if your site slows down, you have a lot to lose — 57 percent of consumers will abandon a site that fails to load after 3 seconds, according to Radware research. “If the site doesn’t respond … [customers will think] it’s not worth it and go to another website to buy [the item] somewhere else,” Yue told Business News Daily. “It’s not just the [site] outage you have to worry about, but also the degradation of performance and delivery to retain customers.”
Celebrate the season on your site Physical retail stores often set up special holiday displays during the shopping season. You can take a similar approach to your website. “Now is the time to start flipping over creative and make your site more seasonal,” said Lisa Graves, senior email marketing strategist at DEG, a full-service digital marketing agency. “Dress up your digital channel just like you do your brick and mortar.” But this doesn’t necessarily mean adding Christmas trees and flashing lights to your homepage, said Richard Stevenson, head of corporate communications at e-commerce software provider ePages.com. “Rather, revise your website content and adapt it with encouraging, upbeat content for the most important milestone dates: Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas and New Year,” he said. “Shoppers respond best to content that celebrates the products, ties these to festivities and gives a sense of why the recipient will be delighted with them.” Highlight your special offers and discounts Make sure that your holiday offers are featured prominently on your home page, and update your website’s images, keywords and search engine optimization to help shoppers find your business in search results, said Debbi Lechner, vice president of product marketing and management for Web.com.
She also advised frequently posting your special offers to your top social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. “Linking your posts back to your website will promote calls and orders, and drive more traffic to your website,” Lechner said. “You will also see increased awareness and followers of your social channels when customers share your offers with their friends.” Make site speed a priority Many online retailers focus primarily on the design of their website — how pretty the page looks, how big the graphics are, how easy the Buy buttons are to access, etc. The problem, however, is that all those large photos and interactive elements could slow your site down significantly. “All that effort spent to make a gorgeous [website] could get wasted because the page doesn’t load in time for the consumer,” said Deborah Szajngarten, director of public relations for Radware. Although a well-designed home page is important, businesses should also focus on finding Web solutions and hosts that give them the necessary bandwidth and speed to support higher holiday traffic. “[You need] on-demand resourcing … to scale the capabilities of your online presence and quickly adjust the number of servers and customers you can support simultaneously [to remain] efficient,” Yue said.
Mobile marketing lets businesses get in front of customers on the devices they use the most: their smartphones and tablets. From text messages to push notifications, mobile check-ins, emails and even social media, mobile marketing can help you boost sales by sending coupons, special discounts, announcements and other promotions to highly targeted customers. By reaching out to customers on devices that they take everywhere they go, mobile marketing can work wonders on in-person walk-ins and online shoppers. To help you get started, here are 11 mobile marketing solutions for small business.
1. Yelp for Business
Yelp is more than just a reviews site and go-to app for finding local businesses and deciding where to eat. It’s also a great place to incentivize customers via the Yelp mobile app. For instance, a restaurant can offer free drinks or appetizers, and a medical clinic can offer special discounts on select treatments — all customers have to do is check-in from their phones. The Yelp app also makes it easier for customers to contact you using call-to-action buttons, such the ability to call your business, visit your website or place a mobile order with just one tap. Yelp also lets you create and publish local ads, making it easier for nearby customers to discover your business while searching for ones just like yours. For more information on how to use Yelp for business check out our primer, Yelp: A Small Business Guide.
The easiest way to reach customers on their mobile phones is by texting them. Mozeo aims to make texting customers a breeze with its easy to use dashboard and text messaging management system. To connect with your business and agree to receive communication, all customers have to do is text a keyword followed by a unique short code. For instance, Denny’s restaurants had customers text the word “Dennys” to 24587 to receive special deals, and Heineken used the word “USOPEN” to run a national text-2-win contest. In addition to deals and contests, Mozeo can also be used to send text notifications, reminders, verification codes and account alerts (such as when a password has been changed), as well as hold two-way conversations to provide customer support.
Black Friday is the perfect time to pick up some productivity-boosting gadgets. The biggest shopping day of the year will include some killer deals on smartphones, tablets, laptops and software to help you do your job. Whether you’re buying for yourself or for your favorite professional, here are some of the best deals to jump on this Thanksgiving weekend.
Available from Microsoft.com starting Nov. 25.
Microsoft Office is the gold standard in productivity software, and it’s available for nearly half-off this month. For just $59, you get access to web-connected versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and more.
Available from Microsoft.com starting Nov. 25.
vailable from Verizon stores starting Nov. 24.
Our pick for the best overall business phone is dirt cheap this November if you buy it from Verizon. The Galaxy S7 offers long battery life, strong security — including built-in encryption — and speedy performance. It’s available for $10/month for 24 months, or a single payment of $240 with no contract required. Monthly data allotment varies by plan.
Microsoft calls it “the tablet that can replace your laptop” for a reason, and the company is shaving $150 off the price this holiday. The Surface Pro 3 is a full Windows 10 computer in a sleek tablet shell. Paired with the Surface Pen stylus and Type Cover keyboard, it’s a terrific mobile work companion.