Saying ‘thank you’ in a professional environment: Episode four – ‘Thank you’ for attending event

Corporate Gifts at Events

The UK events industry is a humungous sector by any measures, over 1.3 million business events are held in the UK every year! Through exhibitions and trade fairs alone, the UK attracts over 13 million visitors, generating £11 billion spend. The amazing part is the events industry hasn’t even reached its peak yet with 83% of agencies predicting a growing headcount for next year. But how can these events continue to grow, what brings people back year upon year to these trade shows and exhibitions?

Trade ShowsThe world of events is incredibly versatile to say the least, as the years go by the visitors change, and as they change, their needs and requirements change, for example 20 years ago, do you think there was a requirement for widespread Wi-Fi? Now free Wi-Fi is almost a pre-requisite feature when selecting an event venue. It is this constantly changing adaptability combined with great exhibition and trade show content that seems to be the reason why trade shows and exhibitions continue to thrive today. One aspect that has remained the same is the corporate gifts and giveaways or as they are known across the pond ‘Swag Bags!’

Swag Bag

Today more than ever the success or failure of your event can pivot upon the gifts you distribute, I saw an example of this earlier in the year when a blogger was judging the success of a large tech conference before the event, solely judged on the contents of the goodie bag. Ultimately it is important to thank the attendees at your events because without them your event is sure to be a failure, but how you thank them is purely up to you.

There are so many instances that provide you with the opportunity to thank people for attending your event:

  • Thanking people for registering for event as described in previous blog, this can be done before or during the event
  • Exhibiting at a show and thanking people for visiting your stand by distributing trade show giveaways
  • Thanking people on entry to your event with a bag containing information and show guide, this gives the person a bag to collect items from previous scenario
  • Thanking people for coming as they leave your event with a bag containing a selection of gifts
  • Thanking people for coming to your conference providing them with the tools they need during the event

Each one of these scenarios require a different strategy, for example the exhibition giveaways would need to be a product that you can buy enough of to distribute to everyone who visits your stand. This product needs to be affordable whilst remaining interesting enough that people would want to keep it and use for brand re-call purposes. On the other hand you have scenarios where you will need to give corporate gifts to VIP attendees, these gifts should pertain a high perceived value to reflect the importance of that person visiting your event.

Whatever your event is the message seems to be clear, it is important to thank people for attending, as they may become a loyal customer, and if you’d like to learn more about loyal customers check out yesterday’s blog!

Saying ‘thank you’ in a professional environment: Episode three – ‘Thank you’ for your loyalty

Customer Loyalty

We have touched upon customer loyalty once or twice already this week as it does find its way into the other ‘thank you’ subjects, but as it is such a big and important topic, it unquestionably needs to have an article of its own.  It is important today more than ever because we live in a world where your customer has access to all your competition at the simple click of a button, not to mention the barrage of e-mails they receive telling them that they can receive better products elsewhere. With GDPR coming into play allowing free movement of data, it is becoming easier and easier for the customer to give their loyalty to someone else.

Customer Loyalty

Did you know on average your loyal customers are worth up to 10 times more than their original purchase? To be fair we really don’t need to tell you how much your loyal customers are worth, as it should pretty much be evident in your sales figures, in some cases 75% of business’ turnover can be attributed to loyal customers or their referrals. So considering customer loyalty is so important, do you have a customer retention strategy?

We have definitely noticed in our industry, price isn’t the driving factor, according to a recent survey by the British Promotional Merchandise Association the most decisive reason for using a regular promotional merchandise supplier is good service. Many people are internet savvy enough these days to realise that they could spend all day shopping around searching for the best price, but in modern day’s society, time is money and if they receive great service from a company who saves them the time of dealing with their painpoints they are likely to stick with them.

Online Loyalty ShopWe are seeing a great resurgence in loyalty programs, especially in the B2B environment, business owners a realising that a supportive reliable service combined with non-financial incentives is looking like a great recipe for success. Mirroring the B2C market, B2B companies are looking into what makes their customers tick, giving them more than just discounts on their products, identifying their buying habits and reacting to them.

From a marketing perspective, what can you give a customer that would not only inspires them to buy, but provides great recall value, keeping your brand in front of the customer when they are making buying decisions? This is where the world of promotional products comes in to play! Promotional merchandise is so much more than giveaways at exhibitions or conferences; bigger than mugs, caps, pens and t-shirts. Promotional products can be anything, from cuddly toys, to large electronic goods.  A tactic we are seeing work particularly well is a company will have set up a loyalty website for their B2B customers that has a great range of company branded products on it, whenever a customer makes a purchase or fulfils a service they get points to spend on the promotional products from that website.

Having a great customer is like having a great member of staff, you want to keep them happy, and ensure they are loyal to your company (rewarding staff loyalty is an upcoming topic also, so keep an eye out for that one!).

Saying ‘thank you’ in a professional environment: Episode two - ‘Thank you’ for registering

Thank you for Registering

If you’ve read our blogs or whitepapers before, you will already have a good understanding in what GDPR is, why it is important, and ways to be compliant. But to give you a short definition “GDPR is a regulation brought in by the European Union to strengthen data protection laws, giving people more control over their personal data and how it is used.”

Double Opt-InOne important aspect from a business point of view, from the GDPR directive, is the double opt-in process. This practice means that in order to contact a person via e-mail for marketing purposes, they must have double opted-in. Double opting-in is a two-step process where a person must register for your communications and then verify their subscription through clicking a verification link on an e-mail they receive upon sign-up.

You have to agree, getting people do this upon their own free-will sounds like a challenge! Yes it initially will be tough, as marketers, we are just so used to sending out communications to everyone in our database, but on the other hand it will definitely be beneficial as you will notice a significant increase in your open and click through rates. This is because we know that everyone we are communicating with wants to receive our marketing material. But how do we get people to double-opt in to receive our communications in the first place?

This is where the ‘Thank You’ comes into place… a fantastic tactic we have seen so far as a method for getting people to double opt-in is by providing an incentive, for example,  ‘if you double opt-in to our communications you will receive a gift.’ The gift can be anything from a digital content, to box of chocolates and yes a piece of promotional merchandise!

Incentive GiftAt this point it really is up to you what incentive you choose to give away, if you do have incredibly current and valuable content that people would want to see and analyse, we recommend using it as it. By giving the user this it gives them an insight into the type of communications they will receive in the future (definitely would only recommend this for really valuable content, otherwise the incentive has no use). From a marketing point of view giving a promotional product works because not only will they be thankful for receiving the gift, but they will have a constant reminder of your company, and services, for them to recall upon when needed. In a recent survey by the British Promotional Merchandise Association, when asked how people felt when receiving a promotional gift, 79 percent of participants replied that they feel appreciated.  That is almost 8 out of 10 people that value receiving a promotional gift, which definitely proves that distributing promotional products to thank people for registration would work.

Our last point to make is to reinforce the importance of valuable communications, because let’s face it; what you’re aiming to do is hold a database of current and potential customers. With the new GDPR directive, people have the right to be forgotten. This means that a person could easily sign up, receive their free gift, after receiving a couple of e-mails, can ask the company to delete all trace of them. These actions completely nullify the initial incentive, so it is incredibly important that once you’ve got your foot through the door, to keep their attention with good useful content, and even reward their loyalty down the line with further promotional incentives. 

Saying ‘thank you’ in a professional environment: Episode one - ‘Thank you’ for your business

Promotional Products Week, Thank You for your Business

Let’s face it, if it wasn’t for regular customers, most businesses would definitely struggle to make ends meet and so based on this fact how often do you thank your customers for their regular business? If the answer is you can’t remember or you haven’t ever, it’s fine, we’re all guilty of being creatures of habit. Customers buy, we sell, repeat process again and again and again, until service and/or product is no longer needed and/or wanted for any particular reason.

Thank YouBut why should we thank our customers for their business? One simple and easy reason is based upon a moral we learn from a young age, we are taught to treat others how you would want to be treated yourself, do you like to be thanked when you’re not expecting it? Of course you do, it gives you this warm fuzzy feeling, no matter how big or small, it makes you feel like you’re actually a valued person, not just another piece in the buying process puzzle.

There have been many scientific studies in the past that illustrate the personal benefits of showing and receiving gratitude. Benefits such as improvements in physical and mental health, stress reduction and even assistance in sleeping better. From a business point of view the benefits are just as positive, here is a great statistic: 60% of 'businesses have lost a customer because they feel the business is indifferent to them'. You’ve heard the term ‘hindsight is a beautiful thing’ many times, if those businesses knew they could have retained those customers just simply by thanking them, I pretty much guarantee that the majority would have definitely shown gratitude one way or another. Customer loyalty is priceless and a topic we will explore further later on in the week.

Personalised Engraved PensThere is a great amount of talk in the world of business at the moment about giving the customer a personalised experience, concepts such as personalised marketing, sales process, and an aspect we see quite regularly in the promotional products industry, personalised promotional products. This is definitely an increasing trend in the promotional world, we are seeing interest in this from both the supplier’s and customer’s side. Suppliers are investing in machinery to be able to brand products individually, making it easier to print and engrave individual names on merchandise. Customers are requesting such products because they want to make the recipient feel special, it works particularly well with luxury pens.  Pens such as Cross, Schaeffer, Parker, Mont Blanc etc. have a high perceived value and are regularly timelessly engraved with names, giving them an extra special touch. We know this works well as it is already a popular concept in the consumer world and has been for many years!

2017 Cyber Security and Marketing: Episode 3 - Marketing and Policies

2017 Cyber Security and Marketing: Episode 3 - Marketing and Policies

Your marketing strategy should be at the heart of everything you do; almost all aspects of a thriving business rely on a successful marketing strategy. Like every aspect of business, marketing has changed incredibly over the last 20 years. All marketers want to know what’s the next big thing, how do you keep up to date with such a fast paced infrastructure? In the same manner of keeping up to date with marketing it is just as critical to keep up to date with security protocols. As I stated previously cyber security threats are continuously changing, and evolving what you thought protected you yesterday, may not protect you tomorrow.

The first matter you should address is re-evaluating your policies to combating cyber security risks. Now I’m not saying all of your policies, but any that could help in the prevention against malicious attacks.  If you haven’t got one in place already I would thoroughly suggest the implementation a cyber security policy. The main purpose of this document is to have a resource that informs all employees, contractors or anyone that has been provided access to company technology, what the obligatory procedures are regarding all cyber security issues. The document should eradicate all grey area regarding how users are meant to protect their machines, and digital assets, outlining their privileges and responsibilities.

One of the methods of spreading a virus, I mentioned earlier, is through plugging in an infected device to your corporate network, one way to avoid this is by having a ‘bring your own device policy. This would dictate how and what devices people can use at the office, and whether or not they can plug in their own devices into their work computers. This may seem a little unfair to ban all use of BYOD, but in critical situations where this has been the gateway to cyber-attacks on more than one occasion within the company, it may well be worth doing so. Other policies such as your privacy policy and IT usage policy should also be reviewed and updated regularly.

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