Using a Gift in Your Marketing Strategy to Build Customer Loyalty

Conventional wisdom and studies suggest that in order to get someone to take action – for example a consumer to purchase something- a person needs to get 5-7 impressions.

That requires effort and imagination on the part of any business- small or large.

I would wager that many businesses assume in order to make those impressions a huge marketing budget is required.  It might include costly items like print, radio or TV advertising.

From my perspective, that’s great if you are already a “household name” and you just need to remind them of that. But when you are starting out, launching a business or a brand, you have to be more creative. And like the famous magic acts, you have to be wily with “smoke and mirrors” in order to make those impressions.

So where do you start? I suggest trying to solve a simple business problem might be the first place to start.

For instance, I worked with a luxury brand automobile dealership. We wrapped their logo’d pen so it would be ready to hand to the new owner when they picked their car up at the dealership.

Marketing to New Customers

I observed that the “gift” was the new car and the pen did not add to their experience.

Customer Loyalty Gift

I suggested sending it later with a thank you note for purchasing the car from this specific dealership ( implying they could have purchased at the other available dealerships in town), and enclosing the business card from a top ranking management member, who could be a contact in the event something went wrong.  Something handwritten with an actual stamp would give it that much more attention.

The next question was when to send this thank you note? I asked about their current rate of response to their customer surveys. It was in the 40% range. When I asked it was sent and the answer was 60 days after the car was delivered.

I then asked: Could we get a better response rate?  I suggested the pen and the thank you note arrive 30-45 days after the car was picked up- and as luck would have it just days before the survey arrived, so that the pen and thank you note might be a “physical and mental jog” to have them fill out the survey.

Maybe it was the personal touch that motivated the customer to fill out the survey. Guess what? Their response rate climbed in a short time to 90’s.

So sometimes the business solution is not the gift itself but the presentation thereof.

In this case it was the “when” and “why”. A pen gift wrapped with a thank you note.