As a consequence of the velocity at which information is gathered, shared, and dissected by its recipients, consumers no longer make purchase decisions based solely on need and necessity. They are now conscious of the availability of multiple options and consider many factors when:
– deciding what brands they remain loyal to,
– which employers deserve their long-term loyalty,
– which businesses to patronize, and
– which vendors to support, amongst other things.
Given the above, businesses are thrust into the deep and forced to continuously improve their service offerings while providing unmatched experiences – and that means swimming against the tide to come up with lead generation strategies that won’t only attract new business, but will retain it too.
In this blog, we discuss the importance of customer-centric lead generation strategies that turn prospects into loyal customers and highlight ways in which gifting can be incorporated into said strategies to create unique customer, staff, and associate experiences.
Make a Customer, Not a Sale
This is the gospel truth preached by Katherine Barchetti, and it remains ever so true in today’s business climate. While buyers conformed to businesses’ patterns for decades, the tables have turned, and goods and services providers find themselves at the mercy of the buyers. According to a study commissioned by Wunderman, 79% of consumers say businesses must actively and continuously demonstrate that they understand their needs and care about them beyond the sale and purchase of goods and services.
It has therefore become essential for businesses to not only provide excellence, but prove themselves worthy of patronage and loyalty. Before delving into the strategy and its technicalities, businesses must earn their customers by displaying enough value that patronage becomes a pleasure and experience, not an obligation.
Lead Generation Tactics and Corporate Gifting
A lead generation strategy is essentially a map businesses use to identify prospects through buyer persona profiling, engage them through different channels to further understand their needs, especially in ABM cases – and get them interested in their offers. For such a strategy to be effective, a list of tactics must be adopted to ensure that every stage of the sales funnel is positively affected by its application. With that said, including corporate gifting as a solid layer of the strategy, with the help of a corporate gifting platform, not only improves a customer’s overall experiences and increases buy-ins but also increases the lifespan of the relationship between the business and the customer. Let’s look at some lead generation tactics with corporate gifting as a catalyst.
Create Multiple Opt-In Methods To Generate Leads
Besides email prospecting, digital advertising, and written ‘pick me’ tactics, businesses must formulate solid and non-traditional ways customers can opt into their services. Be it through webinar invitations, case studies, free trials, or demos. After profiling your prospects’ buyer personas and determining how your offers can benefit them, entice them into turning their commercial gaze your way.
Traditional pitches are great, but reward-driven marketing is the hill your business must camp on. Getting a physical item in the hands of your lead deviates from what they expect to see from a company. There’s never been an email or direct message that you could hold in your hands, but you can hold gifts. That is why you should incorporate gifts in the following:
– Online or physical event invitations
– Introductory meeting invites
– Newsletter/case studies showcasing the value of your products/services
– Product testers/demos
Now that communication has been established and the business understands the customer’s need, the next step is to demonstrate the value that comes with the offer. At this point, the lead is now a potential customer as they are no longer unfamiliar with your offers. You can launch a corporate gifting campaign to:
– Thank prospects for participating in your online or offline events
– Send meeting summaries
– Ask for feedback regarding demos and samples
– Collect more data in the form of questionnaires and surveys
Follow Up, Strategically
No matter how immaculate a lead generation strategy can be, some prospects need more nudges to walk toward the decision-making stage. It is, therefore, in a business’s best interest to formulate a solid follow-up strategy that further highlights the value of its offers without sounding too pitchy. This is where corporate gifting can be incorporated to entice prospects and lead them further down the sales funnel. Here, you can offer gifts when:
– Sending follow-up emails. Instead of the traditional “As per our previous discussion…”, send a gift link to reinitiate the conversation.
– Updating prospects on new product offerings or service improvements.
– Showing why your offers are better than those of the competition. Especially when prospects express having been offered better deals elsewhere.
Retention: Nurture Your Leads
With 44% of businesses focussing their time and financial resources on acquiring new business, and only 16% focusing on reducing churn and retaining their existing customers, it’s clear that not enough ‘energy’ is invested in reinvesting in current clients, and non-converted prospects. Non-converted leads hold much value. If a business’s marketing team went through the trouble of curating a buyer persona and communicating their offers, then the prospect is ‘good for it’ and should be approached as such, until eliminated from the prospect list. Corporate gifting can be used as a retention tool in the following instances:
– Sending reminders about service offerings
– Following up on prospect interests
– Highlighting reviews from satisfied customers
– Reiterating how offers will benefit prospects
In a nutshell, leads only become customers when enough value is displayed by businesses, and loyalty is earned when customers feel valued, and are offered tailored experiences. Ever received a happy birthday message from a brand you seldom support? Now imagine receiving a gift from a business whose services would benefit you? Gifting is how leads ought to be generated.
Ready to get started with corporate gifting on a global scale? Book a 30-minute demo with one of our Gift Campaign Managers to see how our gifting platform works and to get access to a free trial.