Even if you’re not a retailer, the holidays present unique marketing and human resource opportunities. This is a time to humanize your company profile, externally and internally. Corporate parties and thank you gifts are chances for you to solidify customer and employee relationships and loyalty. With a little creativity, you can even turn your corporate event into an advertising occasion.
Foundation Of Relationship Marketing
Relationship marketing strengthens customer loyalty, promotes interaction and presents long-term business opportunities. It is aimed at developing strong connections with consumers by giving them information that is directly suited to their interests and needs and by encouraging open communication. By developing a genuine relationship with your customer, you are protecting their brand loyalty. Ultimate goal? The loyal customer will buy your product and act as your best resource for the most powerful campaign of all: word-of-mouth. What better way to get people talking than to throw a great party?
Interfere With Their Day
Whether you’re extending an invitation to your company’s holiday party or sending a gift basket with a note of gratitude, this is not a drive-and-drop situation. To the best of your ability, you need to make the gesture personal and sincere. Research on relationship marketing (published in September 2014 on Taylor & Francis Online) has shown that good relationship marketing has a “theatrical component.” For a small business owner, there is nothing wrong with hand-delivering an office gift. Choose something that is appropriate for your client, then present it with as much flourish and fanfare as possible. This enhances the consumer experience and the same holds true for company parties: hand delivering an invitation telling the customer you’d be thrilled if he or she could make it is a thoughtful.
Make The Employee Blush
The same marketing rules used for customers apply to employees. In the business world, your employees are stakeholders in your company; where would you be without them? We know that a happy employee is a productive employee, but now researchers say that consistency in a company’s appreciation efforts improves morale and satisfaction. The holiday party actually fits into the same category as your procedure manual: it is something that people can count on. If this is a time when you hand out bonuses then the anticipation is elevated. If it is not broken, do not fix it applies well to the holiday party. Since appreciation and consistency are the important factors for your party, only change things that people did not like. As a side note, if you usually give bonuses but cannot this year, you should have announced that in July. Do everything that you can to make your party a time of happiness that your people can count on.
Make It Media Worthy
Knowing that the success of your holiday celebration is valuable, make it one that people will talk about. This is not the time to be cheap. For the small business with a lean staff, rent a limo to get the guests to the best restaurant that your budget can afford. Larger companies can go even bigger. The investment firm Blackstone Group rented out the Sackler Wing of the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art for their 2010 holiday party, sending a message that they are successful and a great place to work.