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This will be Marcello Entertainment’s first official Holiday season and, as such, we’ve been in gift-giving mode for a few weeks now.  Naturally, any gift we’d send to our wonderful clients would absolutely need to be interesting, creative and fun.  The process began with a brief brainstorming session in which we sat around and discussed all the crappy, predictable holiday gifts we’ve all received (and in some cases, given!) over the years. The more we talked and laughed on the topic, the more evident a few consistent themes became:

1) Lack of personalization

2) Messaging behind the gift being more about the giver than the recipient

3) Plain old boring, expected gifts that are too easily forgettable

And so the criteria against which we’d judge our inaugural holiday gift giving campaign was born.  Lucky us, as a small business, the tools to clear these hurdles were right in our wheel house.  Without giving away the end result, here is some background on how we avoided the aforementioned pitfalls:

1) Personalizing a gift will always make it more compelling to the recipient and the good news is that you don’t necessarily need to kill yourself to make this happen.  We hand write all our envelopes and include a customized message on each card.  This year, our gift included an online component that involved a personalized URL for each recipient (i.e. http://www.marcelloentertainment.com/Bob).  Part of the gift involved a special video edited for each individual.

2) We’re not going to ignore the obvious – gift giving isn’t always a completely selfless act. It’s a great means to communicate with your current and potential customers about your services, but you must tread lightly.  This is about them, not you.  There is nothing wrong with including a little business message in the gift, but it should be very subtle and, most important, beneficial to them.  We just authored a new e-book, Social Media Marketing Starter Kit, and included a free download as part of the gift…weeks before it will hit the public.  Furthermore, for a few select clients, we also provided some thought starters for 2011 marketing plans.

3) The gift started with a card, which isn’t exactly remarkable.  However, the card drove the recipient to a customized URL with his/her name to watch a special video that is pretty damn funny (if we do say so ourselves!) and easy to share with friends and family.  Along with the e-book download and 2011 thought starters, the gift is entertaining, beneficial to our clients and relatively unique…we hope!

How are you utilizing this opportunity to make an impression?  Any fun ideas we never thought of?

 

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Growth obsessed startup co-founder (MusicBox) and strategist-for-hire. startupgrowthguy.com mymusicbox.me

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