Sales Gifting
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The Top Benefits of Incorporating Gifts into Your ABM Approach

Published
July 4, 2023
The Top Benefits of Incorporating Gifts into Your ABM Approach

The best marketers in the world have a toolbox bigger than Bob Vila could ever dream of. The modern marketer has seemingly endless levers to pull, from traditional print or TV to ever-changing social media or virtual landscapes to achieve the top goal: sell. 

With more channels at their disposal and audiences with increasingly scattered attention, it’s crucial for marketing teams to know which tool to use based on what they’re selling and who they’re selling to. One tried-and-true strategy for grabbing attention and selling to target customers is account-based marketing (or ABM if you’re into the lingo). 

Account-based marketing is a targeted approach to customer acquisition and retention that focuses on engaging and nurturing relationships with specific accounts. Imagine an agency going after a short list of dream clients, a software company reaching out to large enterprises to start a sales conversation, or a nonprofit reaching out to potential sponsors. 

One key element of successful ABM is gifting. Gifting can be used to strengthen existing relationships, acquire new customers, and increase customer loyalty. In this blog post, we will explore the top benefits of incorporating gifts into your ABM approach. From building trust and loyalty to generating leads, gifting can be a powerful tool for ABM success when you know how to use it.

Understanding Account-based Marketing (ABM)

One of the characteristics that sets apart account-based marketing is that unlike many strategies that cast a large net to acquire customers, ABM casts a very small net to highly targeted individuals or small groups.

The nature of ABM means that it’s an inherently unique approach in lieu of a broader tactic with generic messaging or means. The goal of ABM is to create a more personalized and delightful experience with intended audiences, which in turn leads to increased loyalty and higher customer lifetime value. 

ABM is an essential approach for companies looking to improve their customer acquisition and retention rates. By targeting specific accounts and customers, businesses can tailor their messaging, offerings, and promotions to each group's unique needs and preferences. This approach also allows companies to reward their loyal customers and show their gratitude to brand fans who have referred others to their product or service.

It’s a tried-and-true strategy that cuts through the noise inundating the daily lives of corporate decision-makers. In fact, more than 75% of B2B marketers who used ABM in 2020 reported an increased ROI compared with other forms of marketing. As impactful as account-based marketing can be, not all is rainbows and sunshine. Some of the biggest challenges B2B marketers face when it comes to ABM strategy include reaching consensus on the best approach and finding the budget to execute. 

A bar graph showing the top four challenges faced by account-based marketers in 2022. 40% of marketers cited lack of internal expertise, 31% cited no interest in ABM, 23% cited lack on consensus, and 18% cited no budget as top challenges.
Top challenges faced by B2B account-based marketers.

When hurdles are successfully cleared, ABM can be used in several ways to amplify marketing and boost brand reputation. One of the most powerful ways to do this is by incorporating gifts and rewards into your ABM strategy. Gifting is a tangible way to provide immediate value to new accounts as well as show your appreciation to your loyal customers and incentivize them to continue engaging with your brand.

The use of gifts in ABM campaigns is especially powerful because they have a psychological effect on the recipient. Research shows that people are more likely to reciprocate a gift or favor than an unsolicited offer. This reciprocity can lead to increased customer loyalty and advocacy, which, in turn, can drive referrals and positive reviews.

Overall, ABM marketing is a powerful tool for any business looking to improve customer engagement and retention. Incorporating gifting into your ABM strategy can be a great way to create a personalized and delightful customer experience, reward loyal customers, and amplify your brand reputation. In the following sections, we will dive deeper into how to use gifts in ABM and how to ensure that your strategy is effective and sustainable.

Why Gifts Are a Powerful ABM Tactic

When it comes to account-based marketing, many marketers focus on crafting targeted messages and personalized campaigns that speak directly to their ideal customers. But sometimes, the best way to connect with key decision-makers and build strong relationships is through the power of a thoughtful gift.

While traditional marketing tactics often focus on mass outreach and volume-based campaigns, ABM is all about building strong, lasting connections with high-value accounts. And when it comes to standing out and connecting with people on a personal level, there are few strategies more effective than giving gifts.

There are many reasons why gifts can be a powerful ABM tactic. For one, they demonstrate that your company is willing to invest in building a meaningful relationship with your target accounts. This sends a strong message that you’re not just looking for a quick sale or a one-off engagement, but that you’re committed to building a lasting partnership.

A tangible gift delivered to a doorstep (or mailroom in a big company) sets your company apart from the competition. With so many brands vying for attention in today’s crowded digital landscape, it can be hard to stand out from the noise. But a thoughtful gift can help your brand break through the clutter and capture the attention of key decision-makers.

Plus, gifts can be a great way to build goodwill and positive associations with your brand. When someone receives a gift, it’s hard not to feel appreciated and valued. This positive emotional response can help build a foundation of trust and goodwill that can make it easier to establish a lasting partnership.

Of course, not all gifts are created equal. To be effective in an ABM context, gifts need to be carefully chosen to ensure they align with your account-based marketing strategy. The wrong gift can come across as superficial or inappropriate, which can actually harm your relationship with your target account rather than help it.

So, how do you choose the right gift for your target accounts? We’ll dive into that in more detail in the next section, but it’s important to remember that gifts should be both thoughtful and appropriate. They should also be tailored to the individual preferences and needs of the recipient, as this will help demonstrate that you’ve taken the time to get to know them and understand their unique needs and interests.

In short, ABM gifts can be a powerful way to build strong, lasting relationships with your target accounts. By investing in thoughtful gifts that demonstrate your care and commitment to their success, you can differentiate your brand from the competition and establish a foundation of trust and goodwill that can lead to long-term partnerships.

How to Choose the Right Gift for Your Target Accounts

Choosing the right gift for your target accounts can be a crucial part of a successful account-based marketing strategy. A well-chosen gift can help build a positive relationship with your target accounts, show that you care about their needs, and set your brand apart from the competition. Here are some tips for selecting the right gift for your ABM campaigns.

Consider the nature of your relationship with your target accounts.

The type of gift you choose should be informed by the level of your relationship with the target accounts. For example, if you're just starting out with a new account, a branded swag item might be appropriate to generate initial interest and spark curiosity. On the other hand, if you're looking to nurture a long-standing relationship, personalized gifts that reflect the interests and needs of the recipient can help deepen the connection.

Research the needs and interests of your target accounts.

To select the most effective gift, you need to understand the specific needs and interests of your target accounts. This can involve conducting research on their company culture, industry trends, and even the hobbies or passions of the individual decision-makers you're trying to reach. This information can then inform your selection of thoughtful gifts that are more likely to resonate with the recipients.

Tailor the gift to the goals of your ABM campaign.

When selecting a gift, consider the goals of your ABM campaign. Are you looking to generate interest, build relationships, close a deal, or lock in a renewal? The type of gift you choose should be appropriate for the stage of the sales cycle you're in. For example, if you're trying to start generating interest, a branded swag item might be a better fit than a personalized gift that required a lot of light stalking to nail.

Personalize gifts for maximum impact.

Personalized gifts can have a powerful impact on building relationships with target accounts. When choosing a gift, consider adding a personal touch, such as a handwritten note or a custom engraving. This can show the recipient that you put thought and effort into selecting a gift specifically for them, rather than sending a generic item that could be given to anyone.

Consider the logistics of sending gifts.

When selecting a gift, don't forget to consider the logistics of sending it to the recipient. Some gifts, such as food or perishable items, may require special packaging or shipping arrangements. You'll also want to ensure that the gift arrives in a timely manner and is not held up in customs or delayed due to shipping issues.

The Logistics of Sending ABM Gifts

Sending gifts as part of your ABM strategy can be a powerful way to connect with your target accounts and make a lasting impression. However, there are also some logistics to consider when it comes to sending physical gifts.

One of the first challenges is collecting the addresses of your target accounts. Depending on the size of your organization and the number of accounts you are targeting, this can be a significant undertaking. You may need to work with sales reps or account managers to gather the necessary information, or you may need to use a third-party data provider to help with this process.

Once you have the addresses, you will need to keep track of which gifts have been sent to which accounts. This can be a challenge, especially if you are sending a variety of gifts to different accounts. You may need to develop a system for tracking this information, such as using a spreadsheet or CRM tool.

Package tracking is also important to ensure that your gifts arrive at their intended destination. Depending on the value of the gift and the importance of the account, you may want to consider using a service that provides real-time package tracking.

Packaging and shipping can also be a hassle. You will need to ensure that your gifts are packaged securely and that they are shipped in a timely manner. Depending on the size and weight of your gifts, you may need to use a shipping service that specializes in larger or heavier items.

All of these manual efforts are only amplified as your target more customer segments and scale your entire ABM arm. Despite these challenges, sending physical gifts as part of your ABM strategy can be well worth the effort. By showing your target accounts that you value their business and are willing to go the extra mile to connect with them, you can build stronger relationships and ultimately drive more revenue for your organization.

A bright pink oval with a call to action that sends readers to Zest's ABM gift marketplace.

Measuring the Success of Your Gift Campaigns

Once you have chosen the right gifts and sent them to your target accounts, the next step is to measure the success of your ABM campaign. In order to do this effectively, you need to have a clear understanding of what makes a successful ABM campaign and what metrics you should track for account based marketing.

First and foremost, a successful ABM campaign is one that helps you achieve your business goals (AKA, making money, right?). This could include increasing sales, improving customer retention, or boosting brand awareness. To determine the success of your ABM campaign, you need to set specific goals and track your progress toward them.

In terms of metrics, there are several key performance indicators (KPIs) that you should track for account-based marketing. These include:

1. Engagement: How many gifts have been accepted (if sent digitally)? Which gifts have had the greatest engagement rate? How many of your target accounts have engaged with your brand or your content? This could include website visits, email opens, or social media interactions.

2. Pipeline impact: How has your ABM strategy affected your sales pipeline? Are you seeing an increase in leads, opportunities, or closed deals from your target accounts?

3. Revenue: Have your ABM efforts led to an increase in revenue? Are you seeing a positive return on investment (ROI) from your gift-based ABM campaigns?

4. Customer retention: Have you been able to retain more customers as a result of your ABM strategy? Are you seeing a reduction in churn or an increase in customer lifetime value (CLV)?

By tracking these metrics, you can get a better understanding of the effectiveness of your account based marketing strategy. It’s important to note that measuring the success of your gift campaigns may take some time, especially if your gifts are meant to build relationships and foster long-term partnerships.

In addition to tracking these metrics, you should also be gathering feedback from your target accounts. Ask them how they liked the gifts, if they found them valuable, and if they were helpful in their decision-making process. This feedback can help you refine your gift-based ABM strategy and make adjustments as needed.

Overall, measuring the success of your gift-based ABM campaigns is critical to ensuring that you are achieving your business goals and getting a positive ROI. By tracking the right metrics and gathering feedback from your target accounts, you can continue to refine your approach and make your gift-based ABM strategy a sustainable and effective part of your overall marketing strategy.

Avoiding Common Mistakes in Gift-based ABM Strategies

While gifting can be an effective ABM tactic, there are some common mistakes that marketers should avoid in order to make the most out of their campaigns. Here are two common mistakes that can derail your gift-based ABM strategies and how to avoid them:

Big ABM Mistake #1: Sending the wrong gift for the account type

One of the most common mistakes in gift-based ABM strategies is sending the wrong gift for the account type. This can happen when the gift is not tailored to the recipient's industry or needs. For example, sending a pottery kit to an IT executive may not be the best fit, unless the recipient is a known clay enthusiast.

To avoid this mistake, it’s important to research the target account's industry, company culture, and needs before selecting a gift. The gift should align with the recipient's interests and be relevant to their professional life. This not only ensures that the recipient will appreciate the gift, but it also increases the chances of the gift being used and remembered, thus reinforcing your brand. 

When this time isn’t taken to nail your ABM gifts, your recipients will know and your gift is guaranteed to do more harm than good. Instead of being seen as a thoughtful and caring connection, your brand could be marked as thoughtless and sloppy. 

Big ABM Mistake #2: Sending a gift at the wrong time

Another common mistake in gift-based ABM strategies is sending a gift at the wrong time. For example, sending a gift too early in the sales cycle may come across as too pushy, while sending a gift too late may be seen as insincere or as a desperate attempt to close the deal.

To avoid this mistake, it’s important to time your gift strategically. One approach is to use the gift as a way to show appreciation or gratitude for a recent meeting or milestone achieved. Another approach is to use the gift as a way to reinforce the relationship and keep the conversation going, rather than as a sales pitch.

You can also tap into modern B2B gifting platforms that integrate with your CRM so you can trigger reminders as specific accounts move along their sales journey.

In summary, gift-based ABM strategies can be a powerful tool to build relationships, establish trust, and differentiate yourself from the competition. However, marketers should be careful to avoid common mistakes, such as sending the wrong gift or sending it at the wrong time. By doing so, they can create a positive impact on their target accounts and achieve their ABM marketing goals.

Tips for Making Gift-Based ABM a Sustainable Approach

To ensure that gift-based ABM is a sustainable approach for your business, you need to focus on optimizing the use of technology and finding a gifting platform that doesn't charge you with high fees.

Firstly, you need to lean into technology. Today's businesses need to use technology in various aspects of their operations, and account-based marketing is no exception. With ABM, you need to rely on data and insights to understand your target accounts better and create a personalized approach that resonates with them.

For instance, you can use AI-powered analytics platforms that can help you identify high-value target accounts and assess their preferences and behaviors. These tools can help you deliver more effective marketing campaigns that incorporate gifting as a key tactic.

Another technology you can use is a gifting platform that makes it easier for you to send gifts to your target accounts. By unwrapping the power of a gifting platform, you can save time, money, and resources while still providing a personalized touch that engages target accounts.

However, when selecting a gifting platform, make sure that it doesn't charge high platform fees. Look for a platform that offers competitive pricing without compromising the quality of gifts and customer service. (You don't want to overspend on a platform that only drains your marketing budget and doesn't provide a decent ROI.)

Zest is the fastest, freest B2B gifting platform that checks all these boxes (and more) to help you crush your account-based marketing campaign. Whether you’re going after one whale of an account or hundreds of niche targets, Zest has the ability to help you deploy branded, thoughtful, and memorable ABM gifts in just a few clicks. No steep fees, no fussy processes like address collection—just quality ABM gifting that fits in your budget and business.

By using technology and the right gifting platform, you can streamline your gift-based ABM approach, save time and resources, and make the most out of your marketing budget

Authors
Liz Lorge
Liz Lorge
Marketing
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