Good news: It’s not all doom and gloom as we enter into the double dip recession.
Despite our common concerns that marketing and entertainment budgets are the first to be cut in challenging times, research has highlighted that 75% of businesses are shunning the economic downturn by increasing their corporate hospitality spend to improve relations with key contacts. Companies have invested more into the development and maintenance of relationships through marketing and effective promotions over the past 12 months, compared with 2011.
The survey, of over 1,000 people, found that precisely 6 out of 10 companies have upped their spending on marketing and promotional items in 2012. Of that group, 37% have increased their budget by over a fifth. In terms of Promotional Merchandise, the study also revealed that 45% of businesses were more inclined to purchase unique gifts as opposed to more generic items, another fact that goes against the grain.
The old mantra – ‘you have to speculate to accumulate’ – is more prevalent than ever. In business, specifically sales, we purchase from the people we like. Promotional Merchandise offered by an organisation to a potential client will undoubtedly sweeten the deal and instil positive associations with that particular brand. Even for those prospects that decline a gift or hospitality offering, there is some perception that the firm who offered it to them is one of intent and they will ultimately be more likely to work with them in the future.
Relationship building is more vital now than ever before, and carefully selected gifts can develop new business leads for your firm. Promotional Merchandise and Corporate Gifting forms an unspoken understanding or ‘psychological contract’ between an organisation and its prospects. The gesture raises our expectations of the organisation. Not only does it represent a financial investment, but it shows empathy and means we may be more positively disposed to them and their future dealings.
(The latter study was carried out by Leighmans.com)