Show Your Clients Some Appreciation with Holiday Cards

  • By Larry Perez
  • 13 Dec, 2017

As of October 1, there are 1,285 rows of data on my Excel spreadsheet. While generally the thought of opening an Excel spreadsheet can seem, uh … less than riveting at best, this particular spreadsheet is different – it’s special. My spreadsheet wasn’t built to extrapolate statistics, generate sums and averages, or create charts. My spreadsheet has one purpose – to help deliver holiday cheer to the clients we’ve had the pleasure of working with this past year. I pay special attention to this spreadsheet, making sure that there are no duplicate entries, no spelling mistakes, no recently-deceased spouses names on it. Last name – check. First name – check. Address – check. City, state, and zip – check.

Those of us with careers in marketing and communications know that planning for the holidays is something that begins way earlier than we’d like it to, dare I say in September (gasp!), and that this planning usually starts with ironing out details for your company holiday card. But what we may not fully appreciate after years of doing it is why these cards matter. Do people even care?! The answer is yes. Here’s why:

1.   The people on your list are important.  Here’s something we know about clients – you never know what kind of personalities they will have. They may be big spenders, frugal-penny-pinchers, super adventurous, super conservative, straight laced, rule breakers, by-the-book, a joy to have around, or a real wet blanket. Regardless of what kind of client they are, they are your client and this makes them important. They’ve chosen you over your competitors, and you can never forget the importance of that.

2.   The cards you send say something about your company. Companies invest lots of resources into building a brand persona, and your holiday card is an extension of that. This is a chance to do something that your company loves, not something that your client has hired you to do. Your marketing department may love illustrations, funny photos, clever copy, great printing techniques – maybe all the above! Whatever it is you want to do, do it. This project is about you!

3.   Your card is an opportunity to get more eyes on your brand. As marketers, let’s just admit it – we are not above a little shameless self-promotion! Putting together a smokin’ hot holiday card means it’s more than likely going to get on the front counter at your client’s office building or put on display at your client’s home. People who don’t know your brand will notice it, heck they may even pick it up! We’re always looking for ways to get in front of more people, so play up that holiday spirit!

Alright … so now that we have made the case, and hopefully agree, that holiday cards matter and that people like them, let’s look at a few examples and break down why they’re successful.

Regardless of what approach you take with your company holiday card, just be sure it’s authentic, appropriate for your audience, and genuine. Put time and effort into it, because good work gets good exposure, and good exposure means more people will pay for the good work that you do! Yay, employment!

We love checking out new inspiration and ideas in our community, so go ahead, share your holiday cards with us! Maybe it’s a favorite that you and your team have created, or a favorite that someone has sent you – whatever it is, we’re excited to check it out!

AAF Topeka Member Blog

By Larry Perez 13 Dec, 2017

As of October 1, there are 1,285 rows of data on my Excel spreadsheet. While generally the thought of opening an Excel spreadsheet can seem, uh … less than riveting at best, this particular spreadsheet is different – it’s special. My spreadsheet wasn’t built to extrapolate statistics, generate sums and averages, or create charts. My spreadsheet has one purpose – to help deliver holiday cheer to the clients we’ve had the pleasure of working with this past year. I pay special attention to this spreadsheet, making sure that there are no duplicate entries, no spelling mistakes, no recently-deceased spouses names on it. Last name – check. First name – check. Address – check. City, state, and zip – check.

Those of us with careers in marketing and communications know that planning for the holidays is something that begins way earlier than we’d like it to, dare I say in September (gasp!), and that this planning usually starts with ironing out details for your company holiday card. But what we may not fully appreciate after years of doing it is why these cards matter. Do people even care?! The answer is yes. Here’s why:

1.   The people on your list are important.  Here’s something we know about clients – you never know what kind of personalities they will have. They may be big spenders, frugal-penny-pinchers, super adventurous, super conservative, straight laced, rule breakers, by-the-book, a joy to have around, or a real wet blanket. Regardless of what kind of client they are, they are your client and this makes them important. They’ve chosen you over your competitors, and you can never forget the importance of that.

2.   The cards you send say something about your company. Companies invest lots of resources into building a brand persona, and your holiday card is an extension of that. This is a chance to do something that your company loves, not something that your client has hired you to do. Your marketing department may love illustrations, funny photos, clever copy, great printing techniques – maybe all the above! Whatever it is you want to do, do it. This project is about you!

3.   Your card is an opportunity to get more eyes on your brand. As marketers, let’s just admit it – we are not above a little shameless self-promotion! Putting together a smokin’ hot holiday card means it’s more than likely going to get on the front counter at your client’s office building or put on display at your client’s home. People who don’t know your brand will notice it, heck they may even pick it up! We’re always looking for ways to get in front of more people, so play up that holiday spirit!

Alright … so now that we have made the case, and hopefully agree, that holiday cards matter and that people like them, let’s look at a few examples and break down why they’re successful.

By Shanna Goodman 26 Oct, 2017

Did you know that advertising helps generate $52b (or nearly 16% of all economic activity) in Kansas? Did you know that tax reform proposals include reducing the deductibility of advertising as a business expense?

Reducing advertising deductibility would not only negatively impact the ad industry, but also the small businesses throughout the state that rely on advertising to get customers in the door. Think about your small business- if your dental or chiropractic practice could only deduct 50% of your advertising expenses, you'd probably spend less on advertising, right? This would not only lead to decline for ad and marketing agencies, but the number of people seeing your message and making appointments would decline as well.

It's because of these issues that I am involved with the American Advertising Federation. As the President of the Board for the American Advertising Federation- Topeka , I recently attended the American Advertising Federation  event Advertising Day on the Hill where representatives from across the country gathered to learn and advocate for our shared interests.  

By all measures, the event was a resounding success. We heard from very intelligent and informed people on the state of tax reform and how it might impact small businesses, as well as other hot topics within our industry.

For the kick-off evening of Ad Day on the Hill, we heard from Jeffrey Herbst of the Newseum  on The State of the First Amendment, which was enlightening especially given the current political climate. The next morning we heard from several members of Congress (Jim Renacci R-Ohio and Gus Bilirakis R-Florida) regarding tax reform as well as how and why advertising tax deductibility is on the cutting block.
 
That same morning, we also heard from Mary Engle of the Federal Trade Commission  on sponsored posts on social media and Mike Signorelli on the topic of privacy. (I'll write another blog post on those topics in the near future).
 
For Ad Day on the Hill, I met with staffers for the following members of Congress:
Some key points that I shared with them included the economic impact of advertising and the $52b it helps generate in our state. All of the staffers I met with were cognizant of this economic activity and its importance to small businesses, as well as assured me that they have small business interests in mind. These members of Congress committed to do what they could to continue the full deductibility of advertising as a business expense.
 
Every few years advertising deductibility comes up as a possible way to increase tax income. The American Advertising Federation is dialed in on this topic and will continue to keep members of Congress informed. Have any questions about this? Shoot me an email at shanna@ampersandbusiness.com.
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