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You Say It’s Your Birthday

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My birthday is coming up shortly, and I am already starting to feel the love. No, not from my family and friends, but from people that I, for the most part, don’t even know (and probably never will, at least not personally). By now, you are probably thinking I am a pretty sad case if the only birthday greetings I am getting are from strangers. Well, fear not, I fully expect to get some birthday wishes from those I do know (hint, hint to my family).

So where is all the birthday cheer coming from, you may ask? It’s simple – from a number of the places with whom I transact frequent business. Although I am guessing you will be able to figure some of these out, here is an anonymous sampling of the types of companies that have acknowledged my birthday, as well as some of the “gifts” I have received from them:

• Coffee shop (major chain) – free coffee drink of my choosing

• Drugstore (major chain) – “gift” that varies by year

• Healthcare provider(s) – birthday card (thankfully, no gift!)

• Department store loyalty programs – discount coupon, special points days

• Local retailers I shop at frequently – gift card good toward a purchase over a certain amount, coupons for discount on a single purchase

• Religious organization – invitation to attend services on a date near my birthday when birthdays for the month will be publicly acknowledged

All in all, a pretty wide range of “givers”. But all of them have used an opportunity to proactively and positively reach out to me, making my relationship with them a more personal one. As a marketer that preaches the importance of customer relationship management and helps put programs like this together for my clients, one part of me knows that this is a largely automated process requiring little manual effort. But as an individual, the other part of me thinks, wow, they really care about me!

The moral of the story – if even a seasoned marketing veteran can be impressed and positively affected by such efforts, think what an impact you can have on your clients with similar initiatives. A small investment of time and money can reap potentially big returns in terms of client satisfaction.

P.S. If any jewelry stores feel inclined to send a birthday greeting/gift, just let me know!

Ellen McKay