As I sit back and reflect upon 2020, thoughts flood my mind. For me, 2020 was the best year of my life! My husband and I had our precious little boy. Don’t get me wrong, bringing him earth-side during a global pandemic was not ideal, but I wouldn’t change a thing. Maybe that is why this year was so bittersweet for me.
As the Director of Brand & Experience at iFrog Marketing Solutions, I have the pleasure of being charged with surprise and delight marketing. How lucky am I? Among other things, this affords me the opportunity to nurture our partners by deepening relationships and helping our team enhance interactions. Simply put, I get to empower my colleagues to put people first and remember that relationships matter!
Honestly, when looking back on why we did not lose business during COVID-19, it was because we quickly pivoted to providing innovative solutions that met new demands, but more importantly we were there for our partners. As states in our country started to shut down, before running to them with a new media plan, we reached out and acknowledged the tough time and let them know we care. We asked what we could do to help. We stayed open on weekends to address urgent, unanticipated needs. We answered our phones and emails. We sent text messages.
For several of our partners, we became the first phone call when they did not know where to go for help. We became much more than a provider of marketing solutions, we were a caring and committed member of their family. Don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t hurt that our marketing solutions are second to none!
This didn’t start during COVID-19. This is who we are. This is iFrog. Our team calls our partners by name. We don’t use a ticket system. We give out our personal cell phone numbers and encourage our partners to call or text. We know how many children they have and their favorite sports teams. We send handwritten cards to wish a happy birthday or express sympathy. We send flowers to congratulate a partner on a huge promotion. We wouldn’t be able to do these things if we didn’t listen or if we didn’t care.
All businesses have client-facers. Do you empower them to get to know whom they serve daily? Can your team charged with customer success answer any or all of the following about their book of business?
- Where does your partner live?
- What hobbies does your partner have?
- Does your partner have a favorite sport or sports team?
- Does your partner have any children?
- When is your partner’s birthday?
- Are there any major milestones coming up in your partner’s life?
The list could go on and on, but the point is, if you can answer some of these questions, you have taken the time to get personal. You also may have noticed that we don’t use the term “client,” we use “partner.” We know that acquiring new business is significantly more money than retaining your current business. That should be reason enough to protect your partners, right?
It doesn’t stop there though. Surprise and delight marketing also fosters brand awareness. Essentially, you are creating brand ambassadors that will go out and tell their friends about your business and share your social media posts broadening your reach and strengthening your brand.
At the end of the day, it is smart marketing and it feels good! Who doesn’t love following the golden rule and treating others the way they want to be treated every day? I recently came across a holiday inspiration list that iFrog is sharing this holiday season. While it can and should be applied to your personal life, it could also be applied to your professional life. It goes like this:
- Be present rather than buying presents.
- Wrap someone in a hug (probably a virtual one this year) rather than wrapping gifts.
- Send love rather than gifts.
- Donate food rather than shopping for food.
- Make memories rather than making cookies.
- Be the light rather than seeing the lights.
Let’s reflect on all of the above, but commit to applying at least one to our personal lives and one to our professional lives. We all know the saying, “The smallest act of kindness has the biggest impact.” Now, get out there and make an impact!