Respondents to the magazine’s 2018 Gift Card Survey listed an impressively broad array of ways they put gift cards to work. Recognition/service awards topped the list (66.6%) followed closely by sales incentives (61.5%). A significant percentage of respondents also use gift cards for business gifts (38.4%), marketing campaigns (33.3%), in sales promotions (23%) and in sales training (20.5%).
Here are some other highlights from the survey, which was conducted via email questionnaire:
Managers make the decisions – Fully 41% of survey respondents said they plan, manage and monitor the gift card program for their organization. What are those respondents’ roles? A whopping 77% of respondents listed their job function as sales management, marketing management or executive management.
Annual spend is primarily under $10,000 – The bulk of respondents (61.5%) spend $4,999 or less annually on gift cards. Another 20.5% spend between $5,000 and $9,999. Nearly 13% of respondents (12.8%) spend between $10,000 and $24,999 annually.
Gift card programs are easy to administer – What is the main determining factor that drives companies to use gift cards? More than six in 10 (64%) said they appreciate that gift cards are easy to administer. Another 15% said they fit the incentive budget, and another 15% said they use gift cards because it’s what their recipients want.
Dining out and debit cards are most popular – Survey respondents said gift cards for dining out (56.4%) and debit cards (56.4%) are most popular among their recipients. Gift cards for online shopping such as Amazon was the third most popular category at 43.5%.
Gift cards are purchased year-round – We wanted to know if there was a particular buying season for business-to-business gift card use. Respondents said not really. More than half (53.8%) said they purchase gift cards throughout the year as needed. Two other time periods – November/December and January/February – came in at nearly 18% of respondents each.
Employees are the primary recipients – Employees and customers/clients are the primary recipients of gift cards – and many companies give to both. More than eight in 10 respondents (81.5%) said they present gift cards to employees. A total of 57.8% said they will give gift cards to customers or clients. Partners/vendors are the recipients of 13.1% of respondents.
About the Survey
Sales & Marketing Management magazine sent an email questionnaire to thousands of people with various business-to-business titles across a wide cross-section of industries.