n The Retail and Marketing Review - Managing corporate gifts as a marketing strategy

Volume 12 Number 1
  • ISSN :



In the contemporary competitive and volatile markets, effective use of corporate gifts as a marketing strategy is a prerequisite for edging out rivals. This research examines how corporate gifts are effectively used by the contemporary South African business enterprises as a marketing strategy. A mixed research method was used by triangulating the results of a meta-synthesis of the theories on corporate gifts with the interview findings on the approach used by the businesses in South Africa when applying corporate gifts as a marketing strategy. Despite the wider recognition of the essence of using corporate gifts as a marketing strategy, most businesses were found to adopt more random and unsystematic approaches of using corporate gifts as a promotional tool. Such approach was found to inhibit effective understanding and mitigation of market trends and threats linked to "copying and pasting" of gifts by rivals and the "hoping" nature of customers' behaviours that often erode business values associated with corporate gifts. It also saddles the seamless blending of corporate gifts with strategies like competitive pricing and quality offerings, and the inducement of the desired sustainable positive effects on customer attraction and retention. The study postulates a new theory emphasising the essence of using corporate gifts as part of an integrated systematic marketing strategy to edify attainment of the sustainable improvement of the market performance of an enterprise.

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