• In the spirit of the 12 days of Christmas, Forrester’s B2B demand and account-based marketing analysts are delivering the gifts of awesome marketing strategies to you
  • We will share our best advice and practical tips for maximizing your 2021 advertising, events, and content — and discuss many other surprise topics
  • Check back on the Forrester blog regularly through December 24 to find new pearls of wisdom

This is the first in a series of blog posts that provide demand and account-based marketing best practices in honor of the 12 days of Christmas.

It’s that time of year again! The holidays are upon us, and the perennial question endures: Do you give your loved ones a practical gift or an emotional gift? In a 2017 Vogue article, writer Richard Hine shares that at 5 years old, he gave his mother a box of 1,000 pins as a Christmas gift and learned a hard lesson about gift giving: It’s not always the thought that counts. “As an adult, I’ve never made the mistake of giving my life partner a vacuum cleaner or an electric can opener or a washing machine, and for that, I have to thank my mother,” he writes.

Giving something practical as a gift is often a good idea because recipients can easily imagine themselves using a practical gift and thus determine the value it adds to their life. For example, for the holidays last year, my husband gave me a Braun 200-watt handheld mixer, which I use with pancake batter, whipped cream, and other small-quantity food items. I love it.

But let’s face it: Not all gift-giving situations are the same. We also love gifts because they’re joyful little surprises wrapped in a box. We humans love pleasant surprises — the anticipation makes them exciting! And, of course, our relationship with the gift giver and the context often leads us to expect something more thoughtful and less practical. My 12-year-old son’s gift to me last year was a beautiful painting of a cardinal (pictured below), which he’d enclosed in a homemade wooden frame. I love that even more because it’s heartfelt and warm. It communicates how much I’m valued and appreciated.

You may be asking yourself, “What does all of this have to do with me, a reader of the Forrester blog?” Well, a cohort of analysts who are experts in demand and account-based marketing are ready to deliver eminently practical little gifts to you, the marketers we support. Over the next couple of weeks, we will dispense advice, best practices, and tips and tricks to help you maximize your advertising, events, and content.

Why 12 days? “The Twelve Days Of Christmas” is the internationally renowned English Christmas carol in which each verse builds on the previous one, serving as a great way to annoy family members on road trips. Specifically, the singer brags about all the increasingly extravagant gifts they received from their “true love” over the 12 days of Christmas.

We can’t promise you that our gifts will be quite as spectacular as 12 drummers drumming, 11 pipers piping, 10 lords a-leaping, nine ladies dancing, eight maids a-milking, seven swans a-swimming, six geese a-laying, five gold rings, four calling birds, three French hens, two turtle doves, and a partridge in a pear tree (phew!). But we do hope and expect that you will make solid use of our humble pearls of pragmatic wisdom.