10 Ideas for Leftover Year-End Marketing Budget

As it nears the end of the year, it’s time to use up any leftover marketing budget before you lose it, and set a plan in motion for the upcoming year. It’s a critical time to review the results of your historical marketing campaigns, determine what worked and what didn’t, and allocate next year’s budget to the stuff that made a difference. Peruse our best year-end marketing ideas and timely planning tips to drive meaningful results and lasting impressions.


Client Gift Ideas

1) Client “Thank You” Gifts

Convey your appreciation to your top client list with thank you gifts. Some items on our hot customer gift list include Bluetooth Speakers, Calendars & Planners, and Desktop Organizers – customized with your logo and company information. These customer gifts stay top-of-desk year round, keeping your brand and contact details front and center.

2) Sweepstakes & Contests

As people spend a lot of time browsing online during the busy holiday season, year-end sweepstakes are a great opportunity to gain brand exposure and drive new signups for your marketing campaigns. A quick and easy contest is as simple as “Sign up for our (email list / blog / subscribe on social) for a chance to win (something awesome).” Or, contests can be as elaborate as a “12 Days of Cheer” with daily giveaways, but keep in mind that a year-end promotion like this can require a lot of maintenance during a time when you may have a reduced staff due to holiday time off. Promote your year-end contest through your current marketing channels, and create a press release for additional exposure.


Custom Wall Calendar

3) Customized calendars and planners

Stay top-of-mind with customers all year long with calendars that are customized with your branding and contact information. Clients love traditional monthly calendars or full-year wall calendars. Planners, calendar magnets and desktop calendars are also popular giveaways. Some of the most impactful calendar giveaways feature your own products, services and company images. Calendars can also be used to drive art and photo contests – encourage employees, vendors and customers to participate!

4) Year-end promotions

Year-end promotions are not just for retail, although retailers have a plethora of ways to capitalize on the many holidays and glamourous shopping experiences baked into the season. Flash sales, deals of the day/week, and free shipping promotions are all top drivers for the B2C sector, but B2B companies can also launch effective promotions during the end of the year. Personal incentives, like free gift cards or promotional gift bags, are great tactics to encourage sales and customer engagement during the season.

5) Product Catalogs & Flyers

Out with the old, in with the new. Time to refresh your product catalogs, capabilities brochures, corporate videos and other materials to stay current and have new things to talk about for the new year. If you don’t have a whole lot of new stuff going on, updating the cover only of your marketing materials can make an impact.

6) Fundraising & Cause Marketing

Year-end is a time for giving back. Participate in community events like coat and gift drives, or encourage customer participation by announcing X% of December sales are donated to your favorite charity. Fundraising is a fantastic morale booster for internal employees (try bake sales, gift wrapping donated toys, putting together gift bags, etc.), and it can be an opportunity for local or national PR. Make sure to put out a press release on your efforts – people like doing business with businesses that give back.

7) Seasonal mailing services

Send out personalized thank you cards, notes with holiday cheer, gift certificate promotions, catalogs and more! With variable data printing, digital handwriting capabilities, and an experienced mailing services provider, you can send a custom greeting to everyone on your list for less than $1 per piece.

8) Trade show planning

It’s time to prepare for next year’s events by planning budgets, booth graphics and design, promotional giveaways, marketing campaigns, sales collateral, videos, price book updates and more. Start with a Trade Show Planning Checklist and get feedback from experienced trade show experts, like those at Plum Grove, to kick start next year’s exhibits and events.

Vendor Appreciation Awards

9) Vendor Appreciation Awards

Strong vendors are critical to helping your business run smoothly. Vendor thank you gifts can include customized awards, trophies and plaques – giving your vendors a special credential they can display in their place of business. There is no better way to say thanks than with a custom award to commemorate your positive feedback on a job well done.

10) Employee awards

A company’s greatest assets are its employees. They are your top brand ambassadors and create your company’s unique fingerprint. Promote company pride and show your team you care with ideas like: awards for top performers, gift bags, corporate branded apparel, or framed team photos. Host an employee lunch or team dinner to present your company highlights for the year and have managers grant recognition to employees one-by-one, mentioning special projects or exceptional results.

Plum Grove

Plum Grove


Plum Grove


Plum Grove


Plum Grove


Plum Grove