10 Top Marketers Share the Best Gifts They Ever Received

A post in a series of '12 Days of Content', for marketers, by marketers

December 10, 2014

In our '12 Days of Content' series here on the LinkedIn Marketing blog, we've seen a lot of gifting take place from marketers to marketers. In fact, our round-up of the "20 Books Every Marketer Should Read in 2015," featuring curated recommendations from top marketing authors, is one of our top blogs of the year. If you're still looking for a great gift for a marketer in your network, one of these books will surely make their holiday season merry and bright.

But aside from books and knowledge, I wanted to find out what gifts top marketers got excited about, remembered receiving the most, and would even go as far as to say were the "best gifts they ever received." Why? When we receive a great gift from someone, it leaves a lasting impression on us -- much like great content can do if we tailor it just right for the individual it's intended to reach.

I vote that great content, like a great gift, can move people to want to share it with others. Or at least share stories of their experience with it with others. To unlock the potential of this sharing effect, the key for us as marketers is to think through the emotion that we want to inspire in our audiences and design content experiences that invoke that emotion and foster a relationship with our brand, company or the products we sell.

So, to get inspiration for the emotional content you're destined to create in 2015, take a look at emotions felt when the following marketing leaders received each of their most memorable gifts.

The Best Gifts Marketers Ever Received [As Told Through GIFs]

1. When best-selling author and speaker David Meerman Scott experienced the gift of a trip to Antarctica with his wife Yukari, who fell in love with the penguins while David enjoyed the stark solitude:

"It's the most amazing place ever!"

2. When Jesse Noyes, Senior Director of Content Marketing at Kapost, received his Fender Stratocaster from his father at the ripe age of 16 and took to playing it seriously, not just as a hobby but as a discipline:

"As a pastor in a small rural town with six kids to support, it was a big purchase. My father always tried to reward passion and discipline by making what he believed were investments, not just gifts. I still have that guitar. It hangs on my wall as a symbol of how a gift can also be a vote of confidence in you and your work.”

3. When Erika Jolly Brookes, VP Product Strategy at Oracle Social, received a bubble gum plastic shark ring from her brother at the young age of 7:

"It's become a lifelong family 'inside' joke."

4. When marketing evangelist and best-selling author Ekaterina Walter receives her annual homemade tree ornament from her daughter, who knows how much she loves Christmas and tree ornaments:

"The best gifts are the ones that are thoughtful and deeply touch you personally. They don't have to be expensive either. They just have to show you that someone knows and appreciates you."

5. When Alex Kevork, Director of Marketing at Crowdly, experienced the magic of Christmas Eve just as he was on the verge of losing it after the slow train from New York to Boston broke down in the sticks of Connecticut:

"The sighs of frustration eventually turned to laughter and story telling. Someone came up with the idea to warm up wine in the microwave and add sugar (mulled wine Amtrak style) and it turned into a holiday party on a broken down train. Then...the singing came. It started in the car ahead of us, and as the doors opened, we saw the conductor marching along, bellowing "Have yourself a merry little Christmas" in what was clearly a classically trained opera voice. I felt like a kid again, having a jolly old time with friends and loved ones, except this time with a little wine and people I didn't actually know..."

6. When Lee Odden, author and CEO of TopRank Online Marketing, received the 3 best gifts of his life - his kiddos:

"My three kids are the joy of my life."

7. When Gwen Foutz, SVP and Partner, Americas Social Lead at FleishmanHillard, received a special silver anchor Christmas tree ornament two years ago from her best friend:

"She was my maid of honor and gave it to me the year of my wedding, which took place at the beach in a pier house so the anchor is a symbol of a very personal day and fantastic memory for my husband and I (and all of our friends and family in attendance!) Now, when I hang the anchor ornament on the tree, not only am I reminded of the wedding but also my friend and all of the memories that we have made over the years. My friend and I live in different parts of the country, so we only see each other a few times a year. Special gifts that have personal meaning behind them – like the anchor ornament - really make me feel closer to my friend and grateful for her friendship, even though we are so many miles apart."

8. When Jeffrey Graham, Twitter's Global Ad Research Director, received a Rub-a-Dub Dolly from his Grandmother when he was 7 years-old:

"I wanted to give a baby a bath. She made me feel that was ok."

9. When Ashley Brown, VP of Social Strategy at Spredfast, receives a home-made "coupon" from his partner David for a long weekend anywhere in the U.S.:

"We typically give each other 4 a year. It's all about memories over things."

And finally...

10. When I received the responses to this question from marketing leaders in my own network:

The gift-giving - and GIF-giving - doesn't stop here. Subscribe to the LinkedIn Marketing blog today and get our next posts in the '12 Days of Content' series delivered to your inbox.

This post is the 10th in a blog series helping marketers to celebrate the fact that the #HolidaysAreIn with others in their LinkedIn network. Check out more related posts in our ’12 Days of Content’ series below.