Marketing Idea No. 86 – Happy Birthday to customers

One of the biggest problems of database marketing and cutomer relations management (CRM) is not gathering sufficient information – but what to do next with that customer information.

The most effective player in the field has been British American Tobacco in Bangladesh. Forced to hide in below the line activities, BATB has proved that with genuine focus to details, database and direct marketing can be a very potent weapon.

But lets not go to the details and technicality. Today’s proposition is simple – do you know your customers birthday? If yes, wish him. If no, get that information.

In the era of break-neck speed and hectic schedules, we are multi-tasking to the point of breaking ourselves. That is why when someone cares enough to remember our birthday and wishes us, it touches all the right spots in our heart. Thats why its a sure fire solution to get a warm place inside customers heart – just wish him on his birthday.

The process should be simple enough. Almost all customers have to fill some amount of registration or membership form to get services. Collect the date of birth from that form, put it a good application / software and just query out the customers whose birthday is appearing.



  1. When I used to work in PR at Dhaka Sheraton, we used to follow that practice. We used to match if any of the occupant’s had his/her birthday while staying at Sheraton…from the database and the whole Marketing team, along with the other managers used to arrange a surprise birthday for the guest…with a cake, flowers and some goodies. Many guests used to feel so emotional, they used to feel they were at home away from home.

  2. Seems like we have come a long way from the days of ‘caveat emptor’. as a consumer (some one who inadvertently falls prey to your ingenious ideas) i can say one thing, when a seller takes a personal interest in his customer (birthday), or shows genuine willingness to cater to the customers needs, then he’s half sold already. it’s just not about celebrating a customers birthday, perhaps these small personal touches creates a relationship that we consumers begin to value. maybe CitiGold has the right formula, get personal with the customer, or at least make him feel that he has a relationship with you. did GrameenPhone’s introduction of regional dialects in their 121 service help customer who speak in regional dialects feel that their needs were being catered to? The idea of Happy Birthday to customers can be expanded to something much bigger!

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