Award winning onboarding with the Bradford City Centre Gift Card

In September 2022, Bradford BID celebrated winning the Best B2B Campaign at the Prolific North Marketing Awards in Leeds. The campaign highlighted the work

In September 2022, Bradford BID celebrated winning the Best B2B Campaign at the Prolific North Marketing Awards in Leeds. The campaign highlighted the work undertaken by Bevic Marketing Services, alongside the BID, to onboard businesses and market the new Bradford City Centre Gift Card.

Vicky Clapham is the managing director of Bevic Marketing Services and told us more about their award-winning onboarding and launch campaign:

“My company Bevic Marketing worked alongside Bradford BID on the launch of the Bradford City Centre Gift Card from a business-to-business perspective, with a focus on engaging businesses to participate in the program. Thanks to experience working on previous city campaigns, such as Sparkling Bradford, we already had strong relationships with businesses and knew who would likely be early adopters of the gift card.

“At first it was about having those initial conversations with businesses, directly speaking to owners face to face. By doing this, we were able to identify the forward thinkers and obtain testimonials about why they were backing the gift card. We had a target list for the businesses we wanted to sign up, and it was a case of being consistent, making more than one visit if necessary, and answering any questions or concerns that businesses had.

“The main misconceptions we had about the program were that it would require the business to buy or use new technology or that they would need to allocate resource to manage the gift card. We were able to reassure businesses that the gift card works through the Mastercard system, so they don’t need any additional technology, and that it is just like accepting any other card payment with no additional resource requirements from the business.

“If the business already had their own gift card, we reassured them that being a part of the Bradford City Centre Gift Card could work well alongside their own activity. Occasionally, it would be a case of the person who would make the decision not being in the business, or them requiring head office approval.

“By the time the program launched, we had 70 businesses already registered to accept the Bradford City Centre Gift Card. To let people know that the gift card was available, we utilised TV advertising, PR, an outdoor campaign and social media. By refreshing the BID’s Instagram and using tools such as Reels, we were able to showcase the businesses involved in the gift card and demonstrate the opportunity for businesses to get involved.

“Another way we engaged Bradford businesses was with quarterly gift card updates. We provided information of where the gift card was being used and the amount going into the local economy through the Bradford City Centre Gift Card. It was also an opportunity to tell businesses about the marketing plan to promote the card, so they had the chance to get involved.

“To bring the gift card to a wider audience, we engaged with larger organisations to consider the use of the Bradford City Centre Gift Card for rewards, giving them a local alternative to the generic Amazon or Love2Shop gift cards. Schools and colleges were another target for us, as many give staff and pupils rewards and incentives.

“We became aware of the Prolific North Marketing Awards about 2 days before the closing date for entries. By using the marketing plan, and statistics from the program to correlate the campaign’s success, we were able to craft an award entry alongside Bradford BID. We were pleased to be announced as a finalist, and subsequently to win the Best B2B Campaign at the awards ceremony in September. The Prolific North Marketing Awards is a prestigious event, often dominated by the big agencies, so it was fantastic to have our campaign recognised for its impact on the Bradford economy.

“For those embarking on their own gift card program, my advice would be to invest the time and energy into creating a marketing plan for onboarding your businesses and promoting your program. Engage your businesses and involve them fully in your campaign. Collect evidence and statistics as you go along to show how your campaign is performing, so you can demonstrate impact.

“Awards probably won’t even be on your mind at the outset of your campaign but if you’ve put the work into both planning and executing your campaign, you’ll be in a strong position if any awards opportunities do arise. There is also Awards List which details lots of relevant awards. And if you find something suitable, take the time to read the guidance and invest a few hours in crafting an entry. To hear from the judges that they were really impressed with Bradford’s campaign was a proud moment, and it was a great opportunity for Bradford to show what it is doing to support businesses and boost the economy.”


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