Your bosses sent you a lovely gift? A machine told them what to buy

Can you really trust your boss to know what would make you happy?
Written by Chris Matyszczyk, Contributing Writer
Hands holding a stack of wrapped presents against a red background.
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There I was thinking that the new year hasn't been quite the gift I hoped it would be.

Then up popped a cheery email from a no-doubt even cheerier PR person to brighten my day.

The subject line radiated joy: "Shifting Gifting: Rebranding the Concept of Gifting in 2023."

I'm used to the idea that so many terrible people, companies, and things need rebranding. But gifting? Don't we all agree that gifting is always a good thing, unless you gift someone an item you know they'll despise?

In merely thinking that, I was showing my ignorance (again). This is Dataworld. We're just ciphers, ready to be tabulated and manipulated, so why not a gifting machine?

I delved further. This was a company called Reachdesk, which boasts: "Use data-driven gifting to increase pipeline, close more deals, and connect with more customers."

And, it seems, makes employees happier too.

There's surely nothing like getting a gift from your boss and knowing a machine chose it, right?

Also: Here's every major retailer's holiday return policy compared

Then again, when have you ever received a gift from your boss and thought they had actually chosen it? And here was the "only global, data-driven gifting platform" insisting I consider its services a gift.

Why? Because, said Reachdesk, 68% of people consider gift-giving "one of their love languages." Moreover, 37% of employees apparently feel recognition is the most important thing to them. (I'm assuming the other 63% just want the money.)

I had to know more. Conveniently, Reachdesk has enlightening YouTube videos. One reveals the remarkable datum that "eGifts like coffee vouchers or restaurant cards make up 70% off [sic] all gift sends on Reachdesk."

You mean bosses need a machine to tell them that people like free money?

I also learned from this video that America is the No. 1 gifting country in the world. Yes, we really are the gift that keeps on giving.

Also: Microsoft researched what made employees truly happy. One result was startling

And would you believe that different departments have different penchants when it comes to gifts?

HR types send eGifts. Marketing teams prefer to send gift bundles. Well, they're always desperate for attention, aren't they?

But what about partnership and sales teams, I hear you cry. Their bent is to send fresh cookies, cupcakes, and drinks.

Isn't it amazing how data can enlighten your load?

There was more. Really. Reachdesk has another video explaining how it all works and it really does use the phrase "tried and trusted."

The company offers ideas for "specific campaigns per country." Could it be that German employees like free coffee less than their Austrian counterparts?

But how does this all really work? How does Reachdesk have such deep insights into the world's pleasure psyche? How can it help you not only delight your employees, but get more clients for your business?

Also: 12 smart home devices that make great gifts 

The company says it's all based on "analysis of the most effective campaigns at specific moments that matter, combined with our expertise in messaging, budget, and gifting best practice."

Please forgive me if I muse: "There's a best-practice manual for gifting?" Perhaps I missed it, as I have many things in life.

Isn't it, though, a touch sad when data has to tell you when to send a gift and what gift to send? 

I always thought gifts said as much about the giver as the recipient. Actually, they say a lot about how the giver views the recipient. Wouldn't you prefer your employees or your potential clients to know who you really are?

Oh, what am I saying? Everyone needs to rebrand themselves every six months, right? Better let data take care of it.

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