Swag Marketing: Get Your Swagger in Check


Posted: November 13, 2012 | Event Marketing

I had an “apple falling on the head” sort of moment a week or so ago during my morning coffee. Before I go any further, let me provide some background. The below Twitter stream between myself (@RickGrind), sales intelligence and social selling tool, InsideView (@insideview), and their Director of Social Media Strategy, Koka Sexton (@kokasexton) will let you know what’s up. BTW, doesn’t Koka have an awesome name?

And that’s when it really dawned on me – swag marketing is a legitimate strategy. It’s not about giving customers and sales leads  some piece of junk with your company’s logo cheaply printed on it. It’s about providing them with a useful tool that they will get benefit from. It’s about solving a simple every day problem, and throwing in some brand for good measure. Need some inspiration for some of these useful items?

Disclaimer: Yes, there are a lot of pictures of Marketo swag, which may come off as lame promotional “product placement” in our blog. I assure you this is not the case. I work at Marketo’s HQ in San Mateo, CA. It just so happens that I’m surrounded by Marketo memorabilia, and I used what was around me. Though I tried to include as much tchotchke (yes, that is how it is spelled) from some of our pals as I could find being used around the 4th Floor; which is where Marketo’s B2B marketing team rocks out on a daily basis.

Awesomely Useful…

Headphones: You’re always losing them.
iPhone Amplifier: No batteries required!
Carry-On/Overnight Bag and Luggage Tag: It’s always good to be prepared for a quick trip, and to be able to identify your bag on that trip.
Blanket: It’s amazing how popular a rolled up fleece blanket can be, trust me.
Pen: Overdone, but necessary. You can always use a pen.
Travel Mouse: Big on productivity, small on taking up room in your luggage.
Grocery Bag: Big enough to fit an entire trip to the grocery store, and rolls up tight for on the go. It’s also strong enough to hold 6 bottles of wine with no tears or ripped seams.

Now I’m not necessarily saying that you must have this hardcore usability mentality 100% of the time. Just…80% maybe? Yes, there is still room for the fun aspect in the promotional lagniappe (lan-yap). The point is to not JUST provide the little toy that is kind of cool until the low production value makes its grand debut. Those are almost like secondary offerings, a playful reward for some prior engagement.

Ridiculously Playful…

Slingshot Animal: They are flying pigs, complete with cape and oinking sound box. Please explain, what’s not to love?
Foam Hand: \m/ METAL \m/
Light-up Shot Glass: Nothing says, “let’s party!” like flashing lights at the end of your whiskey.
Cute Factor: Cute sells, just ask Boo the Dog.

What are you waiting for? Go find some good vendors, and start providing useful engagement with prospects and customers!

Rick Siegfried is Customer Marketing Manager at Marketo, where he manages the strategy and execution of all customer demand generation efforts. In his personal life, he lives in Evanston, IL with his lovely wife and plays drums in a grunge band. #GoBlackhawks

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Swag Marketing: Get Your Swagger in Check

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