Swag Marketing: Get Your Swagger in Check

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!