Marketing Lessons Learned from a Life of Swag Hoarding
Author: Caroline Ruggiero
It’s 10:24 p.m. on Friday night after a long week on the road talking about the Engagement Economy. Instead of relaxing, I am attempting to chalk paint V-Bot, the mascot of Marketo’s LaunchPoint partner Vidyard, in time for my son’s 5th birthday party tomorrow morning.
So how on earth did I get here?
Well, I have been swayed by good swag, which has taught me several great marketing lessons that I’ll share with you in this blog.
Throughout my 20 years in marketing, I have been to many conferences. Along the way, I’ve collected a bevy of swag–the good, the bad, and the boring. I will fully admit that I am a total swag hoarder. As an event marketer, swag can be a decent ticket item on your budget, but unlike, say, the upgrade to the carpet in your booth, it has greater potential to provide dividends after the conference ends.
Swag is a universal tool that can help drive brand affinity with customers and partners as well as create brand awareness with net-new prospects. Swag gives you a chance to show your brand’s personality, and it makes its way home with attendees if done well. It’s like free advertising.
At this point, you might be asking the style versus substance question: Should I bring good swag or good collateral? The answer? A mix of both. There is absolutely a time and place for distributing content at your booth, but in some cases, you’re better off keeping things short and sweet–welcoming the opportunity to engage and follow up with visitors post-event using your marketing platform. Far too many hard copy materials end up in hotel room recycling bins than make it home in attendees’ suitcases. But good swag has a way of finding its way home.
4 Elements of Good Swag
To accomplish #SwagGoals, finding the perfect items that are both right for your brand and a hit with your audience, aim to meet one or more of these branding goals:
1. Be memorable, fun, or useful. Any combination of these characteristics can land your swag right in the sweet spot and make a lasting impression that makes your brand human. Not to toot Marketo’s own purple horn, but one example is the Marketo munchkin we gave out last year. The little purple guys were adorable, but by naming it “Munchkin,” we also gave a playful insider’s nod to our Munchkin tracking code, a powerful feature of our product.
2. Get exposure immediately at your event. Wearable swag has immediate returns and can be leveraged to drive brand awareness or even foot traffic on-site. Consider giving way accessories, such as glasses, hats, and socks, since attendees already have their conference attire planned out. One big potential billboard you might want to target is conference badges. Everyone loves a little flare, and Marvel Marketers tapped into that and got free on-site exposure. Go to the full article.