Should You Invest In Marketing Swag? | Ep. #396

In Episode #396, Eric and Neil discuss whether or not you should invest in typical marketing swag. Tune in to learn why Eric and Neil won’t spend a cent on swag while Sujan, Single Grain’s founder, blogged that he made $500K from it.

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 00:27 – Today’s topic: Should You Invest In Marketing Swag?
  • 00:37 – Single Grain’s founder, Sujan Patel, had a lot of shirts and he made $500K out of it
  • 00:50 – Personally, Eric won’t invest into swag
    • 00:58 – Although, he has gotten useful swag from conferences before, and every time he uses the swag, he remembers the conference
    • 01:18 – “You want to have stuff that people actually use”
  • 01:37 – Neil believes that if you’re a big company, giving away swag is a good strategy in branding
  • 01:45 – Swag can be too expensive for startups and it’s difficult to track your ROI from it
  • 02:29 – If you want to try something, go to Startup Drugz instead
  • 03:04 – Neil doesn’t create swag and would not even if he was a big company
  • 03:30 – Marketing School is giving away a free 1 year subscription of Crazy Egg which is a visual analytics tool
  • 04:38 – That’s it for today’s episode!

3 Key Points:

  1. Big companies with extra funds can spend on swag because it can be a good branding strategy—“can” is the keyword.
  2. If you are going to invest in swag, make it as usable as possible, and don’t go cheap—you want it to last for a while.
  3. Because of the associated costs with having quality swag most startups and small businesses shouldn’t consider it.

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Full Transcript of The Episode

intro voiceover: [music] Get ready for your daily dose of marketing strategies and tactics from entrepreneurs with the guile and experience to help you find success in any marketing capacity. You're listening to Marketing School with your instructors Neil Patel and Eric Siu.

Eric Siu: Welcome to another episode of Marketing School. I'm Eric Siu.

Neil Patel: And I'm Neil Patel.

Eric Siu: Today we're going to talk about if you should invest in marketing swag. In general when I look at things like t-shirts, things like that, I remember the ex-founder of Single Grain, [Sujin 00:00:39], he actually had a lot of t-shirts and he wrote a blog post about how he made $500,000 off t-shirts, right? So you see stuff like that that's out there. In general I don't invest a lot into swag, but I will tell you the stuff that I remember from swag is that, when I go to a conference, for example, and I get a charger with their logo on it, like a phone charger for example, and it's a powerful one. I got one from this conference Neil and I were at last year called RD Summit. I still use that to this day and I look at it and I remember them, right? And that's how I remembered to talk to them and hook them up with stuff when they're in the US.
It builds relationships. You want to have stuff that people actually use. That way people will remember you. Otherwise why are you giving away swag, right? T-shirts people wear for a while but like a phone charger like that can last for a year or two, so that can go the distance. So when you give things like that you want something to be practical, like a water bottle or something like that. Or a phone charger.

Neil Patel: The way I look at swag is, if you're a really big company, you have tons of extra money, go crazy, give it away. It's amazing branding. If you're not a big company, you're a start up, avoid swag at all costs. It's just too expensive. It's hard to track to ROI on it. Again, it's great for large corporations, like you're making millions and millions of dollars a months? Go create swag. You're making less than a million bucks a month? Just avoid it.

Eric Siu: Yeah. A lot of these venture-backed start ups that I see in San Francisco, when I go into their offices they have all this swag. They might have spent ten, twenty, thirty grand on that or so, but what if you spent that money on a great new hire, or part of that money on a great new hire? Or what if you spent that on advertising, right? You probably would get much better ROI from that. So again, like Neil's saying, you have a big company go ahead and put in money on swag. If you're running like a big conference, something like that, it makes sense, right?
Or if you want to take it down to a more personal level, you can go to a site like start up threads dot com, I think that's what it is. With a z at the end, I believe. Or start up drugs? One or the other. Start up threads or start up drugs. And they can help you kind of maintain the inventory and send stuff out as needed. That way you don't need to buy a bunch of stuff, right? If you want to do it at a lower level you can do it, just bear in mind that you're not going to get crazy ROI from it. We are on a marketing podcast, for example. Do it on a smaller scale, but ... big company, go ahead, you can do that, but in general I think Neil and I both avoid it.

Neil Patel: Yeah, I avoid it, I think it sucks. I don't create swag, and even if you're doing millions of dollars a month you can. My guys in Brazil talk about making swag because the Brazil division's growing really fast. And I'm like, all right, go for it guys, if you want, but... even then, even if you're making millions of dollars, I'm a big ROI person and I just don't see how swag is going to make me more money. I'm like, I'd rather go spend that money on Facebook ads.

Eric Siu: Yep. So that's it for today. But before we go we have a one year annual subscription of Crazy Egg that we would like to give to you. So Neil, what is Crazy Egg?

Neil Patel: Crazy Egg is a visual analytics tool. It tells you why people are converting on your site and why they're not. Shows you that data in a visual format, like you can watch videos to see where people are getting stuck. You can see where people are getting stuck when they're scrolling on your site. If they're not scrolling far enough down and that's where your form fields or call to action buttons are, no one's going to click on it. All that data is presented to you with Crazy Egg. And the cool part about it is you can then adjust your design, your marketing messages, material, images, whatever you want, using Crazy Egg's Wizzy Wig editor. In other words you don't have to be a designer or developer to now make change son your website.
And then with Crazy Egg you can run AB tests to make sure those changes are helping boost your revenue, your sales, your leads or whatever your conversion points are.

Eric Siu: Great. So if you actually want to get in on this giveaway, all you need to do is go to single grain dot com slash giveaway. You can actually get multiple entries. You're learn more when you go to that URL. And we're giving away one of these every single week. SO, for the next year or so, limited quantities, get in while you still can. Go to single grain dot com slash giveaway and we will see you tomorrow.

intro voiceover: [music] This session of marketing school has come to a close. Be sure to subscribe for more daily marketing strategies and tactics to help you find the success you've always dreamed of. And don't forget to rate and review so we can continue to bring you the best daily content possible. We'll see you in class tomorrow right here on Marketing School.

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