By David Betke
Reducing swag waste is about sustainable sourcing and addressing improper usage. Even if eco-friendly products are selected, if they fail to generate results, they become wasteful for both your budget and our environment. To avoid this, it's essential to have a solid marketing plan rather than just slapping your logo on items in hopes of exposure.
Swag can be a valuable marketing tool when used strategically. A well-designed promotion can leave a lasting impression on potential customers and clients, creating positive associations with your brand. It can increase sales, recruit star employees, reduce insurance costs, and even save an endangered forest.
The effectiveness of a promotional marketing campaign hinges on various factors, including the product's relevance to the intended audience, the narrative it conveys, and the distribution strategy's efficacy. Inappropriate use of promotional items, such as distributing them to the wrong audience, failing to elicit action, and neglecting to measure results, can result in a squandering of resources.
To ensure the success of your promotional gift-giving, it's essential to consider the interests and needs of the recipients. Distributing irrelevant and untargeted swag could lead to it being unnecessarily wasteful. For instance, offering hemp t-shirts to office professionals may not be received well (I've seen it). Conversely, providing branded water bottles to sports teams or outdoor enthusiasts can be highly practical and appreciated. Investing in swag that will have a positive impact and not end up in the trash is crucial.
It's crucial to remember that sustainability involves more than just the production process of a product. For the long-term sustainability of your marketing budget, it's essential to prioritize effective strategies that consistently generate actions, sales, donations, or recruitment candidates.
In terms of product choices, sustainability should be a key consideration. Using eco-friendly materials, reducing waste in production, and ensuring ethical labour practices will not only contribute to a better world. It can also improve how people perceive your brand and attract sustainability-conscious consumers.
Giveaways at trade shows or events are primarily a waste of money because so few exhibitors require any action to receive them. So they mostly attract time-vampires & freebie-seekers, neither of whom will help you grow your business or make any difference to the success of your recruitment campaign or cause marketing goal.
Instead of just giving away pens or notebooks for free conference swag, require your audience to take action to receive them. For example, they can only receive the product if they:
1. Attend an event or seminar
2. Sign up for a free trial or subscription
3. Share your social media post or follow your page
4. Refer a friend or family member to your business
5. Leave a positive review on your website or social media
By making your giveaway conditional upon a specific action, you increase engagement with your audience and encourage them to take action that benefits your business. This approach will attract more qualified leads, build brand loyalty, and drive sales. Plus, it will help you measure the effectiveness of your promotions and evaluate the ROI of your marketing efforts. So next time you plan a giveaway, make it more meaningful by requiring action from your audience.
You will waste less swag, less money and less time, guaranteed!
A plan is the best promotional gift you could give your boss or shareholders.
Your plan should include, at the very least:
There are multiple ways to minimize your environmental footprint while enhancing brand recognition and customer loyalty through deliberate product selections and partnerships.
• Offer green merchandise as rewards: such as environmentally-friendly tote bags or reusable water bottles. This encourages customers to adopt sustainable behaviours and increases brand loyalty. Read: Our 10 Eco-Friendly Promotional Product Choices
If you're looking for a supplier who can assist you in achieving your marketing objectives and sustainability goals, consider these helpful tips.
• Read reviews and references: Check online reviews or ask for references from other companies that have worked with the supplier. This will help gauge their reputation and customer service.
To sum up, the main reason for swag waste is incorrect usage. Selecting eco-friendly items without achieving results can result in unnecessary waste and expenses for your business and our environment. Hence, it is crucial to have a well-thought-out marketing strategy and prioritize ethically sourced products with minimal environmental impact. With careful planning and targeted efforts, you can significantly reduce the amount of unwanted promotional items and attain better results for your company.
A: Refers to companies' unnecessary or improper use of branded merchandise or promotional products. It usually results in many swag products being thrown away or left unused.
A: Swag waste is primarily caused by the over-distribution of promotional products at events, trade shows, and conferences. Many companies give away branded merchandise without considering if it will be useful to the recipients, whether it aligns with their values, and without any way to measure its effectiveness.
A: Many alternative promotional products can help reduce waste that is not useless swag. Check out our top ten here
A: Marketing waste can have a significant impact on our environment. When companies give away low-quality or cheap water bottles or other disposable products, they produce more plastic waste that harms our environment and compromises the health of humans and wildlife. Every year, North Americans throw away more than 1.6 billion single-use pens. (EPA). Cutting B2B catalogue production by half is the carbon equivalent of removing 2 million vehicles from the road yearly. It would also save approximately 23 million trees.