Online Marketing “SWAG” (Stuff We All Get)

It’s a fact, I am “obsessed” with Online Marketing Expo/Conference SWAG. Some are ashamed, other makes fun, but quoting Tech Crunch Article, TechCrunch50 swag bag: Room for improvement “there’s nothing wrong with a good tchotchke,  and this stuff is kind of fun to give out to kids, and useful if you need clothes for changing the oil or painting a room”. 

Now for all of you who do not know what SWAG is let me inform you. Not to be confused with a  “cheap purchase during your high-school days” SWAG, as defined by UrbanDictionary.com: “Stuff/Sh*t We All Get – Relating to the trade show convention industry, where exhibitors hand out “free stuff” to visitors. Most of the time these items are purely promotional materials, and are fairly worthless. ie. pencils, mugs, and mouse pads. […] SWAG always has the company name, logo, slogan, product, service, and contact information clearly printed somewhere on the item/s. Some convention goers have made a hobby of collecting as much swag as possible, and compete with others at the show.”

As Used in Conversation…

  •  “The online gaming booth is handing out swag demo disks.” 
  •  “That beats my swag bag of stationary!” 
Now, I’m that guy who likes to collect as much SWAG as possible. It’s only right that I spend time researching a little bit in this matter. With a little bit of probing I was startled to discover that “Stuff We All Get” was not the original term, as discovered on NetLingo.com: “SWAG: This acronym originally stood for “SoftWare And Giveaways” and was used extensively throughout computer companies (such as Microsoft) to refer to tchotchkes, until the marketing industry later adopted it.” 
I also learned that there are in fact 8 different types of SWAG as best defined in the article on MaineToday.com, “What is SWAG? The ABC’s of Promotional Marketing“:

Awards: Recognition merchandise given to acclaim superior performance or service. Awards should be gifted in a way that publicly acknowledges the achievement.

Business Gifts: Merchandise given by a company to its employees, customers or any person with whom it wants to enhance a relationship. Business gifts are given in goodwill without obligation to or from the recipient.

Commemoratives: Merchandise used to mark a ceremony, anniversary, event or milestone.

Incentives and Premiums: Something the recipient can’t buy at any price, but must take some specific action to obtain: such as making a purchase, exceeding a sales quota or accomplishing specific company goals. Popular examples are: Safety Incentives, Wellness Incentives, Dealer Incentives, Direct Premiums, Referral Premiums and Sales Incentives. Incentive programs typically involve gifts given in sequence to keep people interested and involved in the program.

Lumpy Mail: Also known as a dimensional mail, lumpy mail is a promotional product sent via direct mail. Lumpy mail should be creatively designed to cut through the clutter and deliver a specific marketing message to a specific target audience.

Prizes: Reward given to winner in a contest, sweepstakes or lottery. Prizes may be used as bait to generate leads, opt-ins for future communication or answers to a survey. Technology gifts are popular prizes.

Promotional Giveaway: Direct premium given free of charge or obligation to generate awareness and/or goodwill. For maximum effectiveness the item should be useful or meaningful to the recipient and also tie in with the goals and objectives of the advertiser.

Traffic Builder: A promotional product designed to boost traffic at a retail store or booth at a trade show/job fair. Items should have lasting value to the recipient so the message is carried long after the event is over.

So now you can say you learned something today! Stay tuned, b/c I’m going to start a “SWAG” rating page and hopefully get all my readers involved in voting on the best-of-the-best! 
…now if you’ll excuse me, I’m headed to Mixx Expo/Conference for some goodies.
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Posted under Events

This post was written by Joshua Russak on September 23, 2008

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1 Comment so far

  1. Joshua 'The Red' Russak September 24, 2008 2:41 pm

    SwagSwagSwag

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