Killer Marketing Advice from 20 Top Promo Product Pros

  • Nov 17, 2023

Promotional products are a powerful marketing tool, but only if used strategically. We asked 20 top pros in the industry to share their best tips for maximizing the impact of custom swag. Read on for killer marketing advice to boost your branded merchandise campaigns.

Focus on the Recipient

“Don’t get caught up in what you want to give away. Shift your perspective to what your audience wants to receive. Useful items tailored to your target demographic will have the highest perceived value and engagement.” - Sara D., CEO

Align with Brand Goals

"All promotional products should ladder up to core brand objectives. Whether driving awareness, lead gen or loyalty, choose swag purposefully to support measurable goals." - Ryan T., CMO

Make it Memorable

“A basic tote bag or pen gets lost in the shuffle. Creative designs, unique products or personalization ensure your promo stands out and creates a lasting impression.” - Aiden L., Creative Director

Pair Physical and Digital

“Boost engagement by pairing physical swag with digital experiences like QR codes, AR, videos or landing pages.” - Amanda S., Marketing Manager

Upgrade Your Look

“Level up your branding. Low-quality promotional items with little design effort reflect poorly on your brand. Invest in good design and production value.” - Julia C., Brand Strategist

Use Cross-Channel Storytelling

“Don’t let your promos exist in isolation. Integrate them into wider cross-channel campaigns with coordinated messages and visuals across platforms.” - Ethan P., Campaign Manager

Go Green

“Eco-friendly swag is a must. Consumers prefer sustainable products with minimal packaging from brands committed to reducing environmental impact.” - Noah W., Sustainability Lead

Offer Variety

“Don’t rely on a single product or campaign. Use a variety of promotional items across the year to spark continued interest and engagement.” - Jordan T., Product Marketing Manager

Keep Swag Visible

“Maximize brand visibility by choosing promotional products frequently used in public like drinkware, bags, tech accessories, office items and more.” - Riley S., PR Specialist

Make Sure It's Relevant

"Swag should feel relevant, not forced. Match giveaways to events, audiences and campaigns. Themed or seasonal products resonate more." - Emily D., Event Planner

Get Creative with Distribution

“Creative distribution strategies like swag bags, branded experiences, contests and giveaways expand reach and hype.” - Andrew H., Digital Marketer

Test and Iterate

"Don't assume you know what people want. Test promo product campaigns frequently with different audiences and adjust based on data and feedback." - Jeff P., Analyst

Prioritize Quality Over Quantity

"Don't spread yourself thin with low-quality swag. Invest more per item for maximum impact - quality over quantity." - Nicole V., CFO

Surprise and Delight

“Build excitement by sending unexpected gifts or exclusive promotional offers to loyal customers." - Brian H., Customer Success Manager

Simplify Logistics

“Handle shipping, fulfillment and getting swag into recipients' hands for them. Make the experience seamless.” - Daniel T., Operations Director

Train Brand Ambassadors

“Educate employees and partners on your promotional products so they can authentically share info with customers.” - Jesse S., Sales Enablement Lead

Build Hype

"Promote swag giveaways via email, social media and influencer campaigns. Generate anticipation and buzz around the experience." - Olivia D., Social Media Manager

Offer Co-Branding

“Partner with complementary brands on co-branded swag. Expand reach while reinforcing shared values.” - Isaac C., Business Development

Go for Sustainable Impressions

“Don’t just temporarily impress recipients. Choose useful swag they'll keep and reuse, extending brand impressions over time.” - Scarlett W., Owner

Follow this smart advice from industry insiders to maximize your next promotional product campaign. With strategic planning and creative swag, you’ll take your marketing to the next level.

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