Direct mail and swag gifting have quickly become a common strategy to help B2B companies increase brand awareness, follow-up with clients and leave lasting impressions.
In fact, new research from Alyce, an AI-powered direct mail and swag platform, has revealed that companies are increasing investments in swag and spending and average of $226k annually between inventory, services and software. In addition, the report stated that enterprise companies with more than 1,000 employees are predicted to spend more than $700k on average on swag for events and employee recognition programs, as well as to engage customers, prospects and investors.
Key takeaways from the survey include:
• 54% of companies said they plan to increase their swag spend this year;
• 45% of companies use three or more swag vendors;
• 45% of companies rely on software to manage their swag;
• 90% of respondents said they purchase apparel, followed by drink ware (68%), backpacks (51%); gadgets (46%) and electronics (44%); and
• 72% of respondents use swag for company events, while 70% use it to thank customers and 68% use it to engage prospects and customers.
Challenges With Swag Management
Although swag products are crafted as highly valuable goods for companies to build up their brand, the report found a disconnect when it comes to managing inventory. More than 77% of companies store swag in their offices, with only 17% using offsite warehouses.
The report also highlighted difficulty securing vendors and an over-reliance on software as contributing factors, with companies taking on three or more swag vendors just to manage their inventory. This resulted in one-third of the surveyed companies spending $30k annually for software solutions.
The cancellation of recent company events has only worsened swag management issues, as businesses have fewer opportunities to empty their inventories.
“With the recent cancellations of major industry conferences and growing restrictions on travel, a major shift in the way swag is managed for events is underway,” said Greg Segall, CEO of Alyce, in a statement. “Based on the survey, marketers are spending a ton of money every year on swag in particular, and recent news has especially highlighted how that process is broken.”
According to the report, companies can alleviate over-spending on swag by manufacturing, selling and distributing items that are cost-effective in reasonable amounts. Businesses can save money by scaling down swag spending initiatives, focusing less on the numbers and more the act. Swag items can still be gifted on a smaller scale, and any amount of brand awareness is good for B2B companies.
“Every experience you create and gift you give is an expression of your company’s brand and values,” said Nina Butler, Director of Demand Generation at Alyce, in a statement. “Swag may seem insignificant or mere table stakes, but consumers and employees are judging it and, by extension, your business. Leveraged wisely, branded products can represent a real differentiator for your company and a smart way to build loyalty with your audience.”