BOSTON (March 19, 2020) – Alyce, the AI-powered gifting platform that’s making sales and marketing outreach personal at scale, today announced the findings from its State of Swag Report 2020. The survey conducted with marketers and HR professionals at B2B companies highlights a shift in how swag is being used, increased challenges to managing swag programs, concern over waste, and a growing need for greater attribution.
Key findings revealed the majority of companies plan to increase their swag spend this year, investing an average of over $226k annually in swag between inventory, services, and software. Enterprise companies of over 1,000 employees are predicted to spend over $700,000 on average with a dedicated focus on the following:
- Engaging Customers, Prospects, Investors
- Employee Recognition Programs
Cancellation of Conferences and Events Highlights Need for a Shift in How Swag is Managed
“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. 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,” said Greg Segall, CEO of Alyce.
Companies Struggling with Managing Swag Turn to Software
Also of interest from the report was the challenge of managing swag inventory, with over three-quarters of respondents noting they store and manage swag in their office, with over half of respondents indicating they need to manage 3 or more swag vendors.
Because of the primary challenges associated with managing swag in-house and coordinating with multiple vendors, particularly the cost, time and hassle associated with it, companies are turning to software solutions to help manage their swag program, provide greater choices for individuals to choose from, streamline processes, and deliver better personal experiences to recipients. Over one-third of companies surveyed indicated they are turning to software today and spending over $30k annually to do so.
Focus on Lower-Cost Items Not Delivering Ultimate Business Goal
A majority of companies indicated that low-cost items are preferred for events due to the fact that these items are easier to buy, pack, ship, and manage at an event. Respondents typically viewed their swag as an inexpensive way to create awareness, acting as a loss leader or minimum form of entry to establish a relationship. These attitudes stem from the underlying problem that attribution and ROI is difficult, if not impossible, to track attribution or measure. Though attitudes are changing.
“Don’t order Swag just to have something at your booth. Think through the purpose it will serve and what you want people to use it for. Follow that journey all the way back to the airport. Will they leave your swag in the hotel room or bring it home? If they’d leave it, don’t bother with it,” said Kerry O’Shea Gorgone, Director of Community Engagement at MarketingProfs.
“Every experience you create and gift you give is an expression of your company’s brand and values. Swag may seem insignificant or mere table stakes, but consumers and employees are judging it and, by extension, your business,” said Nina Butler, Director of Demand Generation, Alyce. “Leveraged wisely, branded products can represent a real differentiator for your company and a smart way to build loyalty with your audience.”
Download the full State of Swag Survey Report 2020 which contains additional insight and commentary from industry-leading marketers here.
About the Survey
This survey was conducted informally by Alyce and Ignite Research. The survey was conducted by over 185 B2B professionals in Marketing and Human Resources, and respondents were not required to answer each question.