Creating Greater Value And Returning ROI With Your Promotional Products

  • Mar 16, 2017

How to Get the Greatest ROI from Your Promotional Products

Austin, Texas: This past week, I have been walking around the various SXSW showcases, booths and musical venues in Austin, Texas - and noticed a ton of promotional swag being given out at many booths, venues, events, etc.

I love it-as our company, Geek Tech Branding, sells cool promotional swag and there were over 20 companies using our promotional products as incentives and give-aways this week.

However, it pains me to see how few companies are maximizing the effectiveness of their promotional swag dollars.

All people like promotional products. People will stand in line for cool promotional gifts. People will sign up on websites, fill out forms, take surveys, participate in forums and sit through a seminar to get cool promotional swag.

...So why are so many companies just handing out swag at these events without getting any ROI? I just don't get it.

Just yesterday, I was handed earbuds, 2 stylus pens, 1 bottle opener, a pair of logo sunglasses, 4 foam koozies, 3 microfiber cloths and a silicone i-phone wallet-- at various events--without ANYONE asking for anything in return.

I get that you brought along 5,000 promotional items and you want to hand them all out so you don't have to lug them home.

But why not get people to get immersed in your brand for an extra moment before handing out the swag?

Get them to fill out a survey, hear about your latest features, sign up for a free trial, taste your new energy bar, play with your new device and give you the first thought that comes to mind, ask their opinion, Like your Facebook page, etc.

Make them do something in exchange for your cool promotional swag-- and they will value it it more, post about it on social media platforms more often-- and feel more connected to your brand. You also get their permission to follow up for the future-whether it be just to get them onto your Facebook page, email list, questionnaire--get their contact information for future correspondence.

By doing a quid pro quo - or exchanging cool promotional swag in exchange for information-- you will maximize the return on your promotional marketing dollars, while extending the reach of your brand.

Don't be afraid to ask for something in return. You will be pleasantly surprised at what extent people will jump through hoops to get some cool promotional swag.

Happy Promoting!

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Robert Piller is President of, the leader in high tech promotional products for all occasions and events.--including custom packaging and custom promotional products.

Geek Tech Branding is a third-generation company that began in 1956 selling imprinted calendars and writing instruments and has grown to become one of the largest suppliers of imprinted technology and promotional electronic gifts in the country. We are currently celebrating our 60th anniversary of helping clients build their brand and marketing reach.

Robert Piller has been working with companies of all sizes, including Fortune 500 companies, law firms, non-profit organizations, financial institutions, startups and other organizations to market and promote their businesses and improve their branding.

He is a frequent writer and speaker on marketing and technology topics and loves to share and exchange ideas. Feel free to reach him through Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, by email (robert [at] or through this blog. offers the latest high-tech promotional products --including imprinted power chargers and power sticks, imprinted Bluetooth speakers and promotional ear buds, custom printed tablet sleeves, branded iPhone cases, imprinted USB car chargers, promotional stylus pens, promotional USB drives and hubs and more -- all imprinted with your company's name and logo.

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  • Tags: marketing, promotional swag, swag, trade shows