Freebie Face-Off: Rise of ~$30 Giveaways Examined

By John Honovich, Published Dec 02, 2019, 10:14am EST (Info+)

The freebies are growing.

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Verkada started this (see The Fastest Growing Video Surveillance Sales Organization Ever - Verkada) and now has given away tens of thousands of Yeti Tumblers at a cost exceeding $1 million dollars. And direct competitor Rhombus has now joined.

For years, video surveillance manufacturers enticed prospects with 'free' white papers and webinars and at shows would give away items worth a few dollars, at most.

However, these new entrants are giving away items ~$30, which is changing the calculus of marketing. Inside this report, we examine the two company's approaches, compare it to conventional marketing and look at what this means for future efforts.

Verkada **,***+ *********

** ** ********* *******, ** ***** for *******, ** *** ******* ********* to **** *** ********* **** ***** free *****, **********'* ** *********** *** ****:

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**,*** **** ******** ** **** *** a ******* ** ****** ****.

Rhombus **** ******

****, **** ******,*******'* ******* **** ******************** *******. ***,******* ** ******* *** ******* *******, **** ***** *** *** / mug / ******:

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********* ***** ***** ***** *********** *** $**, ***** ** ***** an ******* *** ********* * *******.

Vote / ****

Paying *** **********?

**** ****** *** ******** *** ******* the **** ** *********** ****** *** attendance. ***** ** *** ********* ******* that ****** **** **** ********* ********* will ******* ****** *** *** *** serious *** **** **** *** *******. There ** **** *** ******* ******* that **** ************* ** *** ***** their ********* ** ****** **** ***** (though ** *** ** ****** **** the ******** / ******* *** ********** some ************'* ***** ** ********** **** levels).

Shows *********** *** (****) *** **********

** *** ***** ****, ****** ** ISC ** ***** ***** ***** *** effectively ****** *** ********** ******, ** is **** **** *** **** ********** get *** ***** *** *** *********. For *******, * **** *** **** booth *** ** (******* *** **** recent *****) ***** ~$**,*** ** $**,*** and **** ****** *** ***** ** get *** ** *** ********, ***** means *** ********* ** *********** ****** $30 ** $** *** ********, **** not ** *** ********.

Worth ** *** *******

** ***** *** ********* **** **** successful *** *******. **** ***** *********** as * *** *******, **** ***** wait * *** ***** *** **** to ** ** ***** *****, *** hundreds ** ********* ** ******* *** a ***-**** ***** *** *** * fraction ** *** ***** **** *** from *** ******* ********. *******, ******* only **** *** ******** ******, ****** that ***** *** *** ****** ********* / ******** ***********, ***** ** ****** certainly * ****** *****.

Plus ******** *****

****** ******* *****, ***** *** *** important *****-******** ******** *** ***** *********:

  • ********* *** *******: ** *** *** giveaway, **** **** ** ****** *** entire ******* *** ***** **** *** turn *** *** ******, ***., **** will ****** ****** ** ** *** most ** *** *******, ******** **** about *** *******. ** *** ******* scheme ** ******** ********* *** ***********, paying ~$** *** **** ** *** bad.
  • ****, *** ******** *** ****** ** be **** **** ****. ******* *** they *** ********** **** ******* *********, the ********** **** *** ********* **** use *** ******** **** **** ** solid, ******* **** *** ******** *** their ***** **** *** **** **** impressions ** *** *****, ****** *** initial *******.

Outlook - *********** ***** / ****** ********

** ***** **** *** **** ***** surveillance *************, ***** ** ** ** opportunity ** ****** **** ****, ********** as ** ** **** ********* * lower ****, **** ******** *** ** market **** ***** *****, *** **** common ************ ********* *********.

** *** ***** ****, ** **** manufacturers ** ****, *** ***** ** the ******** **** ****** ********, ** prospects *** ******** ** ********** ****** of ******* ** ********, ***. **** said, ** *** *** **** *** to **** ***** ** **** ********* manufacturers *** ***** ************ *** *********** in ***** ********* **********.

Comments (19)

Seems pretty pricey at first, but with proper screening, it's really not that bad of a deal. They are only sending giveaways to qualified folks, which means you are getting your targets on the phone. $35 customer acquisition.

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It should be mentioned that simply attending the Rhombus webinar does not get you the Hydro Flask. They send an email follow up (see below) in which you have to commit to another direct call to receive your Hydro Flask. Assuming you meet their eligibility requirements.

Thanks for attending the webinar! To confirm your eligibility for the Hydroflask, we’ll need to schedule a quick 10-15 minute call. You can book directly on my calendar or let me know what days and times are best for you.

I look forward to speaking with you!

Thanks,

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Thanks that stopped me from wasting my time! I qualify, but talking to them for 10-15 minutes isn't worth a $35 Hydroflask.

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The Yeti mug giveaway is/was a good play by Verkada. Those tumblers can be pretty cheap when purchased directly (<$20), but have huge brand value, particularly among "outdoorsy" types (which I am not sure fits the profile of Verkada's target market, but whatever).

As noted in the report, you can easily end up paying $100+ per lead for a trade-show when you factor the all-in price (exhibit space, T&E, etc.). Paying $20 per lead, you only need 1/5 of them to net out to the same uptake rate as tradeshow booth scans, which seems feasible (at least to me).

Also, it should be noted these are still relatively cheap give-aways compared to some other markets. I have seen IT Directors/CIO's with literal stacks of free laptops and tablets in their office. If Verkada is targeting these people (and they seem to be), a $20 tumbler might not be all that impressive, but that also makes sense. For a $20 mug, none of these folks are likely to waste their time just for the giveaway, but for their target buyer of people actually interested in a DIY surveillance system, the $20 mug is a nice thank-you for their time.

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I have seen IT Directors/CIO's with literal stacks of free laptops and tablets in their office.

I'm practically the IT Director of my company. Where do I get the free laptops and tablets? Did you catch any names?

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Bear in mind, the people with the stacks of free gear are in a position where they are purchasing hundreds, or even thousands, of units annually. I have a feeling that when you are in that position the freebies find you automatically :)

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So the people who get the best free stuff are the ones that it means the least to?

That is so messed up.

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Funny, because every few years I give a friend of mine in IT a couple of hundred bucks for a Lenovo ThinkPad that he gets for attending a training.

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Works well for name recognition if nothing else.

As an end-user I am initiated with security applications, software, and brands on an almost daily basis. Most of them fade into the background and are quickly forgotten about.

My Verkada mug sits on my desk all day. While I can't envision using the product, I am well aware of what they offer and who they are which must count for something.

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Dang. I attended the demo at the request of our director. I bet he got the tumbler and I was stuck in the webinar. I'll be back I gotta go track down my hard earned tumbler.

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...I'll be back I gotta go track down my hard earned tumbler.

In Search of... Yeti

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Sadly I like most in search of the elusive yeti came up empty handed. I guess at the level of director you get this thing called vacation.

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Do or do not. There is no try.

Fear is the path to the dark side.

Oh my, thats Yoda not yeti!

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I am in integrators offices almost everyday and I get a chuckle out of how many Verkada Yeti Tumblers that I see where they have put there own logo on it.

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Keep in mind that these guys come from Meraki where they give away free wireless access points and cloud licensing worth over $600.

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ive been an ipvm member for years and aint even got a paper cup

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Update: now Verkada is marketing Yeti 10oz mugs:

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Also, Verakda has increasingly been giving gift cards or Uber Eats vouchers for attending webinars.

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Ohhhhhhh I don't have 16 of those yet......

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Verkada is now giving away airtags, current FB advertising examples:

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