The word from the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) this year is that everyone´s giving away thumb drives (flash drives to some). These are the USB memory devices that hook onto our key chain. You can put back-up files on them or photos of your kids or whatever. They come in sizes from 16MB to 1G and up.
I was at Staples last week and some HP reps gave me a 64MB one for hanging out for their color printer demo.
What does this mean to you? Well, if you sell something of relatively high value (like cars on eBay Motors, or mini-bikes, boats or .. anything with a value over $500 or so) this could be a very interesting marketing avenue. The drives are getting cheaper and cheaper by the minute, and since they´re a clean slate of memory, the possibilities of what you can put on them are endless. Eventually the things are going to be as cheap as printed pens. But they´re so much more powerful from a marketing perspective.
You can put super high-res photos on them, PowerPoint presentations, PDF brochures, videos, sound files, anything that helps you sell and educates the customer. The general public is still pretty hot for them, so they´re a good competitive differentiator. You could send them to your best customers, give them to prospects that express a certain level of interest, or offer them as a bonus for signing up for your newsletter.
If you have partner business or complementary products to yours, you can ask them to join a cross promotion campaign with you and spread the costs out. You put your logo on one side and theirs on the other. The possibilities are endless.