Starting 2020 With A Clear Direction

Your company’s marketing budget is already in motion for 2020, so how can you utilize it well for marketing? Here are a few questions you might want to consider.

Some things to think about at the start of 2020:

  • Did you buy products last year that stayed in the closet or were they asked for?
  • Did you reach your target audience?
  • Did those products generate discussion and interaction? Were they clever, quality, or best of show?
  • How long were they kept?
  • When ordering, did you worry about receiving a product on time and what it would look like when it got to you?
  • How much money did you spend in employee hours researching products?

Looking back to move forward makes perfect sense.

Do you want to make 2020 a more profitable year for your business? Your profit will be in the detail. Schedule a time to chat with us about your 2020 plan.

 423-364-7343 or

Tradeshow Marketing

Trade Shows: A Smart Use of Your Marketing Budget

At the beginning of each new year, companies, non-profits, and associations go into the year with marketing budgets set and event schedules planned. Many of those companies include a portion of their annual budget for attending trade shows, but are trade shows really worth the money?

Statistics you might want to consider when making your decision:

  1. The #1 reason for attending (not exhibiting) trade shows is to see new products.
  2. 92% of trade show attendees say they are looking for new products. 
  3. 81% of trade show attendees have buying authority.
  4. The average attendee spends 8.3 hours viewing trade show exhibits at a show or exhibition. 
  5. 83% of exhibitors agreed that “Building, expanding brand awareness” is a high-priority marketing-related objective for trade shows. 
  6. The top 3 sales-related objectives at trade shows intend to manage and engagement relationships. Above all else, exhibitors want to meet with existing customers, key customers, and prospective customers. 
  7. 67% of all attendees represent a new prospect and potential customer for exhibiting companies. This means trade shows are always rich in new business targets for you. 

What conclusions can you draw from these statistics?

How important is extending your company image through branded products? Given the high percentage of decision-makers that are present and the fact that 92% of attendees are there to see new products, do you really want to look like everyone else,  or would you prefer to stand out from the crowd? 

Give us a call to build your branded strategy today 423-364-7343 or email us at

Connections Promotional Products

“Your Branded Strategy”

Year-end gifts for contacts

Fourth Quarter Quick Marketing Tip

Be realistic about your contacts.

This year I am hearing about and having a number of discussions about year-end gifts. We all want to thank those that have helped to make us successful, but are all contacts created equal?  One customer put it into perspective.  “This year we want to buy fewer/higher quality gifts and be selective about giving them out.”  The realization is that we all have wonderful contacts, but do they have the final purchasing decision?  Perhaps this year is the year to start differentiating between gifts for decision-makers and everyday contacts.  It is not difficult to stay within a budget and say thank you to everyone. 

Tip:  Know your decision-makers.  One gift does not fit all. 

We are here to help you with your year-end and to maximize your marketing budget, while still saying thank you. Give us a call today at 423-364-7343 or email us at

Connections Promotional Products… matching branded product to your marketing plan.

Connections Promotional Products

Your Branded Strategy

When Your Stylus Stops Working, What Are Your Options?

We love to work for customers facing any marketing challenge! If you find you need a new stylus, here are some options that will be around for a long time.

  • For everyday events we suggest an affordable option with the quality you should expect: the Archer2Stylus Pen.
  • When thinking about a leave-behind item for potential or new customers, take a look this quality pen that people will keep: the iWrite.
  • Don’t forget to say “Thank you” to your loyal customers with the Zebra ZGrip Max Retractable.

So when your stylus just stops working, we can help. Call us at 423-364-7343 or email


An Attitude of Gratitude and Thankfulness

Far too often we can get lost in the day to day of being business owners. There are always bills to pay, meetings to attend, and fires that need to be put out. If you’re like me, the answer to “How are you doing?” far too often becomes, “Busy, but good.”

Part of the reason I love the holiday season is that it provides an excellent reminder to pause and reflect on the year and rekindle an attitude of gratitude. No one grows a successful business by themselves, so it’s important to say thank you to the people who have been a part of what you’ve built. We’d encourage you to take time this week to send a message to these groups to let them know how much they’ve meant to you in 2018!

Family and Friends: I’ve been tremendously blessed in my life to have a family and friends that I love with all of my heart. These folks supported me when life has presented challenges, loved me when I’m down, and have pushed me to succeed in so many areas of life. Without my family and close friends, life would not have nearly as much joy and happiness. I am truly grateful for you!

Business Connections: I have the sincere pleasure to have so many friends and connections in the business community in Chattanooga! I believe that Chattanooga is a rare and special place that fosters collaboration and has created an environment that makes all ships sail higher together. The Chattanooga Chamber provides fantastic events that allow us to mix and mingle with business connections, who quickly turn into friends through the various opportunities to interact. I am so happy that I get to work with so many kind, talented people!

Clients: I would be absolutely nowhere without my wonderful clients. Part of what I believe sets my business apart is the service I offer my clients. One of the biggest benefits of this is that I’m able to get to know you and get to be a part of so many lives. Thank you for allowing me the honor of partnering with your business. I wouldn’t have a business if it weren’t for you, and I am honored that you’ve entrusted me with your promotional dollars. I sincerely hope that I’ve done you proud. As a thank you to our clients, please check out our client Facebook page that is designed just for you.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Think Marketing Differently

How familiar are you with last-minute promotional product orders or rushed marketing decisions? Have you or your team taken time to consider new options for promoting your company only to fall back on what you have done before because it feels less risky?

A new marketing plan will not be an automatic win, but neither will sticking with the old one. After all, insanity is repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results.

How can you make sure you approach your company’s marketing differently to avoid the possible or actual mistakes of the past?

  • Know the value of your time. Let an industry expert help you with your next project and free up your time so that you can focus on your business.
  • Don’t wait too long to get started. Waiting until the last minute to select products for your events can decrease your selection and your ROI as well. Partner with an industry specialist to not only brainstorm the best product for your upcoming events but also help with managing your event schedule so that last minute purchases will not be necessary.
  • Know your target market. Is going to multiple events with different audiences and using the same product giveaways a good use of your advertising dollars? Consider what product is right for each event and your promotional wares will help you reach those who will be interested in your business.

“If you always do what you’ve always done, you always get what you’ve always gotten,” education professional Jessie Potter said. So let’s think marketing differently and see what new results we can get.

We will be happy to talk with you about the products and trends that will fit your company and marketing goals. Contact us at or 423-364-7343.

Connections Promotional Products
Your Branded Strategy  

The 6 Most Expensive Words in Business

The 6 Most Expensive Words in Business

How might these words be costing your business?

Over the years I have worked with many companies and many executives who have given that response when presented with a new idea. Often times they feel they just don’t have the time to implement those new ideas and that it would cost too much to change what they have done in the past. Could this be costing them money and ultimately their customers?

Here are three things to think about when you hear these words.

  1. We are living in a fast-paced, technology-driven society. Our boards of directors, CEOs, and everyday customers are people who have grown up with technology. This is a second language for them. How can we as business owners communicate and reach this audience if we conduct business “the way we’ve always done it”? When looking at your marketing plan, are you using tools that are reaching your desired demographic?
  2. Are companies looking at the actual cost to keep this system in place? One of the points businesses probably miss quite often is the amount of money spent on employees maintaining an outdated system. Recently I had a discussion with a very conservative engineering firm. They have a wonderful staff of seasoned assistants and office professionals. Their office staff has been there 25–30 years and are being paid very well. At $30+ per hour, how much would it cost them in employee hours to try to keep the system the same? When looking at your marketing plan, are you partnering with an industry professional to accomplish your goals or paying your employees to maintain the way you’ve always done it?
  3. “If you are not growing, you are dying.” Growth is essential to be able to keep up with a market that is ever changing.  If we can’t move from doing business the way we have always done it, then there is a good chance that our market will pass us by.

When hearing the words “we’ve always done it that way,” whether internally or when working with other companies, we have to look a little deeper. How can we move from this to being a company that is competitive in your market? To better target your market, give us a call.

Connections Promotional Products

“Your Branded Strategy”

Diversity and Marketing

Does diversity affect your marketing plan?

We have heard the word diversity used many times, and we all know that every company’s customer base is diverse. Yet, we still may be surprised how many ways diversity affects us and our business.

Diversity: When a group is made up of differing elements or qualities, we call it diverse. Diversity can apply to a number of things. People, cultures, religions, beliefs … and, on the business side, customer groups, business plans, or marketing plans.

Marketing: Marketing is the promotion and distribution of a product or service. This not only applies to but is dependent on various groups of people, cultures, religions, and beliefs. Your marketing plan and business plan are closely related.

Thoughts to consider when marketing to a diverse market:

  • When selling, promoting, and distributing a product or service, you need to know who you are talking to and what is important to them.
  • Being aware of holidays and events that your customers care about can lead to a more meaningful relationship.
  • Working with a diverse market gives you the chance to reach your audience through the right promotional products.

A well-thought out diversity and marketing plan lets you build relationships in your market. Need help with your plan? Contact us at 423-364-7343 or email today.


Success Starts Here…


Work day with the Southside Council of the Chattanooga Area Chamber