How Do You Know If Your Promotional Products Are Working? – And the Winners Are …

In our blog series last month, we looked at a few proven methods for tracking the value of a promotional product for your business.

We learned that “Engagement = Interaction,” and we received a number of comments on how logoed bags have worked for many of you.

We also learned that “Impressions = Visibility,” and many of you shared how you have used promotional products to engage your customers.

Based on a random drawing of readers who shared their comments last month, I’m pleased to announce the proud winners of a JOLT stainless steel tumbler:




How do you know your promotional items are working?

“We use promotional products a little differently. The products we use are to communicate with our owners and renters. Because we were continually looking for new ways to let our tenants know when we will be inspecting, we have included a magnet in their move-in package with their inspection dates circled. This saves us time and allows us to better serve our tenants.” – Joni Eldredge, Greyhaven Realty Management Company




How have you used logoed bags to reach your customers?

“Allied Eye is expanding our services to include an optical shop. Allied Optional Shop is a shop for our customers to purchase their custom glasses and other optical necessities. We have found a customized brown paper bag that is attractive and earth friendly for our customers to take their glasses home.” – Susan, Allied Optical Shop

We at Connections Promotional Products partner with our customers to creatively use products in their marketing plan.

How Do You Know If Your Promotional Products Are Working? – Tip #2: A Closer Look at Logoed Bags

Over the years I have heard many names for promotional products and many different opinions as to whether they are a waste of time and money. How do you know if your promotional products are working?

During the month of April we are looking at proven methods of tracking the value of a promotional product. Today’s blog is the second in this series.

Logoed bags have staying power


Proven Method #2: Impressions = Visibility

Here are some facts that you may want to consider. According to a 2014 study by the Advertising Specialty Institute, 34% of U.S. consumers own logoed bags. In the West, 61% of consumers who have a logoed bag say they are more likely to do business with the advertiser and 36% in the Southeast are more likely to do business with the advertiser.

Bags have a staying power of 24 months, and at 5,700+ impressions they create a higher visibility than any other promotional item in the U.S. Locally sourced shopping bags start as low at $0.99 each.

How have bags worked for you? Like us on Facebook and comment how bags have worked for you. Comment and win … we will draw from comments given on April 15th, 25th and 30th. Winners will receive a JOLT stainless steel tumbler.

How Do You Know If Your Promotional Products Are Working?

Over the years I have heard many names for promotional products and many different opinions as to whether promotional products are a waste of time and money. How do you know if your promotional products are working?

During the month of April we will look at proven methods of tracking the value of a promotional product.

Proven Method #1: Engagement = Interaction

ServPro of Chattanooga has the right idea. They found a product that matched what they do, that is fun, and is engaging. The concept is easy … if people want to come to your booth and have fun while there, they are much more likely to want to enter into a conversation. Engagement=interaction. ServPro tied their product to their tagline … ”Like it never even happened”.

How have you engaged your customers using products? Like us on Facebook and share how you have used products to engage your customers. Comment and win … we will draw from comments given on the 15th, 25th and 30th. Winners will receive a JOLT stainless steel tumbler.

Golf is in the air … Special pricing on golf gifts that WORK!

With golf season in full swing, Connections Promotional Products is offering special pricing on ProV1 golf balls as well as several tournament giveaways. This is your chance to make your next golf tournament a success, with golf gifts that WORK!



Tall Golf Tees

  We help you match product to your next event…
Follow us at  or
Like us on Facebook


 Golf Towels – affordable, yet highly visible


ProV1 Golf Balls

Call (423) 364-7343 for pricing.

Golf Tournament Gift Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make

Golf tournaments are not that different from other events. When you give away something of quality that matches the event or purpose, you leave a lasting positive image with your audience. When planning a golf tournament, planners should focus on saving money, but not at the risk of impacting players negatively.

Goal: The primary reason for golf tournament gifts is to positively impact the event and hopefully retain players for next year’s event. Even when you get your outing gifts donated, if players throw them away, they have cost you more than you realize.

Successful Golf Gifts:

  • Choose Golf Gifts over Non-Golf Gifts – Put something in the goody bag that they will actually use when golfing, and will remind them each time they use it while playing.
  • Choose Subtle Logos over Large Logos – If you want players to wear an item, use subtle logos. Golfers want small logos or no logo at all, so keep it subtle.
  • Choose 2 or 3 small Prizes over 1 Big Item – If you give one large gift, it is highly likely that you will miss many of the participants. Have several smaller, quality items.

Suggestions for a Positive Impact:

  • Embroidered cap with the golf course logo on the front and the event name on the back or side
  • Golf glove with the event name on the patch
  • Microfiber pocket towel with your logo embroidered in the corner
  • Ball markers with a simple logo

Whether it is a golf tournament or a marketing product for your business, the basic principles are the same. Know your audience and what is important to them and match the product to your event.

Success starts here …


nonprofit marketing strategy choices chattanooga

Nonprofit Marketing Case Study: Choices of Chattanooga

We asked Julia Kurschner, marketing director of Choices of Chattanooga, to rate the support she receives in selecting “the right stuff” to attract her target audience, among the many product options available. Here is what she said.

Who Is Choices of Chattanooga?

Choices of Chattanooga exists to educate, support and empower women and men in our community. Since 1985, Choices has been dedicated to providing a safe, confidential place where women and men can receive accurate information, medical services and practical help without judgment or bias.

Julia summed up the mission statement with, “No matter what, we are here for you…”.  Their job is to love people to the best of their ability.

How This Chattanooga Nonprofit Organization Marketed Itself in the Past:

Q:  How have you used promotional products in your marketing plan in the past?

Julia responded that “we didn’t have much before … it was pretty lame”. When she came to Choices, they were ordering the same pens, rack cards and magnets as they had ordered for years.

Q:  How did you order promotional products before using Connections Promotional Products? What was the process like?

We went through a printing company that only had so many products. The selection was very limited, and we had to handle finding products that we wanted without suggestions or input from that company. We just ordered the same thing every year.

Q:  How did that process work – were there any problems or concerns?

There was no one there to advocate for us if there was a problem.

Q:  How much of your time was spent getting promotional products for your events?

If we had a problem with the order, the time spent in getting it corrected could sometimes be hours of wasted time on the phone with no one person to go to. The quality of the product was not an issue.

How This Chattanooga Nonprofit Organization Markets Itself Today:

Q:  How has the process changed since using Connections Promotional Products?

Great, when we have an event and we don’t know what we want or what might work for us, you give us suggestions. This allows me to spend my time on my job instead of spending hours online looking for promotional products and not knowing what will work and what might not.

Q:  How do you use promotional products now?

We use products specifically for campus things, fairs, donor gifts and small groups. We have campus ministries and small talk series on campus where we like to leave group members something that they will use and remember that we are there. We have used products like chap sticks, smart wallets, ear buds and car chargers that have been a big success. These have all been received very well.

Q:  How does the time you spend on ordering products compare since using Connections Promotional Products?

I spend much less time on the product end of the event. We email you about a couple of months in advance with the event, its purpose, target audience and a few other things and set a meeting for us to talk in person. You bring us thoughts and ideas and we choose from there to fit our budget for that event, and we are confident in the quality of the product. We now have someone advocating for us, and there is a face behind the company.

Q:  Why do you think someone should use Connections Promotional Products?

We would recommend you to others without hesitation. You help companies figure out what they need. In our case, we attract more people to our booth or event because we have “the right stuff”. It is much easier to start conversation when people are excited to come by and talk. It makes going to all of these things so much more fun.

Trade Show Promotional Products and Giveaways – How to Increase Your Return

Over the years, I have worn many different “hats” at trade shows: I have featured my own company, I have sold product to others in attendance, and I have attended trade shows myself as a consumer.

Each time, I have witnessed the same unfolding process: As you walk by a trade show display table, you are bombarded by salespeople wanting to sell you something and give you free things. You fill your bag with all sorts of useless items, go home and dump most of them in the garbage.

So what products get kept, and what goes in the garbage? Are they working for your company, or are they a waste of your money? Let me help you sort through the “who, what, when, where, why and how” to promotional products, so that your company will stand out from the crowd.

Who is your target market?

  • Products should appeal to those that are going to use them
  • Products should communicate who you are to prospective customers

What product is the best for your company?

  • It should relate to your industry
  • It should be interesting and useful
  • It should match your marketing plan

When is product an effective marketing tool?

  • When you make a connection a customer
  • When product matches your marketing plan
  • When product reaches your target market

Where do I use promotional products?

  • General giveaways
  • Employee appreciation gifts
  • Existing customers
  • Prospective customers

Why do promotional products work for some and not for others?

  • Attitude – If you are excited, customers will be excited
  • A well matched product invites interaction with your company

How do you use promotional products?

  • To enhance your marketing plan
  • To say thank you
  • To say, “we should do business together”

The bottom line is that when you think through even the smallest component of an advertising campaign, you improve your return on investment. Partner with a knowledgeable promotional products company that specializes in that area and that takes the time to know you and your company’s vision.

Connections Promotional Products

Success starts here…


Our Gift to You – 2016 Trends in Promotional Products for Your Business

We have just returned from our annual industry conference in Orlando and are excited to share some creative new trends in promotional products for your business in 2016:


 Nostalgia … (see photo above)

This delicious package feeds 16!!! Make your next lunch event memorable, with your organization’s logo printed right on a package of tasty Rice Krisies treat. Choose from a variety of package sizes.




The Unexpected …

Sometimes the best product is unexpected, useful, and fun!  Play the video to see what happens!




 What’s New …

You will love this 26 oz Vacuum Insulated Tumbler. See how we can match this product to your next event…

Business Spotlight: Following the Example of JHM Certified Public Accountants

Johnson, Hickey & Murchison CPAs (JHM) is a Chattanooga firm that has taken steps toward implementing a business marketing plan – and seen successful results.

Since its founding in 1977, JHM has grown into one of the most highly respected Chattanooga accounting firms and trusted business advisors.

JHM specializes in accounting, auditing and tax services in a diverse range of industries throughout Southeast Tennessee and North Georgia, including construction, healthcare organizations, nonprofit & governmental entities, real estate, employee benefit plans and other industries. 

 JHM believes in supporting the local community and encourages their team members to participate in community groups by giving of their time, talents and treasure.  The firm also supports many local charities through fund raisers, volunteering, direct contributions and service on boards.

For the last three years, JHM has been the proud sponsor of the survivor hospitality area at the Komen Race for the Cure as well as being the official accounting firm of the race.

The firm’s increased visibility in Chattanooga has been driven by their reputation for serving clients well, along with a thoughtful marketing campaign that includes a beautiful new website, increased social media visibility, and custom-selected promotional products.

Stop by and have a cup of coffee to see what makes the most tax sense for you or your company.  


JHM Certified Public Accountants 

“Where you are more than a number…”