ROI of Promotional Products

What Is the ROI of Promotional Products?

As a business owner, you’ve got to keep a steady eye on the return on investment of every dollar you spend. Being a wise steward of how your company spends its money, whether on operations or marketing, is incredibly important. Inefficient spending can lead to cash flow crunches, missed opportunities, and other challenges that could ultimately leave your business on tenuous ground. Wise business owners exercise this mentality on all of their expenses, no matter the size.

So, is it worth it to spend the additional dollars on branded items? Numerous studies say an emphatic YES! Here are three reasons why there is a high ROI when small businesses invest in branded promotional products.

  1. Brand Recall

One of the biggest challenges businesses have in a crowded market is simply being remembered by clients. Many times there are hundreds of other options for your target market to choose instead of you, particularly because of the Internet. However, getting a promotional product in their hands can change the game. According to a recent study, 85% of people could identify the advertiser on the promotional products they carry around. This level of recall is significant and is far higher than television or other marketing investments.

  1. Low Cost-Per-Impression

When you’re looking at how to spend your money in marketing, impressions are a key metric to examine. Not only do you want as many impressions in your target market as possible, you want them to be as efficient as possible too. With promotional products, items as simple as reusable bags produce an average of 5,772 impressions per item. This isn’t just pennies on the dollar—it’s fractions of pennies on the dollar!

  1. Proves Your Usefulness

When clients ask me what products would be best for them, I always make sure to ask about what would be useful to their customers. It might seem like a simple question, but it has profound consequences. Did you know that 69% of people say they’d pick up a promotional product simply because it was useful to them? Now let’s connect the dots. If the product is useful to them and promotional products help name recognition, don’t you think your customers will connect your company name with the usefulness of the product? It really is that simple!

If you’re interested in a promotional products strategy, I’m more than happy to have a conversation with you. I think you’ll find that the ROI of promotional products is incredibly high.

Connections Promotional Products
“Your Branded Strategy”

Marathon runners and audience

Summer Is a GREAT Time to Reach New Audiences

Do you enjoy going outdoors during the summer? Many people do. Last year, over 48% of Americans participated in at least one outdoor activity. That’s over 144 million people, which is two million more than the previous year. The percentage of those enjoying the outdoors at least twice a week is 21%.

That’s good not only for people’s health but also for businesses wanting to reach active people. Here are some thoughts.

  • Young people (ages 6–24) favor running, jogging, trail running, bicycling, skateboarding, surfing, and birdwatching.
  • The adult sector (25+ years old) favors running (by the far the most popular), fishing, bicycling, hiking, and camping.
  • Over the past 3 years, four outdoor activities have had at least a 20% growth, including adventure racing, non-traditional or off-road triathlon, stand-up paddling, and kayak fishing.
  • Outdoor enthusiasts find it easier to stick with their exercise habit outdoors.
  • Outdoor activities account for millions of dollars of promotional items that have a practical application.

So, business owners, pay close attention to not only the activities but also the demographics to know how to prepare a marketing plan for your target audience.

Increase your visibility with fans of the great outdoors with items geared to the great outdoors.

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”

Environmental Friendliness And Smart Marketing

Can Marketing Products Be Cost Effective, High Quality, AND Environmentally Friendly?

So can your marketing materials be environmentally friendly and still be effective? Earth Day falls on April 22, 2018, and is a time when we focus on using products that are produced locally, products that are recycled, and as many of us remember, planting living things that will grow and enhance our environment.

How can your marketing materials make your company stand out in April and still be environmentally friendly?

In previous blogs, we have discussed matching products to events or holidays. Many people still look at promotional materials as stuff they can give away with no thought given to how to buy responsibly and how to reach their potential customers through well-thought-out products that match their marketing plans. What better time to start a new thought process than Earth Day?

Finding promotional materials that are environmentally friendly is easier than you think, if you know where to look. Many products today are made of recycled materials including paper products and plastics.  You can also look for products that are sourced locally reducing carbon emissions and fuel consumption. My favorite product for many years has been functional products made from seed paper.  When they are thrown away, they grow a variety of different plants.

Why not continue to stand out from the crowd? Change those dated thoughts about your marketing products. Give us a call or email us today to find out how your company can make a statement this Earth Day. Call 423-364-7343 or email us at

Connections Promotional Products

We are your branded strategy …

How your business can take advantage of seasonal marketing

How Can Your Business Leverage Seasonal Marketing?

Seasonal marketing is nothing new to any of us. At the change of each season, we are bombarded with commercials about the latest clothing trends or the newest outdoor or indoor products. Obviously this generates a large amount of revenue each year for businesses. How can your company take advantage of seasonal marketing?

In many areas of the country, seasonal marketing follows the four seasons of the year. These four seasons signify significant changes not only in weather and activities, but also in the feelings attached to those seasons. For instance, spring is a time of new growth, longer days, and outdoor sports. Summer is usually associated with heat, vacations, and time spent on the lake or in the mountains. Fall is a time of slowing down, settling back into a routine, and, of course, watching football. Winter is associated with cold weather, skiing, basketball, and looking forward to spring.

Does it really make sense to use the same marketing strategies and products for every season? Probably not. When planning your marketing year, it costs no more to match products and strategies to events or activities associated with the different seasons. Why not give your company a higher return on their marketing investment by timely strategies?

Spring is upon us, so here are a few thoughts that might catch your customers’ interest.

Earth day 2018 is April 22, 2018 – Leave something with your customers that will grow and remind them of you.

Spring 2018 – Gear up for the outdoors.

Contact us to learn how your company can make seasonal marketing reach your customers.


Connections Promotional Products

Your Branded Strategy

Proactive or reactive: hidden costs of business

Proactive or Reactive: The Hidden Cost of Doing Business

I have often heard the terms proactive versus reactive in a variety of different settings. The term proactive can be defined as “creating or controlling a situation by causing something to happen rather than responding to it after it has happened.” For example, choose to be proactive in locating possible trouble spots.

On the other hand, the word reactive means acting in response to a situation, such as mice are reactive to turning on a light.

So, what does being proactive or reactive have to do with your business and what is it costing you?

The reactive company—I am sure we have all seen and dealt with companies that seem to be in a constant state of chaos and crisis. Their entire day is spent putting out fires and responding to crises. Whether it is the nature of their business or problems in their organization, they spend valuable resources reacting to situations and therefore are continually behind, trying to catch up. This not only results in higher work stress but is usually a symptom of high job turnover.

In the case of purchasing products or marketing materials, the reactive company will wait until the last minute to think about possible needs for upcoming events. This often results in limited time to think through what is being purchased and can result in higher shipping costs, rush production charges, and product that does not match their company image. Probably not the most desirable outcome.

So, what does a proactive company look like?

The proactive company is typically a company that spends a great deal of time planning and thinking ahead to be ready for problems before they arise. This company will often have happier employees who are willing to problem solve issues before they become issues. Job turnover will be lower than the reactive company, resulting in less down time due to job training. When dealing with marketing issues, a proactive company will often have a strategic business plan laid out for the year including events they want to attend and a good idea of who they will be targeting with their marketing budget. They realize the value of working with a company that knows the market and how to match product to that market. A proactive company will start weeks before the event working toward purchasing products and supplies for those events, which will save time and money.

Is your company reactive or proactive? Connections Promotional Products wants to help you be proactive in your marketing plan.

Connections Promotional Products

“Your Branded Strategy”


Something old, something new

Something Old or Something New?

Over the years I have found there are several different types of customer needs. The first is the customer who needs to reorder the same products over and over again—the “same old thing.” The second is the customer that is looking for cutting edge technology and wants to stand out from the crowd—“something new.” So is the “same old thing” an outdated practice?  It depends …

Same old thing

This customer had the need to reorder large quantities of the same product on a regular basis.

They may be

  • Corporations that use printed materials for marketing.
  • Corporations that disseminate corporate information to the public on a regular basis.
  • A company that cares about their public image and therefore purchases customized apparel for their employees.
  • Restaurants also use uniforms for their staff. They want their workers to present a consistent image of their establishment.
  • An establishment with a product that sells well. Why change what works?

Something New

This is the customer that wants new and different products. Why would that be important? When going to large events if you have something interesting that relates to what you are doing, you will stand out from the crowd. Another thing to think about in this category is the appreciation gifts for customers and employees. You want those gifts to be unique and special.

Because these are not mutually exclusive, how do you know what is right for you and your company? Whether it is the same old thing or something new … consult with a professional.

Connections Promotional Products

“Your Branded Strategy”

Review us for a chance to win

Could I Have Your Honest Opinion?

We appreciate hearing from our customers about how their products have worked and how we are doing. Out of our appreciation came the thought that we want to give back to those who take the time to help us grow.

Sample of etched tumbler

20 oz Chimp Double Wall Stainless Vacuum Tumbler

From now through April 30, 2018, we would like to receive honest feedback from our existing customers about the services we have provided. If you are happy with the services and products we provide, please take a picture and write a brief testimony. Customers that have entered will have the chance to win 24 stainless steel tumblers in any one of 7 colors customized with a faux laser engraved imprint with their company logo.

It’s easy.  Here’s how it works:

  1. Take a picture of your product in use and send it to us along with a brief testimony.
  2. Email your entry to with “How you are doing” in the subject line.
  3. The winner (you must be an existing customer) will be drawn from the pool of entries on May 1, 2018.

If your company has policies that will prevent you from participating, no problem. Please keep us in mind.

Not an existing customer?  Give us a call at 423-364-7343 or email us at …there is still time.

Connections Promotional Products … Your Branded Strategy

6 statistics you might want consider

Trade Shows: Are They A Smart Use of Your Marketing Budget?

6 Statistics You Might Want Consider

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?

Six statistics you might want to consider when making your decision:

  • The #1 reason for attending (not exhibiting) trade shows is to see new products. 92% of trade show attendees say they are looking for new products. [1]
  • 81% of trade show attendees have buying authority. [2]
  • The average attendee spends 8.3 hours viewing trade show exhibits at a show or exhibition. [3]
  • 83% of exhibitors agreed that “Building, expanding brand awareness” is a high-priority marketing-related objective for trade shows. [4]
  • 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. [4]
  • 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. [3]

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 with a smart branded strategy?

Connections Promotional Products … “Your Branded Strategy”


[1] CEIR: The Role and Value of Face to Face

[2] CEIR: The Spend Decision: Analyzing How Exhibits Fit into the Overall Marketing Budget

[3] Exhibit Surveys, Inc.

[4] CEIR: Changing Environment Study

Begin 2018 smart

5 Strategies to Make Your 2018 More Profitable

As business owners, we continually look for strategies to make our year more profitable.  This can take the form of reviewing budgets, evaluating revenue streams, forming strategic partnerships and presenting your brand and company image in a consistent, strategic manner.  When looking at your 2018 strategic plan, think about these 5 different brand strategies.

  1. Review your 2017 strategies for what has worked and what has fallen short. It is important to evaluate last year’s plan and how it performed to better move forward.
  2. Clearly define your company and the company mission. Whether you are planning personal or company strategies, it is virtually impossible to stay on track and reach goals when there is no clear direction.
  3. Clearly define who your market is and how you propose to reach that audience. You have to know who is buying your product or service so that you can build your marketing strategy.
  4. Make sure that your company is clearly and consistently using their brand across all marketing platforms. This concept can easily be seen in well-known product marketing such as Nike and Coca Cola. Because they have used their brand consistently through all mediums, the public easily recognizes the logo when seen and often associates a certain image with that logo.
  5. Form strong partnerships with suppliers and vendors. Working with a small pool of suppliers will insure better service and more buying power.

The start of a new year is the perfect time to review the previous year and plan new brand strategies to increase your profitability in 2018.


Happy New Year


Connections Promotional Products/Branded Strategies

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