Inventory Versus Non-inventory Parts

Question: In QuickBooks, do I set up my items as “non-inventory part” or “inventory part?” Answer: Most always, ad specialty transactions are of the “non-inventory part” variety. The items ordered are customized to our clients' specifications—drop shipped directly to them, and we, the distributor, do not take physical possession. And in QuickBooks, these transactions are…

8 Apparel Pieces Perfect For Holiday Feasts

Let's face it: Holiday feasting is an Olympic sport. Over Thanksgiving weekend, I definitely indulged in candied sweet potatoes, stuffing, tons of turkey and, of course, massive amounts of pumpkin pie. It was then I realized that athletes have sporting uniforms, why don't we have special outfits for our marathon holiday feasting? There are certain…

Data Driven Versus Data Informed

I love data. I really do. The more data you have, the better decisions you can make. Unless… Unless you read the data without context and understanding. Consider this example: Your e-commerce vendor is reporting to you that your Google Adwords (the ads that show during a Google search) campaign is doing extremely well and…

Other PM Bloggers
Leisure & Outdoor

Though I already have provided my opinion of the best NBA giveaways, the experts at ESPN ranked the top five NBA giveaways this season. There certainly are some creative promotions, and even with the ones I thought I had seen before, I noticed cool, new features that I wouldn't have thought of. ESPN gave the…

I'm going to level with all of you. A few years ago, I did not know the first thing about…

Yesterday was the Philadelphia Phillies home opener, and, of course, they lost because they know that I have my heart invested in them and they just want to disappoint me. Sorry, did I say that last part out loud? Anyway, because I live in the city, I saw plenty of people who obviously were coming…

Golf & Performance Apparel

Maybe it's just me, but when the news gets to be too much to bear, I tend to reminisce. I think about simpler times, like my childhood—Nickelodeon shows, yo-yos, saying "wazzup" for no reason and, of course, the Spice Girls. The Spice Girls were, and still are, my everything. I've seen them in concert twice,…

Without beauty pageants, we wouldn’t have “Miss Congeniality.” So, I do give them credit for that—but not much more. That is, until last week when the Miss Universe Organization announced that the Miss Teen USA competition would eliminate the swimwear competition and integrate an athletic wear competition. Among other things, do you know what that decision signals? Athleisure continues to soar in popularity, and it's here to stay...

If you're like me, you concluded your relaxing Memorial Day weekend by watching the nail-biter seventh game in the NBA Western Conference Finals. While most people probably were focusing on Klay Thompson's clutch three-pointers and Steven Adams' scary mustache (no offense, big guy), I was zeroing in on the promotional T-shirts the fans were sporting in…


Yesterday, I wrote a story about American Apparel founder and former CEO Dov Charney's new apparel company, which he plans to build into a rival of his former company. So far, we don't actually know the name of the company, but we do know that it's based in…

In this industry, we know the power of a T-shirt. We know how many impressions they provide—and how effective those impressions can be. A shirt donning a slogan in support of Orlando combats the hate that caused this tragedy and unites us all in support of our fellow man...

You guys know that I love T-shirts. I couldn’t write about them as much as I do if I didn’t. And I know that you guys love T-shirts, too. You wouldn’t be as good at your jobs as you are if you didn’t. But how much does your end-user love your T-shirt? That’s the make-or-break question of a successful promotion...

Drinkware & Housewares

With fall just weeks away, I've been thinking about all the reasons to be excited for it. Pumpkin spice lattes, cozy sweaters, football season and, of course, the "Gilmore Girls" revival. Honestly, there is nothing more fall than "Gilmore Girls," which is set in the fictional New England town of Stars Hollow. And with Netflix…

While it's been uncharacteristically cold here in Philadelphia, the first week of April still has brought chirping birds and blooming cherry blossoms. The start of spring also signifies that Earth Day is almost here, and if you're anything like us, you love the opportunity to give back to Mother Earth. Whether it's with eco-friendly products…

Providing cross-promotion products increases the brand exposure for your client(s). Here are two cross-market promotion ideas to celebrate warm weather.


Imagine this: The event is going a lot better than you had expected. Everyone seems really excited about the new launch, and a bunch of the prospects in attendance have expressed interest in learning more about what you can offer. You have gathered lots of new, quality leads it seems! Even better, your chief marketing…

Paul Bellantone and I walked to dinner after the first day of PPAI’s 2015 Product Responsibility Summit and talked about the same thing

Jane Nelson-Halverson, owner of Dakota Promotions & Printing, describes her experiences volunteering for an abused adult resource center, which she also does some promotional work for. She details the services the center provides, as well as how she handles selling promotional products to an organization she also volunteers at.

Awards & Recognition

With all this 2016 election hullabaloo, we've been focusing a lot of attention on the Democratic and Republican National Conventions' merchandise. And while that's definitely important, there's another convention that pulled out all the stops for its merchandise. San Diego Comic-Con is that wonderful yearly event where fans receive updates on their favorite comic franchises,…

Healthcare & Safety

The Rising Trend in Personal Care Good marketing, and the products or services being promoted, seek to identify and fill a void within the consumer’s present life. For millions of individuals, that void often centers around wellness and personal care. An overlooked yet deadly serious element of daily life, self-care is an activity or habit…

Product Safety & Compliance

On November 23, 2015, the world’s largest food manufacturer, Nestle, disclosed publicly that slave labor was being used to produce its seafood sourced from its supply chain in Thailand. An investigation had shown that Thai fishing operators lured migrant with false promises. The migrants were sold systematically and then kept in bondage and degrading conditions…

Trump! Clinton! Feel the Bern! Some can’t help but support their candidates both privately and publicly. Recently, Cheryl Rios, a marketing specialist, discovered the danger of talking politics online—she lost her largest clients. But, I’m not writing today to get you to stop talking politics. I want you to talk politics—even online—but directed toward your elected officials. Next…

When the discussion turns to delivering safe and compliant promotional products, and specifically how difficult it is to do, I usually go with this response: "You can either run toward the problem, or you can run away from it."

Women's Wear & Fashion

Here's what's happening this week in the apparel world ... * Athletic wear companies Under Armour and Adidas have kissed and made up. Both retailers have reached a settlement in a patent infringement lawsuit regarding mobile fitness product patents, according to The Baltimore Sun. "Adidas AG, Under Armour Inc. and MapMyFitness Inc. have resolved their pending patent…

In a previous blog post, I delved into the details and advancements of several "genderless" clothing lines in the retail world. Now, it seems the military also is looking into creating "genderless" uniforms. Recently, the Navy has used uniforms as…

What to look for in spring 2014: purple, blue, cubism and metallics.

Keychains/Pocket & Purse

College was an exciting time in my life. For me, a kid from suburban Central Pennsylvania, it was a time when I moved to an exciting city, made new friends from all over the country (and the world)…

Food & Drink

With March making its debut next week, St. Patrick's Day is right around the corner. I get extra excited about St. Patrick's Day because it's a chance to bore people with my stories about spending a semester in Ireland. I'll save you the snooze-worthy stories and instead provide some insight as to how your brand…

Technology & Computer Accessories

I got the Microsoft Surface Book (not the Surface tablet) two weeks ago, and it’s going back to Microsoft this week. It’s an expensive laptop that has great potential, but it’s not worth the extra money. Here are my thoughts. The potential is there: Beautiful and stylish Powerful Excellent tablet functionality with a great Bluetooth…

What are you going to do in 2016 that is going to make you even more relevant in 2017? What are you going to do to create the customer experience needed to ensure that you can compete and flourish long term? Are you going to curse the online challengers who are driving you crazy? Or,…

I am, without a doubt, the most mobile CIO in the USA. Name one other CIO that is so committed to mobile that immerses themselves all the way to the point of staying in a mobile home.


Earth Day is right around the corner. Need ideas for upcoming promotions? Here are three products that scream "I <3 Earth."

Earth Day is almost here. Are you and your clients ready to go for the green on April 22?

Whether you want to believe it or not, the weather impacts the ability for business to get done. One look at Facebook during Hurricane Sandy illustrated just how disruptive the storm was to industry firms.

Headwear & Outerwear

Five apparel pieces fit for any stadium, team or any baseball-loving client to give away.

The best thing we can do as garment counselors is to make our clients look like heroes to THEIR end-users. The perfect apparel category for that? Jackets.

With today’s tough economy and overall tighter company budgets, it’s no wonder your clients are becoming more demanding and wanting more from you in a shorter turnaround time. With so many balls in the air, and only two hands to catch them all, working with a smart supplier who can truly be a partner to you will make a world of difference.

Trade Packaging & Printing

Paper supplier Mohawk shows support for small businesses that source and create American-made products. Here's the why and how.

Dita Von Teese recently modeled the first 3-D printed full-length gown. How will this influence fashion and are you buying the 3-D printing hype?

5 imprintable greeting cards for everyone from your favorite supplier to your most curmudgeonly client.

Health & Wellness

How to find potential Labor Day clients and implement a promotion before September 2.

A review of Diamonds Cosmetics Inc.'s nail polish and ideas for including polish in your upcoming promotions.

What to wear and bring while traveling to Vegas, Atlantic City or any other show location.

Stress, Games & Toys

Feeling burnt out and unproductive? Make time for a vacation—even if time isn’t on your side.

Season 3 of HBO's "Game of Thrones" premieres on March 31. Here are some fun ways to connect the worlds of fantasy and promotional products.

Clients not wowed by QR codes? Watch this video for a way to focus on their strengths and make them impressive and intriguing again.

Towels & Textiles

Valentine's Day and other promotion ideas for February and March.

My favorite promotional item carries a lot of meaning for me. Here's a clue to figure it out: If you're like rapper Wiz Khalifa, "you know what it is."

Are you looking for a product that sends just the right message for an awareness campaign? Here are some suggestions.

Writing Instruments

Award season is in full swing. Help your clients take home the Oscar for "Best Party" with these five movie-themed promotions.

A short example about how a little promotion can go a long way.

Stationery company Paper Mate recently conducted a survey about office theft and came to a bold conclusion: 100 percent of respondents admitted to stealing pens from coworkers.

Journal, Office & Time Planners

PCA Calendars and Pepco Promotional Products share some of their new products from the show floor.

A quick preview of all the cool stuff I'm working on for June.

Golf & Sport
Is it Tee Time Yet?

I know it's only March 10th, but I'm starting to feel it—golf season is near. In my dinning room is a brand-new Big Bertha driver, a Christmas gift from my wife who apparently didn't know just how much the size of your club matters when it comes to golf (I explained it to her).

Bags & Luggage

Soren Travel Gear, based out of St. Louis, was proud to see their Cape Cod Reversible Tote featured in the January 15 episode of ABC’s Private Practice, titled “Homeward Bound.”