Distributor Case Study

Customer Growth Journey with Williams Advertising

Photo of Sarah Whitaker

Sarah Whitaker

On commonsku since



< 5


Hopkinsville, KY




An all female team of 4 (soon to be 5!), makes up Williams Advertising, a promotional products company located in Hopkinsville, Kentucky. The company was founded in the 1980s, by Doug Williams, after his foray into the promotional products industry selling 1981 Western Kentucky State Fair shirts out of his van! His granddaughter, Sarah Whitaker, joined the company in 2015 and is the current owner. In 2021, Williams Advertising launched a dedicated brand for their promotional products division, Branded by Williams Advertising. Introducing a dedicated website for all things branded merchandise, the focus on this new division has allowed the company to further grow in the promotional products space.

Of their experience with commonsku, Sarah shared, “what I love about the commonsku platform is the ease of how it fits within our processes. It also doesn’t let you do something that’s not in the right order. Everything is there for a reason and works properly if what you input is done properly, which makes for nice checks & balances on your internal processes.

Her favorite thing about commonsku? It’s a tie! The visibility into what everyone on the team is working on, as well as the amount of time it has saved them, is what makes Williams Advertising excited about the platform.

Sarah recalled, “when I first started in 2015, I was using Excel templates for purchase orders and invoices. Picture me typing out a client address, an item number, a description, pulling pricing, etc. Doing that, there was no order confirmation other than a typed email to a client confirming their choice. There was all the rekeying. I am actually physically pained thinking about the amount of time I lost in doing business that way. Then we graduated to another platform that wasn’t quite as step by step in the process but it got the job done okay. Now, I’m proud of how we look when we send out client presentations. Now, we don’t have to rekey data between steps. I really don’t like thinking about how much time I wasted being on the fence about joining commonsku. I was so nervous about the monthly spend; I didn’t understand the opportunity cost of continuing doing what I was doing.”

Sarah and her team love utilizing the commonsku presentation feature to wow their clients with beautiful, customized presentations, and the commonsku Shops feature to give their clients the digital solution they often crave. In many ways, Williams Advertising has gained a competitive edge by being on the commonsku platform, through their efficiency, offerings, and accuracy.

The cherry on top for Sarah’s team is the commonsku content. “Now that I’ve joined commonsku, I’ve found that spirit of the content to be replicated in the form of commonsku staff members’ willingness to help, meetup energy and one on one’s with fellow commonsku users. It’s all about the community not only suggesting we all be better in the promotional products space, but supporting each other to actually do things better,” Sarah shared, “at commonsku’s last event, skucamp, Catherine challenged us in closing to “be bold”. I came home and decided we’re tackling a bold sales growth plan for 2022. I continue to be re-energized by the commonsku content, and the possibilities I’m seeing from some of the other rock stars in our industry.”

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