Wednesday, September 19, 2018

6 Reasons to Put Marketing Asset Management on Your Radar

We live in the instant-gratification age. Whether we’re tracking a package or running a meeting, we expect instant status updates. When managing marketing assets and inventory, such real-time updates are not only convenient, they can help you run your business with greater productivity, increased brand control and at a cost savings.

As businesses grow, diversify, merge, expand into new markets, and so on, it can become challenging to manage all marketing processes and assets. This is where marketing asset management comes in. This online platform allows you to control all elements of your marketing program throughout their respective lifecycles, from creative, to acquisition, to delivery.

Marketing asset management is the ultimate convenience tool for business marketing: A real-time digital portal, it allows you to easily manage your marketing assets—ideal for these everyday scenarios:

1. When you need to maintain brand control
In today’s digital world, brand impressions are made quickly and have the capacity for instant and mass distribution on a worldwide scale. Control is a must-have for brand integrity: Marketing asset management gives you that command, with one portal that houses all collateral, campaign materials and online store inventory with real-time inventory reporting.

2. When you need to boost brand compliance
The platform allows you to manage or lock-in overall brand image/consistency while allowing certain marketing elements to be personalized specific to a region or audience, providing brand and message integrity in all markets.

3. When you need to simplify collateral management
Because all pre-approved marketing elements are uploaded and managed by one online program, it helps to reduce production costs and cut administrative time for a boost in productivity It also provides tracking data for greater cost control.

4. When you need to eliminate redundancy and versioning issues
No more obsolete collateral: With one central clearinghouse of all marketing elements, you get less waste, more accurate distribution of assets, greater control of “versions” to ensure messgage integrity and accuracy, and more precise tracking of information dissemination.

5. When you need to generate content fast
Today, information flows at near warp-speed, causing consumer dynamics to change at an ever-evolving pace. Marketing asset mangement technology gives you the tools you need to be proactive, and also to react to market changes in a timely manner. Print-on- demand; and manage distribution channels with 24/7 reporting functions.

6. When you need to launch time-sensititve promotions/campaigns/sales
Empower your local marketers, giving them the freedom to direct their message to make stronger customer connections: They’ll get more timely information, directed expressly to their local/regional audience, while still complying with corporate brand image guidelines.

If you’re looking for a smarter way to manage and maximize your marketing program, marketing asset management might be the solution for you. If you’re interested in learning more about how Shamrock can help, connect with me directly: emoriarty@shamrockcompanies.net.

Ellen Moriarty

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Top 10 Marketing Podcasts

Today, more of us get our news and industry updates from digital channels. So, it’s no surprise that the popularity of podcasts is on the rise: According to Nielsen, 50% of all U.S. homes are podcast fans, with more than 525,000 active podcasts and over 18.5 million episodes (Fast Company 2018).

With all that content out there, how do you know which marketing podcasts are worth your time? This Entrepreneur article https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/293333 outlines the top 28 marketing podcasts for entrepreneurs. The list is comprehensive and, in addition to marketing thought leadership, also includes a host of freelance and business resources.

If you don’t have time to sift through all 28, following is my curated top10 list (with active links and summaries borrowed directly from the article): 

1. Unthinkable Podcast
One of the hottest new marketing podcasts out there, Jay Acunzo sails Unthinkable through the murky waters of content marketing and how entrepreneurs can create truly interesting and valuable content without falling prey to “hacks” and shortcuts.

2. The Marketing Companion
Boldly claiming to be the “world’s most entertaining marketing podcast," The Marketing Companion claims to bring laugh-out-loud comedy, “celebrity” guest appearances and cutting-edge marketing insights each episode. Hosts Mark Schaefer and Tom Webster combine to bring expertise and commentary which has attracted thousands of subscribers.

3. Six Pixels of Separation
Mirum President, Mitch Joel, brings you digital insights and media hacking insights and provocation from his “always on/always” connected world.

4. Social Pros Podcast
Social Pros is one of the most popular marketing podcasts, and was recently named the best podcast at the Content Marketing Awards. Listen for real insight on the real people doing real work in social media. You get the inside stories and behind-the-scenes secrets about how companies like Ford, Dell, IBM, ESPN and dozens more staff, operate and measure their social-media programs.

5. Duct Tape Marketing
Based on the book of the same name, this podcast covers simple, effective and affordable small-business marketing strategies.

6. Content Warfare
Content Warfare help brands and businesses find their audience, tell their story and win the battle for attention online. Host Ryan Hanley helps you create content that converts each episode.

7. Marketing Over Coffee
Marketing Over Coffee is audio on demand that covers both classic and new marketing. Hosts John J. Wall and Christopher S. Penn record the show in a local coffee shop every week and publish the show on Thursday mornings. Each show is about 20 minutes long and covers marketing tips and tricks in a casual conversation format.

8. Social Zoom Factor
SocialZoomFactor is a social media marketing, branding, business and lifestyle podcast created for you – the business and marketing leader at companies ranging from startups to enterprise organizations. Each episode brings you actionable tactics and strategies you can implement today for real business results. Host Pam Moore is CEO and founder of Marketing Nutz and was ranked as a Top 10 Social Media Power Influencer by Forbes.

9. Copyblogger FM
A short-form broadcast hosted by Sonia Simone. Each week, she and a cast of rotating experts analyze the week in content marketing, copywriting, email marketing, conversion optimization, mindset and much more.

10. Web Marketing That Works Podcast
Hosted by real-life marketing experts Adam Franklin and Toby Jenkins who authored a book of the same name, their guests discuss their failures and reveal the truth about what really works on the web.

Like most of you, I’m committed to continuous learning and these podcasts are excellent resources for new perspectives and up-to-date industry and technology trends. Are there any you’d add to the list? Join the conversation on our facebook page.

Ellen Moriarty

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Grow With Who You Know: Marketing to Existing Customers

Do your marketing efforts focus on new customers—or on those who are already loyal to your brand?

The answer should be: both. When you consider that acquiring a new customer is five to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one (Harvard Business Review), it makes sense to focus on keeping the customers you have, happy.

According to an article in Marketing Land, marketing to existing customers drives business growth: In addition to recommending you to others, satisfied customers positively impact your bottom line in many ways:

•   They are more open to upsell and cross-sell opportunities, increasing their lifetime customer value.
•   They’re less price-sensitive because they know you’re worth it.
•   They are more resistant to outreach efforts by competitors.

Given these bottom-line benefits, it’s smart to develop concentrated marketing campaigns that connect with and engage existing customers. But where do you start? Consider these four questions:

Are we delivering on our brand promise?
A brand promise is a contract between you and your customers. It sets the stage for the experience they should expect to have. By evaluating your business objectives and comparing them against the customer experience, you’ll get a clear picture of what your customers are experiencing. Is your internal and external messaging consistent? Are you over-delivering in some areas and lacking in others?

By gathering feedback from these prompts, you can fine-tune your messaging and delivery, bringing what you do and what you say you’ll do into closer alignment, which equates to a better customer experience.

Who are our most satisfied customers?
It’s likely that you have a system in place to gather customer feedback. So, use that to you advantage in strengthening your brand story. Consider using customer testimonials, case studies, guest speakers, etc. to build your brand reputation and help you stand out among competitors.

Do we have a strategy for growing ancillary revenue from happy customers?
Are you meeting your customers’ needs? How can you provide greater value? At Shamrock we use Business Reviews: We crunch the data on previous orders/products/categories, etc. and provide these summaries to our customers. Then, we ask for feedback and take the opportunity to share our other products/services to cross sell and upsell. Always, you want those suggestions to be relevant to your customers.

What are our competitors doing?
Understanding the reasons why you win or lose business is an important to keeping customers happy and your company primed for growth.

How does your product or service stack up against the competition? What are they doing that you aren’t? What are your salespeople hearing from customers? Answering these questions will help to shape your view of where
you stand in the marketplace and can help identify areas that require greater attention.

To read the entire article, click on the link below:
https://marketingland.com/rise-retention-marketing-strategic-priority-2017-202503

Focusing creative efforts on customer retention benefits your bottom line. Are there other questions that you use to identify ways to provide a better customer experience?  I’d like to hear from you.

All the Best,
Tim Connor
tconnor@shamrockcompanies.net

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Simplify your marketing supply chain

No one disputes that the velocity of change in modern marketing strategy and tactics is astounding. Just keeping current with the latest trends and thought leadership can be overwhelming—not to mention that quickly shifting gears and changing direction can pose a significant challenge for many organizations.

So how do you keep up? How do you remain nimble? One trend worth exploring is to reverse-engineer the traditional marketing challenge: Rather than looking at bolstering up your staff and vendor base, try testing that pro-growth mentality with a simple question: How are you managing your current supply chain partners?

Maybe you and your team juggle a host of vendors who independently source and manage the elements of your brand marketing program. The truth is, simplifying your supply chain makes sense for modern brand management. I relate it to the evolution of superstores (both online and brick and mortar): It used to be that I’d go to the sporting goods store to buy golf balls, to the mall for dress shoes, and the liquor store for wine. Now, I can get everything I need—at the best quality and price—through one retailer, delivered to my front door.

Successful marketing requires that same progressive, efficiency-driven mindset.

Companies that continue with old-fashioned partnering find themselves having to settle for the status quo. Few companies have the budget to staff-up to manage a stable of vendors. Smart companies are partnering differently for their marketing services: They’re carefully choosing one partner that helps drive growth through streamlined efficiencies and economy-of-scale cost savings.

To maximize results, look for a marketing resource with these types of service advantages:

  • Single-source project management
  • Ongoing and updated status regarding projects, data/feedback, budgets, etc.
  • Strategic oversight—one that can find the right marketing mix for your business
  • Proven tactical plan execution
  • Flexibility to pivot and change up or redeploy plan elements as needed

This type of partnership allows your company to quickly change without overwhelming your infrastructure—enabling you to rethink and refresh your marketing program without depleting your internal resources.

At Shamrock, we serve as that single-source partner for our clients. If you’re interested in talking about how we can help grow your business, connect with me directly at bdegarmo@shamrockcompanies.net.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Tips to Keep Your Marketing Program On Track

In this era of podcasts, YouTube channels and online news sources, it’s easier than ever to continuously build upon your base of knowledge and experience.

In addition to learning new stuff, it’s wise to look at our everyday actions to make sure we’re aligned to reach our goals. This is particularly true of marketing: While new ideas and trends are important to incorporate, it’s also wise to regularly review existing program initiatives and recalibrate to make your marketing effort more productive.

Here’s a checklist of best practices for sizing up your current marketing program to ensure you’re maximizing your potential:   

Think mobile. 51.89% of global web traffic originates from mobile devices (statista)—so, step away from the desktop and make sure your web content is also mobile-friendly.
Brevity rules. Humans have an attention span of 8 seconds. Marketing that cuts through the clutter with attention-grabbing graphics and succinct copy makes memorable brand connections. 

More visuals. The brain processes visuals 60,0000 times faster than the time it takes the brain to decode text. Selling your story with pictures and graphics is a must. Use in case studies, brochures, on your social media feed, etc.

Video. Video. Video. Challenge yourself to find a new way to incorporate video into to your existing channels: A livestream on your Facebook page, a product value video in your blog or email campaign. The statistics say it all:
  • Video content earns 12 times more shares than text and images combined 
  • Viewers retain 95% of a message when they see it in a video, as compared to only 10% when they read text
  • Live streaming video is gaining momentum: 82% of consumers polled preferred live video to static social media posts
Variety. Use an integrated, multi-channel approach to reach your target audience. While digital is essential, don’t discount the power of print media:
  • 70% of Americans consider physical mail "more personal" than email (Experian Data Quality Group)
  • Consumers who receive ad mail spend 28% more than those who don't (USPS)
Get personal. According to Campaign Monitor data, a personalized email subject line boosts open rates by 26%, and increases click-through rates by 14%. What’s more, we’ve seen a greater response rate in emails using a more approachable, conversational tone. If you were sitting across the table from your prospect, what would you say? Use that as your prompt for writing email campaign content that resonates with your target.

Engage your audience. Experiences over possessions—this is the new rule (thus the rise of experiential marketing). According to data from the Event Marketing Institute, 72% of consumers say they view brands that provide quality experiences more positively, and nearly three-quarters said when they can engage with a brand's experience, they're more likely to invest in its products or services.

Follow best practices. Keep up to date on changes that effect brand visibility. For example, for SEO the recommended meta description length (to rank high in Google searches) is 110 – 130 characters. Make a regular practice of updating your online material.

Be authentic. Stay true to you brand. It’s smart to change up your game and try new avenues for reaching your prospects; but do it in a way that reflects and reinforces your brand image.

At Shamrock, we’re committing ourselves to revisit our marketing programs on a quarterly basis to re-position and refresh to make sure our efforts are more efficient and effective. What tip would you add to this list?

Ellen Moriarty

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Practice Self-care for Your Personal Brand: 4 Easy Steps

There’s a lot of buzz surrounding the importance self-care: the self-initiated effort to assess, and then take an active role in preserving or improving, one’s health. And why not? Being aware of what we need or lack, and then identifying how we can improve, can improve our quality of life.

That same self-reflective, recalibration practice can—and should—be implemented for your personal brand.

But where do you begin?  This article www.entrepreneur.com/article/277751

In Entrepreneur magazine cites four ways to tune up your brand (from Karen Tiber Leland’s book The Brand Mapping Strategy.) Here are Leland’s tips (summarized) from the article:

1. Brand Sound Bites. In today’s limited character world, the need for a succinct brand presentation is essential. This “brand at a glance” functions as a cheat sheet to deliver your brand’s bottom line quickly, efficiently and with maximum impact. It should include:

Stats and specifics that demonstrate the competency and results of your brand.
• Trends. Demonstrate your brand’s relevance to what’s happening in the marketplace by sharing knowledge of leading trends in your field—and how you’re at the forefront.
• Hot tips. One or two timely and helpful pieces of advice can help establish the credibility of your brand. The tips don’t have to be world shattering, just useful.
Points of view and informed insights. Brand thought and industry leaders have strong points of view about their areas of expertise and aren’t shy to share them.

2. Branded Biography. While your profile picture, logo or other visuals may make the first impression when a visitor lands on your website or social media, it’s your biography that often inspires them to dig deeper.

Poorly written “About” sections on your website, too-short summaries on LinkedIn, and sketchy bio sections on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest can stop an inquiring employer or potential customer in their tracks. On the other hand, a well-written and branded biography can be a pathway to new opportunities.

3. Social Media Profiles. One advantage to having a well-branded bio is that it can function as the source document for creating social media profiles that give your site visitors an immediate feel for your brand.

Using the space provided to its greatest branding advantage is a factor you need to take advantage of. On LinkedIn, for example, the professional headline space (located just under your name) is prime personal-branding real estate. Too often people write only their job title and miss the opportunity to create a mini-narrative of their personal brand.

4. Content Creation. Your branded bio, social media profiles and brand sound bites may form the foundation for your brand, but the graduate-school level of cerebral connection is the content you create.

Four of the best content-creation tactics include: blogging, podcasting, videocasting and writing a book.

As marketers, we understand that our brand is always evolving, so there’s no time like the present to look at your brand profile and give it a refresh. My next priority is updating my LinkedIn profile. Which brand update will you tackle first? Join the conversation on our Facebook page.

Ellen Moriarty

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Video Marketing: Tips for telling your best brand story

When it comes to quickly and effectively delivering a brand message, there is power in video marketing. According to data from Brightcove, social video generates 1,200% more shares than text and images combined; and video drives a whopping 157% increase in organic traffic from search engines.

Why is video important?

At Shamrock, we see video as an absolute essential for helping our clients tell their stories: Video provides instant brand gratification. And regardless of industry or budget, it’s a channel easily incorporated into your marketing program.

Above all, video is the trend in marketing: It is estimated that 80% of all internet traffic will be video by 2019. (Cisco)

How can you put video to work for your brand?

Creating original, compelling, relevant content that makes a brand connection with your audience—that’s the ultimate goal of video marketing. There’s a lot of great ideas for videos that meet that criteria: Roundup The Team—take a camera around the office and have people briefly speak about the latest product introduction or community service project; focus on Live Customer Service—create a montage that captures customer service and value in action; or develop an enticing How We Do It video that shows behind-the-scenes innovation. 

Click below to access social video marketing tips—this MarketingProfs infographic covers it all from video topics and recommended length, to the pros and cons of each channel: 

https://www.marketingprofs.com/chirp/2028/33411/social-video-marketing-tips-for-small-businesses-infographic
Click here to view
A recent study from Ascend2 concurs with MarketingProfs, citing the most effective video for converting sales leads include these topics:
  • customer testimonials
  • demo videos
  • explainer/tutorial videos
What’s great about these video themes is that the scripts practically write themselves: Capturing a testimonial or demonstrating a product or service are stories that authentically speak to your brand and its benefit to your customers. In other words: You know your brand best, so use that information to tell your story through video. Grab your device and get started.

All The Best,
Tim Connor