Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Tips for Marketing to Millennials in 2018

Times are changing. The latest Pew Research figures show that by 2019, at 73 million, millennials will overtake baby boomers in population, becoming America’s largest adult generation. Loosely defined as those between ages 21 and 34, millennials are a unique demographic that have come of age in the digital era.

So, what does that mean for us as brand marketers? When it comes to connecting with millennials, video marketing remains the single-most effective channel that influences what they buy. Yet, there is so much more to consider when we look at how to make memorable brand impressions with this target audience. Here are a few ideas to help guide you:

Be socially conscious. Millennials make purchase decisions based not only on products—but on how products and brands make them feel. Tout those important things about your brand, such as efforts/practices that are environmentally responsible or the opportunities your company affords those in need in your community.

Be authentic. Millennials want real brand connectivity—and they can see right through a self-serving promotion. Instead of traditional sales tactics, try boosting personal interaction like replying to customer reviews, using an online contest to drive interest surrounding your brand, or sharing posts by your team members or customers.

Be engaging. Studies continue to reinforce that millennials value experiences over products, which is why experiential marketing is essential. Brainstorm creative ways to promote interaction with your brand. Sponsor a yoga class, create a pop-up store experience: Engineer opportunities for people to connect with your brand—and create simple ways for them to share their experiences.

Be visual. Digital dependence is growing: Nearly half of all millennials look at their phones more than 50 times a day and 25% spend more than 5 hours every day on their smartphones (B2X 2017). With all that scrolling content, use bold graphics and call-outs to cut through the clutter and communicate your brand message with clarity.

Be social. A recent study by Annalect showed 47% of millennials claim that social media has helped introduce them to new brands; and 71% are more likely to buy from brands they ‘like’ on Facebook or follow on Twitter. Revisit your brand’s social media presence and be sure it aligns with your core values.

Be accessible. Lead with mobile-first design. With 80% of social media time spent on mobile devices, it’s imperative that your digital content be optimized for mobile platforms.

How do you connect with your millennial customer base? Join the conversation on Shamrock’s Facebook page.

Ellen Moriarty

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

What You Need To Know About Marketing to Baby Boomers in 2018

The claim that 50 is the new 40 might not be too far-fetched. Medical technology and improved nutrition have extended our lifetimes, with many baby boomers (age 54 to 72) living healthier and more active lives than generations before them.

But, while today’s seniors may be more vital, there is still a misconception that boomers are old and stubborn. The reality is that baby boomers are tech-savvy, enjoy learning and, as the most valuable generation in America, are well worth your marketing dollars. Here are a few facts about boomers to consider as you formulate your brand strategy:

They have money to spend. Americans over age 50 have the highest net worth of any segment of our population (Venture Capital Assoc., Ernst & Young) and 70% of disposable income is held by baby boomers (Nielsen). Over the next 20 years, spending by those age 50+ is slated to increase by 58%, so be sure that if this demographic buys your products/services, that your marketing strategy includes reaching out to them directly.

They are social. About 82 percent of boomers belong to at least one social media site, with Facebook being their most popular choice (DMN3). They use Facebook to catch up with friends and family, and to share information: Baby boomers are 19% more likely to share content than any other generation (Fractl). Align your social media content strategy accordingly, using ads, sharing content and engaging with boomers on your page. Be sure to link to your website or product purchase page on your social media posts.

They check their email. According to a Third Age/JWT study, 96% of boomers use email; 92% of those who receive promotional emails click through on the advertising product or service; and 55% have purchased a product or service based on a promotional email. By using a drip email campaign, you’ll keep your brand and services front-of-mind for this audience.

They watch video. According to a study by Google, boomers and seniors spend more time online than they do watching TV. What’s more, more than 50% of baby boomers watch online video. (YouTube is the preferred site with 82% of video watchers using it). The study also found that 3,600+ baby boomers Google "YouTube" every minute of every day—that’s a 10% higher view rate than millennials. Check your brand’s online video activity and consider incorporating YouTube marketing videos and/or ads.

They value personal service. Boomers value—and reward—authentic interaction and exceptional customer service. According to a Loyalty One study, if boomers felt the sales associates did not appreciate their business, 54% were “very or somewhat unlikely” to return (as opposed to only 33% millennials). Include a hand-written note with your product shipment; send an email when a favorite item is restocked—the extra effort will reap rewards.

They are loyal. With many baby boomers downsizing and adjusting to living on fixed incomes, they are partial to incentives and loyalty programs. Start with focusing on maintaining exceptional product/service quality and ROI, and then consider giving a little brand love back to your customers with a simple loyalty program that makes them feel appreciated.

Do you have a strategy for reaching baby boomers through your marketing effort? Join the conversation on Shamrock’s Facebook page.

Ellen Moriarty

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Why human interaction is good for your business

Do you remember when you got lost on a road trip and had to pull out a map to get yourself back on track? No voice-assist GPS. No recalculating. Even as a Waze user, I’m confident that need be, I could find my way using map-reading skills. Without digital tools, I could still get there.

But is the same true of my business communications? If I didn’t have a mobile device to connect with customers, would I still be able to make meaningful connections with my clients?
 
In this age when digital is our go-to communication channel, it’s important not to lose the human touch. Forcing ourselves to step away from our phones and PCs—and make personal contact a priority—can help us be more successful, and here’s why:

In-person interaction is more effective. There is value in meeting face-to-face. Interpersonal interaction captures peoples’ attention, engages meeting participants and leads to greater collaboration. It also allows you to ask questions with free-flowing dialogue that can help uncover details that might otherwise be overlooked. Looking to drive productivity? Boost sales? In-person meetings might help get you there:    
  • Research shows face-to-face requests are 34 times more effective than those sent by email (Washington Post).
  • Remote meetings generate on average 10.43 ideas, while in-person meetings generate an average of 13.36 (Hubspot)
  • The close rate for in-person meetings is 40% (Hubspot)
  • You are twice as likely to convert prospects into customers with an in-person meeting. (Forbes)
Nonverbal cues help clarify communication. The groundbreaking (and still relevant) 1967 study published by the Journal of Consulting Psychology found 93 percent of communication is nonverbal. Eye contact, gestures, tone and inflection, posture, and body language all affect our understanding of context and meaning.

You can’t read nonverbal cues in an email. So, in addition to digital touches, make the effort to meet customers in person to ensure the intended message or information doesn’t get lost.

Personal connections build relationships. Greeting your client with handshake and getting to know them on a personal level helps build relationships and establish trust. No matter which business or industry we’re in, we all work with people. In-person contact is genuine and real. In conjunction with digital tools, it can help you nurture the authentic, long-term relationships that drive business success.

How often do you meet with your team? Your clients? Chime in our Facebook page.

Tim Connor

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

5 Tips for Selecting Executive Gifts Your Customers Actually Want

It’s the thought that counts: That’s the gift-giving mantra that many of us embrace—and one that rings true when considering executive gifts: Putting thought and effort into the discovery process first is what helps us arrive at the right gift, for the right occasion, and at the right price.

Now is the time to start thinking about executive holiday gifts. Here are my 5 essential steps to gift-giving success:
  1. Vet your client list. Consider there are many organizations that cannot accept gifts from their clients and vendors. It’s important to vet the client/recipient list so that the gift campaign does not work against you.
  2. Identify your demographic. Think about who the gift is going to and then, how will it arrive—wrapped? In original retail packaging? Personalized with your logo? Will it be shipped, hand-delivered or presented at an event?
  3. Consider the occasion. Is the gift commemorating a holiday? An anniversary? A thank-you gift?
  4. Identify how the gift will be used. Do you see your gift sitting on your client’s desk? Is it a lifestyle product that you hope makes it to your client’s home? An impact piece? Something that has a short shelf life, such as food?
  5. Establish a budget. Does that include packaging and shipping?
Shamrock jackets using the subtle 3-ring version of our logo.
These discovery prompts lead to solid gift-giving solutions. For example, one of my customers wanted to spend $50 on a client gift (something that the client would use/keep). He decided on apparel; but then worried that putting a company logo on the chest might prevent the client from wearing it. The solution: We imprinted the customer’s logo on the lining of a jacket, which gave a nod to their brand without making the gift feel too self-promoting. My customer was pleased with the result—his gift was the right product, presented in the right way (with subtle branding), and at the right price.
 
Some customers start the gift-giving process backwards—starting with the item first. But to get it right, it’s more about knowing your audience than picking the right product. Using this discovery process as a guide, you’ll find that you arrive at the ideal gift.

What’s the best executive gift you’ve received? I’d be interested in your feedback tberry@shamrockcompanies.net.

Take care,
Tim Berry

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