Thursday, May 26, 2011


Do you trust your CEO?
I recently read an interesting article on the Fast Company website that ranks how people trust. In 2009, 47% of the people surveyed trusted people like themselves while 31% of the people surveyed trusted CEOs. In 2011, the survey states that 43% of respondents trusted people like themselves while 50% said they trusted CEOs. Why the change? You would think, with all the upheavals our country has been through over the last few years, that people would have less trust in their corporate leaders.

Other than CEOs who make news because of bad behavior, perhaps, as we leave the recession behind, CEOs are trying harder to make sure their employees, their customers, and their vendors do trust them. Because, where there's trust, there is loyalty. Where there are strong values and a moral code, there is a sense of belonging. And belonging builds a sense of family.

Trust and a sense of family is the foundation that Shamrock is built on. It's why we offer each person who comes to work with us a stone, which represents a piece of "the rock". We're passing along our values, with a positive message engraved in that stone. Each message represents a code that says we're committed to treating every person with respect and building trust through actions, not mere words.

Trust is an important concept for businesses and business leaders.  How do you build trust? 

   1. Don’t lie -- ever. It breaks trust as quickly as a rusty chain breaks under pressure.
   2. Admit when you are wrong. It reinforces your humanity.
   3. Be consistent. Never waver on a decision.
   4. Support your people. Always.
   5. Communicate. Then, communicate again. Mistrust thrives on miscommunication.

I'll bet you could read these same "management tips" in a family parenting magazine. Because, after all, isn't a well-managed company a lot like a family?

Think about this: There is no "i" in "us".
One thing that holds true for most families is how they support one another through life's ups and downs. They talk about the problem, share ideas, and focus on ways to find a solution. And they emerge stronger for their effort. Like little stones gathered together to form the strength of a rock, like a family, the people at Shamrock work together as a team -- and we can find a solution to any problem, for ourselves and for our customers.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


We decided to call our blog "the rock" because it's easy to remember, and  it's also a shortened version of our corporate name.

But, "the rock" symbolizes more than just a name. When I hold a rock in my hand, I see something that will last a long time, and I imagine where it's been -- its history --  and I wonder how it was formed through years of chaos, stress, and growth. That small rock reminds me of Shamrock;  how we've survived storms and upheavals. And I have to believe that we've succeeded because of our core values, which help us remain solid, even through difficult times. And, let's face it, the last couple of years have been hard on even the most resilient companies in this country.

Much of our core values, based, in part on the Gung Ho! philosophy, are part of a management theory called Gong He, a Chinese way of thinking that means work together. Gung Ho! is about good practices that  empower employees to work together, yet function as independent thinkers who are able to take initiatives that benefit them and the organization. Big words. Big thoughts. But, I'll explain how this helped forge Shamrock's strength, even during difficult economic times.

Another important part of Shamrock's work ethic is based on Fish, a philosophy that encourage fun at work and choosing to be present with a positive attitude. Gung Ho! and Fish are twin philosophies Shamrock lives by, and they helped us grow stronger as we, like many of you, muddled through the biggest challenges of the greatest economic recession this country experienced in decades. When you have some spare time, check out the award-winning, funny, and uplifting Fish video here:

Here's a small sample of how these two philosophies helped us through the past couple of years: It hurt me, but in order to preserve jobs, we had to initiate furloughs a couple years ago. This put a dent in the budget of many families. We all made some sacrifices so that we could emerge stronger, with fewer layoffs. Now, we're back full time. If not for our inclusive philosophy that springs from Gung Ho! and Fish, we could easily have lost some of our best people. But, we survived intact -- and stronger than before.

I believe if you make work about fun, family and community, and treat people with respect, your company will survive almost anything.  As part of our family, when new members  are hired, they receive a piece of "the rock". Walk through our offices and on each desk you may find a polished stone, engraved with a mindful message of our sense of community. The stone may have the phrase "Be Present, or "Make Someone's Day." Every stone is a simple reminder of a each person's unique differences and strengths, which make "the rock"  a force of nature that can withstand almost anything.

Thursday, May 5, 2011


In Part One, I shared some statistics about the ravenous appetite mobile has for gaining new followers. Here's just one more. ABI Research ( a marketing research firm in New York), estimates that mobile marketing will explode during the next five years. ABI suggests that display ad budgets will especially skyrocket, with mobile ad spend bursting from today's $313 Million to more than $1.2 Billion by 2015.

When I learned that mobile is a billion dollar growth industry, we knew this was a prime business sector for Shamrock. And last year we invested time and capital to develop a premier mobile marketing group.

Our first step was to hire an enterprising mobile marketing strategist. Ryan Workman became a steadfast mobile fan just before the birth of his son.

Using a mobile marketing strategy, a national baby retail chain targeted Ryan and sent a promotional text message. He read the message, signed up for special offers with his zip code, and he and his wife were on their way to baby shopping nirvana. They received incomparable deep discounts on furniture and accessories at a location close to their home. They were able to make a specific appointment to meet with a sales associate. They received additional discounts for inviting friends to visit the store. All from Ryan's mobile phone. No mail. No phone calls. One text message started a new relationship.

Ryan uses this technology, and other mobile strategies for several Shamrock customers today. With a customized dashboard, we can generate the appropriate age and zip code for a customer's promotion, and then duplicate that message to everyone within that same demographic in mere minutes. We also have the tools to tell you who among your target audience used the promotion and how many dollars they spent.

If you can think it, we can usually design an app that is location-based, contains new customer-driven content and functionality, and provide you with ready-to-use updates (such as, advising patrons that there are only four Saturday night reservations left at their favorite local, trendy bistro down the street). I believe that mobile is limited only by our imagination.

Looking to the future of mobile marketing, we're among a handful of companies developing a geo-targeted app that recognizes the location where the user is based and provides targeted offers. As an example, let's say a mobile user is walking down Main Street at noon. His phone will text a lunch suggestion from the restaurant 30-feet away. He walks into the restaurant, orders the item, saves $2.00 and enjoys a hearty lunch. The restaurateur is happy, and the mobile user saved two bucks.

One Last Word
If you're curious about mobile marketing, give Ryan a call at 440-250-2189. Tell him Troop sent you.