Wednesday, October 21, 2015

We’re Honored. Shamrock is named to NorthCoast 99

I’m proud to share that Shamrock has again been named to NorthCoast 99—an annual recognition program that counts us among the 99 greatest workplaces in Northeast Ohio. The Award is presented by the Employers Resource Council (ERC), which is the area’s leading organization dedicated to HR practices, programs and services. It’s an incredible honor for all of us at Shamrock as this year marks the 12th time we’ve earned NC99 recognition.
The cornerstone of our business at Shamrock is our unique culture and our people. We’ve worked to create a workplace environment where our people feel like they can make a difference—not just  here at work, but in the community, as well. 

Shamrock actively supports a lot of charitable organizations. And that effort is driven by our employees: What’s important to them personally is important to us as a company. It’s their drive that puts Shamrock out there, leading by example, and making an impact throughout Northeast Ohio and beyond. 

NC99 is an award that very much belongs to our team at Shamrock: They’ve earned it. And I’m proud to work alongside them.

If you’re interested in learning more about NC99—and reading about some best practices and success stories shared by some of the award winners—click on the link below to download the 2015 Report.

Download the 2015 NorthCoast 99 Winners Report

All The Best,
Tim Connor  

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Make mobile part of your holiday retail marketing strategy

Is your business ready for the 2015 holiday shopping season? While many retailers already have their holiday marketing programs in motion, if you’re just jumping in now, it’s not too late: Retail marketing doesn’t need to be elaborate. But it does need to be smart.

If mobile isn’t part of your marketing strategy, it should be: In 2014 mobile traffic accounted for 45% of all online traffic. Start by ensuring that your website is mobile-friendly. It’s important for your audience/customers to be able to seamlessly navigate your site via their smartphones.

A successful retail strategy requires an integrated approach that includes online and offline touches. To make a brand impression you need to make connections beyond the purchase. Once they’ve received your product in the mail or they’ve walked out of your store, you don’t want to lose them. Use mobile to keep the brand conversation going (QR codes, digital coupons, etc.).

Always, while you have customers on your site, engage them. Gather the information that you need from your customers to connect with them on a regular basis with content that is relevant to them.

Making that brand connection and then creating an ongoing relationship with your customers is what will feed sales and fuel success. If you’d like more ideas about retail marketing, click here.

It’s still October—don’t think you can’t make an impact this year. Good luck!

Tim Connor

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Six steps to content marketing

If you were anywhere around Cleveland in early September, chances are you were seeing orange. Everywhere. Content Marketing Institute held its 5th annual Content Marketing World conference downtown, drawing more than 3,200 marketing professionals from all over the world. At Shamrock, we value the importance of Content Marketing; in fact, we brought in Institute founder Joe Pulizzi to speak at our annual sales meeting in May. Shamrock’s Kasey Crabtree grabbed a copy of Joe’s new book titled Content, Inc. How Entrepreneurs Use Content to Build Massive Audiences and Create Radically Successful Businesses. In this month’s guest blog, Kasey shares some takeaways from the book.  

Recognized as the “godfather” of content marketing, Joe Pulizzi is a brilliant resource for all things content related. While his new book slants toward startups, the principles that Joe outlines are applicable to those of us managing content on our own or on behalf of a larger organization.

Content Inc. demonstrates how to build a successful business by developing and engaging a loyal audience and then providing them with meaningful content. Joe uses real-life examples of successful companies that built their audience base before launching their products, reinforcing how his system works. He provides his blueprint for content marketing implementation, breaking it down into six segments:

  • Discover and define a content area Sweet Spot—the intersection of your competency and your personal passion. This should serve as the base for your outreach
  • Content Tilting: How to “tilt” the sweet spot to where there is little to no competition 
  • Building A Base: How to pick the initial platform foundation for your content (blog, YouTube, Twitter, etc.) that connects with your audience
  • Harvesting Your Audience: How to turn your single-visit readers into subscribers by harnessing the power of social media and SEO
  • Diversification: How to diversify your initial platform to reach and even greater audience
  • Monetization: How to monetize it—get paid for your content generation

Joe does a beautiful job of painting a picture for the reader about how smart content marketing strategy is used. So many people see their mission as simply making more money. But the first step is to focus on the needs of your customer or audience—and then the rest will come.

Joe’s content marketing strategy works—but it’s not a get-rich-quick process. Steady, consistent content strategy is payoff for your brand.  

I think most of us would agree that in this digital media era, we’re inundated with content. Throwing content out there without a solid plan—without a defined and engaged audience and a brand-centric message—is simply ineffective. Content needs to be a part of an integrated marketing effort. That’s where Shamrock comes in: For those companies or individuals who need that big-picture creative framework, we have the knowledge and the experience to implement a comprehensive marketing program that gets results.

If you’re interested in ordering the book, here’s the Amazon link: