Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Honoring Powerful Women.

In 2012, Shamrock celebrated women throughout the entire month of May. Digging through our archives, we found this oldie but goodie: A blog by Bob Troop about the influence of powerful women. So, before this month comes to a close we’d like to share this post from May 2012…its message still resonates with us today.

MAY BRINGS FLOWERS, MOTHER'S DAY AND POWERFUL WOMEN. This week Bob provides some interesting facts about women in powerful places.
May, moms and flowers. Since this is the month of Mother's Day and there's an abundance of blooming flowers, these three naturally go together. As kids, we always scrounged enough money together to buy a card and flowers for mom. My kids always remember their mom on Mother's Day, and I hope this tradition continues in every household.

But today Mother's Day is different in many homes, from single moms, to two moms, to CEO moms. Many working mothers today hold powerful and significant positions in government, business and the media. While the glass ceiling may still be visible, it's filled with cracks and holes and appears to be weakening year by year.

One thing is clear as a bell: more and more, successful women in business are not forsaking motherhood for business success. For example, one astounding statistic that was brought to my attention is that 88% of women on the 2011 Forbes' List of The World's Most Powerful Women are mothers with an average of 2.5 children!

While many women aspire to have it all: Mom, Wife, CEO of Big Business, some women choose to start their own business so they can manage a career and motherhood to meet their personal needs. If their choice is to own and manage their own business, I say, "Go for it."

However, I like to think that moms who work at Shamrock can have it all! At Shamrock we value and respect the needs of all parents who may require time away from work to be with their children or other family members. But the truth is that many large corporations are not so understanding. Susan Spencer, former general manager of the Philadelphia Eagles, raised an interesting point when she was interviewed on CBS (CBS News interview with Susan Spencer). Spencer, the first woman to manage a major sports team, said, "... It's all in the numbers – women are more likely to be discriminated against, passed over for raises and just passed over even when they're not asking for flextime and a maternity leave so they can raise a family. I think women who are raising a family are better off starting their own company than working for someone else..."

ONE LAST THING... The bottom line is, each of us must decide how to balance work and family life. Regardless of whether we're moms, dads, single or married, our success comes not just from our job away from home, but from the joy and pleasure we achieve in our time away from our job.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Boost self-discipline. Here’s how.

Look in the mirror and answer yourself honestly: Do you have self-discipline? Many of us strive for things within our reach—better health, a happier life, earning more money. If you have a goal, and a plan to achieve that goal, the only thing standing in your way is…you, and the self-discipline required to execute your plan. Here’s an example:

•    Goal: Earn more money
•    Plan: Write a detailed business plan with     tasks required to achieve better results
•    Execution: Make time to work my plan every day, consistently!

Simple, right? Not so much. The execution is where we often fall short, and can be due to a lack of self-discipline: I’m too tired to go to work early. I didn’t have time to make those extra calls today.


Self-discipline requires you to focus on your purpose—what you really want. And it also requires a focused practice.  A recent Forbes article offers six strategies to help increase self-discipline:

1.    Acknowledge your weaknesses (uncomfortable making cold calls or speaking to a crowd?)
2.    Establish a clear plan
3.    Remove temptation when necessary (social media, office distractions)
4.    Practice tolerating emotional discomfort (getting past rejection)
5.    Visualize long-term rewards
6.    Recover from mistakes effectively

Does your lack of self-discipline keep you from achieving what you want in life? If so, look in the mirror and take back control, one step at a time.

Good luck,
Bob DeGarmo

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

LLS Cleveland Campaign Earns $584,000


What an amazing fundraising effort: 8 candidates. 10 weeks. $584,000 earned for LLS.

This past weekend at the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) 2017 Man and Woman of the Year campaign wrapped up at the annual Gala event.

Supported by my incredible team, we raised $81,477 for LLS, and in doing so, I was humbled and proud to receive Cleveland’s 2017 Man of the Year title—a distinction that I share with all of those who worked during the past 10 weeks of the competition to raise funds to find a cure for blood cancers.

I was blown away by the generosity of the NE Ohio community and beyond: People gathered in Charlotte at a neighborhood BBQ, solicited and donated auction items, and participated online to support my campaign. On behalf of leukemia survivors like my sister-in-law Katie, as well as those who are battling the disease today, thank you!

I’m pleased to have served as a voice for those whose lives have been affected by cancer—and I’ll continue to support LLS in working to make someday, today.     

Tim Connor



Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Use Marketing Asset Management To Drive Association Membership

In survey after survey, associations of all sizes cite building and retaining membership as their greatest challenge. So how do you attract and engage members? Assuming your association offers attractive, tangible member benefits, the next step is to promote that message through branded marketing.

Marketing asset management (MAM) is a smart solution for managing personalized, brand-driven association marketing initiatives for both your chapters and members.

Efficient program deployment. From a single online portal, MAM allows you to manage your entire marketing effort. Tradeshow banners, apparel, email campaigns: MAM displays the options available to your chapters. Each chapter can then co-brand the items with their location-specific information.

Brand control. MAM delivers the control and consistency that is vitally important to brand protection, with the ease of online ordering and fulfillment. Your association’s brand guidelines are programmed into the site, as is market-specific data, which allows you to pre-program select marketing assets available to specific chapters or regions.

Easy co-op management. MAM has built-in functionality that allows chapters to order pre-approved branded items such as gifts, or promotional items for giveaways, using co-op dollars. Substantial savings. MAM streamlines the marketing automation process by housing all marketing assets and offering personalization—all with a few clicks. The result is significant savings, both time and money.

Comprehensive. MAM automates day-to-day marketing management within one portal and can be embedded with twitter feeds and other social media links to provide an at-a-glance view of all association marketing activity, from one dashboard.

Do you use a MAM tool for your association marketing? Are you interested in learning more? I’d like to hear from you…klawlor@shamrockcompanies.net

Kathy Lawlor



Thursday, April 27, 2017

Account Based Marketing 2017

Most of us agree that it feels good when someone we’ve just met makes it a point to remember and greet us by name. That personal connection is the warm and fuzzy foundation of the latest industry buzzword: ABM, or Account Based Marketing.  ABM is the practice of targeting individual prospect/customer accounts, as opposed to taking a broad-based approach to marketing to wider groups or verticals.

While we’ve actually been doing this for years, the recent clamor surrounding ABM stems from the fact that today, with the advent of intuitive online tools, it’s easier than ever to combine sales and marketing in one seamless effort. Now, the left hand effortlessly works in conjunction with the right without wasting time and energy bouncing back and forth between departments.
 
Essentially, ABM is a laser-focused B2B strategy that allows us, as marketers, to hone in on potential/existing customers within a market, and then deliver personalized messaging that resonates with them, using specific and relevant channels.

According to the latest data from Aberdeen, 75% of customers prefer personalized offers. The ABM approach is rooted in that personalized customer engagement: It aligns sales and marketing efforts to target, engage, and then generate revenue from high-value customers or leads.

This summarizes the basic ABM steps:
  1. Define high-value accounts/prospects and prioritize based on revenue potential
  2. Identify key players and decision makers within each organization
  3. Strategize content and messaging that speaks to the organization’s specific business challenges and makes a personal connection
  4. Identify key channels best used to communicate with your target audience
  5. Launch targeted, coordinated campaigns aligning sales and marketing efforts while managing content delivery across all channels
  6. Test, measure and re-deploy as needed   
Done right, ABM requires a data and lead-generation platform and a system for managing the moving parts of an integrated marketing and sales effort.  If you’re interested in learning more about the options available, click here for a great blog that outlines the Top 12 ABM Tools.

Have you used any of these platforms as part of your ABM effort? I’d be interested in hearing from you tconnor@shamrockcompanies.net.

All The Best,
Tim Connor

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Tips For Successful Event Marketing


A successful special event takes more than an engaging program and an open bar, it requires strategic marketing to drive attendance at, and create a buzz surrounding, the event experience.


Following is an essential event marketing checklist to keep the effort on track:

  1. Why/Who? Consider these questions first: Why and to whom are you marketing your event? Is this an annual meeting? A women in leadership event? The answers will shape messaging and drive marketing decisions.
  2. Survey. Send out a survey prior to the event—the responses will help shape content and can be used to generate ideas for session topics, speakers, etc.
  3. Invitations. Start with a save-the-date (card or email) 8 weeks out; and 4 weeks prior, follow with an invitation that provides complete event details.
  4. Content. Make it relevant to your audience. If it’s not, leave it out.
  5. Email. Take advantage of your regular email campaign schedule and use that as a platform to promote your event.
  6. Blog. Beginning four weeks prior to your event, blog weekly. Add videos to engage your audience: If you have footage from the previous year’s event, use that to drive interest and excitement; or create new video highlighting speakers, entertainment, venue, etc.
  7. Homepage link. In all communication (email, blog, social channels) provide a link back to your event homepage where people can register.
  8. Social media. Take advantage of all social media channels to market your event before, during and after. Facebook is the most popular social media choice leading up to and after an event, while Twitter holds the top spot during events. (Source: FreemanXP, Event Marketing Institute)
  9. Track results. Check to see what’s working from the links in different channels (i.e., email, blog, Facebook). Redeploy as applicable.
  10. Promo items. Consider your audience and put thought into choosing a useful and/or unique gift.
Prior to the event, I always meet with my team to help outline individual charges: During the event, who do you want to meet? What are you hoping to glean? What does that conversation look like? 

This is the event marketing framework that I’ve found to be most useful. Are there other items that you would add?  Connect with me msmith@shamrockcompanies.net.

Megan Smith



Megan has been with Shamrock for a year and a half and previously in advertising and Event Sales for 14 years.  She has a son who is a freshman in high school and plays baseball and hockey.  She loves Cleveland sports, plus is looking forward to attending the Masters next year.  Megan is the beloved “Kick-Ball Manager” here at Shamrock for our team that competes in Flashes of Hope to raise money for childhood cancer.  

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Using Social Media to Increase Engagement in Higher Education

Know your audience: It’s the key to every successful marketing effort.  In the higher education  market, when a campaign is aimed at students, there is one essential link that connects with them above all others: Their cell phones.

A recent study from Baylor University found that female college students spend an average of 10 hours a day on their cell phones, while male students spend nearly eight hours. Most of that time is spent texting, followed by emailing, and checking social media feeds (in that order).

That data helped to formulate a targeted marketing solution for my client: a private university with 10,000 students. The university was looking for a new way to connect with students on campus, to foster a greater sense of school pride, tradition and community involvement.

We proposed an outreach program using social media as the main marketing channel to build those connections. And here’s why:
--It’s immediate. Social media campaigns centered around campus events, activities and performances spark interest and reaction in real time
--It’s transcendent. Social media feeds are effective in creating buzz before and after an event; and are shared with friends/family/community for a broader reach
--It’s engaging. These campaigns generate excitement about campus events that connect people as part of a shared experience—whether students are participants, are following an event feed, or are merely reacting to or sharing a post
--It’s personal. Students want to hear from other students—using students as the voice of the campaign creates a more compelling connection than does the message delivered by a third party

While our campus campaign is still in the planning stages, we do know that the most successful campaigns are those that start with strong, targeted messaging, and that use multiple channels to connect with the audience. When you consider that college students most often have their cell phones in hand, social media and email marketing are two fail-proof ways to make those connections. I’ll be sure to share the campaign results upon conclusion.

Which is the best channel for marketers to connect with you? Consider that question as you craft your next campaign.

Best of luck,

Tom Backus



Thursday, March 30, 2017

Dare To Be Different To Make The Difference!



Dare To Be Different—and Outwork Your Competition

In the world of marketing, it often feels as if everyone is trying to sell something. Everyone wants to
be the person to deliver the latest and greatest products and services to the masses. But if we are all climbing the same mountain at the same time, how do we make it to the top? How do we stand out above the competition and achieve success?
Just be different. Ask yourself how you can get in front of perspective clients and what you can bring to the table that others won’t.

Start by constantly reinventing your business: Don’t let yourself get pigeonholed into one genre of resources. Set yourself up for success by targeting and profiling companies with which you want to work. Then, apply consistent marketing tactics using multiple quality touches, for ultimate exposure. These tactics could include phone calls, emails, self-promo marketing campaigns, direct-mail pieces, etc. Just make sure your touches are creative and highlight all your capabilities: digital, mobile apps, postage-savings tactics, etc. The point is to catch your audience with an “ah-ha” revelation.

Once you’ve grabbed their attention, don’t just present one solution. Use this opportunity to consult on an entire marketing package for a project and present EVERYTHING.  Think of the project from your client’s point of view. Use the mindset, “you brought me here to provide X, but I can also give you Q, R and S!” This avenue of presentation will be time-consuming but ultimately will earn business. Take your time—and stand out.

When it’s time to execute, gain your customers’ trust and confidence by communicating what to expect until the products are in-hand. A Thank You email, followed by proofs, ship dates and tracking confirmations will keep both parties connected and involved. This extensive customer service will push you ahead of the competition.

After your transaction, keep in contact. Present new ideas and cutting-edge solutions. This approach is more consultative and educational than trying to “sell” something. Offer to hold lunch
meetings to present these ideas. Whether you get one or 12 people in a room over sandwiches, the exposure is critical. Show them what’s new and hot from each aspect of your portfolio; perhaps a new mobile app or trending direct mail items. Bring solutions to the table to remind your customers that you are one contact with multiple resources, reinforcing the value and time savings they enjoy by working with you, and not seven different companies.

This path will not be easy. Each of these tactics takes time, effort and creative brainpower, but hopefully will set you at the top of the mountain. You will not only rise above the competition, but will no longer be selling stuff. Now, you’re providing solutions, you’ve developed solid relationships with your customers—and it all started by being different.

Bob De Garmo
President

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Take Control. Beat Cancer.




It feels good to be in control—or at least, to have a handle on things within your reach. But that kind of security isn’t always in the cards. If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with cancer, then you get it: A cancer diagnosis is a line-drive foul ball that you didn’t see coming.   

Three years ago, my sister-in-law, Katie, was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma at age 32. It was news that sent my family reeling—and the reason I accepted the nomination to fight for those battling blood cancers as part of THE LEUKEMIA & LYMPHOMA SOCIETY'S (LLS) 2017 Man & Woman of the Year Campaign.

When she was diagnosed, Katie was the picture of health. She is also one of the most positive people I know, which played in her favor. Katie fought a long, hard battle and won. During her chemotherapy treatments, she took drugs that threw her body into a nauseating faux menopause to protect her eggs. One year later, she got pregnant.  Today, with 14-month-old Luke running circles around her, Katie is battling bladder cancer. So, her fight continues—and she faces it every day with that same positive mindset and amazing resolve.

I’m grateful for the treatments and therapies that have written a promising next chapter for Katie.  But there is so much more to be done. With Katie as my inspiration, I’m working to help raise funds for LLS for research and treatments. My team, KATIE’S BLOOD, SWEAT & TEARS TOUR, is competing against other teams in NE Ohio in a 10-week fundraising campaign.  

PLEASE JOIN US in giving cancer patients a fighting chance. EVERY DONATION helps! I’m asking for only two things:

  • 1.      Click on this link to access our team page and make your tax-deductible donation online.
  • 2.     Forward this blog to your friends and family

On behalf of Katie, the Connor family, and others who are battling to gain their footing and fight back—thank you.

Tim Connor