Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Incentivize Your Workforce!

We all want to feel valued and appreciated by our employers. Studies show that employees who are recognized for a job well done are more motivated and satisfied at work than those who don’t receive affirmation. The proof: Employers with an incentive program in place for at least 12 months see an average 44% increase in performance.

It’s no surprise then, that employee incentive/performance programs in the United States are a booming $90 billion industry. These programs take on a variety of forms and are implemented on dramatically different scales: Whether companies are celebrating a service milestone or sales contest, and giving away gift cards or travel packages, more employers today are using merchandise incentives to invest in employee satisfaction and drive performance.

What’s appealing about these programs is that they are easily implemented; customers can launch turnkey websites that tally employee points, allow employees to “shop” online for available merchandise or simply purchase specific premium items based on their budget.

Regardless of incentive program format, the majority of employees are cashing in their incentive earnings for intermediate- to high-end products—those that don’t bear the company logo: The most-desired gift items are still electronics. Among my customers, the top redemption for 2016 merchandise included flat screen TVs, the Echo, Bose headsets/speakers, and Apple iPads to name a few.

If you don’t have a formal incentive program in place, there’s no time like the present to get started. If you’re interested in learning more about options, connect with me at

Best of luck,
Tim Berry
Promotional & Premium Products Director   

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Trending Technology: Artificial Intelligence In Marketing

It used to be that artificial intelligence was the stuff of sci-fi movies. But with the advent of everyday applications like Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa, and even the Pokemon Go craze, most of us are
now familiar with the power and the influence of AI technology.

While some fear that AI and bots will replace humans in the workplace, I’m seeing quite the opposite, considering how AI is already starting to impact marketing—for the better. AI in digital marketing lets marketers better create truly personal, relevant connections with engaged customers.

When you consider that the key to successful marketing lies in the ability to deliver the right message, to the right audience, at the right time, using the right channels—then you’ve got to recognize the value of using AI to drive that process. AI, or intuitive computer software, can work to give us smarter searches, more targeted touches, and refined content delivery.

As AI technology becomes more mainstream, it will be used to make sense of data, which is the key to creating customer engagement, fostering sales, driving growth and building a brand. AI will sort through data to answer the questions that we need to better manage our campaigns: Which customers buy a particular product? Which make purchases on their mobile devices? Which customers delete emails? Which click through?

Down the road, many industry experts believe that AI will manage the rote mechanics of marketing, making sense of big data and providing the analytics that we need to make more meaningful customer connections, while leaving the creative content work for us humans.

This is only the beginning. It will be exciting to see where AI takes us.

All the best,
Tim Connor

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Meet Bob DeGarmo!

It’s funny how life can take an unexpected turn that brings you back to a place that’s exactly where you belong. That’s been my story—and my journey—with Shamrock. I spent almost 10 years building a successful sales career at Shamrock. When the opportunity arose in 2011, I left to start my own marketing company in the Bay area. And now, five years later, I’m back at Shamrock in a role that connects me with what I love most in this business: helping people.

I’ve spent more than 30 years in frontline sales. It’s what I’m passionate about: being the best sales person that I can be by meeting and exceeding my customers’ needs. For me, that dedicated client service is my “why.” It’s why I do what I do.

And now as President of Shamrock, I’m able to share the knowledge and perspective that comes from my sales experience. While that is a great benefit to our sales reps, it also translates to a big win for Shamrock customers.

A few years ago I read the book, Start with Why, by Simon Sinek. The book challenged me to rethink my purpose, or my “why”. Once you find that inspiration in your own workplace, you’re perfectly positioned to go on to inspire your colleagues and customers.

I’ve found my “why” with Shamrock and am incredibly energized and motivated to help others discover their own path. My reward is helping sales reps realize their potential and then giving them the tools to drive their success, and that of their customers.

I challenge you to start with why. Here is a link to Sinek’s TED talk to get the wheels moving.   

Wishing you luck & success in the coming year!

Bob DeGarmo    

@BobDeGarmo (Twitter)