Thursday, April 19, 2018

Four Tips for Strengthening Your Supply Chain

To remain relevant in the face of competition, it’s essential to build and strengthen the supply chain. At Shamrock, we’ve been building strategic partnerships with suppliers for more than 35 years. That’s our business model. Because we’ve managed our business this way from day one, building a reliable supply chain has truly become a byproduct of our charge to provide our customers with the marketing solutions that meet their evolving needs.

This model has fueled our charge to diversify our product and service offerings. It’s all about supply and demand: Shamrock’s success lies, in part, in our commitment to respond to the growing needs of our customers by expanding our scope to deliver integrated marketing solutions. Three decades ago, Shamrock was a print broker. Today, we’re a full-service marketing and communications agency with a national footprint and a dedicated supply chain.

That said, we’ve learned a few things over the years about supply chain management. Here’s four tips:

1. Vet & align your suppliers.
Clearly product/service quality and reliability are essential. But go the extra step to make sure that your suppliers are in alignment with your brand’s core values. Environmental sustainability, animal-friendly testing, industry best-practices, etc. Identify the risks and rewards associated with your suppliers and adjust accordingly.

2. Set expectations & establish open communication.
Start by outlining what’s expected—from every angle (vendor to agency and agency to client). At the end of the day, you’re responsible for delivering the product to the client, so make sure that your supplier can deliver on his/her end. Based on that scope-of-work agreement, outline your needs and expectations and provide a clear path for ongoing communication.

3. Maintain accountability.
Hold your supplier partners to stringent quality audits and benchmarks. At Shamrock, we lean on our suppliers to drive innovation and cost efficiencies, which then allows us to compete by delivering the best in quality, turnaround and price.

4. Collaborate with industry leaders & peers.
Best practices are best when they’re shared: We can all learn from one another. Collaboration can lead to innovation, new processes, improved quality standards, new delivery options—the list goes on.

If you’re looking to sharpen your competitive edge, evaluating your supply chain processes is a good first step. As the saying goes, you’re only as good as your last performance. Or product launch. Or campaign. It’s up to you to make it a great one.

All the best,
Tim Connor   

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Cheer on Your Team—and Everybody Wins. What kind of teammate are you?

Most of us have been on both the winning and losing side of team play. While it’s usually much more enjoyable to be with the first group, there is value in, and benefits to be gained from, being part of a team regardless of outcome.

Group competitions provide an opportunity to observe and watch others succeed and fail. That success/failure observation is how we learn. It gives us insight into solving the problem or task at hand; and it also models behavior for managing victory or defeat.

These lessons are just as important on a basketball court as they are in a corporate meeting room. The intrinsic rewards of being part of a successful team is powerful: Why do great individual athletes, like Michael Phelps, seem to get more fired up and excited to win relay races than individual events? It’s the exhilarating feeling of being part of something bigger than oneself.

When I think of teamwork, I think of creating synergy, or an environment where The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. First coined by the philosopher Aristotle, this phrase aptly defines the modern concept of synergy. For anyone who has played team sports, it echoes the T.E.A.M. acronym—together, everyone achieves more.

In Gung Ho!, we learn that the gift of the goose is to cheer each other on. Everyone needs a pat on the back, to feel appreciated and valued. Take time to reflect on your actions and contributions as part of your corporate team: What kind of teammate are you? Are you looking to get “the credit”, or do you seek to make others better? Do you thrive on teamwork, or do you prefer to work independently?

What is your contribution to your company’s culture, or your team’s objective? Do you inspire with a positive approach and attitude, or do you hold the team back with negativity?

My personal mission is to help companies, clients and colleagues perform at their highest levels. It is a thrill to watch the process of a team removing barriers and finding ways to raise the standard. When we are successful, we celebrate as a team – which is more fun than a party of one…

What does your company do to promote teamwork? Please chime in our Facebook page.

Bob De Garmo

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Use Customer Personas for Better Marketing Outcomes

Microsoft reports the average person’s attention span is just eight seconds. That’s not surprising given the amount of content we consume every day: According to the American Marketing Association, we are exposed to up to 10,000 brand messages a day. So, as a marketer, how do you make sure your customers don’t simply scroll right by your content?

Make it personal.

By connecting with your audience in more personal and relatable ways, you make stronger and more memorable brand connections. So, it follows that the best way to make such connections is to first get to know your audience or your customers—and then create campaigns that speak directly to them. This is where personas come into play.

Hubspot describes them well: "Buyer personas are fictional, generalized representations of your ideal customers. Personas help us all -- in marketing, sales, product, and services -- internalize the ideal customer we're trying to attract and relate to our customers as real humans. Having a deep understanding of your buyer persona(s) is critical to driving content creation, product development, sales follow up, and really anything that relates to customer acquisition and retention.”

Source: Hubspot

To develop accurate customer personas, research is essential—you have to dig down beneath the surface to gather the personal data about your customer that paints a crystal-clear picture about who they really are:
  • What is their age and gender?
  • Which social media platforms do they use: Are they Facebook devotees or all Snapchat?
  • What TV shows do they watch: 60 Minutes? Game of Thrones?
  • What are their values: Are they intent on making a difference through social change? Strong supporters of U.S. veterans?
  • What is their digital capacity: Are they avid smartphone users or adverse to constant connectivity?

Click here to download Hubspot’s worksheet for creating customer personas.

The goal is to put yourself in your customer’s shoes to create a detailed and accurate profile. And then, to use that information to your brand advantage by aligning your marketing plan: Send brand messaging using social media channels where your customer persona spends his/her time; use messaging that speaks your customer persona’s language—and resonates with his/her value system; provide special offers that solve your customer persona’s problems, etc. 

The more questions we ask and the clearer “customer” picture we paint, allows us to be more effective in our marketing efforts. Are you currently using customer personas? I’m interested in your feedback.

Ellen Moriarty

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Dead Sales Leads? Revive Them with Strategic Lead Nurturing.

When we’re making a purchase, most of us shop around for the best deal—or the best quality, or service, or all of the above. Which is why most leads don’t immediately convert to sales, regardless of where they enter the sales funnel.

According to MarketingSherpa, 73% of leads are not ready to buy when they first give you their contact details. This is where lead nurturing comes in: These strategic campaigns work to create relationships and encourage consumers or businesses to become active prospects, and eventually, customers.

Now more than ever, we’re finding that people don’t want to feel like they’re just a number; they want a personal connection. And above all, they want content to be relevant to them. 

A recent article in Entrepreneur magazine concurs: “You can no longer create a single funnel or lead magnet and expect success. Your audience are at different stages, and your job as a marketer is to give them the right content at the right time.”

Again, it’s about getting personal: It’s important to first build intimacy with your audience—you can’t sell 24/7. Work to create relationships by providing value and quality, not quantity. Do that by considering where your contacts are in the sales funnel. The Entrepreneur article explains that scenario, placing prospects into three buckets:
  • The Sidewalk: Those who are not aware they have a pain or problem
  • The Slow Lane: Those who are aware they have a problem, but don't know enough about the process or methodology to move forward
  • The Fast Lane: Those who are ready to commit to a solution, but need more information about what the solution is
After you identify where your leads fall, create specific messaging for each: This brings intimacy into your lead generation and becomes relevant to the right people at the right time:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1PkS7TNlGYuG1hz0Jmk0v2ZSiqmr7SNx3/view?usp=sharing
Click to view infographic

  • People in your sidewalk are not aware of their problem, so you need to produce micro content that illuminates their pain.
  • If they're in your slow lane you need to educate them of your process, which means more in-depth content (articles, guides, longer videos, etc.).
  • Once they enter your fast lane, you can share intimate and detailed content with them, such as webinars, training sessions and phone calls.
Shamrock helps our clients manage lead nurturing campaigns—making meaningful, personal connections (with the right message, at the right time) using an automated marketing platform. Click on the image to view the infographic on the importance of using lead nurturing.

How do you nurture your sales leads? If you’re interested in learning more about content strategies and automated tools for lead nurturing campaign management, connect with me on LinkedIn.
 
Ellen Moriarty
 

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Marketing with Alexa (and other smart speakers)

Artificial intelligence has made its splash debut—and clearly, it’s here to stay. Given the popularity of voice-activated speakers like Amazon Alexa and Apple’s new HomePod, most of us are familiar with the power and influence of AI technology.  

One in six Americans own a voice-controlled smart speaker (up 128% from January 2017, according to an Edison Research poll). And more than half (57%) of smart speaker owners have used the devices to complete a purchase. Clearly, these smart speakers and similar devices hold enormous opportunities and implications for marketing.

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—and AI can drive that process. The intuitive, voice-activated software gives us smarter searches; more personal, targeted touches; and refined, more relevant content delivery.

Because most owners use their smart speakers for voice searches, the devices greatly increase the importance of voice search optimization and audio content marketing. Before you jump in, first do your research to find out if your target audience is using these AI devices: Learn what questions they ask and how they interact with their speakers.

Next, it’s important to optimize your content so that they can find it: Because most people use questions to search using their smart speakers, research what the most common questions are for your industry or product line. Include those key words and phrases in your online content (website, Facebook page, blog, etc.)
 
After you align your messaging, how do you use that smart-speaker-optimized marketing content to promote your brand? Here’s a few ideas:  
  • Advertise targeted content during daily flash briefings
  • Establish your brand as a thought leader regarding topics relevant to your customers by releasing podcasts
  • Place ads on Spotify or Pandora: Sixty-eight percent of users listen to music on their smart speakers
Many industry experts believe that as technology advances, AI will continue to 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. 
 
One thing we know for sure: This is only the beginning. It will be exciting to see where AI takes us.
 
All the best,
Tim Connor

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Pick A Winner: The Perfect Tournament Bracket

Who’s in? Who got left out? The excitement of March Madness is here! At this point in the NCAA tournament, we all have perfect brackets—but that will likely change on day one. At least for the majority of us: The odds of picking a perfect bracket are 1 in 9,223,372,036,854,775,808 (or 1 in 9.2 quintillion). Wrap your mind around those odds!

Our friends at Alta Partners host an annual March Madness Bracket Challenge in which they designate funds for a charity. At this time last year, I was working to lead a team for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's (LLS) Man & Woman of the Year Campaign to raise money for cancer research. Alta Partners donated their proceeds to that campaign, which made a huge impact on my team’s campaign—and a life-changing effect on those who are bravely fighting blood cancers.
http://www.altapartnersllc.com/tt/2018tourney/default.html
This year, Alta Partners is at it again: The Malachi House is the charitable recipient of this year’s bracket challenge. If you’re not familiar, Malachi House is a Cleveland-based ministry that serves people who are terminally ill—all genders, races, religions and national origins, and without cost to the resident or family. This Home ministers to individuals who need an available caregiver, who have limited or no financial resources and need special home care in the final stages of their life. Malachi House is a very special place, and one that our Shamrock family has supported for many years.

So, if you’re looking to pick the perfect bracket, you can’t go wrong by jumping in on the Alta Partners challenge, because the residents at Malachi House win, no matter which teams end up in the finals.

ENTRIES ARE DUE BY MARCH 21st. To sign up ($25 entry fee) and fill out your bracket, follow the link below:
http://www.altapartnersllc.com/tt/2018tourney/default.html

Good luck!
Tim Connor

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Use Promotional Products to Make Brand Impressions

In this digital age, so much of our everyday business is managed online. But as with any other aspect of our lives, balance is essential to success. Promotional products are the ideal source for equilibrium in your marketing program because they make a brand impression offline

Think about it: How many logoed t-shirts do you have in your closet? I’ve got a stack of them—and I’m not alone: Statistics show that, on average, Americans keep t-shirts for 6.3 months, tallying 2,450 impressions. It’s a great example of how a promotional item makes a tangible, lasting brand statement.

These recent statistics from the Promotional Products Association International (PPAI) 2017 Consumer Study speak to the resonating power of promotional products in marketing:
  • 89% of consumers received a promotional product in the last six months. Of those consumers,
  • 79% researched the brand, and
  • 83% are more likely to do business with the brand
Are promotional products part of your current marketing program? Consider that promotional products are the most highly regarded form of advertising (Advertising Specialty Institute 2016). Here’s a few additional statistics to consider as you review and refresh your marketing plan for next quarter:

Which premium items will provide you the best return on your investment? 
  • Pens + Impressions = Best Value:
    The cost per impression is less than 1/10th of a cent in the United States
Which items generate the most impressions?
  • Bags generate more impressions in the U.S. than any other promotional item;
    50% of U.S. consumers own promotional bags
Looking to influence opinions about your brand? The top 5 influential products on opinion of
advertisers:
  1. USB drives
  2. Outerwear
  3. Drinkware
  4. Writing instruments
  5. Performance wear
At Shamrock, our value is not merely sourcing highest quality promotional items at the best price—it’s our ability to connect online and offline channels to complement each other and work together to deliver the message in the most powerful and effective way. The result of that integrated marketing effort is a memorable brand impression. 

If you’d like to talk about integrating promotional products as part of your next campaign, email me at tberry@shamrockcompanies.net

Tim Berry

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Create an Engaging Corporate Culture

Many of us spend the greater part of our waking hours at work. In fact, the average person will spend 90,000 hours at work over his/her lifetime. That’s a lot of time invested—so we ought to find ways to make the very most of it.

At Shamrock, we’ve always worked to create an engaging, creative work environment. Ours is a workplace that commits to our local communities, to giving back, to serving our customers, to fostering teamwork, to empowering our employees, to creating relationships—Shamrock is more than a place to work; it’s the opportunity to be part of something much bigger.
That commitment is what has shaped our unique corporate culture: More than 15 years ago, we implemented programs that continue to support—and identify—who we are and how we choose to make success happen for our employees, partners and clients. These programs are based on the management books by Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles: Ravings Fans, Gung Ho!, and Fish.
Here’s a snapshot of the guiding principles:

RAVING FANS. The foundation of this customer-service directive is very simple:
  • Decide what you want
  • Discover what the customer wants
  • Deliver plus-one (Go over and above. Always)
GUNG HO! teaches that everybody plays an important role, whether that be selling, assembling or answering the phone. To that end, we must empower our employees, and get out of the way so they can do their jobs. Takeaways from Gung Ho! are:
  • Do worthwhile work
  • Be in charge of achieving goals
  • Celebration – cheering each other on
FISH. An extension of Gung Ho!, Fish promotes a super-positive work environment and is based on key customer-focused ideas:
  • Be Present. Be emotionally invested: Put your phone down, look people in the eye, and really focus on what you are doing and the people you are doing it with.
  • Choose Your Attitude. Take responsibility for how you respond to people. You have the power to consciously choose how you are going to treat others or manage your stress—own it.
  • Make Their Day. Find simple ways to serve and delight people in meaningful and memorable ways.
  • Play. Make what you do at work enjoyable and fun. Take your work seriously, not yourself: The energy you create is truly contagious.

These philosophies contribute to Shamrock’s unique culture—and we continue to identify new ways to incorporate these into our everyday operations. Beyond that, I’ve learned that trust goes a long way toward framing corporate culture.  Without it, people tend to operate in silos and find themselves isolated from the group. By working to establish open, honest communication—in dealing with both positive and negative issues—you can foster a greater sense of team and gain credibility with your employees. 

Always, I’m interested in your feedback. Share your corporate culture ideas with me on LinkedIn:
Bob De Garmo

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Boost Conversion Rates: 8 Email Marketing Tips for 2018

I’m always impressed by a creative email subject line—one that grabs my attention and makes me click and open. In the marketing business, that’s pure gold: The ability to make a brand connection with your audience and prompt the desired response.

Email is a great way to make those connections, while getting the most bang for your marketing buck: Not only do 72% of consumers prefer email as their primary means of communicating with brands, but email offers a $44 ROI for every $1 spent. (Campaign Monitor). When it comes to successful email marketing, there are a few very simple rules that can help boost your click-through rates:
  1. Optimize for mobile. If your email platform isn’t mobile-friendly, you’re missing the boat. Statistics show that 56% of emails are opened and read on mobile devices—so if your email isn’t formatted for mobile, the reader will likely miss out on important content.
  2. Segment your list. One-size email marketing is out; personalized brand connections are in. By segmenting your distribution list, you can tailor your email message to speak directly to your audience based on region, market, age, gender, etc. The result is a more relevant and personalized brand touch.
  3. Automate your email. Automated or triggered emails deliver an astounding 624% higher conversion rate than everyday business emails (Venture Beat). A few ideas for triggered email content includes: Welcome, Thank you (post sale or post meeting), Upsell opportunity, or Milestone event.
  4. Make your subject line sing. No matter how compelling your email content, you’ve got to get them to open it first: 33% of email recipients open email based on subject lines alone (Convince & Convert). And don’t be afraid to get personal: According to Campaign Monitor data, a personalized email subject line boosts open rates by 26%, and increases click-through rates by 14%.
  5. Add video. We know by now that video helps drive people to your website. But according to eMarketer, video in emails can also increase clicks, shares, and forwards as much as 50%.
  6. Include a call to action (CTA). Your email content needs to be compelling, relevant—and it also needs a strong CTA, even if it is as simple as asking the reader to share on twitter or click through to a landing page. Consider using words such as “now” or “today” or add an incentive to help boost participation.
  7. Time it right. The day of the week and time of day your email is sent effects open rates. Research from GetResponse shows that Tuesday is the best day of the week to send emails (followed by Thursday and Wednesday); and 10 a.m. is the best time to hit send.
  8. Know your audience. It sounds like an obvious rule of thumb, but too often marketers ignore their loyal base of customers, members or donors because they are too focused on chasing new prospects. Existing customers are one of the biggest untapped resources in marketing: The probability of selling to a customer is 60-70% (compared with 5-20% for new prospects).
Email marketing requires nuances, that when considered, can drastically improve your chances of making solid brand connections. If you’re interested in learning more about smart email marketing, or if you’d like to bounce your best subject line ideas off of me, I’m all ears: tconnor@shamrockcompanies.net

Good luck!
Tim Connor

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Change Your Life with The 5 Second Rule

When Alabama was down at the half during the 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship game, Nick Saban made a change. None of us knows how long Saban pondered the thought, but the fact is that the Crimson Tide came out in the second half with a new quarterback—and a new attitude. University of Alabama went on to defeat the University of Georgia in a come-from-behind win.

I gotta be honest: I was really rooting for Georgia. But, I respect that it took guts for Saban to pull his starter and put in a freshman quarterback. It was pure genius. Acting on his thought is what created the change, which ignited the offense, which ultimately won the game and the title. That moment of action is the principle behind one of the best books I read last year: The 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins.

If you haven’t read it, here’s a quick summary: According to Robbins…

Knowing what to do will never be enough.

Knowing why you need to do it will never be enough.

Robbins says it’s not as simple as deciding to do something. “There’s something foundational that has to happen before we can take action, and that is we must learn to conquer our own feelings.

She explains: “Because of the way your brain is wired, when your thoughts and feelings are at war, when there is a discourse between what you know you should be doing and what you feel like doing, your feelings are always going to win.

“What we need is something that’s going to launch us into a state of action.

“If you don’t start doing the things you don’t feel like doing, you will wake up one year from today and be in exactly the same place.”

The one-liner definition of the 5 second rule is this: If you have an impulse to act on a goal, you must physically move within 5 seconds or your brain will kill the idea.

“The moment you feel yourself hesitate (when you know you should do something) start counting backward 5-4-3-2-1, then GO. The Rule is a proven form of metacognition. When you use it, you shift mental gears, interrupt your habit of overthinking and awaken your pre-frontal cortex – making change easy. The rule acts as a ‘starting ritual’ that breaks bad habits and triggers positive new behavior change.”

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=mel+robbins+ted+talk&view=detail&mid=7E7FAAB0DA83F266F7A77E7FAAB0DA83F266F7A7&FORM=VIRE
Click here to watch

It makes sense, right? Most of us fall into everyday routines. We get comfortable. But sometimes it takes moving beyond that comfort zone and shaking things up to spark change that leads to the action needed to take the first step toward reaching your goal.

The book is a quick read; and Robbins also covers the material in a TED Talk Robbins has given me a new perspective and has prompted me make some quick-fire changes. It’s well worth your time. You’ve got 5 seconds to get on it…

Good luck!
Tim Connor

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Optimize Your Co-op Marketing Program. We’ll Show You How.

Consistency is important to establishing and maintaining brand integrity. As companies grow and establish new locations or franchises, that brand consistency often becomes increasingly difficult to manage. It’s a struggle that I’ve helped many clients manage.

At Shamrock, we help companies manage their brands—and their marketing budgets—using a smart co-op marketing platform. Whether a company has two locations or 200, this online tool helps protect brand standards while creating efficiencies that reduce administrative time, and ultimately, save money.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Pw5JaaNNv7Ze8JxI5WSiqrgWeCYaVND5/view
Click to View

The genius of this online tool is that it automates everyday co-op marketing program management. Because the platform is modular by design, it allows companies to use only the functions that they need, while implementing and managing those brand-driven touches (think product brochures, email campaigns, approved display ads, promotional items, etc.) directly from their desktops.
 
This easy-to-implement co-op marketing platform provided big results for one of our clients—a major international heavy equipment manufacturer—helping them grow the promotional segment of their business by 200%. If you’re interested in learning more about this co-op management tool, click the link below to read the full story:

Are you struggling to manage marketing or co-op programs at multiple locations? If you’re interested in learning more about Shamrock’s co-op tool, I’m happy to provide a quick demo. Connect with me at klawlor@shamrockcompanies.net

Kathy Lawlor 

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

5 Sales Presentation Tips You Need To Know

Whether your business is selling widgets or creative ideas, you must make sales to drive revenue. And if you’re selling, then you’re also pitching to potential customers. I’ve been in sales for more than 20 years and have learned a few things along the way that are worth sharing:

The most important part of your sales presentation is the pre-meeting discovery call to uncover your prospect’s issues and needs. Your presentation should respond to everything you learned. Very similar to a job interview, ask the customer what they are looking for in a candidate, then spend the interview positioning yourself accordingly.

Next is preparation. For me, the more prepared I am, the more relaxed and genuine I am. It improves my ability to interact without losing concentration or control of the presentation. Don’t confuse this with a memorized speech: Preparation is about aligning the content and key points that I want to communicate.

An article in Entrepreneur magazine offers some tips for the next step: Sitting down with the potential customer. Here’s a summary of 5 tips to help you refine your sales presentation for greater success:

1.Avoid product knowledge mistakes.
There are three common pitfalls to avoid regarding product knowledge:
1. Not knowing your product
2. Sharing too much about your product
3. Not knowing your competition

The article sums it up well: “You can never know too much but you can certainly talk too much. Become an expert with your product and be able to discuss features, advantages, and benefits better than anyone. When comparing products, know how your product is different, know the advantages, and know how to make sense of the purchase.


2. Control your presentation.
Leading with solid preparation, your ultimate goal is to gain complete control while presenting. “The way to gain control is by getting an agreement. Get the buyer’s full attention, get the product away from other products so they aren’t distracted, and present the product while in full control.”

3. Find what the buyer values.
Tell your customer what you’re going to do and get an agreement. Example: What matters most to you when you purchase uniforms for your staff? Are you looking first for quality or lowest cost? Quality? Great, then let’s discuss how our vendor network allows us to provide the best in brand-name quality.

“Be interesting and reassure the customer with any concerns. Break your presentation down into parts. Know where you’re going to start and end. Always get permission to give the presentation, address the time (how long it’ll take), invite any questions they may have, and start in the same place every time you give the presentation. You want stability for yourself.”

4. Avoid making lazy mistakes.
Always do a demonstration. Don’t take the opportunity for granted when you sit down with your customer. With today’s technology, demonstrations need not be time consuming, but rather, engaging and informative exchanges with your potential customer.

5. Anticipate objections.
You’re going to get objections when you try and do a sales presentation—it happens to the best of us.

“I don’t need to see how it operates”

“I know all about it”

“Don’t shortcut the presentation because this is where you build value. Understand that these objections are reactions, not valid objections. To handle these, be committed to your demonstration. You have to know that your demonstration will be of value to your client.”

Access the full article here: http://entm.ag/ebh

Do you have sales presentation tips that aren’t on this list? I’d like to hear them. Connect with me @ bdegarmo@shamrockcompanies.net

Good luck!
Bob De Garmo

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Video Marketing Trends You Need to Know

It’s no surprise that in today’s mobile world, incorporating video in your marketing program is essential to making brand connections with your customers. MarketingProfs today released an infographic that sums up the state of video marketing, capturing the latest data about video and trends to watch in 2018. Here are a few highlights:

•    Video content earns 12 times more shares than text and images combined
•    Viewers retain 95% of a message when they see it in a video, as compared to only 10% when they read text
•    Live streaming video is gaining momentum: 82% of consumers polled preferred live video to static social media posts
•    Bite-sized video content and personalized video will be used more and more: 61% of customers prefer custom and individualized content
•    If you aren’t on Instagram already, consider jumping in: In 2017, 8 out of 10 users followed at
•    The new YouTube mobile sharing app will prompt marketers to create more engaging content
Click here to view infographic
least one business on their feed

The infographic below provides the entire video marketing forecast in format that is quick and easy to digest.

There’s no time like the present to evaluate and realign your marketing strategy to make sure you’re maximizing your efforts and your budget. If you’d like some creative ideas for ways to infuse your existing media outreach with video content, connect with me @emoriarty@shamrockcompanies.net.

Ellen Moriarty

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

5 Print Marketing Trends For 2018

While we’re all fast at work keeping up with today’s click-through, digital-driven pace, the print industry is experiencing a quiet revival. Perhaps that resurgence is because of its perceived value: A tangible printed piece like a brochure (or ad, or sign…) makes a memorable brand connection with an audience while offering a shelf life that far outlasts a typical social media scroll.

The latest statistics show that expected growth for commercial printing is 1.5% - 3% in 2018, with sales expected to total $84 billion–that’s 9.1% above 2011. That growth is slated to continue through 2024.

This year, Shamrock celebrates 35 years as a print and marketing solutions provider. We’ve grown and diversified along with the advent of digital technology, understanding that there’s not only room for both in your marketing arsenal—but that incorporating both digital channels and tactile touches is essential to success: Print is an important part of a balanced, integrated marketing strategy.

Here are five print marketing trends to consider implementing as part of your marketing effort this year:

Personalization. Customized content creates unique value—and greater relevance. Personalization used to be a novelty; but today, people expect products and services to be adapted and relevant to them: The more you connect with your audience through personalization, the more resistance is dropped. Making a personalized connection increases customer engagement with your brand.

Print & digital integration. Blending online and offline channels as part of an integrated marketing strategy is the key to driving higher conversion rates and making lasting brand impressions. Use your print media to link your audience back to your blog, a landing page, an exclusive video, website or to one of social media channels.

Custom/unique coupon codes. Using a unique coupon is a smart strategy for not only increasing customer engagement but also in gathering personal data about your target audience. Unique coupon codes generate higher ROI than generic coupon codes because they cannot be shared or reproduced—they are aimed at an individual, which creates a more personal connection and an exclusive feel.

Color. According to Pantone, color in 2018 will go bolder—a proven way to make a statement with your audience: Pantone also predicts continued print marketing trends in iridescent color palettes and a move away from pastels. Color evokes emotion, can change a mood and helps tell your brand story—which will you choose to share your brand narrative?

Texture. A study from the University of Iowa found that haptic (touch) memory is the type of memory that has the strongest impact on the human brain. The physical act of holding something makes a stronger connection with the audiences. And so, using print media engages our haptic memory, creating lasting brand awareness. Adding glosses, raised ink, embossing, matte finishes—these create interesting texture for even greater brand connections.

Which of these print marketing trends will you embrace this year? I’m interested in your feedback.
tconnor@shamrockcompanies.net

Tim Connor

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Shamrock Named to the Print + Promo Top 50 Distributors for 2017

The industry magazine Print + Promo released its annual rankings recognizing the highest-performing distributors based on print sales for fiscal year 2017—and The Shamrock Companies came in at #11. Here’s an excerpt from the Print + Promo website:

“The list, which serves as a barometer for industry health, offers insight into how external factors, like mergers and acquisitions, the economy and political climate, influence print volume among print resellers. For our 2017 Top 50 Distributors list, we evaluated more than 70 companies, totaling $3.50 billion—the distributor segment’s best showing since 2008. We also asked distributors to report how much business they do in major product categories, including printed forms, labels & tags, commercial printing, direct mail, promotional products and more.”

The industry resource reported that among the Top 50 companies…

Promotional products are driving sales revenue: There was an increase in sales for six of nine product categories, with promotional products taking the No. 1 spot due to a $384 million increase in revenue compared to 2016.

We’re in good company in Ohio: In all, 22 U.S. states were headquarters to at least one print distributor on the list. Ohio was the winner with seven Top 50 distributors.

To read the entire article, click on the link below:
http://www.goprintandpromo.com/article/printpromo-announces-the-2017-top-50-distributors/

On behalf of our entire team at Shamrock, we’re proud to be recognized among the industry’s top distributors and thank our clients, suppliers and vendor partners for sharing in that success.

Here’s to moving on up in 2018!

Tim Connor

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

6 TED Talks to Help You Reach Your Goals in 2018

It’s time for a new beginning, to embark on the journey of a new year filled with opportunities. Whether you’re a person who makes New Year’s resolutions or sets performance goals for yourself and/or your business, it’s nice to have some extra motivation and guidance to help you stay the course.

We found a list of six TED talks compiled by The Ritz-Carlton Leadership Center that offers advice on goal-setting and how to follow through on the actions needed to achieve your goals and dreams:

1) Try Something New for 30 Days by Matt Cutts
In this three-minute TED Talk, the speaker shows how small steps can lead to big adventures. Inviting activity into your life seems to lead to a richer experience.
https://www.ted.com/talks/matt_cutts_try_something_new_for_30_days
2) 5 Ways to Kill Your Dreams by Bel Pesce
In this six-minute TED Talk, the speaker shares five lines of thought that will keep you from reaching your goals, and she also emphasizes the significance of the journey.

3) Four Keys for Setting and Achieving Goals by William Barr
In this eight-minute TED Talk, the speaker shares how he was able to build one of the nation’s largest home improvement companies.

4) If You Want to Achieve Your Goals, Don’t Focus on Them by Reggie Rivers
In this 11-minute TED Talk, the speaker shares how focusing on the goals can actually prevent you from achieving your goals. By focusing on your behaviors, you will be more driven to follow through.

5) The Key to Success? Grit by Angela Lee Duckworth
In this 6-minute TED Talk, the speaker shares how grit is a key ingredient for success. She encourages the audience to live life as a marathon and not a sprint.
https://www.ted.com/talks/angela_lee_duckworth_grit_the_power_of_passion_and_perseverance
6) The Power of Believing That You Can Improve by Carol Dweck
In this 11-minute TED Talk, the speaker shares how adopting a growth mindset can open you up to greater success. She encourages the audience to see a challenge as a “yet” opportunity.

The fresh start of a new year offers a host of exciting new opportunities, changes and challenges. With the help of these resources, we hope you’ll be making the very most of 2018. Always, we welcome your input: If you have other TED talks to add to this list, please connect with Shamrock on Facebook.

Good luck—and happy new year!
Tim Connor