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:

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.”
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.
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

Kathy Lawlor