Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Simplify your marketing supply chain

No one disputes that the velocity of change in modern marketing strategy and tactics is astounding. Just keeping current with the latest trends and thought leadership can be overwhelming—not to mention that quickly shifting gears and changing direction can pose a significant challenge for many organizations.

So how do you keep up? How do you remain nimble? One trend worth exploring is to reverse-engineer the traditional marketing challenge: Rather than looking at bolstering up your staff and vendor base, try testing that pro-growth mentality with a simple question: How are you managing your current supply chain partners?

Maybe you and your team juggle a host of vendors who independently source and manage the elements of your brand marketing program. The truth is, simplifying your supply chain makes sense for modern brand management. I relate it to the evolution of superstores (both online and brick and mortar): It used to be that I’d go to the sporting goods store to buy golf balls, to the mall for dress shoes, and the liquor store for wine. Now, I can get everything I need—at the best quality and price—through one retailer, delivered to my front door.

Successful marketing requires that same progressive, efficiency-driven mindset.

Companies that continue with old-fashioned partnering find themselves having to settle for the status quo. Few companies have the budget to staff-up to manage a stable of vendors. Smart companies are partnering differently for their marketing services: They’re carefully choosing one partner that helps drive growth through streamlined efficiencies and economy-of-scale cost savings.

To maximize results, look for a marketing resource with these types of service advantages:

  • Single-source project management
  • Ongoing and updated status regarding projects, data/feedback, budgets, etc.
  • Strategic oversight—one that can find the right marketing mix for your business
  • Proven tactical plan execution
  • Flexibility to pivot and change up or redeploy plan elements as needed

This type of partnership allows your company to quickly change without overwhelming your infrastructure—enabling you to rethink and refresh your marketing program without depleting your internal resources.

At Shamrock, we serve as that single-source partner for our clients. If you’re interested in talking about how we can help grow your business, connect with me directly at

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Tips to Keep Your Marketing Program On Track

In this era of podcasts, YouTube channels and online news sources, it’s easier than ever to continuously build upon your base of knowledge and experience.

In addition to learning new stuff, it’s wise to look at our everyday actions to make sure we’re aligned to reach our goals. This is particularly true of marketing: While new ideas and trends are important to incorporate, it’s also wise to regularly review existing program initiatives and recalibrate to make your marketing effort more productive.

Here’s a checklist of best practices for sizing up your current marketing program to ensure you’re maximizing your potential:   

Think mobile. 51.89% of global web traffic originates from mobile devices (statista)—so, step away from the desktop and make sure your web content is also mobile-friendly.
Brevity rules. Humans have an attention span of 8 seconds. Marketing that cuts through the clutter with attention-grabbing graphics and succinct copy makes memorable brand connections. 

More visuals. The brain processes visuals 60,0000 times faster than the time it takes the brain to decode text. Selling your story with pictures and graphics is a must. Use in case studies, brochures, on your social media feed, etc.

Video. Video. Video. Challenge yourself to find a new way to incorporate video into to your existing channels: A livestream on your Facebook page, a product value video in your blog or email campaign. The statistics say it all:
  • 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
Variety. Use an integrated, multi-channel approach to reach your target audience. While digital is essential, don’t discount the power of print media:
  • 70% of Americans consider physical mail "more personal" than email (Experian Data Quality Group)
  • Consumers who receive ad mail spend 28% more than those who don't (USPS)
Get personal. According to Campaign Monitor data, a personalized email subject line boosts open rates by 26%, and increases click-through rates by 14%. What’s more, we’ve seen a greater response rate in emails using a more approachable, conversational tone. If you were sitting across the table from your prospect, what would you say? Use that as your prompt for writing email campaign content that resonates with your target.

Engage your audience. Experiences over possessions—this is the new rule (thus the rise of experiential marketing). According to data from the Event Marketing Institute, 72% of consumers say they view brands that provide quality experiences more positively, and nearly three-quarters said when they can engage with a brand's experience, they're more likely to invest in its products or services.

Follow best practices. Keep up to date on changes that effect brand visibility. For example, for SEO the recommended meta description length (to rank high in Google searches) is 110 – 130 characters. Make a regular practice of updating your online material.

Be authentic. Stay true to you brand. It’s smart to change up your game and try new avenues for reaching your prospects; but do it in a way that reflects and reinforces your brand image.

At Shamrock, we’re committing ourselves to revisit our marketing programs on a quarterly basis to re-position and refresh to make sure our efforts are more efficient and effective. What tip would you add to this list?

Ellen Moriarty

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Practice Self-care for Your Personal Brand: 4 Easy Steps

There’s a lot of buzz surrounding the importance self-care: the self-initiated effort to assess, and then take an active role in preserving or improving, one’s health. And why not? Being aware of what we need or lack, and then identifying how we can improve, can improve our quality of life.

That same self-reflective, recalibration practice can—and should—be implemented for your personal brand.

But where do you begin?  This article

In Entrepreneur magazine cites four ways to tune up your brand (from Karen Tiber Leland’s book The Brand Mapping Strategy.) Here are Leland’s tips (summarized) from the article:

1. Brand Sound Bites. In today’s limited character world, the need for a succinct brand presentation is essential. This “brand at a glance” functions as a cheat sheet to deliver your brand’s bottom line quickly, efficiently and with maximum impact. It should include:

Stats and specifics that demonstrate the competency and results of your brand.
• Trends. Demonstrate your brand’s relevance to what’s happening in the marketplace by sharing knowledge of leading trends in your field—and how you’re at the forefront.
• Hot tips. One or two timely and helpful pieces of advice can help establish the credibility of your brand. The tips don’t have to be world shattering, just useful.
Points of view and informed insights. Brand thought and industry leaders have strong points of view about their areas of expertise and aren’t shy to share them.

2. Branded Biography. While your profile picture, logo or other visuals may make the first impression when a visitor lands on your website or social media, it’s your biography that often inspires them to dig deeper.

Poorly written “About” sections on your website, too-short summaries on LinkedIn, and sketchy bio sections on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest can stop an inquiring employer or potential customer in their tracks. On the other hand, a well-written and branded biography can be a pathway to new opportunities.

3. Social Media Profiles. One advantage to having a well-branded bio is that it can function as the source document for creating social media profiles that give your site visitors an immediate feel for your brand.

Using the space provided to its greatest branding advantage is a factor you need to take advantage of. On LinkedIn, for example, the professional headline space (located just under your name) is prime personal-branding real estate. Too often people write only their job title and miss the opportunity to create a mini-narrative of their personal brand.

4. Content Creation. Your branded bio, social media profiles and brand sound bites may form the foundation for your brand, but the graduate-school level of cerebral connection is the content you create.

Four of the best content-creation tactics include: blogging, podcasting, videocasting and writing a book.

As marketers, we understand that our brand is always evolving, so there’s no time like the present to look at your brand profile and give it a refresh. My next priority is updating my LinkedIn profile. Which brand update will you tackle first? Join the conversation on our Facebook page.

Ellen Moriarty

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Video Marketing: Tips for telling your best brand story

When it comes to quickly and effectively delivering a brand message, there is power in video marketing. According to data from Brightcove, social video generates 1,200% more shares than text and images combined; and video drives a whopping 157% increase in organic traffic from search engines.

Why is video important?

At Shamrock, we see video as an absolute essential for helping our clients tell their stories: Video provides instant brand gratification. And regardless of industry or budget, it’s a channel easily incorporated into your marketing program.

Above all, video is the trend in marketing: It is estimated that 80% of all internet traffic will be video by 2019. (Cisco)

How can you put video to work for your brand?

Creating original, compelling, relevant content that makes a brand connection with your audience—that’s the ultimate goal of video marketing. There’s a lot of great ideas for videos that meet that criteria: Roundup The Team—take a camera around the office and have people briefly speak about the latest product introduction or community service project; focus on Live Customer Service—create a montage that captures customer service and value in action; or develop an enticing How We Do It video that shows behind-the-scenes innovation. 

Click below to access social video marketing tips—this MarketingProfs infographic covers it all from video topics and recommended length, to the pros and cons of each channel:
Click here to view
A recent study from Ascend2 concurs with MarketingProfs, citing the most effective video for converting sales leads include these topics:
  • customer testimonials
  • demo videos
  • explainer/tutorial videos
What’s great about these video themes is that the scripts practically write themselves: Capturing a testimonial or demonstrating a product or service are stories that authentically speak to your brand and its benefit to your customers. In other words: You know your brand best, so use that information to tell your story through video. Grab your device and get started.

All The Best,
Tim Connor

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

11 Tips For Successful Event Marketing 2018

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. 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.
  3. 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.
  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.
    click here to view
  11. Branded convenience. In addition to gifts, make added brand impressions with on-site conveniences: Supply pens, notepads and device charging stations (how can they tweet with low battery?). Watch the video below:
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

Megan Smith