Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Use Marketing Asset Management To Drive Association Membership

In survey after survey, associations of all sizes cite building and retaining membership as their greatest challenges. 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…

Kathy Lawlor

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Tips for marketing to new movers

If you market your products or services to consumers, there’s a viable opportunity for expanding your customer base right in your own backyard. The target: New movers. With more than 35.5 million Americans moving annually—the majority in June, July and August—this consumer demographic offers immediate potential this summer.

Eager to establish themselves in their new homes and communities, new movers are prime new-customer prospects for a variety of businesses:
  • Home services contractors: Landscapers, pest control, painters, plumbers, interior decorators
  • Retailers, restaurants, food delivery services
  • Banks/financial institutions
  • Physicians, dentists, emergency-care clinics, fitness centers/gyms
  • Salons/barbers, dry cleaners, tailors
  • Schools, daycare centers, kids’ camps and enrichment programs
New mover campaigns bring a higher ROI than other customer acquisition methods. If you can capture the business of a new mover, you have a higher chance of keeping that business for as long as the consumer stays in the home.
Click here to view

So, how do you make that initial contact count? At Shamrock, we help businesses make powerful connections with consumers through integrated branded marketing campaigns. Here’s a few new mover campaign tips:

Start with solid data. Using data analytics, gather information about these potential customers—details that will help to shape focused, targeted messaging and delivery methods that resonate with new movers and bring them to your business.

Speak their language. According to, millennials will lead the way in number of mortgages in 2019, accounting for 45% of the market. They’ll be followed by Gen Xers at 37% and baby boomers at 17%.

With millennials leading the new mover demographic, be sure to engage with them using channels where they spend their time: video, email and social media.

Maintain brand consistency. Integrated campaigns include multiple touches: Direct mail postcards, emails, social media, event-based marketing, and signage. While messaging should vary based on channel and target audience, be sure it remains consistent with your brand.

Test and redeploy. An essential part of comprehensive program management is post-campaign reporting—and then redeploying in segment areas, as appropriate (i.e. follow-up email or social media touches)

If you’re interested in learning more, I’d like to share with you some of our new mover marketing success stories. Connect with me or call me direct at 440.250-2166.

John Banks

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Break out of your creative slump. Here’s how.

It happens to the best of us: We stare at the blinking cursor on the screen and the words just don’t come. We struggle with inspiration for illustrating a product or brand. The creative slump is real—but there are ways to overcome it.

Content Marketing Institute’s Ann Gynn compiled a brainstorm of ideas for breaking out of the creative slump, submitted by marketing professionals. Here’s a summary of my favorites:

Use toys. Grab blocks (Lego, Duplo or wooden) and label them with words that relate to your brand: attributes, content themes, personas, customer challenges, etc. Color code the blocks and then start building and looking at various combinations—the idea is to get away from linear thinking an uncover new creative connections.

Dig into your content archives. Search through old blogs, social media posts or case studies: identify topics that can be expanded, updated or adapted. Consider adding video or creating a new infographic to refresh content.

Get out. Change your outlook: Head to a new coffee shop, grab your laptop and work from the conference room. Take a walk or visit a museum during your lunch break. A change of scenery can offer a fresh perspective and stimulate the brain. 

Look at someone else. Bring in fresh eyes: Offer a brief overview of your company, your challenge/task, and any helpful details. Then let them go. Don’t shut them down or tell them why an idea wouldn’t work. Write everything down, explore ideas that resonate with you, and let their enthusiasm re-energize you. Keep that list and reference it whenever you get in a slump.

Mix it up. Switch up the format of your content. If you’ve been doing a lot of storytelling content, try an informative article instead. Changing it up with different channels can help inspire new ideas…working on a video or writing an email campaign instead of a blog post can inspire new ideas.

Take a side job. Find a side project at work. Someone on your team can always use help with a project that’s been put on the back burner or an impending issue. Tackling a different problem than your typical work project shifts your everyday perspective and can be re-energizing.

Talk it out. Whether you interview clients, vendors, or staff members, real conversations are an easy way to energize a lackluster campaign. Interviews often reveal new topic ideas, a different point of view, and, if you keep the interview format, even a new voice.

Create a list. Make a list of something unrelated to what you’re working on. This is a great way to keep your brain engaged, while taking time away from the task at hand. The list can be anything, from your 20 favorite music albums to items you need from the grocery store. Compiling the list actively stimulates your brain.

The next time you need to get the creative juices flowing, try one of these ideas. Are there any you’d add to the list?  Join the conversation on our Facebook page.

Ellen Moriarty

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Artificial Intelligence: Understanding the Basics

You don’t have to be a techie to recognize the growing influence of AI technology—or to get excited about the yet-to-be-discovered ways it will further revolutionize the way we live and work. AI is already mainstream; it’s integrated in our everyday lives (think Siri and Alexa) and has become a remarkable source of growth for business:
  • 83 percent of respondents in a Deloitte survey have already achieved substantial (30 percent) or moderate (53 percent) economic benefits from deploying AI technologies.
  • 84% of enterprises believe investing in AI will increase their competitive advantage. (Forbes)
  • The AI market is projected to become a $190 billion industry by 2025. (Markets and Markets)
After attending an MIT course on “AI: Implications For Business Strategy”, I’ve become even more intent on sharing what I’ve learned about AI and how we can incorporate it into our marketing programs to drive better outcomes. But in order to determine how to best utilize AI, it helps to understand the basics about the technology. Here’s a brief overview:

Professor Thomas Malone, founding director of the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence, succinctly defines AI as “machines acting in ways that seem intelligent.” AI technology directs machines to perform functions that normally require human intelligence. These intelligent machines are capable of understanding, analyzing and acting according to a specific situation, information or task.

With discussion of this “intelligence,” some fear AI will replace human jobs or make human interaction obsolete—but we’ve learned otherwise:
  • The share of jobs requiring AI skills has grown 4.5 times since 2013. (Forbes)
  • By 2020, AI will eliminate 1.8 million jobs and create 2.3 million. (Gartner)
Based on specific applications, AI technology is divided into three main areas:

1. Natural Language Processing (NLP): This area of AI deals with understanding, analyzing and processing natural language – voice as well as text. Virtual personal assistants, like Amazon’s Alexa, use NLP technology to process voice commands. NLP has transformed the way we shop, travel, watch online streams, listen to music—the list goes on. 
  • 25% of digital workers will use Virtual Employee Assistants by 2021. (Gartner)
  • 50 percent of all online searches will be voice searches by 2020. (ComScore)
2. Robotics – This area of AI deals with programmable devices created for specific repeated tasks/functions. These devices come in various sizes and shapes. We see robots deployed in manufacturing environment to do specific functions and in warehouses to pick/pack products. Autonomous (self-driving) cars, when we get there, are also a type of robot.

3. Machine Learning (ML) – In the traditional programming world, we provide instructions to machines (computers) to perform certain functions. In ML field, machines learn from their own experience; they’re not completely dependent on instructions.

Machines gain experience through the training from test/real data—and then, they use this experience to analyze and predict data models. This area of AI is used in data prediction and other data modeling scenarios. Here’s an example: Netflix saved $1 billion this year as a result of its machine learning algorithm which recommends personalized TV shows and movies to subscribers (Business Insider).

AI technology has been in the works for long time, dating back to 1950 in Turing’s paper on “Computing Machinery and Intelligence". Today, with the advent of faster and cheaper computing devices with larger storage capacities, and access to “Big Data”, we’ve created the perfect storm for AI systems to unleash their power to create better systems for us.

So, where will AI take us next? The future is very bright for this technology. In my next blog, I’ll be addressing how AI is impacting the business world, especially marketing services industry. In the meantime, if you have questions about AI applications, please feel free to reach out me at

Sai Totapally
Director of Information Technology