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Student Stories: Mairead Butler, MSc Digital Marketing & Analytics

Posted By The Marketing Institute, 31 May 2017
Updated: 29 May 2017

Mairead Butler

Mairead Butler was a joint winner of the Marketing Institute of Ireland Award for Excellence in Analytics in 2017. Mairead began her journey on the MSc Digital Marketing & Analytics in September 2015 and finished in December of 2016. The award was announced out the Dublin Institute of Technology graduation ceremony, where we celebrate the completion of the programme and champion the prize winners in the School of Marketing. Mairead received the award for an outstanding achievement in Analytics across the entire programme. We are proud of our graduates from the programme and wish them every success as they continue to blaze trails in their chosen field. 


The Marketing Institute: Tell us a bit about yourself and your current job. 

Mairead Butler: I work as a mobile specialist focused on mSite UI/UX and mSpeed. It is my job to train internal and external teams on the value of mobile and how you should invest in it to grow your business. We focus on market trends, digital insights and analytics. 


MII: Looking back, what were the key education and career moves that led you to your current role?

M.B: Similar to the rest of the Irish population, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my life when I left secondary school. I chose to study B.E.S.S because of the wide variety of subjects (maths, sociology, political science). I loved sociology and business and this became my focus area. After college I worked in an accounting firm specialising in technology audit. I learned a huge amount very quickly and knew that working in IT was definitely an area that I was interested it. When the opportunity surfaced to work in Google, I jumped at the chance. I spent a few years working with AdWords customers in the UK market and fell in love with Digital Marketing. I wanted to explore this more so I began a MSc in Digital Marketing & Analytics in D.I.T. As the course went on, I became fascinated with mobile marketing, which was what led me to change roles in Google.


MII: What are the key skills needed in your role and where did you learn those skills? 

M.B: A huge part of my role involves data analysis and spotting trends. I will review a client’s business from all angles: their site traffic, their marketing objectives, their growth opportunities. This means collating different data sources and providing a holistic story. In D.I.T we completed numerous analytics modules, which was a huge help with this. As with any role, nothing is comparable to hands on experience. You have to make the mistakes to recognise them in the future. At least 40% of my role involves face-to-face presentations, meaning that I need very strong communication and content creation skills. The D.I.T course gave us the opportunity to really develop these skills. 


MII: What are the main challenges you have to face? Any tips on how to overcome them? 

M.B: In my opinion, the biggest challenge any marketer has to face now is the complexity of the digital system. I often see people struggling with trying to marry their online/offline data or understanding if organic traffic is growing the business at the same rate that paid advertising is. I think the people who will be most successful in the next few years are those who have advanced measurement tracking in place and who understand all of the different levers that increase market share.


MII: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

M.B: The digital marketing industry is changing so rapidly that it will be very interesting to see the type of roles that will exist in 2022. There have been massive advancements in AI and automation over the past few years, so my priority right now is to try and stay ahead of the game! Data analysts are going to be absolutely crucial, as we have so much information but little insights. Improving my SQL skills are definitely on the list!


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