Posted By The Marketing Institute,
14 hours ago
Updated: 20 March 2018
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The Marketing Institute: What does the owner/director of a leading Branded Merchandise company actually do?
Bob Gee: We supply a variety of branded promotional products to clients in all sectors and areas of Ireland. We work closely with our clients to ensure they get the best results from their investments in Promotional Merchandise. My role can be quite all encompassing and it’s easy to get bogged down on day-to-day details. I keep telling myself I need to pull back and take an overall view, observe where the company is going, what resources and skillsets are important and whether we are on the right track. I think I can be quite good at my job when I do that. The problem is I keep getting drawn back into the day-to-day stuff.
MII: What were your key career moves to get to your current role?
B.G: My background is in Logistics and Manufacturing, working with Multinationals here and across Europe. I learnt how to manage a supply network to deliver quality products on time and within budget. The big worry was that I never saw myself as a sales person and that worry held me back for a long time. In fact I learnt that we all sell something in one way or another. Even when you are not customer facing you still need to sell your ideas and build support. The kind of consultative selling we engage in is a good fit to my past experience.
MII: What is the biggest challenge you face in your role?
B.G: We have built up a really good customer base through good customer service, understanding our customers and delivering on our commitments. We are very happy to have a set of loyal and supportive customers but now want to expand beyond that footprint. That is the biggest challenge I face. How do we communicate our message to an audience who have yet to hear about us?
MII: What key skills do you need to be effective in your role?
B.G: I think we need to combine our strengths in logistics and sourcing with good marketing and selling skills. At this phase of development I think we need to become ever stronger in marketing ourselves to a diverse set of organisations.
MII: Describe a typical working day.
B.G: I wish I could have a typical working day; they all seem different. Truth be told I probably enjoy it that way. The variety is a real bonus. Of course I should be striving for a more disciplined approach with carefully planned days and weeks, but that would just be boring. A major attraction to this business is that you never know what inquiry will come in the door in the next hour and what efforts that may lead you to.
However typical days break down into either customer meetings or reviews of the various parts of the business. I love meeting customers and would do only that if I could. The rest of the business does need to be attended to however and I find that consumes more and more of my time.
MII: What do you love most about your role?
B.G: I love the variety and how we interact with so many different organisations. We get to see people in large and small organisations, whether it be business, public sector, education, charities, etc. I get great satisfaction working on ideas and finding new ways (and sometimes old) for clients to get value from their spend on Promotional Merchandise.
Looking ahead, where might your career path lead to next?
B.G: I think I will be in the role for the next few years but having to learn new skills all the time. The challenge right now is to develop my Digital Marketing skills. It’s an exciting area and I have some interesting ideas I want to try out.
MII: To whom do you look for professional inspiration in your role?
B.G: As I have said above the priorty right now is to develop our Digital Marketing skills. It’s an area that is moving so fast it’s hard to see who you should look to for inspiration. I find the various discussion groups, especially on LinkedIn, are helpful but it pays to remember that everyone is on the same voyage. Good ideas can come from everywhere.
I am also involved with The Alternative Board (www.thealternativeboard.ie) which is an organisation which brings together like-minded business people to offer advice and support to each other. Its amazing how different businesses often have essentially the same challenges facing them and how experienced people from different backgrounds can have really good insights into your business.
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Posted By Steven Roberts, Head of Marketing at Griffith College ,
14 hours ago
Updated: 20 March 2018
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Marketers across Europe are by now well aware of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and its imminent arrival on 25th May. The prospect of fines up to €20 million or 4% of global turnover has grabbed our collective attention.
It can be difficult within the mix of legal analyses and media reports to identify exactly what the legislation will mean for the marketing profession. It is all too easy in our day-to-day handling of projects and challenges to put off implementing the changes required to comply with the new law. A recent study by McCann Fitzgerald and Mazars found that three quarters of Irish businesses are unprepared for the introduction of GDPR.
To simplify the process, I outline some of the core principles to be aware of and list some steps you can take to ensure you and your team are compliant.
Understand the seven core principles for processing personal data.
There are seven fundamental principles that apply when processing personal data. This is the place to start your compliance journey as it forms the core of GDPR.
1. Lawful, fair and transparent. Firms are required to process data in a lawful, fair and transparent manner. When collecting personal data, you must advise what processing will be done, and in clear and straightforward language.
2. Purpose limitation. Personal data should only be obtained and used for specific, explicit and legitimate purposes. Marketers must take care to avoid ‘scope creep’ and the inclination to use data for activities beyond what the consumer might reasonably expect they have consented to.
3. Data minimisation. Think clearly about the data you actually need. Make sure it is relevant and necessary only for the purposes for which it is being processed.
4. Accuracy. Put policies in place to ensure your data is both accurate and up-to-date.
5. Storage limitation. Do not keep data for longer than necessary. If you do not have clear retention policies at your firm, now is the time to put these in place.
6. Integrity and confidentiality. Make sure your data is confidential and secure. If you have a CRM, for example, put in place clear user rights and controls on who can access what data.
7. Accountability. Your firm is responsible for compliance with GDPR and must be able to demonstrate this.
Know the legal basis for processing personal data.
There are six legitimate bases for processing someone’s personal data.
1. Consent must be freely given, specific, unambiguous and informed. It will no longer be lawful to use implied or passive consent such as pre-ticked boxes on websites. As consumers can withdraw their consent at any time, other bases such as contract or legitimate interest may be a more viable long-term option for businesses.
2. Firms can process data if the processing is required to enter into or perform a contract.
3. Legal obligation – i.e. if an obligation exists under EU or member state law.
4. If it is in the vital interests of the data subject.
5. If it is in the public interest.
6. If it is in the legitimate interests of the controller or processor, but this must be balanced against the rights of the data subject.
Know your data
The next step is to gain a thorough understanding of your current data. This is achieved through a data audit, which looks at aspects such as:
- What data do you currently store?
- Why did you obtain it?
- What purpose was it obtained for?
- What security and retention policies are in place?
- Is there a policy and procedure in place to respond to data access requests?
- Are contracts in place with third party suppliers who process your data?
Depending on the size of your firm, it may require hours, days or a number of months to establish a detailed inventory of all the data you are currently storing and utilising. A useful part of this process is to put together a diagram or visual representation of the data.
Train your team
It is too easy to presume that knowledge of data protection is the job of the data protection officer (DPO) or legal counsel. As a marketing professional, and one of the larger users of data within your firm, you and your team must ensure you have adequate training on GDPR and best practice. As much as possible, this should be undertaken across the full team. Anyone who interacts with personal data should have at least a grounding in the basics of GDPR, particularly the legal bases for processing.
Change your mindset
Over the years, many of us will have had KPIs to increase our databases. A new mindset is required. We need to focus on having the most qualified and compliant database of contacts. GDPR gives consumers a greater say in how their personal data is used. These new, lighter, more focused lists will enable us to communicate with consumers who are genuinely interested in our firm’s products and services.
Most marketing databases have contacts dating back many years. GDPR requires you are able to provide tangible proof that they provided consent to have their data processed. Many firms are now undertaking re-permissioning of their databases for this purpose. Firms will need to put in place a ‘consent store’ or some form of centralised system where this proof can be quickly and easily accessed.
Prepare for data access requests
GDPR removes the previous cost of €6.35 to make a data access request, while the response time is shortened to 30 days. Many commentators expect to see an increase in requests. Work with your data team or in-house experts to put in place a procedure. Who will follow up on the request once it is received? Have you a clear understanding of where the data is held? Are there multiple owners that need to input? Putting in the effort in advance will save you time, hassle and stress in the long run.
Put processor agreements in place
Many firms use third party suppliers to process data on their behalf. Marketing examples could include a retargeting company, CRM provider or a web agency. Under GDPR you are obliged to put in place formal contracts with these suppliers. This can take time, so if you haven’t begun already, now is the time to take action.
Undertake Data Protection Impact Assessments
Data Protection Impact Assessments (DPIAs) will be mandatory for any new activities that involve the systematic processing of large amounts of personal data. For example, the introduction of a new CRM system or international data transfers. A DPIA must be undertaken prior to any processing activity taking place. Take the time to build this into the timelines and procurement practices for upcoming projects you may be working on that fit this category.
The GDPR will be upon us in less than three months. The good news is you still have time to commence your journey towards compliance. Use the compound effect. Take clear steps each day. By getting to know the legislation and core principles, you and your team will be well placed to prosper under the new data regime.
About the author
Steven Roberts is Head of Marketing at Griffith College and a Certified Data Protection Officer.
The opinions expressed are the author’s. They are not intended as a substitute for seeking professional legal advice on data protection and GDPR.
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Posted By Geoff Lyons, managing director PML Group,
13 March 2018
Updated: 12 March 2018
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Geoff Lyons, managing director PML Group, outlines the emerging trends that OOH is embracing and how they will impact on the medium in 2018.
Out of Home has a long history of powerful and famous creative work. It is an unblockable, unskippable medium that delivers scale, can sell products and create brand fame. A medium that can quite literally stop people in their tracks. High-definition digital screens and data-driven dynamic content now provide even more creative potential and measurable effectiveness than ever before. As the leading Out of Home communications and location marketing agency in Ireland, we now know even more about what people think, feel and do out of home. We translate this understanding into compelling, creative and quantifiable OOH solutions through investment in data, technology and people, which make a meaningful difference to our clients’ businesses. In a fragmented media landscape, OOH continues to deliver in both reach, frequency and time spent (over three hours a day).
2017 was a pivotal year of OOH with the first roadside digital screens launched in Dublin and Belfast. OOH has witnessed an increasing migration from paper to pixels in the current decade. Screen signage now resides in a wide range of environments from retail to leisure to travel hubs. Digital OOH amplifies the core “one to many” benefit of classic OOH – namely brand building through coverage build and repeat viewing.
Digital further enables flexibility with media and creative copy – to deliver the right message at the right time in the right places for audiences. It offers tactical opportunities in daily and daypart planning while technologies such as our proprietary Dynamic platform allows for contextual messaging based on live data triggers including weather, traffic and social media. This is highly impactful and helps brands build a dialogue with their audiences in real-time - and in real-life.
Pardon the pun, but Out of Home is in a good place right now. While audiences fragment elsewhere increased urbanisation, commuting times and emerging networks means OOH reaches more people than ever before. The latest census figures also testify to that. Media owners are investing in new display technologies enhancing the quality of message. These initiatives we are seeing will only help drive OOH further in 2018.
Location will become mainstream
Location has been described as the cookie of the real world. With nearly a third of search queries still related to location, location-based messaging is not merely a trend on the rise but an expected part of the service. Internationally advertisers using Dynamic campaigns, serving relevant contextual messages, are seeing an average uplift of 15% across branding metrics from displaying different messages at different times according to audience context. A single repeated message broadcast in OOH works, but new, flexible ways of serving campaigns means multiple highly relevant messages can be served by location and will be a viable option for many campaigns.
Integration with mobile will increase
There is a significant amount of synergies when OOH is paired with digital and mobile advertising. As both phones and cities become smarter, Out of Home is perfectly positioned to complement the daily lives of connected consumers. Brands are already tapping into this by incorporating Snapcodes into artwork or complementing OOH with geo-fenced digital campaigns driving reach and engagement. Combining the two channels makes sense for consumers who already exhibit these behaviours and is appealing for brands who can link them to CRM data and track attribution in new ways. New complementary OOH services such as public WiFi, phone chargers, beacons and others will strengthen the alignment between OOH and mobile.
Smarter data sets will inform smarter campaigns
Brands invest in understanding who visits their real-estate (online or otherwise) and can often ascribe their customer behaviours to locations. Organisations with huge sets of data, can apply anonymised and aggregated digital data to the real world to see where people are using social media or browsing sites and apps. 2018 will see smarter use of data sets, that when combined with a brand’s first-party data, will produce powerful consumer insight and inform smarter campaigns. New data sets and technologies are allowing advertisers to go beyond demographics to understand who is in front of their ad in real time.
Cities are also getting Smarter
Technology is integrating the digital and physical worlds and OOH has an unmatched ability to enhance the impact of digital and mobile marketing in the physical world. As our cities, especially Dublin and Belfast, grow and connectivity becomes more and more widespread, the opportunities for OOH to bridge the physical to the online will greatly increase.
Even from the point of view of population growth, employment growth, commuting, socialising and shopping, OOH has a huge role to play. And as the digitisation of the medium continues apace, we expect opportunities to combine civic information, entertainment and advertising will emerge.
Creative will focus on first impressions
OOH already has the foundations for success with unmissable classic formats and locations, but it will increasingly adopt social and digital engagement principles such as short-form formats like GIFs to deliver fast, yet captivating experiences. Brands can think differently across formats but focus on delivering their key goal - be that awareness, consideration or acquisition.
Content will break through
By showing content to consumers, rather than explaining product features, advertisers can provide value, letting a product speak for itself in a more powerful and unforgettable way. Content can be useful, creative or contextual but at its core it offers an experience to the consumer so they can connect with a brand emotionally. In a busy multi-media world where brands must fight to win attention, captivating content-driven campaigns, storytelling and driving results, will become far more prevalent.
Experiential adds depth to OOH’s traditional breadth
Brands are increasingly utilising OOH for experiential activations. A “show don’t tell” strategy adds depth to traditional messaging and offers viral possibilities. A great example was Aer Lingus who surprised shoppers in Stephen’s Green shopping centre with a live digital panel offering free flights in return for their holiday stories. This drove over three hundred thousand social views.
2018 will be an important year for OOH which will see new and more flexible ways to plan and trade the medium, more relevant and engaging creative, right place and right time ad serving and consequently increased return on investment for advertisers.
OOH is reaching a tipping point where data, technology and inventory can integrate and connect to deliver more impactful, efficient and effective campaigns for clients. BE MORE NOW is our 2018 mantra for our clients and our teams as we embrace dynamic thinking across the entire OOH sphere. Watch this space.
Posted By Mintel,
12 March 2018
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Global volume sales of beer continue to remain stubbornly flat as many drinkers seek to cut down on their alcohol intake, especially in the European market. The greatest challenge for the beer industry is the rise of health and wellness, influencing consumers across Europe, North America and in emerging markets like Latin America and Asia.
However, while many consumers are seeking to drink less beer, they are increasingly happy to trade up quantity for higher quality, hence the continued rise of craft and specialty beers which charge drinkers a considerable price premium. Craft is becoming a global mainstream trend and ordering a beer is no longer a simple task. Global beer drinkers are increasingly choosing between different types of beer such as lager, ale, and porters/stouts; and on a more micro-level, choosing from specific styles of ale in particular, but also specific styles of lager and porter/stout, e.g. the India Pale Ale (IPA), Pilsner, or Imperial Stout.
As with wine, this is helping to elevate consumer perceptions of the product, showcasing beer’s complexity and sophistication. A wide variety of styles also allows beer drinkers to choose what best suits their palate, their meal type, or the specific occasion. More choice also has the potential to recruit new consumers, many of whom previously thought of beer as something generic-tasting and not for them. Finally, it is also allowing producers to keep experimental Millennial drinkers engaged with the category.
Another growth avenue for brewers is sweeter-tasting “near-beer” segments such as beers with added flavours or soft drinks, ciders, and flavoured malt beverages. Such flavour innovation appeals to the Millennial “sweet tooth” and their desire for more flavour intensity, in contrast to the milder taste of most mainstream unflavoured beers.
Finally, as consumers become increasingly environmentally conscious, beer brands are extending eco-friendly commitments beyond recyclable packaging and introducing beer made with upcycled ingredients.
Using Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD), we highlight 10 beers launched in markets around the world in 2017 that have tapped into these new growth opportunities:
1. Baden Baden Kaffee Cerveja Tipo Coffee Beer (Coffee Beer), Brazil:
This coffee flavoured beer is said to be the result of the perfect union of two award-winning varieties of coffee, Acaiá and Bourbon, harmonized with the light bitterness of hops and malt. It has a dark beige, creamy foam, and is said to harmonize well with tiramisu, chocolate-based desserts, smoked pork, and semi hard cheeses.
2. Mack Mikrobryggeri Belgisk Dubbel (Belgian Double Beer), Norway:
The manufacturers create a new music playlist for every batch; this one was brewed whilst listening to Led Zeppelin, David Bowie, Ron Gallo, Royal Blood, and Knutsen & Ludvigsen and consumers can access the Spotify playlist through a QR code on the label. As they claim, “with good music you will get happy yeast and with the yeast happy - you get good beer!”
3. Birra Moretti La Rossa Birra Doppio Malto (Double Malt Beer), Italy:
This internationally award winning beer is prepared with a special quality of Italian burnished barley malt, which adds notes of caramel and licorice to its flavour. The new packaging highlights the fact that this product is made using renewable energy from solar panels. According to Mintel, around 26% of global beers launched in 2017 carried ethical or environmentally-friendly claims.
4. Brasseurs du Monde Strong Rice Beer, Canada:
This Japan-inspired, partially filtered beer is made with exotic ingredients such as rice, sake, yeast, Sorachi Ace Japanese hops, white wine must, and a little wasabi. The rice gives it a cloudiness that the Japanese call ‘nigori’, as well as the texture of a full-bodied white wine. The main flavours are rather fruity, but with the pungent character of wasabi.
5. Lake Effect Brewing Company Inland Seas Series Blueberry Berlinerweisse Style Ale, USA:
Blueberries are ubiquitous in Michigan and Ontario and provide the colour, sweetness, and acidic complexity to this light bodied tart ale. Blueberries are added in both the boil and in secondary fermentation. This beer is part of a series of eight that represents the Great Lakes of North America: each beer is inspired by the characteristics and mood of each lake, featuring ingredients from the surrounding area.
6. Krug Bier Cerveja de Jambu (Jambu Beer), Brazil:
A summer ale inspired by the tropical climate of the Amazon, this pure malt beer is said to be refreshing and tasty, with its Ella hop providing an explosion of aromas with notes of passionfruit and mango. The presence of the Brazilian herb jambu gives a subtle tingling and numbing effect on the tongue and a mouth-watering sensation.
7. InStock Bammetjes Bier (Leftover Loaf Beer), Netherlands:
Instock is a Dutch social enterprise which aims to reduce food waste and create awareness on the issue. After opening three restaurants, a food truck, and a catering service, they launched a Pale Ale style beer made with “rescued” potatoes and, more recently, a wheat beer made from leftover bread, the second most wasted product in the Netherlands.
8. And Union Unfiltered Lager, South Africa:
Unfiltered and unpasteurised beers tap strongly into the modern trend for more natural, less processed food and drink products. While filtering allows brewers to remove yeast or sediment from the raw beer, giving it a bright clarity, pasteurisation heats up the beer to remove any micro-organisms which survived filtering, increasing the beer’s lifespan. However, the downside for the consumer is that pasteurisation and filtering are thought to compromise flavour and freshness.
9. Not Your Mom's Apple Pie Beer, China:
This dessert brew is said to have the perfect balance of sweetness and tartness, and has an unmistakable taste of nostalgia. It contains apple juices, and is brewed with cinnamon and real vanilla from Madagascar.
10. Bruno Ribaldi Birra Siciliana, Italy:
This artisanal, re-fermented and unfiltered beer is brewed with "Perciasacchi" wheat, Sicilian citrus fruit peels, and pink peppercorn, and is characterised by a sour flavour, with the typical Sicilian citrus scent. It is claimed to be ideal for street food, meat, oven baked pasta, or pasta with anchovies.
Mintel is the world's leading market intelligence agency. For over 40 years, Mintel's expert analysis of the highest quality data and market research has directly impacted on client success. With offices in London, Chicago, Belfast, Düsseldorf, Kuala Lumpur, Mumbai, Munich, New York, São Paulo, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo, and Toronto, Mintel has forged a unique reputation as a world-renowned business brand.
For more information on Mintel, please visit www.mintel.com. Follow Mintel on Twitter: www.twitter.com/mintelnews or join the Mintel LinkedIn community: www.linkedin.com/company/mintel.
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Posted By CPM Ireland,
07 March 2018
Updated: 06 March 2018
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To celebrate International Women's Day on 8th March, we're delighted to feature an interview of CPM Ireland's Managing Director Lorraine Butler who shares her experience on International Women’s Day and her role on the board of Today’s Women In Grocery.
What does IWD mean for you?
International Women’s Day creates time in our busy lives, for awareness and reflection on women’s efforts and achievements. It reminds us to stop and reflect on the progress women have made, our contribution & our successes. In turn, it reminds us to continue our future strides to create future success both individually and collectively.
As a leader in your business how will you strive to maintain a gender parity mindset?
Personally I have very seldom been comprised in my career because of my gender. That is not to say that I have not seen others (both genders) who have been less fortunate. I have always taken the approach of the ‘best person for a role’, however as I have matured through business and life, I see that personal circumstances have to be considered and accommodated in order to help the best person be the best they can be. My management team live by this philosophy and I ask that we seek out leaders in all layers of our business who will embrace this philosophy.
On my first international Women’s Day as MD for CPM Ireland in 2016, I made the following pledge and I have kept this promise to date:
“I pledge to ensure that 'the best person for the role' always secures the role. I pledge to eliminate personal circumstances as a factor that might negatively impact a person securing the role. I pledge that teams acknowledge these circumstances and support each individual to realise their potential, for mutual success.”
What role do you take in life/business to help forge positive visibility of women?
As the oldest of 8 sisters I am well versed in all things female! As I grew through school (all girls convent of Mercy) and college it was clear that my younger sisters looked to how I was behaving – both good and bad! And mirrored much of my behaviour. Thankfully I have always been ambitious and hardworking, and a huge belief in collaboration– characteristics instilled by my parents. Each of my sisters followed in my footsteps into college and we are all thankfully experiencing strong careers and good lives. I worked in eircom/eir for 14 years and set up the eir Business Diversity & Inclusion group – I was one of 12 members of a Senior Leadership team and the only female, it was clear that females had not the same likelihood to climb the ladder in eir for various reasons – none of them conscious by anyone involved. The ICT and technology business is heavily male dominated and the eir Women in Business network created a forum where women across eir and our clients could come together to share experience and support of each other. Men also joined some of our sessions to create an appreciation of both viewpoints.
I joined CPM in 2015 and inherited a strong customer base of Retail clients. I had no retail experience and quickly realised that all of my customer contacts were men! In order to build up my expertise in Retail I sought out to build my network. Together with 5 other women we have created TWIG – Todays Women in Grocery – a sub board to the Irish Grocers Benevolent Fund (IGBF) the main charity in Retail. Our research showed that 62% of employees in the retail sector were women and only 5% were at board level. TWIG is a forum where women in Retail come together, network and share experiences. Our first event in 2016 saw 150 attendees from the industry. Our event in May 2018 has sold out within weeks of tickets going live and we are expecting 430 ladies to join the event.
Who was the biggest influence on your career?
My parents. Both of my parents come from humble backgrounds and due to family circumstances, both left school & the education system quite early. I am the eldest of eight children – all girls! My parents support, positive work ethic, integrity and respect for any person they come across gave me the best possible foundation in life. My parents’ guide to my sisters and I has always been ‘Be the best you can be’. I’ve always worked towards making them proud and experiencing things that I know they too would have had their earlier education been different.
Are there any women in leadership that you admire outside of your organisation?
Carol Ann Lennon, Managing Director of Open eir is someone I greatly admire. Carol Ann is an inspirational business leader, consistently achieves strong business results, but always bringing her people along the journey. She has a strong ethos in balancing work and family and supports others who work with her/for her to adopt the same. She is a major advocate for diversity in the workplace and a great supporter of those who wish to progress and develop. She is the only female member of the eir Board and last year became a non-executive board director at AIB, while spearheading support for Special Olympics in Ireland. And while achieving all the success she has, she remains a very grounded, a lovely human being! Louise Phelan VP Global Operations EMEA for PayPal is also someone I have huge admiration for. She has a very optimistic, no-nonsense and can do approach to how she leads a business, breaking the impossible down into manageable bites and achieving growing success. Louise is from a large family and heritage not too dissimilar from my own and to see the career heights she has achieved, while again remaining a really grounded and supportive individual, is very inspirational.
What was your first ever job?
Working in a Delicatessen in Carlow town – I did 1 weeks work experience as part of Transition Year in school and secured a part time job for 2.5 years which helped fund my teenage years and all that comes with it! I then managed Pizza Hut in Rathmines for 5 years to put myself through college… and all that comes with it!
Describe the journey you’ve taken to get to the role that you are in today.
After studying Computer Science, I spent a couple of years in the recruitment & software industries and then moved to eircom as an Account Manager. I progressed through roles and ranks there, until I became responsible for Ireland’s largest B2B sales team with eir. After 14 years with eir, having become a qualified coach and mentor with DIT and IBEC & completing an MSc. in Leadership & Management Practice with UCD Smurfit Business School, the opportunity to run a company end to end really appealed to me and I was fortunate to join CPM, part of the Omnicom group in 2015 and have never looked back.
What advice would you give young women working in sales and marketing to support them?
Anything is possible – whatever you want to achieve, it is achievable, but you are responsible for your own journey and destination. Regardless of whether you realise it or not – Every Day you are being interviewed! Do what is expected of you in your current role with excellence, but adopt practices and behaviours of the role you want next! Work to identify & secure a mentor who you respect and will learn from – but ensure to take heed of their advice –they haven’t achieved the success they have, without learning a thing or too along the way – so listen, observe and action on their guidance, it will speed up your journey to success.
What advice would you give to anyone starting a career in sales and marketing?
Find a product that you believe in. Sales can be hard…. But If you believe in the product, your role moves from selling to a customer, to offering them a service that will enrich their lives or way of working. And don’t take a ‘sales/marketing job’. It will be short lived and will add little value to you beyond filling your pockets for a time. Consider the career that sales and marketing can give you- it’s a rich ground for customer, market and business understanding. The experience you attain in sales and marketing is a firm foundation for most other roles in business. Do the role extremely well, take the learnings and do all you can to achieve your targets. Leverage this success to move onto the next career level. Choose the company you work for wisely – consider if the organisation has a’ customer first’ philosophy – if this is evident, they are likely to be a ‘people first’ organisation which bodes well for you building a longer term career with them.
If you could state one characteristic that makes a strong business woman, what would that be?
What are the few resources (books, articles, blogs etc.) you would recommend to someone to gain insight into becoming successful in life and their career?
To be honest, I’m not a huge reader – I usually make a new year resolution to read more, but it hasn’t really taken life in practice. I also tend to learn more from practice vs theory and find that biographies are a good balance of the two. A colleague recently recommended a publication by Joe Biden, ex VP of the United States- “Promise Me, Dad” where he talks through the 3 things any person really needs to have a good life…Something to do, Someone to love and Something to look forward to. A simple philosophy that rings true. Stephen Covey’s “The 7 habits of highly effective people” is also worth a read as are the Harvard Business leadership blogs which are short synopsis’ of thinking, but usually, leave plenty of room for thought!
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