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We’ve Tested… the New Google Feed

Posted By Gaelle Robert, The Marketing Institute, 02 August 2017

google news feed

On 19th July Google have announced a new feed experience in the Google app, “making it easier than ever to discover, explore and stay connected to what matters to you”.  It replaces the Now feed that Google have been experimenting since last December.

With major companies like Facebook, Apple and Amazon starting to implement AI, it was only a matter of time until the search giant found a way to put the technology to good use.  With its unique insights into a huge user base, who better than Google could pull off a feed that is truly personalised?  I was truly curious to try it and find out to what extent Google could wow me.

The stories in the feed are influenced by your Google searches, but also by trends in your area and around the world. The difference with other feeds such as Facebook’s? It is not “social”. No Friends, no Likes, no peer pressure. Just the stuff YOU want.

You can customise your feed further by following topics directly from your searches thanks to a new “follow” button on search results, and unfollowing topics in the feed. As an attempt to give you a holistic view on any given topic and avoid the "echo chamber" phenomenon, Google provides a carousel under its stories with similar articles from a range of sources. But with the stories being based on your searches and the absence of a social network to spice up your feed, you are more than ever trapped in your own bubble. Will Google find ways to surprise and delight us, while staying relevant and personalised? Watch this space...

And what does all this imply for marketers? With Google’s revenue coming mostly from search, they are making a bold move when claiming to respond to your needs “even when you don’t have a query in mind”. Some go as far as to say this could mean the end of Search as we know it, which would present a whole lot of new challenges and opportunities in SEO and PPC.

The feed is only available in the iOS and Android Google apps for now, but will soon be rolled out on desktop as well, meaning a major redesign of Google’s iconic homepage (!!!).

So, the verdict? If the new feed doesn’t feel revolutionary so far, it's nice to see that Google is not resting on its laurels. It’s safe to say that they won’t stop there. And marketers should keep a very close eye on it.

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A Day in the Life of... Fiona Hodgins, Director of Brand Team at Edelman

Posted By The Marketing Institute, 02 August 2017
Updated: 01 August 2017

Fiona Hodgins Edelman

The Marketing Institute: What does a Director of a Brand team do in a communications agency?

Fiona Hodgins: I head up the Brand team at Edelman, a communications marketing agency in Dublin.  I’m a senior advisor whose job it is to help clients solve business challenges and identify opportunities that grow brand relationships, reputation and ultimately bottom-line.  I work with a diverse range of blue chip clients who operate in sectors such as FMCG, hospitality, alcohol and retail.

As a discipline, those who have built careers in PR have always been accomplished storytellers. Traditionally, this was driven by the fact we have always had to earn rather than pay for attention.  However, as an agency Edelman is at an interesting stage of evolution. We are super-charging our storytelling capability by bringing in specialisms such as planning to better interrogate challenges and opportunities, data and insight to shape and verify our approach and creative to deliver big ideas that are by design, platform agnostic.  We’ve added paid capability to help our stories travel further with more audience intent and frequency to make them sticky.  Paid is complemented by our influencer marketing and brand partnership capabilities.  We also work closely with Edelman Intelligence, our network insight and analytics division to devise measurement frameworks, which demonstrate tangible ROI, an area that traditional PR agencies have always struggled with.

My job is to work with the team to help our clients better navigate the complexity they are facing in the marketplace and deliver real results that stand up in the boardroom. 

 

MII: What were your key career moves to get to your current role?

F.H: Prior to working with Edelman in Dublin I spent a number of years in agency in London.  Even fifteen years ago PR agencies sat at the head table opposite key decision makers both from a client and a wider agency perspective.  It taught me always to stay close to my client’s business objectives and how interesting the world of communications is when you are there for the start of the conversation, not simply trying to amplify an idea that is born outside of the principles of earning attention.

 

MII: What is the biggest challenge you face in your role?

F.H: People are our business and team is our biggest asset, however recruiting the right talent can be very challenging. We’re an agency in growth and we’re actively pushing the boundaries of the traditional definition of what a PR agency does. Strategically, we are investing in attracting and retaining the right talent.  The challenge is securing talent that can move at our pace, mindset and ambition, whilst holding the core communication consultancy skills that stand up in any business environment. 

That said, when we find the right candidates we tend to hold onto them and our attrition rate is low, which is a comforting counter balance.  We are passionate about helping our talent map their careers with Edelman and have invested significantly in training to enable team to grow and develop in sync with our agency ambition. 

From a personal perspective, the biggest challenge I face daily is time, there is never, ever as much of it as I would like!

 

MII: What key skills do you need to be effective in your role?

F.H: When it comes to giving the right recommendations to clients and safeguarding the quality of agency outputs having an inquisitive mind, which assumes little and questions a lot, is a great skill to possess at my level. 

Being open to ongoing learning is also a crucial skill.  Experience gives me a gut instinct to lean on but it’s not enough on its own.  The pace of change is fast and many clients are questioning where they invest as some areas of their marketing spend are delivering a diminished state of return with the reality of increased investment to maintain the status quo.  If content and storytelling is our bread and butter then we need to ensure it can perform effectively and efficiently across earned, paid, social and owned.  Harnessing insights from business analytics, understanding how to better optimise content and distribute it more effectively is now part of my day-to-day and ensuring I keep abreast of developments is crucial to maintain the quality of the recommendations I give clients.

On a final note, I think the ability to play nice with others is an under-rated but absolutely essential skill to possess, regardless of level.

 

MII: Describe a typical working day.

F.H: My brain is most productive in the morning so my day starts early.  The lack of email, people and phone traffic during this period lends itself perfectly to writing or sub-editing client or new business content and ensuring I am up to speed with emails and my diary before the day starts.

A day in agency is by its nature diverse, which is what most of us enjoy about it.  Many of my clients are currently in planning for 2018 so my day now is full of briefs, brand growth manifestos and identifying the opportunities we can apply strength to, whilst assembling team to drive the creative ideation process.  

Being part of the largest independent communications marketing agency has its benefits.  Access to thought leadership from a pool of global specialists, intellectual property to verify thinking and access to online tools really helps us show up differently as an agency.   Spending time to ensure I am plugged into this and in a position to share it back with my clients is an important part of my day.

Day to-day workflow is busy and my day includes the operational and quality management of live projects.  This normally takes the form of team meetings to recap progress, identify challenges or new opportunities and plan next steps.  The scope of work is wide and can include translating brand narratives we’ve created into effective press collateral, video or social content or building brand experiences and sampling campaigns.  Inevitably, there are campaign outputs for review and approval, which usually happens back at the desk.

Edelman is an open plan office so it’s a great place to debate and bounce around ideas.  Thanks to the depth and diversity of team it’s also a useful and fun environment in which to stay on top of pop culture and what’s new – brand campaigns, trends, spaces, restaurants, food and beauty.

 

MII: What do you love most about your role?

F.H: I love the new balance of science creeping into my discipline alongside our traditional capability in creative storytelling.  The two combined together are potent and makes thinking about the future very exciting.

 

MII: Looking ahead, where might your career path lead to next?

F.H: I am very lucky to work with an agency that is entrepreneurial in nature, which means you have the opportunity to grow or diversify if you bring a considered perspective to the conversation.  We are evolving our offer beyond traditional PR practices such as media relations solely into the generation of big ideas that travel and become contagious with the help of influence, social, experience and paid.  This is work in progress and will no doubt shape where my career plan leads to next.

 

MII: To whom do you look for professional inspiration in your role?

F.H: I’m lucky to be surrounded by smart people who challenge the status quo and stretch my thinking. Depending on the day that can be agency or network colleagues, other agency partners or freelance specialists.

Digital has opened access to thinking and inspiration around the world and it is never been easier to tap into the experiences of really smart thinkers. I’m an unapologetic subscriber to streams of curated content as diverse as ‘Strands of Genius’ by Rosie and @Faris to podcasts like ‘Revisionist History’. 

 

You can read all the A Day in the Life features here.

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Half-Time Sponsorship Scores Signal GAA's Time to Shine

Posted By Onside, 01 August 2017

John Trainor Onside

As the summer season of GAA heats up on the field, sponsors still view gaelic football and hurling as a winning platform, as 1 in 5 sponsorship deals in Ireland so far this year involved a GAA property, according to sponsorship experts ONSIDE. 

While the latest ONSIDE QSR (Quarterly Sponsorship Review) shows that the second quarter of 2017 saw a slower rate of activity to the same period last year In terms of volumes of sponsorship deals made, there has been an overall year on year growth of 3% in sponsorship deals in the first half of 2017 vs. the same period in 2016.

Sport continues to command a lion’s share of the sponsorship activity in Ireland in 2017, with 3 in 4 deals reported so far this year played out in the sports arena. High-profile deals like Bord Gáis Energy’s new sponsorship of the All Ireland Senior Hurling Championships and the GAA’s new partnership with Ericsson all made headlines, while soccer is also showing particularly strong progress this year, including a range of new FAI deals with brands including Fulfill, Rustlers and a major new kit deal with New Balance. 

Commenting on other Irish sponsorship market dynamics at play to date in 2017, John Trainor, Founder and CEO of ONSIDE notes that “media / broadcast and equestrian related sponsorships have also got off to a flying start in the first half of the year.  Financial services and travel & tourism sectors have been most active to date as brands in these sectors establish their positioning for more competitive landscapes to trade in over the medium term.”

In terms of the Irish public’s buy-in to sponsors advances, Trainor notes “a more consistent pattern of admiration for sponsors is emerging as the Irish Sponsorship marketplace matures further. For the second quarter in a row, our research found 2 in 3 Irish adults that could name a sponsorship that they liked.  The other dynamic is that a smaller number of sponsors are ‘making the cut’ in people’s minds as the clutter of brands is being more clearly filtered to 30 or 40 brands consistently standing out for people”. 

Telecoms brands topped the ONSIDE list of most appealing sport sponsors among Irish adults for the second quarter in a row, with main rugby and soccer sponsors Vodafone and 3 championing sports sponsorship appeal.  Vodafone also topped ONSIDE’s poll of Ireland’s most appealing non-sports sponsors, joined by other major sponsors of non-sports platforms such as 3, Guinness, Electric Ireland, Heineken and Bord Gáis Energy.  Aviva’s progress was also singled out by the ONSIDE research as being exponential in the past 12 months, while Bank of Ireland and Lucozade all show good momentum in the latest research.

With all eyes on the GAA sponsorship platform in an otherwise quiet summer of sport this year, the latest ONSIDE QSR research with the Irish public also zoned in specifically on the early performers in terms of most admired GAA sponsorship, finding over 30 sponsors making the cut.  The ONSIDE research demonstrates the importance of strong activation to win over the hearts and minds of the Irish public, with Supervalu, who have supported the GAA since 2010, topping the table of most appealing GAA sponsor in Q2 2017, followed by relative newcomer Lidl, who have invested heavily in promoting their association with Ladies Gaelic Football.  Guinness is still positively associated with the games in third, ahead of AIB and Bank of Ireland. 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

John Trainor is the CEO and founder of ONSIDE. He has been a contributing member and Fellow of the Marketing Institute of Ireland for over 20 years.

ONSIDE is a leading specialist in marketing and sponsorship consulting and research services – With a proven track record and strong industry experience in a cross section of sectors, ONSIDE is currently feeding into the marketing and sponsorship decision making of circa €50m+ of Irish spend – working on many of Ireland’s premier sponsorships – on sporting, music, cause-related, broadcast and other platforms.

 

www.onside.ie

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Earning Attention at Cannes

Posted By Emma Williams & Jennifer Hyland, Edelman Ireland, 24 July 2017

The agency ‘blurred lines’ conversation is one that plays out in the industry repeatedly. This takes on a whole new lease of life in Cannes. On the awards stage at the world’s leading festival of creativity, it’s even harder to distinguish between agencies. Brilliant, impactful campaigns are played out during the awards every evening that could come from any discipline; ad, design, creative or PR. We’re told over and over that great creative ideas win awards but what does that mean through the lens of your own discipline and your own unique skill set?

Travelling to Cannes as PR Young Lions, we knew there must be a way to distinguish a brilliant PR creative idea. But how?

Our first port of call in getting to the bottom of this was in the Jury room with the PR judges.  A fantastic opportunity for anyone attending Cannes Lions, these jury sessions promised to tell us exactly how and why campaigns won Grand Prix, Gold, Silver and Bronze. The PR Jurors shared insights on what great PR work meant at Cannes as separate to any other discipline.

They opened with the following statement,

“We’ll only reward real PR work”.

But what does that mean?

They explained that this year they changed the criteria to emphasise the importance of earned media. They wanted the PR entries to earn attention first, with ideas so strong they had the ability to grow by themselves before amplifying with a paid strategy. So, how do you build an idea that can earn attention?

Here’s the 5 key takeaways.

1. Idea so strong it will be shared…organically.

The power of earned was recognised and awarded across the Festival but especially in the PR category. If the message doesn’t travel organically, it won’t make the cut.

2. Ideas must be creatively executed.

The big opportunity is technology that now allows us to tell the same stories in amazing ways. Communications that aren’t anchored by a powerful creative idea and brought to life through brilliant execution will not earn audiences’ attention and engagement. Creativity, regardless of the discipline, should always be informed by and grounded in insights - creativity for creativity's sake is nice, but won't lead to meaningful results.

3. Ideas that deliver business or societal results.

Ideas must be unflinchingly committed to strong meaningful measurement - however un-sexy - with no compromises. Measurement is not about likes and shares or meaningless circulation numbers. It should be about metrics and tangible business results. This is critical to a winning campaign - no matter how innovative or "cool" it may be.

4. Ideas that move from a moment to a movement.

 A winning idea should be inherently obvious, instantly understood, and universally appealing. They are campaigns that were so culturally relevant that they became part of a moment in time.

5. Ideas that make you think ‘I wish I did that’!

The judges were seeking out work that they wish they had done themselves. We also spent the week in Cannes seeking out work that we could have done here in the Irish market.

It wasn’t just the judges talking about the importance of earned but the speakers too.

A$AP Rocky, rapper, and creative director, summed it up in one simple sentence.

“Whack is whack”.

 

Putting money behind something doesn't make it good – here’s some our favourite earned work from the festival. The campaigns that definitely weren’t whack.

 

The Cheetos Museum

A brilliantly, simple idea that it’s rooted in the product insight – every Cheeto is different. It also took consumer involvement to the next level, celebrating consumers as artists! Cheetos were a category leader but faced pressure and needed to find new ways to grow. The consumer needed to find a new reason to buy the product again. The campaign sparked a nationwide hunt taking it from a moment to a movement and delivering their highest sales week ever.

 

Fly Babies by Jet Blue

Despite consistently high customer satisfaction there’s an element of the inflight experience that is beyond Jet Blue’s control - crying babies. They created a campaign to look at this human truth from both sides - passengers feel annoyed and mothers feel anxious.

In the lead up to Mother’s Day, they announced on a flight that each passenger on board would receive 25% off if a baby cries – four crying babies is a round trip ticket for free. The campaign challenged perceptions of babies on board while empathising with mothers.

For the first time ever, crying babies on a flight were a good thing.

 

Google Sheep View by Visit Faroe Islands

A David versus Goliath story of a girl and her sheep against the world’s largest corporation.

Google was simply not interested in the tiny country. And with only 50,000 inhabitants the Faroe Islands had limited opportunities to market the small islands in the world. By earning the media's interest all over the in the world, suddenly Google was a little more amenable...

 

Spanish Lessons by Narcos

A brilliant idea that came from using social listening to find a common thread between global viewers. It belonged on social as that’s where people are when they’re streaming and it organically outperformed all paid posts from Netflix. Who doesn’t love free Spanish lessons?

 


ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Emma Williams is an Associate Director and Jennifer Hyland an Account Director at Edelman Ireland.

Edelman is a leading global communications marketing firm that partners with many of the world’s largest and emerging businesses and organisations, helping them evolve, promote and protect their brands and reputations. They have deep expertise in consumer trends, research, analytics and insights, corporate reputation, health, technology, crisis, energy, and government affairs. Please visit www.edelman.ie for further information.

Edelman Ireland are corporate partners of the Marketing Institute. Learn more about corporate partnership here.


 

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Irish Marketers Bring Back The Best From Cannes

Posted By The Marketing Institute, 19 July 2017

 

2017 was Ireland’s biggest year to date at the Cannes Lions festival of creativity with 81 delegates and 14 Young Lions in attendance.

In partnership with IAPI and PRII, we’ve asked some of these attendees to look back at the best campaigns they saw in Cannes and share their most exciting experiences at our Cannes-Alysis event this Monday.

It was a full house at the National Concert Hall where we watched presentations from Patrick McConvillle (ICAN), Emer Lawn (Mediaworks), Peter O’Dwyer & Adrian Fitz-Simon (Havas), Mark Brennan (AIB), Emma Williams (Edelman), Enda Kelly & Karl Waters (Target McConnells).

View photo gallery

 

Here are some of the Campaigns that inspired them most.

 

FEARLESS GIRL

State Street Global Advisors, McCann New York

 

OSTRICH

Samsung, Leo Burnett Chicago

 

CHEETOS MUSEUM

Cheetos, Goodby Silverstein & Partners

 

THE BRADSHAW STAIN

P&G, Saatchi & Saatchi

 

 

And the number one piece of advice the speakers brought back from the festival? Take risks. Do not be afraid of being afraid. That's how the best work is created.

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