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Here Come The Clever Bots – bursting with artificial intelligence?

Posted By PR Smith, 05 December 2017

here come the clever bots

Here come the Bots

A few years ago, the Gartner Group forecasted that by 2020, customers will manage 85% of their relationship with the enterprise without interacting with a human (Gartner 2011).  So let’s have a look at bots. Part 1 explores What are Bots? What are Chatbots, Slackbots, Good Looking AI bots?;  Types of Bots (including Sales Bots, Lead Generation Bots and, wait for it, AI Marketing Assistant Bots as well as CRM Bots). Part 2 explores the Importance of Bots; Intelligent Bots; How to develop successful Bots.


What are Bots?

Bots are fast becoming a very hot topic in marketing since social media and mobile apps gave us messaging apps. Some bots (e.g. basic messaging apps like watsapp, viber, facebook messaging, Yahoo Messenger, playstation messages, skype) are now bigger than social media (see the chart below).  Bots are defined as software that performs an automated task over the Internet e.g. a shopping bot that searches for the best prices and recommendations. Or chatbots that engage in text conversation with customers. Since texting has become so popular, it’s not surprising to see that ‘chatbots are the next logical step in tech innovation’ (Cerny 2016). Soon most of them will become voice operated (like Apple iPhone’s Siri). Who knows, they may, one day even become thought operated. They will become more aesthetically pleasing.

messaging apps growth

Messaging apps have, for the first time ever, surpassed even social networks in popularity. McKetterick (2016)


What are Chatbots?

Chatbots are ‘special programmes that are integrated into messengers to interact with customers’  (Suvorov 2016). They are like apps that talk back (via text). The level of friendliness and sophistication depends on the quality of the natural language processing technologies and the level of human effort to develop appropriate (friendly) responses. Although we are still at a relatively early stage of Conversation Commerce, it is worth looking at Ivan Suvorov ‘Shopping in messengers article’ to see how four different retailers use chatbots to deliver varying degrees of satisfaction. Meanwhile good chatbots ask salient questions at the right time. Currently, complexity and common sense, limit chatbots for now (particularly in more complex businesses). However, it looks like there’s no slowing down the bot revolution & some of them will create competitive advantage.


What are Slackbots?

Bots can be added to Slack (which is a is a relatively new type of messaging for teams). Slack integrates with many other tools such as Mailchimp, Google Chrome, Calendars, DropBox, twitter). Team conversations are organised into channels (e.g. departments, office locations, projects or anything). Public channels are open to anyone in your team. Private channels are for specific invitees only. You can share files, images, documents, spreadsheets simply by dragging them & dropping them into the right channel.  Private direct messages. Plus direct messages to groups. It sends alerts. Everything is searchable and in synch across all devices. No more email!


What are Sophisticated, Good Looking AI Bots?

Bots will become more aesthetically pleasing & more intelligent.

Bots are always on and will become nicer looking and more intelligent as:


  • AI (Artificial Intelligence)
  • Machine Learning
  • Natural Language Processing
  • Facial & Vocal Recognition

all continue to improve.

Some customers will be willing to pay for good advice or to have good conversations with particular bots that can help them solve various issues such as dating, marriage, divorce etc. Perhaps there is a gap for an ‘Oprah Bot’ (see below). Very personal stuff can be managed by robots, if initially, they don’t look like robots. Perhaps we might be happy to be advised by celebrities’ bots. After all, celebs are brands and research shows that many people (in the UK) trust brands more than they trust the church and the police.


The Uncanny Valley – Real Human Looking Robots Scare Children (today) 

In the 1970s, Japanese robotics engineer, Masahiro Mori, observed that the more human his robots appeared, the more people reacted positively towards them. But when robots look too similar to humans (but still seen as a robot) people saw them as ‘visually revolting’.

bots looking human

 Human Looking Bots can upset children

Mori called this ‘The Uncanny Valley’ – the chasm between ‘fully human’ and ‘nearly human’.  More recently audiences didn’t like the very realistic looking Final Fantasy movie animation (some children cried). Was this the ‘Uncanny Valley’? Dreamworks Studios were aware of this when producing Shrek, particularly when they tested their product (test screenings). They discovered that children perceived the movie to be spooky because the animations were almost real. Dreamworks then changed the characters to be less real and more cartoon-like. [Source: PR Smith 2016]


The Importance of Bots

Bots’ massive user base (see previous chart) is relatively young.  And they like the new interface which is no longer cumbersome texting but rather, it can be language-based (or voice operated), hands-free and, essentially easier and friendlier to use. Major players like Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Amazon are making announcements about bots (McKitterick 2016). Skype have their own too.

Skype bot

 Skype’s New bots

Remember, however, to succeed, the whole Bot experience must be all about helping customers (or entertaining them or informing them etc.). This can also mean saving customers time &/or having a ‘meaningful impact’ on their lives or their businesses.

Mobile messaging apps are massive. As Will McKetterick (2016) says: ‘The largest services have hundreds of millions of monthly active users (MAU). Falling data prices, cheaper devices, and improved features are helping propel their growth. Messaging apps are about more than messaging. Popular Asian messaging apps like WeChat, KakaoTalk, and LINE have taken the lead in finding innovative ways to maintain user engagement. Media companies, and marketers are still investing more time and resources into social networks like Facebook and Twitter than they are into messaging services. That may change as messaging companies develop their services and reach, and ultimately, provide more avenues for connecting brands, publishers, and advertisers with customers. Is this already happening as mentioned, messaging apps have, for the first time ever, surpassed even social networks in popularity (McKetterick 2016)?


Types of Bots

Shopping Bots

Cooking Bots

Marriage Bots

Oprah Bots

Golf Bots

Mechanic Bots

Election Bots

Customer Service Bots

Research Bots

Sales Bots, Lead Generation Bots & Retail Bots


Shopping Bots

Have been around a long time. I even predicted ‘shopping bot wars’ more than ten years ago when hovering hologram shopping bots cause queues as they argue with cashiers and bus drivers about prices (Smith 2005). Well the wars haven’t happened and the bots have been slow to appear, but they are coming. They are growing. Marketers need to familiarise themselves with them because message apps (early bots) are already bigger than social media. And they are getting cleverer as AI and access to multiple databanks kick in.

shopping bot kip

Shopping Bot by Kip

Kip helps to co-ordinate team purchases by pinging a message to staff re ‘who needs office stationary & equipment?’ Then items are added to a standing order & eventually bought with just one click.  Kip can also be used for personal shopping and even encourage customers to use emoji’s and photos to ‘discover new things’. Kip describes itself as ‘your personal shopper’.  Kip uses emojis and photos to ‘discover new things’. People can ask the bot for different things like “Chocolate” or “Coffee” and it will return a list of products. Then Kip earn a percentage on each transaction.

Kip Bots use emojis


Cooking Bot

While the bot will tell you that swapping Cumin for Coriander is okay in a certain recipe – it can also send you an article that talks about “5 Sriracha Infused Recipes That Will Leave Your Guests In Awe” (sponsored by Sriracha of course).


Marriage Bot

If you want anonymous marriage counselling, Ross Simmons et al (2016) suggest that ‘”Marriage counsellors can charge anywhere from $75 to $200 or more per hour depending on where you live, the experience of the therapist, and the type of setting can all play a factor in how much counselling costs. Bots could help marriages, at scale, at a much lower price point and be more accurate in their advice by leveraging the data they receive from their frequent interactions” (Simmonds 2016).


Fitness Bot

These bots can offer tips and tricks on how to stay healthy and use affiliate links to send people to fitness products that have affiliate links associated with them. They can even run an interactive training session with you, inviting you to do the next exercise, if you have completed the 50 press-ups. Layer in additional data from fitness apps and you will probably see a nation becoming fitter as they compete with their own previous performance and simultaneously form relationships with their fitness bots.


Oprah Bot

If you need life advice – why not get ‘personal advice’ from a high profile personality brand with whom many millions already have a positive relationship. This branded app in the form of a bot could be scaled up and yet still give personalised answers from your favourite celebrity, in the strictest of confidence. Data privacy is, of course critical with all of these bots.


Borris Bot

Could you imagine it? Britain’s new Minister for Foreign Affairs advising the nation after pulling it out of Europe?


Golf Bot

Wouldn’t we all like one of these? Interestingly, I’m told many American Business Masters Programmes have an optional half module called ‘golf’ – which includes golf etiquette, golf tips and networking skills.


Mechanic Bot

for information on your car, how to maintain it, service it, and maybe, a premium priced bot for how to fix it.


Election Bot

The New York Times Election Bot gives you live results and updates/alerts.  You can also submit questions to the newsroom directly. There are more and more bots piling into this marketplace such as Purple  which is one of many election bots.


Research Bot

Wondering what millennials are thinking about the next election? Ross Simmonds et al (2016) says: ‘There are bots that you can pay to do the research for you. While I haven’t come across any bots that are doing this today, it would make a lot of sense for Q&A bots to offer this type of service.

Bots like disordatbot are already asking people simple ‘this or that’ questions. Event planners can decide which music act to book for a particular event. Rather than using an expensive research firm or inaccurate focus group, ‘you can run a research campaign with disordatbot and ask users in your city whether they prefer Radiohead or Nickelback.’ (Simmonds 2016)

What separates disordat from a simple ‘either-or’ bot is that disordat bot questions also have an option to get for more information. If the user taps “Huh?” In response to these questions, the bot sends a link that gives more information.

 didordat bot

DisorDat bot helps customers make decisions Image Credit: disordatbot


Sales Bots (retail sales bots)

These will encourage customers to ask them (the bots) questions such as ‘do you have any Adidas football boots? The bot will immediately answer ‘Yes’ here are our most popular 3 adidas football boots. Was there a particular style you need? And what size would you like?’ The bot then presents the information (e.g. a photo, product sheet, video, a 3D model and perhaps soon, a virtual hovering hologram/bot). The prospect then buys the product similar to buying on a web site, but perhaps, eventually, with voice control options. Meanwhile, it is worth reading Ivan Suvorov’s  (2016) ‘Shopping in messengers article’ to see how four different retailers use chatbots to deliver varying degrees of customer satisfaction.

H&M bot

H&M Bots help customers  Image Credit: H&M


Lead Generation Bots 

Independent knowledge bots (not associated with a particular brand) could be set up, promoted and used to help people get information about any particular area of interest. In return for giving tailored, relevant and useful content/information, the bot asks “Is it ok if I pass this along to someone who can help you with some special offers? The Bot owner gets paid a commission. In fact bot owner can become an affiliate to several suppliers earning commission each time the bot affiliate passes prospect information to a particular company.

Ross Simmonds et al (2016) suggest that ‘Slack Bots that don’t have a Q&A focus could also leverage this model. If you’ve built a bot that offers valuable content on a regular basis to a niche audience, organizations who want to connect or sell to that audience might have an interest in conducting research campaigns via chat.’


Sales Assistant Bots

Given that sales people spend too much time filling in reports, or researching customers,and arguably, too little time talking with customers, chatbots could do the form filling and also equip sales people with a cheat sheet with some nice ice-breakers tailored to the buyer they are going to meet along with any key information or dialogue the company has had with them.

So there you have an introduction to bots covering:  What are Bots? What are Chatbots, Slackbots, Good Looking AI bots?; and Types of Bots.


Part 2 explores artificially intelligent marketing bot; How do you create smart AI driven bots? The key to successful bots; taking humans out of the loop by 2020? 


Learn Digital Marketing Strategy with PR Smith:

At PR Smith’s next SOSTAC® Master Class in the Marketing Institute "Marketing Strategy and Tactics in the Digital World":

8-9th March - Learn more

11-12th October 2018 -  Learn more

Or as part the Marketing Institute’s Executive Diploma in Strategic Digital Marketing:

Starting 22nd January – Learn more


See also: 

SOSTAC® Certified Planner Portal   

SOSTAC® Guide to Your Perfect Digital Marketing Plan

SOSTAC® is a registered trade mark of PR Smith. For more information on SOSTAC® Planning & becoming a SOSTAC® Certified Planner visit .



PR Smith trains and advises a range of blue chips as well as smaller innovative businesses through bodies such as the Marketing Institute of Ireland and the UK Government's Growth Accelerator Programme. Paul’s eMarketing eXcellence book is a recommended text and his new SOSTAC® Guide To Your Perfect Digital Marketing Plan is very popular. His four other books are translated into seven languages. Paul's SOSTAC® Marketing Planning System is used by organisations around the world and has prompted Paul to set up SOSTAC® Registered Consultants and Learning Centres. Paul's NFP social media driven edutainment programme, The Great Sportsmanship Programme, is designed to inspire a new generation of global citizens through true two minute stories.

Facebook: PRSmithMarketing

Twitter: @PR_Smith


Bachman, R. (2016) The limits of A.I. and chatbots: How not to fail like Microsoft VB Live, 22 June
Campbell, R. (2016) Introducing DisOrDatBot , Readme.mic, 18 April
Cerny, B (2016) Why chatbots can’t do much more than order you an Uber…yet 22 June, venture Beat
Gartner Predicts (2011), Customer 360 Summit, Los Angeles, March 30 – April 1
McKitterick, W (2016) Messaging apps are now bigger than social networks, Business Insider,15 June
Meeker, M. (2016) 2016 Internet Trends Report, KPCB, 1 June
Rogers, S (2016) Shopify acquires Kit, the artificially intelligent marketing bot, Venture Beat 13 April
Simmonds, R et al (2016) How will bots make money? Here are 7 business models, Venture Beat, 9 June
Smith, PR & Chaffey, D. (2005) Emarketing Excellence, 2nd ed. Butterworth Heinnemann (bot wars)
Smith, PR (2016) SOSTAC® Guide To Your Perfect Digital Marketing Plan V2,
Suvorov, I (2016) Shopping in messengers, Chatbots Magazine, May.

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Donate a shoebox this Christmas!

Posted By The Marketing Institute, 23 November 2017

christmas shoebox appeal

This year again we're supporting Inner City Helping Homeless with their shoebox appeal, and we need your help!

Inner City Helping Homeless - a Dublin volunteer organisation - is appealing for Irish people to put together Christmas shoeboxes for the homeless in Dublin city centre. 

If you'd like to donate, please fill a shoebox and cover it with Christmas paper. Please wrap the box and its lid separately as each box will be checked to make sure all items inside are safe to distribute. It is a great help if you can label the box for who it is intended for eg. Male adult, boy aged 5-8, female adult etc.

Drop the shoebox in the Marketing Institute office in South County Business Park, Leopardstown and we will deliver it to ICHH.


What can I include in my shoebox?

Tooth brush – Tooth Paste
Shampoo – Shower Gel
Roll On Deodorant
Hand Lotion
Wet Wipes – Tissues
Underwear – Socks (white socks for men)
Hat – Scarf – Gloves
Small Torch
Chocolate – Crisps – Sweets
Brush / comb

What do I need to avoid?

Mouth wash
Hand Sanitizer – Hand Gel
Perfume – After Shave
Aerosol Deodorants – Aerosol cans of any type (hair spray – body spray)
Razors / Razor Blades

A little note or Christmas card is always appreciated and valued! 

The boxes will be distributed at the Fill A Tram event on the 14th December. It is an amazing day and great fun and atmosphere and Inner City Helping Homeless will be providing free breakfast, dinner and hair cuts to all of their homeless neighbours.


We thank you in advance for your help!


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Black Friday and pre-Christmas shopping plans

Posted By MediaCom, 23 November 2017

A third of Irish consumers plan to make Black Friday purchases in 2017

We’ve seen headlines of Black Friday potentially waning in other markets around the world. But Black Friday has quickly gathered momentum in Ireland and is having a powerful impact on savvy Christmas shoppers and dramatically changing shopping patterns in the festive season. 

With this in mind, media agency MediaCom conducted a survey to gauge consumers’ attitudes about Black Friday and broader Christmas 2017 spending plans.  



#1 Black Friday Plans: 33% of Irish adults plan to make a Black Friday purchase in 2017. This is up from the 24% who made a purchase in 2016. It appeals most to young females.

#2 Sheer Delight: Almost 71% of those who made a Black Friday 2015 purchase were delighted with what they bought.

#3 Not everyone buys into it: Just under a quarter of Irish shoppers agree Black Friday is an important date in the shopping calendar. But 54% say it’s not important.

#4 Most Irish people don’t budget: Just 27% consumers have a set budget planned for Christmas 2017 – a 5 percentage point decrease on 2016

#5 Average gift spend has reduced: €456 is the average spend on Christmas gifts, down from €493 in 2016

#6 High street wins out, but online is growing: On average, over a third of Christmas shopping is now done online. However, 64% is done in traditional bricks and mortar retail shops.

#7 Are we becoming thoughtless gifters? 66% of us have given cash at Christmas, 45% have re-gifted a present and 30% of 16-34s have sold an unwanted Christmas present online


A third of irish consumers plan to make black friday purchases

1 in 3 (33%) plan to make a purchase during Black Friday this year, skewing towards females and 16-34s.

Just under a quarter (24%) of Irish adults made a Black Friday purchase in 2016, up from 21% in 2015.


An important date on the calendar

23% of Irish people consider Black Friday an important day on the shopping calendar.

Consumers in Connacht / Ulster and Leinster (excl. Dublin) are most likely to find it important at 26% and 29% respectively. In 2016 we saw the importance of Black Friday skewed towards females, but it is now an even gender split.


Buyer’s remorse or rejoice?

One of the biggest criticisms of Black Friday, and indeed sales more broadly, is that consumers are often left feeling duped into buying something they wouldn’t ordinarily have bought. However, our survey results show that is isn’t the case for Irish consumers. Of the 24% of Irish consumers who made a purchase on Black Friday, 71% agreed they were delighted with what they bought, with only 5% claiming to be disappointed. However, 47% of those who bought something during a Black Friday promotion felt they would have made those purchases anyway without the discounts, meaning not all retailers necessarily need to jump on to the trend. 68% of Irish adults feel the event is a gimmick.  


Men more likely to be last minute festive shoppers

So the famous expression goes. The results of our survey shows Black Friday has a positive impact on Christmas shopping costs, with 33% of those who purchased something on Black Friday agreeing that the day makes it easier to afford particular gifts before Christmas. Our survey also found that the majority of shoppers (56%) begin buying gifts at least 2-3 months before Christmas, with women more likely than men to start shopping early. We also found that women are significantly more organised than men when purchasing Christmas gifts; with 31% leaving shopping until December compared to almost two thirds (40%) of men. Men are also more likely to leave Christmas shopping until the last minute rush, with 13% starting their shopping the week before Christmas compared to 5% of females.


Christmas budgets

Less than 1/3 (27%) of Irish consumers have a set budget for Christmas 2017 – a fact likely to ring happily in the ears of retailers across the country. In 2016, 32% of Irish consumers had set a budget. In 2017, women are more likely to budget (31% v 22% of men) and 35-54s (29%) and 55+ (27%) are also more likely than younger consumers.


€493 is the average spend on christmas presents, less than in 2016

On average, people are planning to spend less on gifts than in 2016 (€456 v €493 in 2016). Just under half (49%) plan to spend on home furnishings with an average planned expenditure of €142 compared to €129 in 2016.


Traditional retail stores win out, but over a third of christmas shopping is done online

61% of consumers’ Christmas shopping is done in traditional bricks and mortar stores, down slightly on 2016 (64%).

20% is done via international or internet-only retailer (Asos, Littlewoods, Amazon etc) (vs 19% in 2016), 15% on a store’s website (no change on 2016) and 4% on an app (+2pp on 2016). While still small, the fact that the percentage of spend on apps has doubled and is an important watch-out for ecommerce brands.  


Christmas gifting habits

8 in 10 Irish people have given a voucher as a Christmas present and two thirds have given cash (rising to 80% of 55+).

3% of 16-34s have sold an unwanted Christmas present online, compared to an average of 19%. 45% of Irish people have regifted a Christmas present, highest amongst women aged 35-54 (50%).

christmas gift habits


Sharing christmas wishes dominated by women

Sending Christmas messages or posting cards is dominated by women. 80% of Irish adults have posted a Christmas card, highest for 55+. Young women are most likely to have posted on social media about gifts they’ve received #boydonegood. In total, 20% of Irish adults have done this, but this rises to 22% of females and 30% of 16-34s.



Speaking about the survey, Ian McGrath, Managing Director of MediaCom Ireland, commented:

“I don’t believe Black Friday will reach the same heights in Ireland as it did in other markets. The reason for this is that the retailers and brands have extended the discounting period pre-Christmas now to maximise volume in this key selling period”


Survey background

This MediaCom survey was conducted amongst a nationally representative sample of 1,265 adults across the country nationwide at the end of September 2017. The study was conducted by market research agency, iReach, via their online consumer omnibus survey.


For more information, please contact Ian McGrath at or Vicky Shekleton at

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Global Beauty and Personal Care Trend: Water - The New Luxury

Posted By Vivienne Rudd, Mintel, 22 November 2017

Water is the new luxury

According to Mintel’s Global Beauty Analysts, “Water - the new luxury” is one of four key trends set to impact the global beauty and personal care industry over the next decade. This trend explores the role of water in beauty products, including looking at formulations that use water extracted from fruit and plants and assessing the possibility of using recycled water, or no water at all.

In this article, Vivienne Rudd, Director of Global Insight, Beauty & Personal Care at Mintel, discusses new opportunities for brands to tap into this trend.


Tapping into new water sources

New sources of water are emerging. Beauty brands can enrich their formulations with various fruit, vegetable and herb waters that offer an element of distinctiveness and reassurance, promising extra benefits and a layer of glamour.


Watermelon water is the new coconut water

estee lauderFruit waters are an attractive addition to a beauty product, appealing to consumers' trust in food-related solutions. For example, 19% of Spanish and French consumers say they wouldn't put anything on their body that they wouldn't eat.

Watermelon water is positioned as a healthful alternative to coconut water thanks to its vitamins and moisturising benefits. The fruit has most recently appeared in Estée Lauder's new Double Wear Water Fresh Makeup, forming part of an intensive moisturising complex, and is present in skincare and wash products. However, none of these products have explored the sensoriality of watermelon water, something that essences, toners and hair rinses and the material would do well.


Banana water could be next

A peek at the drinks industry reveals a potential new fruit water for the beauty industry. Banana Water is said to be an excellent source of vitamin C, potassium and magnesium, making it a great option for skincare and haircare products. So far, banana extract, not water, has been championed by Korean giant LG to add nourishment and moisturisation to a number of Su:um 37 face and suncare products. In other parts of Asia, beauty brands have explored banana's antiseptic and energising properties in hand and foot creams. So far, such products have focused on banana extract and puree. However, by using banana water, beauty brands can differentiate their products and give a healthfood-style positioning in addition to their commercial appeal.


Cactus water pricks the imagination

Prickly pear cactus extract has appeared in a small but growing number of skincare products as a plant water, comprising the bulk of the formulation and headlining the marketing. Nature Republic's Soothing & Moisture Cactus 92% Soothing Gel is a case in point. The gel contains prickly pear grown in the Korean district of Pyeongchang and name checks the amount in the formulation to promote an image of transparency to consumers. Cactus water's fragrance and composition makes an interesting option for refreshing body sprays and splashes, and cooling post-exercise lotions.


Supercharge your H2O

Bottled mineral waters are increasingly boasting functional benefits based on their origins or on added minerals, vitamins or molecules. Beauty brands can adopt this approach to amplify the appeal of their water-based products.


Find new ways to convey purity...

Many consumers drink bottled water because they view it as a healthier, purer alternative to their tap water. Urban Decay found a fresh way to talk about water purity in beauty. It describes the Japanese hot spring water in its Hot Springs Hydrating Gel as 'hypotonic', meaning ultra-pure. This purity allows the water to penetrate the skin's barrier more easily, ensuring better hydration.


Alkaline waters claim anti-ageing benefits

Beauty is increasingly linked with diets, and alkaline is one of the latest buzzwords. Alkaline water is linked with improved energy levels, cell regeneration and anti-ageing benefits for the skin.This association with purity and anti-ageing can turn alkali from a negative to a positive term in beauty products, countering fears of irritation with anti-ageing and acid-balancing claims.


Vitamin waters flow in the bathroom

Vitamin C showerheads have made it from the luxury hotel to the standard bathroom. Showerheads such as the pH Rejuvenate Vitamin C Shower Head Filter claim to improve water pressure by 200%, while saving 35% of water. However, the chief selling point is the vitamin C block in the filter, which is said to effectively remove chlorine and chloramine to leave skin, scalp and hair smooth and soft. The citrus adds an invigorating, stress-busting touch.


Formulate with less water

One in five UK consumers said at the beginning of 2017 that they had changed their bathroom routine for environmental reasons, such as saving water. Yves Rocher has taken note and introduced Concentrated Shower Gels under its I Love My Planet eco-banner. The small bottles contain a concentrated formula that provides 40 showers, and a handy closure ensures that consumers don't dispense more than they need. So far, genuinely concentrated products are thin on the ground, so brands have room to create products that save water yet offer sensorial and active benefits.



  1. Estée Lauder Double Wear Nude Water Fresh Makeup Broad Spectrum SPF 30 is described as a lightweight, anti-pollution, super-protective and oil-controlling foundation. It claims to be instantly hydrating thanks to a moisture complex of ingredients including watermelon, lychee seed and apple.
  2. Label Young Banana Hair Essence is formulated with banana juice and features a three-step hair nourishing system to protect hair from perm, dying and drying, while softening it.
  3. Nature Republic Soothing & Moisture Cactus 92% Soothing Gel is described as a moisturising, non-sticky gel made with pear cactus and Eastern prickly pear, designed to be used on face, body, sensitive or dry skin areas and hair. 



Vivienne Rudd, Director of Global Insight & Innovation, Beauty & Personal Care at Mintel, has been writing about the beauty industry for more than 20 years. The former editor of European Cosmetic News and Cosmetics International, Vivienne has travelled the world, interviewing leading industry executives and reporting on corporate, consumer, marketing and product innovation developments.

For more information on how Mintel can help your business, contact Ciara Rafferty, Director Mintel Ireland on +44 (0)28 9024 1849 or

mintel logo

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Time for Ireland’s CMOs to ‘go native’

Posted By Martin Thomas, Social Business Consultant, 14 November 2017

social media CMO

There is a game of musical chairs happening in Ireland’s boardrooms, and the head of marketing might be the one left standing when the music stops.  The rise of digital technology has been accompanied by the emergence of new boardroom roles such as Chief Technical Officer, Chief Information Officer and Chief Digital Officer.  They have introduced a new set of priorities to the boardroom agenda and a new language of ‘enterprise software’, ‘big data’, ‘AI’, ‘cyber risk’ and ‘the internet of things’. 

This has left many marketing heads feeling exposed and in danger of being side-lined by their more technology-literate colleagues.  They might find the solution in a survey commissioned by the Chartered Management Institute in the UK, which shows that ‘80% of business leaders think it important to make the most of social media but 70% admitted that their efforts are currently ineffective.’[1]

Social media represents a battleground for influence and an opportunity for marketers.  It is transforming customer service, market research, recruitment, campaigning and internal communications and encouraging the development of alternative business models and new corporate structures.  It has become an integral part of our professional and private lives and dominates the leisure and professional time spent by customers, employees and other stakeholders, which is why, according to the Central Statistics Office, 67% of Irish enterprises employing 10 or more people are using social media, compared with an EU-28 average of 45%.[2] 

There is also a new generation entering the workforce that has lived most of their lives in social media – in a recent conference that I chaired, a group of students described themselves are being ‘born in the cloud.’  They are the true ‘digital natives’[3], armed with an intuitive technical knowledge and understanding that the rest of us can only dream of.  Managing their expectations and harnessing their talents will be a major challenge for every senior manager in the decades to come.

There has never been a more important time for all of us to understand the power, potential and pitfalls of social media and there has never been a better opportunity for marketers to re-establish their influence and authority.  One thing that senior marketing professionals have in their favour is their experience and intuition.  The single most important skill that determines success from failure in social media is the ability to exercise judgement.  This is the reason why even if they might struggle initially to master some of the technicalities, they are well placed to lead the social media debate within the boardroom. Judgement helps them know how to balance the demands of agility and compliance, and understand the importance of operating within regulatory frameworks.  It provides them with an almost intuitive sense that an emerging issue being played-out in social media has the potential to turn into a reputational crisis and helps them understand how to engage multiple stakeholders through a complex array of channels.

Becoming more social media literate will also help marketers safeguard their future prospects.  All of us are defined increasingly in the eyes of potential employers, stakeholders and colleagues by our social media profile and activities.  Irrespective of where we are in our careers, we all need to make the effort to enhance our skills and develop and nurture our personal social media brands if we want to build effective networks, establish useful connections, lead more effectively and put ourselves in the frame for the next job or business opportunity. 

So, no more excuses; no more delegating responsibility to juniors in the team; no more cynicism or complacency.   It is time for Ireland’s marketers to become more social media literate, improve their knowledge, sharpen their skills and help their boardroom colleagues understand how to make the most of the opportunities and minimise the risks.  Their customers expect it.  Even the analysts and industry commentators following their companies are beginning to expect it.  Are they ready to go native?


Chartered Management Institute, February 2014

Information Society Statistics, Central Statistics Office, 20th December 2016

The term ‘digital native’ was coined and popularized by education consultant Marc Prensky in his 2001 article entitled Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants, to describe a new generation of students who were "native speakers" of the digital language of computers, videos, video games, social media and other sites on the internet   

martin thomas
Martin Thomas will be leading our Social Media Marketing Masterclass on 1st February 2018.

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