In uncertain times, it is more important than ever to share experience, insights and advice with your peers so we can all learn from one another. With this in mind, we are having conversations with members across various sectors to understand how they and their teams have adapted their strategies throughout the pandemic, what they have learned from it, and how they prepare to return to the new normal.

For this week’s instalment in the series we’ve chatted to Jill Holtz, Founder, MyKidsTime.

If you are a member who would like to feature in the In Conversation with series please send an email to

MII: Hi Jill, how have the last 12-15 months impacted and shaped your business?

The digital advertising market for disappeared overnight and took a long time to pick back up again. Fortunately we were in the process of launching a new online consumer insights service, ParentsandBrands, which proved to be very timely. When your revenue disappears overnight it certainly sharpens the mind as to what you need to do to pivot, and we used the “down” time to reshape and hone the marketing and messages for ParentsandBrands. Building a new brand during this time kept the mojo going as well so that now that brand advertising plans are slowly coming back on track, we also have our unique (we think!) insights combined with digital marketing proposition tried and tested, and ready to roll out. It’s been exciting running new projects for brands over the last few months.

How have the last 12-15 months changed how you work with clients?

Being based in Galway, it’s actually been a boon for our business to move to online meetings would you believe! We had already dabbled with using Zoom for client presentations prior to the pandemic, so it was a natural extension then to move all our presales work online. The other big benefit was networking and events such as the MII ones moving online, even with the M6 it’s not always feasible to pop to Dublin for a speaker event, so we’ve been really enjoying the online networking opportunities. And have met customers and potential customers we may not have previously.

While nothing beats a face-to-face and we look forward to meeting clients again, we hope a hybrid continues so that we can maximise work time as well. We’d rather be working than travelling for sure!

What work are you most proud of from the last year?

The insights projects that we ran for SSE Airtricity, Eason, AgriGuardian and a number of other businesses and brands, for sure. We’ve been able to use our private online platform to gather feedback and turn around insights and actionable recommendations so quickly. We’re wowed by the quality of the feedback that our parent consumer panels share with us, and those nuggets of information that help the brands we work with make better decisions, there’s nothing more satisfying, and we’re so pleased with our clients’ reactions to the work.

How has your team adapted to the new way of working?

We always facilitated family-friendly flexible work from home for the team, and we have employees in different locations remote working, so not too much changed on that front, it was more a case of the rest of the working world doing what we already did! But we did take the opportunity to implement some new project management and communications tools and processes, to streamline project delivery, so that was a bit of learning and development time for the team as well, getting to grips with new technologies. It has also meant that our team has had an opportunity to ‘meet’ more of our clients through online group calls. Before it would have mainly been the salesperson traveling to meet the client and the team dealing with them by phone/email, so it has been great for them to have that opportunity too.


What changes will you keep in place going into the future?

We’d love to keep meeting options as well as being able to network and attend interesting business events online at least some of the time in the future. We will continue to research and use new technologies to improve work flow. And we will look at more partnerships with mutual benefits that compliment our offering and where we compliment theirs.

What brands or businesses do you admire most when you reflect on the last 12-15 months?

I think all of the Irish supermarkets have done an amazing job with their communications, and reorganising their processes and in-store experience. I’m also a huge fan of Next – their online retail and delivery experience is a shining example of how to do this well. Also have to give a Galway shout out to Dough Bros for their quick-thinking pivot to pizza making kits during lockdown and a big congrats on their top 50 pizza makers in Europe award as well as winning number 1 takeaway pizza brand in Europe.



If you are a member who would like to feature in the In Conversation with series please send an email to