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A Day in the Life of... Joe Cleary, Sales & Marketing Director at Mr Binman

Posted By The Marketing Institute, Wednesday 23 January 2019
Updated: Tuesday 22 January 2019

Joe Cleary Mr Binman

What does the Sales & Marketing Director at Mr Binman do?

Well, when I keep costs down and sales up it seems to keep the shareholders relatively happy. So I try to do that mostly!

We have a mixed type customer base – currently 37,000 household residential customers and 3,000 commercial businesses – and I lead all our sales and marketing activities to ensure that we are delivering on our promises to these customers. I would decide on our new campaigns and how those campaigns will generate leads for our sales team. We have invested a lot into sports sponsorships in the last few years to build recognition and equity in our brand and I would develop our marketing activities around these sponsorships with the rights holders.


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

I have had a very varied career even though I haven’t worked for too many different businesses. I worked my way up in different departments and developed invaluable experience along the way. I have worked in roles within administration, internal sales and logistics planning before progressing into a general manager role where growth in new markets was my main objective. This is where I really caught the marketing bug and especially directly linking marketing activities to sales made which is something we look at daily in Mr Binman now.


What is the biggest challenge you face in your role?

Wheelie-bins and waste - we are not exactly a “sexy” industry. So we need to be extra innovative to be seen and remembered. Our customers are busy so we measure our customer effort score regularly to come up with ways to simplify our service and processes. The challenge we have set ourselves is to give customers a “frictionless” experience with us.  No one wants hassle from a service provider. The easier we are to deal with, the happier the customer will be and more likely they are to recommend us to friends and family. 


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

You can’t be afraid in our line of work. Is that a skill? Now, I don’t mean an irrational fearlessness which puts everything at risk. What I mean is that you can never learn anything about your industry, your customers or your even own best attributes if you are afraid to go outside your comfort zone. Be willing to test, be willing to try new things. If they work –great! If they don’t work, you have learned for the next time. Marketing innovates and customers always want more so just because you are currently on the right track now doesn’t give you an excuse to sit on the track and get run over by someone else.  Having a clear vision of your customer and how they want to consume your service not only today but in two or three years time leads to having good focus and planning, which are important skills in any role really.


Describe a typical working day.

I would usually start early and get the sales metrics consumed over a bowl of cereal. I can digest them on the drive to work then and plan out any changes that may be required. I do travel a bit from time to time for meetings or having site visits with clients. Now, these meetings would vary in my role. They range from going to the head offices of some of our blue-chip clients for a coffee and catch up, to heading into a waste yard or building site in full hi-viz gear, estimating tonnes of waste so that we can tender for a contract. 

I don’t do long internal meetings and we have a small team who are all used to my direct approach so we don’t spend hours around Powerpoint slides. I see my role as facilitating others in coming up with good ideas and encouraging them to test ideas to serve our customers better.

Our business is similar to a bus operator who is reliant on passengers’ “bums on seats” to become profitable - but we collect bins rather than passengers – the more bins on the route, the more profitable it is. There is a lot of technology in our industry now so I review this data to ensure we are maximising our fleet to collect as many bins as possible. 


What do you love most about your role?

I really like working on the sponsorships we are involved with. We are a partner with Munster Rugby for two seasons now and we get great traction from our “SinBin” in Thomond Park. This has been likened to a “child’s bold chair” and can’t be missed as it is bright yellow on the touchline. The players hate it but the fans get a great kick out of it. It even has its own Twitter account!

I have a great team who believe in a customer-first philosophy so that makes it easier to get new projects and campaigns operational quickly which is something I like. 

I really enjoy organising the logistics around a special clean-up event we are one of the sponsors of every year in Limeric,k which is called Team Limerick Cleanup. This gets 18,000 volunteers out on Good Friday picking up litter, cleaning up Limerick City and County and generally showing pride in their community. Great event with high stress levels for us but it is worth it when we get all the litter collected by the end of the day from all over Limerick City & County.


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

I see my role is to facilitate others to develop themselves and grow with us to feel comfortable suggesting new ideas, new approaches and help us continually improve. 
I am currently up-skilling myself in digital marketing and I believe that there is even still value within this space for innovative campaigns. I think we have some interesting marketing activities in the pipeline to test in this regard. I have an entrepreneurial spirit too and recently founded a business in the mobile technology field which specialises in removing the need to queue in venues. 

To whom do you look for professional inspiration in your role?
 I read quite a bit and I like Mark Earls, Byron Sharp for their work. I tend to go back to leaders of the marketing tribe such as Seth Godin. I enjoy reading and listening to Seth because the clarity of his analysis and advice is unique in my view.  I also watch how the larger brands in the world such as Nike are trying to re-launch themselves to a new generation with staying relevant being a key part of that.  I think that is something that all businesses in utilities sector need to focus on because relevance to the consumers of the future is critical for us to connect with them.

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3 Global Bakery Trends to Look for in 2019

Posted By Mintel, Wednesday 16 January 2019
Updated: Tuesday 15 January 2019

As consumers cut their consumption of carbs, brands need to make bread memorable – or at least healthier – through vivid colours, ethnic flavours and better-for-you versions.


Colourful vegetable bread

Bakery products containing vegetables are a strong way for brands to tap into interest in positive nutrition. Using brightly coloured veggies, such as carrot or beetroot, makes the vegetable content more tangible and helps to provide an overall flavour boost. Despite this, vegetable-based bread currently remains niche in Europe at 6% of all bread launches in the last year, according to Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD).

Leivon Leipomo Flat Rye Bread with Root Vegetables, launched in Finland, is 30% made with vegetables including beetroot, carrot and parsnip. While Brazil’s Fhom Veg Super Thin Toasts’ green, pink and orange hues come from spinach, beetroot and carrot. Catering to raw and paleo diets, Raw Wraps Spinach Soft Tacos (USA) are made with four simple ingredients: apples, spinach, onions and psyllium.

mintel bakery trends


Low carbs

Cutting down on carbohydrates has become popular in recent years as many adopt diets that encourage higher intake of proteins and vegetables. Health-related concerns are key barriers to more frequent consumption of bread. As a response, bread producers are shifting their efforts towards positive nutrition in the hope to connect with health-conscious consumers.

Hovis has introduced a range of naturally low carbohydrate breads in the UK: Softy and Tasty White, Tasty Wholemeal, and Deliciously Seeded. Each loaf is said to contain 30% less carbohydrates than ordinary loaves, as well as added wheat protein and fibre. Another notable example is cauliflower crust pizza, a popular low-carb recipe on Instagram and food blogs. A packaged version has been launched in Canada by Caulipower, founded by the mum of two gluten-intolerant children to provide them with delicious alternatives to carbs.

mintel bread


World flavours

As ethnic restaurants and street food stalls take over the foodservice scene, world cuisines can expand usage occasions for bread and bread products. Specifically, cuisines with a ‘dip culture’ (eg Spanish, Mexican, Indian and Middle Eastern) could help drive demand for specific bread types.

Santa Maria Street Food Kingston Style Coconut & Pepper Tortillas are described as soft, thin tortillas with a delicious coconut flavour and a hint of pepper. The tortillas are said to be ideal for Jamaican jerk tacos and feature a recipe suggestion. They’re likely to appeal to consumers seeking fun, adventurous and customisable food solutions. Tesco Finest Ras El Hanout Flatbread (UK) is said to be bursting with authentic North African flavours, featuring sweet raisins, apricots and a blend of nine spices. And to prove that the definition of ‘exotic’ changes in every country, South Korean Sajo Royal Pretzel looks to Bavaria for inspiration for this microwaveable, chocolaty-filled pretzel.


 About Mintel

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 Follow Mintel on Twitter: or join the Mintel LinkedIn community:

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The Evolving Role of Marketing, For Success

Posted By By Bernie Keogh, Managing Director of Alternatives, Wednesday 9 January 2019
Updated: Tuesday 8 January 2019

Bernie Keogh Alternatives

As we kickstart a new year, we reflect on the evolving and exciting role of marketing and on the common traits of the most successful marketers.


Marketing is a profession unlike any other in terms of the incredible diversity of roles and skill sets 

Today the role of marketing is incredibly varied and increasingly specialist with significant variations in terms of functions, skill sets, expertise and KPIs across businesses and industry sectors as technology and data drive much of the transformation happening in business. It has never been a more exciting time to be a marketer as many businesses align their focus to the central goal of marketing, which is to drive profitable growth by creating value for the customer. Indeed, the use of new technologies aided by data and analytics makes it easier today for marketers in certain industry sectors to segment and target customers with precision in real time and to demonstrate their effectiveness at generating demand and converting intention to purchase along the customer journey in a way that has never before been possible.


Responsibilities and metrics also vary between companies and industry sectors

Commonly most CMOs/Marketing Directors and their teams have responsibility for marketing strategy and implementation, brand strategy, insight generation and customer metrics – but beyond that the range of responsibilities from pricing to sales, innovation, lead or demand generation, corporate reputation, digital strategy, e-commerce, customer experience, data analytics and distribution differs significantly between sectors. In our last Alternatives & MII survey, results suggest that in some sectors such as construction, logistics, professional services, education and healthcare, marketing tends to be viewed as a less strategic function limited to brand and communications and as a cost rather than an investment, but in many sectors such as drinks, food, gaming, e-commerce and motor, marketing plays a central role in determining the business strategy to achieve commercial objectives and drive growth with marketers often having P&L responsibility.


Differing attitudes and understanding about the role of marketing persist

The variations in responsibilities and metrics can be explained by differing attitudes and understanding of what marketing is and what it can deliver. Indeed, the increased complexity and varied nature of marketing today makes it a challenge for companies when it comes to determining the role marketing should play in the company and hiring CMOs. Frequently there is a mismatch between the expectations of the organisation and the actual remit of the role because of the general confusion and lack of uniform expectations about the role of marketing in general and the knowledge and skill differences among marketers. It is common for job descriptions to describe a role in which the CMO is expected to change the overall performance of the business yet doesn’t oversee the pricing, innovation, CX, sales and distribution channels or budgets to deliver it. Or classically for a company to say they want to become more customer driven and customer focused without the actual appetite to invest in those areas and change how they operate.


The common traits of the most successful marketers and marketing teams

Many of Ireland’s most successful marketers overcome these challenges by essentially co-creating their role, responsibilities and metrics with their CEO or senior executive team after detailed discussions regarding the future strategy of the organisation, organisation structure and short to long term commercial objectives, thereby avoiding the pitfall of a mismatch between expectations, responsibilities and actual ability to have an impact.

Successful senior marketers are also very adept at understanding that companies have different needs, challenges and goals and they adapt their discourse to speak the same language as the business. So, for example in FMCG the discourse is centred on consumer insights, brand and innovation; in Financial Services, Utilities and Tech, the language of marketers will be around customer and products, proposition development or CX; in B2B organisations it will shift from customer to client, from brand to reputation, from values to culture, depending on the context and the audience.

Successful marketing teams also ensure their focus and metrics are aligned with the commercial objectives of the business. They learn the language of the boardroom and seek to align marketing activity to the business metrics which matter to the executive team. Where they are not in the position to take on end to end commercial metrics due to lack of ownership of the end to end sales funnel, they work with their peers in sales, product management and technology to agree and co-share relevant metrics.

Successful marketers also demonstrate tremendous dexterity and agility in their thinking and are empirical in their approach. They challenge, create hypotheses about marketing interventions, ask which behavioural assumptions would need to be correct for their hypothesis to hold true and what data would disprove it. They are willing to change their minds publicly when new data proves them wrong and experiment and learn from failure. They are more attached to demonstrating effectiveness and delivering ROI than the campaigns they develop. Critically they recognise that although the principles of great marketing remain the same whatever the sector, the brand or whatever names it goes by, it is there to serve the interests of the business and not the other way around. They inculcate this understanding within their teams.


A bright future

Marketing remains one of the truly customer centric and market focused functions within the organisation which can directly impact how and the frequency with which customers purchase or engage with the business. Which other function in an organisation has to the same extent such a strategic view of the customer and how to grow a brand or business-as well as the ability to partner internally with other parts of the business and externally-to drive that growth?

As long as we continue to nuance our discourse, align our activities to the business metrics which matter and resolutely seek to achieve and demonstrate commercial effectiveness while building great brands, products and services that customers will want to buy, the future looks bright. Indeed, there is significant reason to believe that as long as we are ambitious enough, we will continue to go all the way to the top in ever increasing numbers.

About the author

Bernie Keogh is Managing Director of Alternatives, the marketing and customer talent solutions business.

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Meet the Speaker: Q&A with Michael Browne of MCCP

Posted By The Marketing Institute, Wednesday 9 January 2019
Updated: Tuesday 8 January 2019

Michael Browne MCCP

Michael Browne, Senior Innovation & Brand Strategist at MCCP will speak at our upcoming Marketing Breakfast on discuss how human needs, emotions and motivations ultimately trump technological disruption.


Michael started at MCCP in summer 2018 after spending two years in London where he worked as a strategic planner at TMW Unlimited – a customer engagement agency

Since joining MCCP, Michael has worked with Bord Bia to develop their Global Food Brand proposition. He led the development of a cider strategy proposition for the Heineken portfolio and led the strategic vision for Irish Distillers global in-house digital creative department.

Michael was a digital media planner for Carat for a number of years after working in NYC as a digital strategist with Blast Radius, a global digital agency and part of WPP group

Michael is passionate about brand development, digital media, technology and innovation

Ahead of the event he shares with us his career highlights, the challenges facing the marketing industry and more.


1. You have an extensive Marketing background, what would you consider are some key career highlights?

Having the opportunity to work abroad in London and NYC and getting the experience of being on large global accounts. It made me look at the world in a broader context.


2. What are the main challenges facing your industry at the moment?

As big data and automation threaten to overrun our industry we must not forget that we are still in the business of connecting with humans and must remember not to squeeze the humanity from what we do.  


3. What’s one piece of advice would you give your 25-year old self?

Less is more, Focus on clarity over complexity. Show the client what they need to know not how much you know.


4. Looking towards the next 12 months, what do you hope to achieve?

I’ve been involved in some great work and very diverse projects here at MCCP. We have some exciting projects already lined up for 2019 which I’m really looking forward to.


5. Your favourite recent marketing campaign?

I liked Chemistry’s recent ad for Dunnes Stores. It’s like all your childhood movies come together - a 30 sec TV version of Stranger Things.


6. One reason we should attend The Marketing Breakfast Series in partnership with MCCP with you?

We are paid for our objectivity so we need to be exposed to as many different ideas and ways of thinking as possible. The Marketing Breakfast Series is a great way to meet new people and network in the industry.


Book your place for the Marketing Breakfast with Keith McCormack:

Where: Fire Restaurant, Dawson Street, Dublin 2
When: Wednesday 16th January, 7:45 - 9:00am

Register here

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Our Top 5 Marketing Books for Christmas

Posted By The Marketing Institute, Wednesday 12 December 2018
Updated: Tuesday 11 December 2018

marketing books

With the holidays just around the corner, now is a great time to start picking your 2019 reads. So whether you are looking for a solid present for a marketing colleague, or for something to include on your own list to Santa, look no further than these five marketing books.

2018 has been all about going back to the basics and focusing on strategy. These books will give you the knowledge and tools you need to do great, effective marketing that drives success in your organisation.


The Financial Times Guide to Social Media Strategy:
Boost your business, manage risk and develop your personal brand

By Martin Thomas 

social media strategy“Social media is transforming every aspect of our businesses lives, yet few of us have the skills to make the most of the opportunity.

The Financial Times Guide to Social Media Strategy is your definitive guide to harnessing the power of social media. Through user-friendly language, practical guidance, inspirational case studies and proven methodologies, you can gain a competitive advantage by generating better results, making more sales, building stronger and more valuable networks and enhancing the potency of your personal digital brand.”



This is Marketing: You Can’t Be Seen Until You Learn To See

By Seth Godin 

“Over the past quarter century, Seth Godin has inspired millions of entrepreneurs, leaders and fans from all walks of life. Now, for the first time, he offers the core of his marketing wisdom in one accessible, timeless package.

At the heart of his approach is a big idea: Great marketers don't use consumers to solve their company's problem; they use marketing to solve other people's problems. They don't just make noise; they make the world better. Truly powerful marketing is grounded in generosity, empathy, and emotional labor.

Learn how to identify the smallest viable audience, build trust and permission with your market, adopt the narratives your fans already use, find the guts to create and release tension and, most of all, give people the tools and stories they can use to achieve their goals.

It's time to stop lying, spamming, and feeling guilty about your work. It's time to stop confusing social media metrics with true connections. It's time to stop wasting money on stolen attention that won't pay off in the long run. It's time to be seen first by learning how to see.”



The Choice Factory: 25 behavioural biases that influence what we buy

By Richard Shotton

“Before you can influence decisions, you need to understand what drives them. In The Choice Factory, Richard Shotton sets out to help you learn. By observing a typical day of decision-making, from trivial food choices to significant work-place moves, he investigates how our behaviour is shaped by psychological shortcuts. With a clear focus on the marketing potential of knowing what makes us tick, Shotton has drawn on evidence from academia, real-life ad campaigns and his own original research. 

The Choice Factory is written in an entertaining and highly-accessible format, with 25 short chapters, each addressing a cognitive bias and outlining simple ways to apply it to your own marketing challenges. Supporting his discussion, Shotton adds insights from new interviews with some of the smartest thinkers in advertising, including Rory Sutherland, Lucy Jameson and Mark Earls. From priming to the pratfall effect, charm pricing to the curse of knowledge, the science of behavioural economics has never been easier to apply to marketing. The Choice Factory is the new advertising essential.” 


How not to Plan: 66 ways to screw it up

By Les Binet & Sarah Carter 

“In the sink or swim world of planners, strategists and their clients, now more than ever, there is a need for a practical handbook to guide us through all the main parts of the process. And thanks to Les Binet and Sarah Carter at Adam&eveDDB we now have just that. The original inspiration for the book was a set of articles that they wrote for Admap over 6 years. In these they set out to bust a lot of myths and nonsense that swirl around marketing and communications by using evidence-based approaches and interesting examples to make their points. We've been working with them to turn this treasure chest of wisdom into a practical guide. We've called it How Not To Plan in reference to its myth busting antecedents and in homage to an old but much loved set of essays published back in 1979 in an APG book called 'How to Plan Advertising'. 

The How Not to Plan of 2018 is a manageably sized handbook which leaves room for your scribbles and notes and can be read as a guide or used as a constant helpful reference point. It's loosely based on the Planning Cycle and is grouped into themes that are important at different stages in the process, covering everything from how to set objectives, the 4 Ps, research and analysis, to briefing, creative work and media and effectiveness At the end of each chapter you'll find a simple 2-minute check list for how to do it better, a short case study showing how it's done brilliantly, a space for your notes and further reading for the intellectually gifted...”



Eat Your Greens

By Wiemer Snijders 

“How can we sell more, to more people, and for more money? 

The marketing world is awash with myths, misconceptions, dubious metrics and tactics that bear little relation to our actual buying behaviour. 

Eat Your Greens is inspired by the genuine advances in marketing science. It challenges us to change the way we think, by taking the huge body of knowledge gained from data and technology and applying the best evidence based thinking to the practice of marketing and communications. 

The papers are written by some of most respected practitioners in the industry, offering a diverse range of perspectives on how to do more effective marketing, and with an intellectual generosity of spirit from which we can all profit.”


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