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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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A Day in the Life of... Andy Pierce, Group Strategy Director at Core

Posted By The Marketing Institute, Wednesday 5 December 2018
Updated: Monday 3 December 2018

Andy Pierce Core

What does a Group Strategy Director at Core do? 

In a nutshell, we help marketers turn business plans into actionable marketing plans, so that everything is focused on achieving the business ambition. 

Strategy has three simple parts: a diagnosis of the problem, a guiding principle to overcome it, and a coherent set of actions to drive it forward. 

To develop these elements, we work closely with several different practices within Core: research, data, creative, sponsorship and media, both individually and collectively. Core’s vision is to expand the possibilities of what brands can achieve through collaboration, and we’re very fortunate to have such a breadth of expertise to call on.

The type of strategy we develop varies. It covers everything from developing brand and positioning strategy right through to connections and investment. 

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

It was a gradual evolution. Joining Core was the key move for me. I had worked in media trading and planning before, but moving here initially gave me the opportunity to lead the planning for one of the media agencies initially. That was a great learning experience, as I was working with international colleagues and a range of different marketers. 

After moving out of media into Core, it’s been a case of right place, right time. As Core’s offering has developed through Research and Data in particular, it’s given us access to a wealth of information which helps enormously. I’m also very lucky that I work with a diverse group of strategists with different backgrounds, so I get to learn (steal!) from them as well.

What is the biggest challenge you face in your role? 

 Time is probably the biggest one. Getting the strategy right is vital for other parts of the team to move forward coherently. But to do it justice we have to look at the brief from a number of different angles and explore different directions. Again, we’re very fortunate, as we can lean heavily on our colleagues in other practices to help us gather information and develop insight at a fast pace. On the other hand, the constraint of a deadline can be quite helpful too.

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

I think it varies for different types of strategists, but a few are common. You have to be curious – about people, business, and marketing. You have to be thorough in digging through as much information as possible with an open mind. Accountability is vital; actions have to be linked to the ultimate objective. Lastly, brevity. Good strategy should resolve complex problems simply. 

I think an analytical mindset helps – but I regularly get teased for liking spreadsheets!

Describe a typical working day. 

It’s probably easier to describe a week. We start with a capacity planning meeting within the team, before meeting Data and Research to see where we can support each other on shared projects.

Then it’s into the meat of the work. We tend to have three types of work: stand-alone projects; shared projects with Research and Data, where we build their findings into actionable marketing strategy; or working as part of the wider Core team including Creative, Sponsorship and/or Media.

We also keep two mornings free each week for internal sprint sessions. These are workshops we’ve designed to help any team or group across the agency develop strategic direction. Core is built on collaboration, so we bring a diverse mix into these sessions, armed with as much knowledge as possible, and work as a group to shape it into a strategic direction.

What do you love most about your role? 

Unquestionably it’s when you see the direction you helped to set succeed. Watching it get adopted and built upon by colleagues and clients, and develop into something even more powerful than you had envisaged, is very rewarding. But I also love the process. Especially when you get up to your armpits in the issue and worry that you’re in too deep. It can be a bit terrifying, but its usually a good sign that you understand the problem. That’s generally when you go and brainstorm the issue with someone else, which is always rewarding.

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

I’m a nerd when it comes to the science of advertising, and it feels like we’re coming into a bit of a golden age. I think there’s still a road ahead of us to keep making the case, but we’ve taken good first steps. That’s a journey I really want to be on, so I hope my career path can involve working more and more with clients to build that business case for marketing.

It’s also a really exciting time within Core. Working more closely together with a talented team that possess a mix of skills is leading to some fascinating new directions, and I’m excited to see what we can do together.

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

Three places - colleagues, books, and online industry resources. There’s a lot of expertise in our team, so talking through challenges is usually a great start and will open up a lot of avenues. I find there are a range of good online resources I go back to regularly, both local and international. We also have a library in Core, which we regularly steal from! And we are threating to start a book club for strategy titles, to keep information fresh and to share outtakes. 

About Core

Core employs a team of 310 people and consists of nine practices - Creative, Data, Investment, Learning, Media (comprising of Mediaworks, Spark Foundry, Starcom and Zenith), Recruitment, Research, Sponsorship and Strategy.  

Core has been voted Agency Network of the Year for the last six years at the Media Awards and the company was also recently voted one of the top workplaces in Ireland by the Great Place to Work Institute for the ninth year running.

Core Sponsorship was voted Best Sponsorship Agency at the 2017 Irish Sponsorship Awards. 

For further details, please check out



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Customer Engagement Benchmarking Report 2018: Ireland

Posted By Dataconversion, Wednesday 5 December 2018
Updated: Monday 3 December 2018

dataconversion report

Our customer engagement research report assessed the views of marketing & customer engagement (CE) leaders across all major industries on the changes that the industry will face in the next 12 months.

We took a closer look at the trends, challenges and investments that are shaping strategies and examine the way customer data can improve experience in the shape of a single customer view.

The research objective was to help companies to benchmark against their peers and competitors in order to achieve better success for their future customer engagement activities.

We hope that you will find this report to be a valuable tool that enables you to spot opportunities within your market.


Read the report


About Dataconversion

Dataconversion is a bespoke software development company based in Dublin. We work with some of Ireland's leading businesses to improve Customer Engagement through the integration of data, technology and communications. We are passionate about all aspects of the Customer Experience and believe that brands should seek to not only meet but exceed customer expectations.

About Amárach

Amárach is an innovative research and advisory agency, working with clients for over 25 years to turn information into insight, and insight into foresight. Amárach’s team of psychologists, economists and data analysts draws on market research and data analytic techniques to help its clients succeed and grow through a better understanding of their own customers’ needs – both now and in the future.

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A first look at the 2018 Christmas ads

Posted By The Marketing Institute, Wednesday 21 November 2018

With just over a month to go, Christmas is definitely in the air. This year again brands put their best creative forward to compete for consumers’ attention. And we love it.


John Lewis & Partners

The much-anticipated John Lewis Christmas ad is always a highlight of the festive season. This year John Lewis took a slightly different approach while sticking with the always-winning emotional formula.



Sainsbury also went for the children& music approach, with a spectacular interpretation of You Get What You Give, sang by a choral of kids in Christmas costumes.



This year’s Boots ad follows an ever-annoyed teenager and her well-meaning mum through the ups and downs of their relationship, until all is said with the perfect Christmas present.



Kevin the Carrot is back for the third year running and he’s got a new nemesis: the wicked parsnip.


McDonald’s UK

This year’s surprise comes from McDonald’s UK, which came up with a fresh and en-DEER-ing ad… but where are the burgers?



Heathrow airport brings back its famous couple of teddy bears to deliver their message of bringing people together at Christmas.



If you’ve used up all your tears on the above, fear not. KFC’s completely different and seriously on-brand ad is tons of fun.



Lidl launched a series of three 20-second ads on the theme of “upgrading Christmas”, because we all know this one person who goes a little bit over the top at Christmas.

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Mobile Consumer Survey 2018: The Irish cut

Posted By Deloitte, Wednesday 21 November 2018
Updated: Tuesday 20 November 2018

56% of Irish consumers think they use their phones too much while half of us believe our partners use their phones too much Deloitte survey

  • Irish smartphone users look at their phones 55 times a day on average, down from 57 in 2017. 13% admit to checking their phones over 100 times a day
  • 20% of Irish adults check their phones within 5 minutes of waking up, down from 27% in 2017
  • 1 in 5 believe their parents use their mobile phones too much
  • 68% of 18-24 year olds watch live videos or stories on social media every day
  • Access to tablets among the 65+ market has grown from 57% in 2017 to 70% in 2018 and the number of +65 year olds with access to an e-reader has increased from 30% to 45%.
  • 62% of Irish smartphone users make at least one call a day, as against a global average of 49% with only 38% of respondents in the UK making daily calls. Our use of SMS, VOIP, instant messaging, e-mail and social media is all above the international average.
  • Samsung remains the most popular brand across respondents with 32% of the market, with Apple at 29%


Visit to download the report.

Irish consumers are beginning to change their habits to curb their smartphone addictions, according to a new report from Deloitte. 56% think that they are using their phones too much, an increase from 50% at the same time in 2017. Irish smartphone users currently look at their phones 55 times a day on average down from 57 last year.

Deloitte’s annual Mobile Consumer Survey is a comprehensive survey of over 1,000 Irish people to assess their behaviour and usage of mobile devices and their views on this. This year’s survey reveals that a massive 97% of Irish consumers have access to some form of mobile phone (smartphone/phone), with 93% having access to a smartphone, and that 98% of smartphone owners use their devices on a daily basis.

Commenting on the report Richard Howard, Partner and Head of Technology, Media and Telecommunications at Deloitte, said: “In the 2018 Deloitte Mobile Consumer Survey we have started to see a balancing in our addiction to smartphones. Irish consumers appear to be recognising the over-reliance we have on our devices, and are beginning to make conscious efforts to reduce screen time. 2018 is also the year where we are finding the phone starting to replace cash and cards as a primary means of payment, which highlights how the smartphone has become intertwined into our daily lives.


Are we using our phones too much?

35% of people surveyed said that they experience increased levels of distraction as a result of using their mobile phones when trying to complete a task. 50% of us believe our partners use their mobile phones too much and 1 in 5 consumers believe that their parents use their mobiles too much. 13% of Irish adults admit to checking their phones over 100 times a day (down from 16% in 2017) while 20% of Irish adults check their phones within 5 minutes of waking up (down from 27%).


What are we using our phones for?

The survey reveals that 73% of people have used mobile/online banking on their phones, a 5% increase on 2017. In fact, mobile phones are the preferred device for checking bank balances across 50% of respondents, and 52% use a contactless payment app.

41% of Irish consumers pay for a music subscription: Spotify is the leading player in the Irish market with 33% of those surveyed subscribed to the service. 35% are subscribed to a newspaper in return for exclusive reporting. 27% stream a film or TV series at least once a week: Netflix is the most popular subscription service among respondents with 53% having access to the service. 16% purchase a product online at least once a week; 33% use their phones to monitor their fitness levels. The majority (68%) of 18-24 year olds watch live videos or stories on social media on a daily basis.

79% of Irish people use their smartphones for work-related business activities.


How do we secure our devices?

There has been a 9% growth in the use of fingerprint recognition year-on-year, with 39% of Irish people now regularly using the function to authorise transactions. However, the overall uptake is reluctant with 84% still using a PIN.

87% of consumers report being concerned about how online companies share their personal data with third parties. Despite this, 23% say that they always accept terms and conditions without reading them. 9% of respondents claimed that they have never shared personal information online.


What factors influence us when buying a new phone?

51% of Irish consumers are purchasing their new phones in store (down from 55% in 2017). 81% of Irish people consider the quality of their mobile network’s data coverage to be very important. Pay-as-you-go is the most popular payment plan among 18-24 year olds, with 76% opting for this. Across all Irish respondents, 41% opt for this payment plan.

Mobile Consumer Survey 2018: The Irish cut

About Deloitte’s 2018 Mobile Consumer Survey

Deloitte’s 2018 Mobile Consumer Survey is the Irish data cut of Deloitte’s Global Mobile Consumer Survey, a multi-country study of mobile phone users around the world. The 2018 study comprises of over 54,000 respondents across 35 countries and five continents.

Other areas of interest dealt with as part of the survey include:

  • Views on network operators
  • Mobile device buying preferences
  • Usage of communication services on mobile devices
  • Machine learning trends in mobile applications
  • Home internet trends
  • Mobile phone usage for work

Data cited in the Irish report is based on a nationally representative sample of 1,000 consumers aged 18-75. The sample follows a country specific quota on age,
Irish gender, region and socio-economic status. Fieldwork took place during June 2018 and was carried out online by Ipsos MORI, an independent research firm, based on a question set provided by Deloitte.


About Deloitte

At Deloitte, we make an impact that matters for our clients, our people, our profession, and in the wider society by delivering the solutions and insights they need to address their most complex business challenges.

As the largest global professional services and consulting network, with approximately 263,900 professionals in more than 150 countries, we bring world-class capabilities and high-quality services to our clients.

In Ireland, Deloitte has nearly 3,000 people providing audit, tax, consulting, and corporate finance services to public and private clients spanning multiple industries. Our people have the leadership capabilities, experience and insight to collaborate with clients so they can move forward with confidence.

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