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A Day in the Life of... Maeve Harrington, Founder & Director of In and Out Marketing

Posted By The Marketing Institute, Wednesday 7 February 2018
Updated: Tuesday 6 February 2018

Maeve Harrington In and Out Marketing

The Marketing Institute: What does In and Out Marketing do? 

Maeve Harrington: In and Out Marketing is my business which I set up in September 2016. Over the course of my career to date I have been passionate about the role of marketing in building brands and I have over 28 years’ experience working in marketing across a broad range of industries - where does the time go! Having worked as a Marketing Manager, Marketing Director and now business owner, I understand how there are times when it would be useful to call on an experienced marketer on an in and out basis, who doesn’t carry agency costs and who has a practical, personal and hands-on approach to working with a business. I named my business In and Out Marketing because I will work with clients to develop marketing both internally and externally. Also, I will be in and out in that I apply a project management approach to the way I work so there is a defined beginning and end with clear objectives and targets agreed with clients beforehand. Some projects are big and some are small, I am happy to help in any way that I can.


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

M.H: Having completed my Psychology Degree and Diploma in Business Studies in UCD, I started out my career in research with AGB Atwood. From there I was approached by Lever Bros (Ire) Ltd to join the team as a Marketing Executive and leaving the position of Product Group Marketing Manager years later, I joined Irish Permanent as Marketing Communications Manager and from there I went to Esat Clear as Marketing Manager. After Esat, I joined the startup team at eBid.ie, Ireland’s first online auction marketplace, as COO and when the market changed for our business, I joined Ogilvy & Mather as Senior Account Director. I was headhunted from there to join Canada Life as Marketing Director to establish a professional marketing team and following the acquisition of Irish Life by our parent company Great West LifeCo, I set up my own business. To date I have completed projects with KnowledgeBase.ie, an online platform we created to provide solicitors and accountants with a guide to the new Companies Act and changes to Employment Law, and most recently I joined Pinergy on a consultancy basis for a period of 12 months as acting Head of Marketing. Here I worked closely with the management team to devise a clear strategy and positioning for the business to form the basis for growth from a domestic pay-as-you-go provider to the energy services business Pinergy is today. A major priority of my work during this period was a strategic review of Pinergy’s brand positioning in the context of both a dynamic market and the company’s evolving business model in both the domestic and commercial markets. To date, I have had a joyous 28 years working in marketing across a range of Industry sectors; Market Research, FMCG, Finance, Telecoms, Internet start-ups, Advertising, Life Assurance and Energy industries.


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

 M.H: I am passionate about marketing and the positive impact it can have on building brands. The challenge for my role is to ensure that a company’s brand positioning is right and the marketing strategy brings that positioning to life for consumers in the most appropriate and effective way through the most appropriate and effective marketing channels within budget. The challenge for marketing is how to connect, how to position your brand in a way that it clearly stands out from other brands so that customers always choose your brand over your competitors. Many businesses don’t have a big marketing budget and for me I think that makes a marketer even more creative.  Sometimes it can be a challenge to get a business to put the customer at the heart of everything that they do, as that is the key to building a long-term relationship with customers.


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

 M.H: Listening is a hugely important skill for me as my starting point is meeting with clients to listen to and understand what marketing problems or issues they are facing in their business. Working with management teams on a project basis requires excellent teamwork and communication skills. Also empathy is important so that I can effectively & positively contribute to a business team. Understanding the business & the market, competitors and consumers is critical in order to be able to do my job and above all, a passion for and an understanding of marketing is the master skill. 


MII: Describe a typical working day. 

 M.H: The wonderful thing about my business is that no day is a typical day. After I meet a client and we agree that I can add value to their business, my first task is to spend time with my client to discuss the scope of our project and agree objectives and key deliverables together. Then my work begins and I start by meeting the team to ask a series of 6 questions focusing on what the business does, what makes it different, why I should believe it and why as a customer I should choose this brand over others. I also ask, what is working well and what can be improved in terms of marketing. This is a very interesting exercise and gives tremendous insight into the task ahead. Next I research the market landscape and conduct an in depth study into every competitor, drawing on all the information available.  Then I gather every bit of information available about the customers and their experience and study those who are not yet customers to understand how best to connect with them. From this I devise a clear strategy and positioning for the business to form the basis for growth and work with the team to implement this strategy. An important focus of my work is to make sure that every internal and external touchpoint to the target market clearly reflects that strategy & positioning. I have also been involved in finding the right marketing resource for a business and have recruited for an internal marketing role and sourced external service providers to suit a business. I have also introduced management dashboards that track performance against key performance indicators and have implemented budget management processes and reports to track return on investment. The projects I work on can be big projects encompassing all I have described above or projects may be more compact in terms of what is required, it depends on what the client needs. That is why no day is a typical day for me.


MII: What do you love most about your role? 

 M.H: For me, marketing is about connecting a business or service with a market to form a relationship that is mutually beneficial for both; profitable for the business and always rewarding and fulfilling for the customer. Working with business teams across different industries, learning about their business and their market and gaining an understanding of their target consumers’ beliefs, attitudes and behaviours and determining the best marketing channels to connect a business with their chosen market to position their brand ahead of competitors, is what I love most about marketing. It is very rewarding and fulfilling for me to apply my marketing experience to my clients from the range of industries I have been lucky enough to work in.


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

 M.H: I relish the opportunity to work with businesses to make marketing work for them. Whether this is with big businesses and their marketing teams or small enterprises who perhaps don’t have a sufficient in-house marketing resource or maybe don’t want to engage with a full services agency but would like an experienced marketer to work with them for a period of time. This is where In and Out Marketing can help. So far, In and Out Marketing has worked with KnowledgeBase and Pinergy and I am actively looking to take on new projects during 2018. In and Out Marketing is all about offering a personal, practical hands-on service and my starting point is listening to clients and understanding what marketing problems or issues they may be facing in their business. I will meet with businesses, at no cost, to explore if and how In and Out Marketing might assist a business with marketing. Any business who would like to contact me, can email me at maeve@inandoutmarketing.ie or complete the contact form on my website www.inandoutmarketing.ie


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

 M.H: I was very fortunate to work with great role models in my early career, among them Tom McGowan, Kevin Donnelly and Barbara Patton from whom I learned a great deal. I am inspired by Natalie Massenet founder of Net-A-Porter, Lady Michelle Mone founder of Ultimo & Jo Malone founder of Jo Malone and Jo Loves for their passion and perseverance and because their businesses and brands have made a powerful and enduring connection with their customers and they place customer experience at the centre of their business. I admire Sir Richard Branson for the way that he brings his people along with him and respects all those who work with him. All his Virgin businesses demonstrate the essence of teamwork. I was lucky enough to attend this year’s Pendulum Summit to see some of my role models speak, which was so inspiring. Going back to where I started with my psychology degree I now have a new person I look to for inspiration and that is Dr Martyn Newman, a psychologist with an international reputation as an expert in emotional intelligence and leadership who tells us of the key skills we need to become great leaders and that we need to learn how to quiet the noisiness of our world today to develop peaceful minds in order to make good clear decisions. I think I can learn a lot from him and I never want to stop learning.

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Your Agency Has a Brand Too and It Won't Market Itself

Posted By Jill Byrne, Rothco, Wednesday 7 February 2018
Updated: Tuesday 6 February 2018

Jill Byrne Rothco

Rothco's director of marketing Jill Byrne says great work speaks for itself but it can’t be relied on to build your agency brand.

It’s an age-old industry cliché, but for professionals who help to build brands for a living, we aren’t so good at building our own. I think it’s probably even fair to say that agencies are notoriously poor at marketing themselves. We tend to criticise clients who don't take marketing seriously or don’t have a CMO on their board – yet the advertising industry rarely does this itself.
 
Too often we rely on the reputation and quality of our output to define our agency brand. And while our work does say a great deal about who we are, it cannot and should not be relied on solely.
 
The most successful agencies in the world don’t only continuously talk about their work, but also their people, their personality and their business. They create good content for themselves as well as their clients and almost all of the time they have a full-time person doing it. 
 
However, many agencies tend to see the role of a CMO as somewhat of a luxury. Because the CMO function in an agency isn’t billable, it can take longer for the return on the investment to deliver. Therefore, many don’t always recognise the value in having one – particularly smaller agencies.  But success just doesn’t happen by chance and like any of the ambitious brands we work with, our own marketing ambition needs a focussed strategy to get there. It’s forward thinking and brave businesses that invest to challenge themselves to be better. 
 
If there is no CMO, then the marketing task is often taken on by MD or CEO level, but if you have someone dedicated to growing your brand, you can get on with the very important job of running your agency. This not only gives you more time but can open the mind to new opportunities and things you may not have considered before when you are growing your brand. 
 
Since we created the Marketing Director role in Rothco our goal has been to develop an international profile strategy that makes the world sit up and take notice of us and our work. Initiatives which have helped include us sitting on international judging panels; publishing thought pieces; and speaking on stage at events such as Advertising Week and Cannes. 
 
Whilst we have always attended Cannes, historically our presence and role there has been passive. Instead of blending in with the thousands of delegates who attend, we wanted to stand out and have a more meaningful presence. In the past three years, we’ve spoken on the main stage; delivered two talks and a workshop; sponsored the Young Lions Competitions and hosted many private networking events. We’ve also won our first two Lions during this period, so all in all it’s been a succesful part of our strategy.
 
Equally, the marketing role was also created out of a desire for us to help our clients have the work we develop for them recognised and celebrated around the world.

If our clients are prepared to invest time, budgets and confidence in us, we should strive to ensure that their work gets the attention it deserves. Again, this doesn’t just happen. Amongst all the clutter, feeds and paid for presence out there, it’s increasingly challenging to get the right work in front of the right people. However, in the space of three years, we have managed to increase our international press coverage by 177%. This in turn has resulted in a 98% increase in our web and social traffic.
 
Rothco have always had an ambition to grow our reputation and that of our clients beyond our shores, and to do that we need to cast our net far and wide. We’re always on the lookout to make new friends who can give us new perspectives, ideas and opportunities. This is undoubtedly the best part of the role for me as it constantly forces us to consider new ways of doing things and reminds us that success is a journey, not a destination. So, whilst it seems mad to write that more marketers need marketing marketers, it’s about time agencies started showing their own brands more love. 

 

This article was first published on lbbonline.com.

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Super Bowl 2018: the ads everyone is talking about

Posted By The Marketing Institute, Wednesday 7 February 2018
Updated: Tuesday 6 February 2018

The Super Bowl might be a US sports event, but marketers around the world know to keep an eye out for some of the year’s most awaited display of creativity in advertising. This year again brands brought out the big guns with plenty of celebrities, special effects and a whole lot of jokes (at $5 million for a 30 second ad slot, you better stand out). Unlike last year, this year’s ads steered clear of politics and most of them just went for straight up innocent fun. Let’s have a look at the ads that caught everyone’s attention, whether they were hilariously clever, unapologetically different or went crashing down in flames.

Tide – It’s a Tide ad


Every ad is a Tide ad in this extremely clever campaign for the detergent brand. The company bought an ad slot in every quarter for a running joke where Stranger Things actor David Harbour crashes a number of famous ads arguing that they are in fact… Tide ads. Bonus points to the mother company Procter & Gamble for getting free advertising for other P&G brands such as Old Spice and Mr. Clean.


Amazon - Alexa loses her voice

 


The premise: Alexa loses her voice and someone needs to fills in. And that’s when a number of celebrities come in, giving quite an edge to Amazon’s intelligent personal assistant. Amazon’s founder Jeff Bezos even makes an appearance! And that’s not all, Amazon thought of everything, and used “acoustic fingerprinting technology” to make sure the ad didn’t trigger Amazon Echo in consumers’ homes. Now that’s a job well done.


Doritos Blaze Vs. Mountain Dew Ice


Another great use of celebrities comes from sister companies Doritos Blaze and Mountain Dew Ice. Because who wouldn’t enjoy watching Peter Dinklage and Morgan Freeman lip sync Busta Rhymes and Missy Elliott in a nod to A Song of Ice and Fire?


Budweiser - Stand by You


Budweiser caught everyone’s attention by breaking its years long tradition of Super Bowl ads featuring the Clydesdale horse. We'll forgive them however, as they instead used the ad to spread awareness of the brand’s initiative to provide clean water to US populations impacted by natural disasters. 

Ram Trucks


And now for the biggest backlash of this year’s Super Bowl. When Ram Trucks featured a Martin Luther King voiceover to promote their product, it didn’t go down too well with the public (especially when M.L.K. criticised advertising in that same speech). This is just another example in a series of brands misusing good causes in their ads in the past year, and it should serve as a reminder for marketers that consumers always recognise when a brand’s attempt to rally behind a cause is inauthentic.

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Marketing Sentiment Survey 2018

Posted By The Marketing Institute, Mediacom & The Irish Times, Wednesday 24 January 2018
marketing sentiment survey 2018

L – R Tom Trainor, Chief Executive,The Marketing Institute; Laughlin Rigby, Head of Marketing, The Irish Times; Gillian Hennessey, Head of Marketing Boots Ireland; Orlaith Blaney, Chief Communications and Marketing Officer, ‎Ervia; Liam Kavanagh, Managing Director, The Irish Times and Peter McPartlin, CEO Mediacom.


Marketing spends to rise in 2018 but are still below average  

Over one third of companies in Ireland say that they plan to increase their spend on marketing in the year ahead, according to a new survey of marketing decision-makers by the media agency, MediaCom Ireland, The Irish Times and the Marketing Institute of Ireland.

However, total spend on marketing only represents an average of 8% of company revenues, according to the survey, and Ireland lags major markets such as the UK and US where the comparable figure is around 11%.

The 2018 Marketing Sentiment Survey is designed to capture the views of the people who shape Ireland’s marketing budgets. These in turn will ultimately determine the fortunes of media companies, agencies and the broader marketing communications community in the year ahead.

Almost half of marketing managers plan to invest more in ecommerce or ensure their website is fit for transactions, 30% in advertising and 25% in PR and Communications.

The five highest rated media channels for increased investment in 2018 are all digital ones: 49% saying they will invest more in social media, 28% in content marketing, 25% in search, 24% in digital video and 24% in online display / programmatic advertising. 

In terms of top priorities for 2018, marketing decision-makers cited their most prominent as generating increased brand awareness (49%), using social media to drive sales (33%) and expanding into new markets (32%). 

The research was conducted for MediaCom Ireland by iReach using their online panel of business people across small, medium and large enterprises, as well the MII’s membership database. The primary results from this survey are based on 249 individuals with direct involvement in marketing budgets, across a range of different industry and service sectors, as well as governmental and semi-state organisations.

Commenting on the research, Peter McPartlin, CEO of MediaCom Ireland said There is  a range of challenges which is  shaping contemporary marketing. But the primary one is that the levels of marketing investment in this country are still relatively low and this is being reflected in the ‘low-no’ growth forecasts for media spending too. The industry needs to collectively work on proof of marketing return on investment to boost this.”

Tom Trainor, CEO of the Marketing Institute said, “Whilst the survey results reflect the ongoing pressures on marketing leaders, it is apparent that there is scope for marketing to argue for greater authority and investment. The challenge for the profession is to ensure we have the leaders in place with the requisite skills to win the confidence and support of the CEO and the board.”

Eimear Moran, Media Solutions Director of The Irish Times, said “The Irish Times has been working to highlight the value of advertising within trusted environments, on trusted platforms, and with trusted audiences for some time.  The Marketing Sentiment study shows that the issue of brand safety and media trust continue to be ones which challenge the marketing communications industry.”

The research findings were presented at a special breakfast hosted by The Irish Times this morning (January 24th at 7.30am at their offices in Tara Street). A panel of senior marketing people from Boots Ireland, The Irish Times and Ervia also gave their perspectives on the marketing year ahead.


Download Sentiment Survey results here.

 

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Young Lions 2018: Young Marketers Competition

Posted By IAPI, Wednesday 24 January 2018

Young Marketers 2017 WinnersPaddy Carberry and Rachel Crawley from Vodafone, 2017  Young Marketers winners


A competition for young marketers in marketing departments around the country

The prize is an all expenses paid trip to the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity in June 2018.
Cannes Lions is the largest global event in the world of advertising. There are prestigious awards, for the most creative communication campaigns, and also fantastic speakers, workshops, showcases and events that run for a week in Cannes. One third of the 17,000 delegates are large advertisers.

How does it work?

Teams enter in teams of two. The brief will be for a non-commercial project.
For young marketer competition, when a team enters, they answer the brief as the brand they currently work for.  The competition requires that you apply the brand you work for to whatever brief is on the table. So for example, last year’s team from Vodafone answered  the brief from the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland using the Vodafone brand to tackle the issue.

Next steps

IAPI organise a formal briefing open to anyone planning to enter the morning of  Friday 16 February. Save the date!
Participants will have a number of weeks to answer the brief. Once they do, entries are short-listed.  Finalists present their pitch to the judges in person, who then select a winner to go to Cannes. Presentations will be organised w/c 19 March date TBC

More info on the competition here: www.iapi.ie/awards/cannes-lions/young-marketers

 
Register for the briefing event here: www.iapi.ie/events/cannes-young-lions-young-marketers-brief-presentation

 

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