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Why Marketers Should Develop Their Career Capital

Posted By Steven Roberts, Head of Marketing at Griffith College, Wednesday 1 August 2018
Updated: Tuesday 31 July 2018

career capital

A recent report identified that 85% of the jobs today’s learners will be doing in 2030 have not yet been invented. In a world where roles are emerging and disappearing with increased frequency, how do marketers build a successful career?

In our profession, we are given certain advice on where to get the best training – a position with one of the big brands, international experience or joining a big tech firm. Exposure to a number of roles while we’re still in our twenties. Perhaps a mix of agency and client-side work. 

Apart from the obvious goal of role advancement, what should we be seeking from each of these positions? 


You are your own CEO

Firstly, it’s important to remember no-one owes you a career. In that sense, we are all ultimately self-employed. This is a difficult but essential message to absorb. As your own CEO, how are you investing to improve your skills and the value you generate as a marketer?

Would you invest in a company that wasn’t setting aside resources to upskill and develop its staff? Why should it be any different for an individual in the current market?

“Managing oneself demands that each knowledge worker think and behave like a chief executive officer.”  Peter Drucker


Build your Career Capital

So what steps can we take to reinforce our employability and job options? 

A great way to frame your thinking is the concept of Career Capital, discussed by author Cal Newport in his book So Good They Can’t Ignore You. He posits that by developing a set of rare and valuable skills, employees can increase control over their career.

Doing this requires a craftsperson’s mindset. Forget the idea that you have arrived at the conclusion of your training; rather, consider each day how you can improve and add to your existing skillset. In this respect, it is very similar to the idea of a growth mindset that I have discussed previously.

These skills will deliver what Newport identifies as the ultimate goal for any career – autonomy to choose the roles you want, competence in your chosen area, and a related set of skills that give flexibility and insurance against the vagaries of the job market. 

A core element is commitment to continuous personal improvement. It seems simple, but the compound effect of your actions means that any activity you devote time to consistently on a daily basis will deliver substantial results if done correctly. 


Undertake Deliberate Practice

 The next step is to use deliberate practice. This involves improving specific skills in a targeted and strategic manner. It is how sportspeople and musicians improve. They identify a weakness and focus their regime on strengthening this area through repeated training.

“This is a fundamental truth about any sort of practice: If you never push yourself beyond your comfort zone, you will never improve.” Anders Ericsson

Athletes build muscle and endurance through exercises that push them to the edge of their current ability. Musicians practice their scales for hours to improve speed and dexterity. Newport argues that developing your own skillset is no different; there is an element of strain involved in order to push through to the next level of accomplishment.


Test Yourself

 How do you know if you have really absorbed and understood a new skill? Try presenting at your next team meeting, write a blog article or contribute to an industry or in-house journal on the subject.

“No one learns as much as the person who must teach his subject.” Peter Drucker


Develop a Routine

So, how to build this into a workable plan that fits within our own busy lives? 

Firstly, identify your current skillset. Then assess which aspects of your career capital need enhancing. There can be a trade-off. Do you focus on improving existing strengths or on reducing a weakness? Some experts such as Drucker advise to take the former route – in many cases it’s easier to go from good to great in an area where you are already showing competence. 

Next, take steps daily towards your goal. This will provide small wins that will give you encouragement and motivation to progress further. 
Build a routine. Ultimately, so much of life comes down to process and habit. It could be taking 30 minutes in the morning or evening and devoting this specifically to skills development. 

If that doesn’t fit your schedule, try setting aside a chunk of time once or twice a week where you can really immerse yourself. Focus on the process first, results will follow. 
If you don’t produce, you won’t thrive – no matter how skilled or talented you are. Cal Newport.

None of us can predict the future. However, taking a focused, strategic approach to our career capital and skills development will pay dividends no matter what challenges we face in our working lives.

About the author

Steven Roberts is head of marketing at Griffith College and a certified data protection officer. He writes on marketing, GDPR, data protection and personal development.


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Rugby Success Drives Sponsor First-Half Wins

Posted By Onside, Wednesday 1 August 2018
Updated: Tuesday 31 July 2018

John trainor Onside

22nd July 2018: In what is traditionally the busier of the two-halves in a calendar year for sponsorship deals, 2018 continues to uncover growing levels of investment in sponsorship by businesses in Ireland, with ONSIDE consultants tracking a 12% rise in sponsorship investments in Ireland in the first half of this year.

Sport continues to command a lion’s share of the sponsorship activity in Ireland in 2018, with 6 in 10 deals reported so far this year played out in the sports arena. It was a busy start in terms of high-profile major renewal deals including Aviva’s 5 year extension of the Aviva Stadium sponsorship, AIG’s sponsorship of Dublin GAA, and Supermac’s tie with Galway GAA.  Landmark new venue deals included Energia’s deal with European Champions Leinster Rugby’s Donnybrook Stadium and the Nissan Driving school sponsorship at Tayto Park.

Strong year on year gains were made by rights holders across Rugby, GAA, basketball, and hockey in particular in the first half of 2018.  Meanwhile broadcast and cause and community-based announcements, including Boots new deal with the Irish Cancer Society’s Daffodil Day, were also significantly ahead so far this year according to the ONSIDE sponsorship market monitor.

Commenting on sponsorship market dynamics at play to date in 2018, John Trainor, Founder and CEO of ONSIDE notes that “sectors most active in terms of closing new deals included financial services and retail, with the auto sector also driving more deals in H1 2018 than the same period in 2017.” Other areas of momentum included brands in what Trainor identified as ‘less traditional big spenders’ including firms in the professional services, including Grant Thornton’s innovative partnership with Dublin Airport Fast Track service, as well as B2B and tech based sectors that are “upping their game in this sponsorship arena.”

Also noteworthy is the continued momentum behind brands developing sponsorship deals
geared specifically toward women’s sport and entertainment, with as many such deals completed in the year to date than across all of 2017.

In terms of the Irish public’s buy-in to sponsors advances, Trainor notes “a sharp rise in admiration for sponsors has developed so far this year as sponsors invest in better activation of their rights.” 9 in 10 Irish people have a sports sponsorship that appeals most to them to date in 2018 – up from 2 in 3 the same period last year. 

Telecoms brands again topped the ONSIDE list of most appealing sport sponsors among Irish adults for the seventh quarter in a row, with Vodafone again retaining No.1 most appealing sports sponsor through a period of unprecedented success for the Irish Rugby team.  Rugby and Community Games sponsor Aldi also was also singled out by the public research as being noteworthy across both sport and non-sport investments in the past 12 months, while sponsors Bank of Ireland, Lidl and Heineken also show good momentum in the latest research.

Despite the FIFA World Cup 2018, a quieter start to the year was recorded for soccer related sponsorship deals, although
looking ahead to the second half of the year, the ONSIDE consultants note that a new cycle set to kick off shortly for UEFA Euro 2020 in 12 different European cities including Dublin in summer 2020 will undoubtedly reboot interest in soccer opportunities as sponsorship planning for 2019 begins this autumn.

About Onside

ONSIDE is a leading specialist in marketing and sponsorship consulting and research services – With a proven track record and strong industry experience in a cross section of sectors, ONSIDE is currently feeding into the marketing and sponsorship decision making of circa €50m+ of Irish spend – working on many of Ireland’s premier sponsorships – on sporting, music, cause-related, broadcast and other platforms.


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The GDPR - another disaster that never was?

Posted By Nikita Smits-Jørgensen, BusinessBrew, Wednesday 18 July 2018
Updated: Thursday 12 July 2018

gdpr the disaster that never was

May 25th 2018, the GDPR enforcement date, has passed and the sky didn’t fall. The panic and media attention around the new regulation have died down. Suddenly, the GDPR feels like the Y2K disaster that never was. But is that really true? Can marketing teams breathe easy and take a step back from personal data privacy and compliance? The answer is no, and here’s why.


GDPR and Y2K - The big difference

We are hearing one phrase more than any other when it comes to the GDPR at the moment: “GDPR is just like Y2K. Big panic that disaster will strike and then nothing happens.”

Let’s just remind ourselves of what Y2K meant. In 1999, there was concern that when the new millennium kicked off all computers including your PC, onboard facilities on planes, government devices and everything else would malfunction and therefore disaster would occur. Today, we know this didn’t happen and Y2K is known as the disaster that never was.

The only similarity to the GDPR is the fact that both had a D-Day - 1/1/2000 and 25/5/2018 respectively. And perhaps that the hysteria created around both days was bigger than it needed to be. But seriously, that’s where it ends.

The GDPR compared to Y2K is very real. It’s is a law that has come into force. Businesses have to adhere to the rules and have to change how they work with personal data going forward. While the news cycle may have moved on and hysteria has died down, the enforcement of the GDPR hasn’t.


What happened after 25/05/2018?

The point of this article is not to scare anyone, it’s to show that the belief that the GDPR has no bite and will not be enforced is untrue. My advice to you is simple, if you haven’t completed your GDPR compliance project, you need to get started. The legislation is being enforced as we speak:

Just 5 days after the deadline, on May 30th the first ruling came in. ICANN (WHOIS / The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers vs EPAG. A German court ruled that EPAG is not obliged to collect additional personal data.

Cases have been filed by Max Schrems, and La Quadrature du Net against the likes of Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp, Google’s Android, Gmail, YouTube, Google Search, Apple, Amazon and LinkedIn across different European countries.

US businesses like the LA Times are as of writing this post still not providing services to European visitors. They are willing to forego advertising revenue until they are sure they are fully GDPR compliant.

And if you feel the GDPR is only affecting big businesses:

France has seen a 50% increase in the number of complaints in relation to data privacy and Austria has seen 100+ complaints and 59 breach notification filed in the month post May 25th (that’s the same amount they’d receive in 8 months usually) according to

From a home perspective, Helen Dixon, our Irish DPA, said this in May 2018: “There will be fines, and they will be significant.[...] I think it is quite clear that when we do identify an infringement that’s of the gravity, duration and scope that is serious, then we are obliged considerably to administer an administrative fine.” 

These are really just a handful of examples of how businesses, privacy advocates, courts and citizens like you and me are using the GDPR to ensure that personal data is handled as it should be. They demonstrate the reality of the GDPR and the need to become compliant as well as maintaining compliance.


It’s not too late to get compliant

It’s never too late to become compliant! Compliance is an ongoing processes and many businesses are only now starting to wrap their heads around it. So if that’s you, you are not alone. But you really need to get your compliance skates on! 

Often, the GDPR is left with the legal and / or IT department of the business. And while both of these have a big part to play, commercial teams like sales and marketing have to up their compliance game, too.

Most sales and marketing teams today collect data online through forms like a “contact us”. Ecommerce businesses, of course, work with order forms that collect personal data. This data is often pulled into a CRM system where it is processed. This processing may include order fulfillment, invoicing or using the data to make a sales call or send a marketing email. Regardless of whether you are working in a B2B or B2C business and regardless of whether the order is fulfilled in Europe or not, if your business in based in Europe the GDPR applies and has to be included in your sales & marketing tasks.

The first step to becoming compliant is to understand the law. Easier said than done, right? The difficulties for many marketers are around avoiding miscommunication and myths as well as finding information that explains the GDPR in human-speak, not legal. 

MII together with BusinessBrew understands this; we are marketers not lawyers. Our online course is based on my experience as a Privacy Professional accredited by the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) and ISO standard 17024:2012 as well as my experience as a marketing strategist. This mix means that I can explain the GDPR in human-speak as well as give you real life sales & marketing examples applying the regulation. The next intake for the online course starts on 13th August, be sure to register your interest here!


About Nikita Smits-Jørgensen

Nikita Smits-Jørgensen is co-founder of inbound marketing and GDPR consultancy BusinessBrew. While being ISO certified in privacy regulations for sales and marketing (GDPR / PECR) she aims to work with marketers in plain English to get GDPR-ready.

Nikita met fellow BusinessBrew founder Evelyn Wolf during their tenure at inbound marketingpowerhouse HubSpot where they assisted businesses of all sizes and industries as well as marketing agencies in building their lead to customer generation funnels.

BusinessBrew is geared to help companies make the most out of their inbound marketing and privacy efforts in the most time and cost-efficient manner through workshops, training and the delivery of strategic playbooks.


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It’s time for a breakfast cereal revival

Posted By Mintel, Wednesday 18 July 2018
Updated: Thursday 12 July 2018

Consumers like breakfast cereal, but not enough to shore up a category whose fortunes are waning as breakfast eaters seek other foods in a hyper-crowded morning space. In developed cereal markets, the product is losing out to foods with higher protein, less sugar, and more convenience. In emerging markets, cereals are fighting for growth, but are challenged by entrenched eating habits that veer towards more substantial and savory foods.


Cereal sales fall, but snacking may save the category

Two of the biggest and best-established global cereal markets, the US and the UK, saw flattened sales between 2016 and 2017, after facing a steady decline over the past five years. While cereal is still a popular breakfast option, it is not providing consumers with what they need. In the US, for example, 61% of those who have purchased cereal in the past year wish that it kept them fuller longer, while 56% wish that it gave them more energy. If cereal is not satisfying the needs of breakfast eaters, it is not surprising that they are moving towards other foods that provide the energy and satiety they look for in a morning meal. In the UK, changing breakfast habits are also contributing. A third of breakfast cereal buyers often skip breakfast, and about a quarter tend to snack throughout the morning instead of eating one main breakfast.


It’s time to make cereal a real snack food

Cereal's role as a snack, rather than a breakfast food, could help the category reclaim some lost ground, if manufacturers consider the potential to change its positioning. In the US, 76% of cereal eaters agree that the product is a "great snack," and snacking on cereal is a popular practice in other markets as well. In Europe, for example, 24% of Italian cereal eaters snack on cereal between lunch and dinner. Manufacturers should consider better ways to position their cereals as "suitable for snacking”, through packaging that is more portable, package sizes made for grab-and-go, and advertisements that demonstrate the ease with which cereal can make the transition to convenient snack.

Currently only few cereal products are packaged for on-the-go snacking. Resealable pouches encourage taking the cereal from one place to another, as do individual sachets of porridge or other microwavable hot cereals. But cereals have to find a way to be the snack that is truly eaten on-the-go, as opposed to the snack to eat once a person has arrived.


Vegetables try to edge their way into cereal

Asian cultures are well known for their savory breakfasts, especially Chinese congee - a hot rice porridge - and Indian savory oats. Indeed, introducing western-style cereals to the Asian market has been an ongoing challenge as the palates of Asian consumers are not attuned to the sweetness of traditional western cereals. On the other hand, Asian cereal eaters are most likely to welcome vegetables as an ingredient in cold cereals, whereas western consumers are not as inclined to embrace savoury cereals such as oats with eggs or flakes made with vegetables.

Yet, multinationals looking for ways to improve the health halo of cold cereals have been adding vegetables, primarily by selecting those with sweet profiles (beets, pumpkin, squash). The pumpkin spice fad that has informed a range of sweet products in the US is in part responsible for the incremental move towards savory cereals.


Vegan claims in breakfast cereals provide an extra layer of reassurance

Although breakfast cereals are inherently meat-free and most are also dairy-free, breakfast cereal brands increasingly flag up their vegan and vegetarian credentials on-pack. This provides an extra layer of reassurance to consumers who seek to avoid animal-derived ingredients. Such concerns are not ungrounded, as breakfast cereals can contain hidden animal products such as gelatine or dairy ingredients, often as part of coating or filling. Also the use of other, sometimes less obvious, ingredients may not agree with vegetarian or vegan values. Honey, for example, does not correlate with the vegan ethos that seeks to exclude all forms of animal cruelty and exploitation.

Vegan claims in breakfast cereals are becoming increasingly embedded in a wider clean label positioning, featuring alongside other health and ethical claims. Considered a hallmark of clean label, a short list of ingredients is becoming an important consideration for many consumers when purchasing food and drink. In breakfast cereals, consumers are increasingly opting for products with simple recipes, recognisable ingredients as well as clearer and simpler claims.

1. Müsliglück Garden Love Organic Muesli with Carrots, Tomatoes, Courgette and Pumpkin Seeds (Germany)  contains dried vegetables and wholegrain oat cereal. The crispy, nutty, fruity and chocolatey product is suitable for vegetarians


2. Quaker Overnight Oats Toasted Coconut & Almond Crunch Oats (USA) 
is a chilled oat cereal with quinoa, flaxseed and coconut. It can be prepared by adding milk in the evening and leaving it in the fridge overnight to be enjoyed cold in the morning.



3. Nature's Path Organic Coconut & Cashew Butter Crunchy Granola (Canada) contains creamy cashew butter, potassium-filled cashews and fibre-filled coconut chunks. The packaging suggests use in a bowl or “in your hand”, for on-the-go convenience.



4. EcoAndino Purple Corn, Quinoa, Yacon and Cacao Flakes (Peru) are organic, gluten-free and sugar-free flakes. The product is a great source of antioxidants, protein, carbohydrates and essential fatty acids which are easily digestible.



5. Veríval Organic Pumpkin & Tomato Porridge (Germany) 
is a savoury oatmeal with tomato chips, pumpkin flakes and whole vegetable pieces, seasoned with herbs and spices. It requires simply adding hot water and is ideal for breakfast, lunch, dinner or as a side dish.



6. Creative Snacks Co. Pumpkin & Pecan Granola (USA) contains real pumpkin, often used in pies, breads and cakes in the US thanks to its sweet profile flavour. This granola adds pecans for a crunchy texture.



7. Granola Crispy Cereal with Chocolate & Biscuit (Austria) 
blurs the line between cereal and biscuits.





8. N'oats Porridge with Apple, Strawberry and Crisps (Germany) 
is a porridge with a twist. In contrast to classic smooth porridges, this product contains nuts, apples, crunchy corn crisps and white chocolate, providing a dynamic range of textures.



9. Quaker Oats Oat & Fruit Apple & Cinnamon Breakfast (UK) is ideal for time-poor consumers who can’t afford a sit-down breakfast. It contains a blend of oats, natural yogurt, real fruit purée and juice, and is free from added sugar, artificial flavours, colours and preservatives.



10. Onda Zen Salted Granola (Brazil) 

is a savoury, ready-to-eat granola that can be eaten on its own, or added to snacks, salads and soups. Suitable for vegans, it contains peanut, pistachio, Provence herbs and Himalayan pink salt. 



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 greatest campaigns shared at Cannes-Alysis

Posted By The Marketing Institute, Wednesday 11 July 2018

This Monday we partnered with IAPI and the AAI for a Cannes-Alysis event in the National Concert Hall, to bring you the latest and greatest insights from Cannes.

We have selected some of the best campaigns that were discussed on the night.


Grainne Wafer, Baileys

First on the stage was Grainne Wafer from Baileys on the hot topics in Cannes: gender, trust and tech.

When thinking about gender inequality among children, what brand pops into mind?This year Barbie aimed to inspire children beyond the clichés with a campaign claiming that “you can be anything”, regardless of your gender.

On the issue of trust, Grainne shared a stunt campaign by German supermarket Edeka, which fought the rise of nationalist movements by removing all non-German products from its shelves, making a statement about the importance of diversity.

Sandra Alvarez, Sparks Foundry

Next up, Sandra Alvarez from Sparks Foundry  put the spotlights on brands that help make the world a better place by tackling issues such as gender taboos and environment.

Axe noticed that men are increasingly questioning what defines masculinity and replied with a campaign pointing out that there is no one way to be a man.

Libresse put a stop to the taboo of having your periods with their Bloodnormal campaign that left no one indifferent.

The Plastic Oceans Foundation and publisher LADBible raised awareness about plastic in the ocean by petitioning to create a new country: Trash Isles.

Jamie Fulham, Core

Jamie Fulham from Core shared his experience of Cannes Lions following Martin Sorrell's advice: "say it as you see it".

The first thing Jamie learned is that we - Ireland - can win. Rothco' acclaimed campaign JFK Unsilenced is proof that we are able to create world-class work in this country.

He then made the point that everyone, in every area of advertising and marketing, can be creative. No matter what your job title is.

Jamie also flagged the changes in the way agencies work. Silos do not work anymore and agencies specialising in one thing only will soon be a thing of the past; the key is collaboration and we all have to learn to work together.

We should not be afraid of change, but embrace the possibilities that it brings with it. As David Ogilvy put it: "Change is our life blood, stagnation our death knell".

Chloe Barton, AIB

Chloe Barton from AIB then shared her experience as a Young Lion in the Young Marketers category. If you are under 30, make sure to enter the IAPI competition next year… It could be you!

One of the campaigns that stood out to Chloe was Intel’s drones light show at the Olympics, where the brand brought tech to life.

Emma Sharkey, Rothco

Emma Sharkey from Rothco was up next to discuss radio, the "forgotten medium" with ads that made a fantastic use of it. Just listen to this one for Dexcom.

And of course, she HAD to share the ad that won Rothco the Grand Prix for Creative Data and a Gold Cannes Lion in the Radio and Audio category: JFK Unsilenced. Well done Rothco!

Rory Hamilton, Boys & Girls

The last speaker was Rory Hamilton from Boys & Girls with a talk on brands' role in tackling societal issues.

With #project84, CALM installed 84 statues on top of the ITV tower to represent the 84 men who lose their life to suicide every week in the UK.

Rory closed the evening with the bigger issue of all… how do you take a selfie with your dog? Presenting… Selfie Stix.


We'd like to thank everyone who attended, and of course our partners at IAPI and AAI.


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