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Digital marketing: measure what matters!

Posted By John Dunne, Founder of Ignite Digital, Wednesday 20 February 2019
Updated: Tuesday 19 February 2019

John Dunne Ignite Digital
John Dunne, Ignite Digital

There’s never been more data, tools and service providers available to evaluate the business return from marketing investments, yet it’s never been more challenging to be an effective marketer. Every channel has its own unique set of metrics, making it very difficult for marketers to compare effectiveness across channels. When it comes to digital marketing, positioned as the most trackable of all media, the challenge is even greater. Digital media suffers from an endless supply of choices and data, which creates confusion for marketers and overwhelms them.

 

Accountability vs effectiveness

There’s a lot of talk in the industry about ‘accountability’ and ‘effectiveness’, but some clients and agencies behave in ways that make accountability difficult and effectiveness harder. There’s a clear lack of rigour when it comes to evaluation. Performance metrics, such as cost per click or cost per sale, are chosen because they’re easy to measure basis, not on their importance for long-term brand health. It’s worth checking out what some senior brand executives had to say in a series of recent videos  on Marketing Week. They eloquently set out the currency of marketing effectiveness and why it appears to elude so many brand owners.

Marketing accountability is a top priority for marketers across all media. Its importance is being driven by many factors: the proliferation of digital channels, the increasing microsegmentation of consumers, an endless array of marketing data available, and, most importantly, an increased focus on marketing returns.

 

Performance fixation

This ROI obsession applies to all media. The performance fixation has drawn disproportionate attention to more strategic measurement of digital channels. This kind of scrutiny scares many marketers, as online measurement and intense data analytics are often considered as pleasant an experience as root canal treatment!

The business truism “what gets measured get done” might have been accurate once, but in today’s data-driven, digital world it seems that everything is quantified, tracked, and recorded. And to what end? In today’s world, it seems you can’t be too thin, too rich, or have too much information. Wasn’t having all this data at our fingertips supposed to make us better informed? Instead, it seems that everything is measured, and nothing gets done! In our information-driven economy, the real challenge lies in keeping our heads above the deluge of data, and in learning how to distil meaningful insights from information.

 

Currency of effectiveness

An industry fault is that we tend to see the world in discrete camps: buyer/non-buyer; heavy user/light user. Not surprising, then, some view online and offline worlds separately. We continue to assess advertising in terms of awareness because it’s easy to measure – even though the link with sales and profit is often tenuous. Direct response rates are popular barometers of effectiveness, even though they’re short-term effects, don’t necessarily represent incremental business, and are driven by factors besides marketing. We assess online activity by online responses, but evidence shows the real payback takes place offline for most brands. Binet and Field’s excellent new paper, 'Effectiveness in Context', eloquently highlights this point.

Reality, as usual, is more complicated than we care to admit. For example, renewing a Netflix subscription is very different to a more complex purchase such as car insurance. One takes place entirely online; the other mixes online research and offline purchase, as the customer thinks they will get a better deal by haggling over the phone with the sales agent! Now do you see why this is so complicated? Unfortunately, there’s no magic formula to measuring marketing effectiveness. But marketers must ensure they are not just measuring what is easy, but instead measuring what matters.

 

The great brutish bake-off

Measuring is easy; evaluating is hard. Think of data as the ingredients: anyone can measure flour, milk and eggs, but without the right information – that is, a recipe that gives you the correct ratio of those ingredients – the mixture will never become bread. Sales data, for example, measures recorded behaviour, whereas survey data informs planners on likely behaviour.

Data that measures gives us dimensions, quantities, and proportions. Data that informs will depend on perspective and context. It reveals substance rather than structure. Data that measures tracks performance by assessing impact. Data that informs, on the other hand, builds understanding, tests concepts and strategies, and helps shape decisions.

Setting KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) or OKR’s (Objectives and Key results) are seen by many as a necessary evil, or some perfunctory exercise. They need to be built gradually; doing too much too soon will lead to a lot of unnecessary pain. It sounds obvious, but the starting point should be to understand what you can and can’t control. All too often, I come across client reviews where they had set KPIs they couldn’t track.  Contrary to popular belief, if everything’s at green in your performance review, you’ve failed. Setting the bar too low gives brand owners a false sense of accomplishment. Setting ambitious targets puts skin in the game and challenges everyone to deliver as best they can.

In the end, effectiveness boils down to doing the right thing and I would argue it’s more important than accountability, which is being seen to do the right thing. Many years ago, a client partner of mine always advocated doing exactly this. Their mantra to me then was to ‘ask for forgiveness and not permission’! Sadly, with trust eroding in many client-agency relationships, the mantra now seems to be W. Edwards Deming’s classic line: – ‘In God We Trust; All Others Bring Data’.

 

About the author

John Dunne is Founder of Ignite Digital, a company that offers unbiased advice to effective marketers in Ireland. John has more than 20 years’ experience in the media business and a strong pedigree in digital advertising, he has an intimate understanding of the media supply chain and how it supports broader marketing objectives in the context of driving business growth.


John is accredited by IAPI and the AAI as an independent media consultant.
 

ignite digital

 

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4 Global Yoghurt Trends to Look for in 2019

Posted By Mintel, Tuesday 19 February 2019

The spoonable yogurt market is a volatile one which has swung repeatedly between growth and decline in recent years. The health and sustainability credentials of dairy in general, and yogurt in particular, have come under scrutiny and in some of the largest yogurt markets, consumption per capita is decreasing. Regular NPD and new, exciting flavours are needed to inject excitement in the category. Using Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD), we highlight four yogurt trends to watch out for in 2019, from clean label to floral flavours.



Make it clean, make it healthy

Over the past few years, yogurt brands have focused their efforts on removing artificial additives and preservatives from products. However, the category has recently been tasked with reducing the sugar content of formulations. For example, the UK market is aiming to cut sugar content by 20% by 2020. Clean label is also increasingly seen as proof of health. Indeed, Mintel research finds that more than half of yogurt consumers in the UK would choose a yogurt with a short ingredients list, over one with a long list

Launched in Germany, Arla Bio Nur strawberry yogurt is a stripped-back yogurt consisting of simply 75% organic yogurt with 25% organic fruit preparation. It is free from added sugar and contains “nothing else”, as suggested by the brand name (‘nur’ is German for ‘just’). The yogurt addresses consumers’ growing concerns about high sugar levels in fruit yogurts, as it contains considerably less sugar than average yogurts in Germany (6.8g-7.7g/100 g vs an average of 12.5g).




Yoplait’s new yogurt brand YQ, launched in the US, competes with many Greek and Icelandic yogurts as it’s high in protein, low in sugar (even lower than many Greek yogurts) and has a thicker texture than traditional spoonable yogurt. It’s unique selling point is that it’s made with ultra-filtered milk, resulting in a product that is 99% lactose free.



Yeo Valley launched an ‘artist’s edition’ Baobab & Vanilla yogurt in 2018: baobab is often promoted for its immune health benefits, but the growing interest in African cuisine, culture and ingredients will make it a more common inclusion in products that are positioned around energy and clean natural nutrition.



The indulgence conundrum

 Confirming yogurt’s double-sided nature, next to health claims and sugar reduction, brands also have a chance to thrive by exploring indulgence. Indeed, taste, flavour and texture are crucial elements for yogurts positioned as treats or as a better-for-you alternatives to desserts. Balanced diets are becoming integral elements of people’s self-care routines as more consumers find the modern pace of life to be hectic and stressful. People are cultivating their own individual definitions of ‘balance’ with permission to enjoy treats being an integral aspect of their lifestyle.

In Italy, Müller unveiled an indulgent yogurt range with flavours inspired from around the world: Müller San Francisco Creamy Yogurt Flavoured with Raspberry Cheesecake “for a dreamy break at the San Francisco bay”; Müller Marrakesh Creamy Yogurt with Orange and Ginger “for an exciting walk down Marrakesh streets”; while Müller Santo Domingo Creamy Yogurt with Coconut and Chocolate Flakes “for a moment of relax in a beach in Santo Domingo”.


Danone Oikos Yogurt with Hazelnut and Caramel Crunch is a limited edition product combining the creaminess of yogurt with the decadence of caramel and the crunch of nuts, adding an element of texture to stand out.




Thinking outside the pot

 According to Mintel research, consumers in the US are most likely to say they want their breakfast to be healthy and high in protein. While they mostly eat their breakfast at home, convenience is still important. PepsiCo’s Quaker Oats has attempted to answer all of these desires with its new Morning Go-Kits – refrigerated breakfasts that contain trail mix, yogurt, and the company’s Breakfast Flats bars.



Brownes Dairy in Australia has expanded its yogurt line with a new product sold in a top down squeezable bottle, which is unusual in this category and will definitely make it stand out on the shelf from the sea of pots and pouches. The packaging can meet any occasion – breakfast, snacking, smoothies or cooking and opens up new consumption occasions such as squirting on baked potatoes, smashed avocado toast etc. The same applies to the Chobani Savor range in the US: plain greek yogurt aimed to replace sour cream, which comes in a squeezable pouch.


What’s next: Botanic flavours

 Although flowers, herbs and spices still represent a small percentage of food and drink launches in Europe, the use of these ingredients has grown in recent years. Always looking for the next trend, consumers will be increasingly open to floral flavours in yogurt, and Mintel is already seeing innovation in this category.

In China, the Yoplait range includes a rose and cranberry flavoured yogurt, while You Chun Shanghai Style has launched an osmanthus rice wine brewed yogurt, which uses a double fermentation technique. Danone Activia introduced a green tea and mint yogurt in France, while Russia’s Sibirskiye Produkty experimented with honeysuckle and Germany’s Hofmeierei Jeetzel with elderflower.


 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 www.mintel.com. Follow Mintel on Twitter: www.twitter.com/mintelnews or join the Mintel LinkedIn community: www.linkedin.com/company/mintel.

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The Consumer Market Monitor - Q4 2018

Posted By The Marketing Institute & UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School, Monday 18 February 2019
Updated: Friday 15 February 2019

consumer market monitor Q3 2018Property Market Grows 8%, With Almost Half Of Homes Bought With Cash

55,000 homes purchased in 2018 – growth of just 8%
Almost 25,000 properties bought with cash, 45% of total transactions
Growth of 12% in mortgages issued in 2018 rising to 30,629
Supply failing to meet demand, with 35,000 new homes needed annually
350,000 new homes needed over next decade to satisfy demand
50,000 fewer homes bought last year than at height of boom in 2005

 

read report

 

Dublin, February 18th, 2019:

The latest quarterly Consumer Market Monitor (CMM), published today by the Marketing Institute of Ireland and UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School, shows slow but steady growth in Ireland’s residential property market, with 55,000 homes purchased in 2018, an increase of just 8% on the previous year. Excluding mortgages from the 2018 figures, there were almost 25,000 homes purchased with cash or savings last year. This represents 45% of all the properties sold, similar to the level of cash purchases made during the recession years, 2009-2013.

While the residential property market is growing, the number of homes purchased in Ireland last year was approximately half the amount purchased during the height of the last boom in 2005, when 105,000 homes were sold. The Consumer Market Monitor (CMM) also shows that there was an increase of 12% in the number of mortgages issued during 2018, with 30,629 drawn down, but again this is a considerably lower level than during the last boom, with 85,000 mortgages issued in 2005 and similar levels in 2006 and 2007.

While market growth was sluggish, demand remains high for housing in Ireland. The CMM shows that there has been a rapid expansion in the workforce: since 2012 there have been 430,000 new jobs created and the annual rate of new household formation is at approximately 35,000.

Construction has picked up in recent years, with 15,000 new units built in 2017; 18,000 new units built in 2018 and another 20,000 and 23,000 new homes set to come on stream in 2019 and 2020 respectively. However, based on the rate of new household formation, construction levels fall short of the number required to bring housing demand and supply into balance. The CMM shows that there is a need for 350,000 extra housing units to meet demand over the next 10 years. This level of house-building would increase Ireland’s total housing stock by 17.5% to 2.35 million units.

 

Professor Mary Lambkin, author of the report, said: The consumer economy is performing well in most areas, but the residential property market is still lagging behind. There were 55,000 homes sold in 2018, an increase of just 8% year-on-year, a rate of growth that has remained consistently low over the past five years. This compares to the boom years of 2005-2007 when over 100,000 homes were sold each year.

“The property market’s sluggish growth does not reflect the large increase in the working population and the rate of new household formation that has occurred over the past five years. While the number of homes for sale has increased to about 23,500, the level of property sales should be about double the current level, approaching the level that the market experienced during the early 2000s, when the workforce was about the same level as it is today”.

 

Tom Trainor, Chief Executive of the Marketing Institute of Ireland, said:

“The outlook for 2019 is largely positive, with fundamental economic conditions remaining strong and likely to continue to drive employment and income growth. The risk of a hard Brexit is weakening consumer confidence, in turn moderating the outlook for spending. But also, the mismatch between property supply and demand means home prices and rents are likely to outpace pay and will hit disposable income.”

 

Property Sales

The residential property market peaked in 2005 when 105,000 homes were sold and 85,000 mortgages were issued to owner-occupiers. In 2011, it fell to its lowest point when just 25,700 properties were sold and 10,500 mortgages were issued. From that low point, residential property sales crept back up year-on-year, with modest increases each year in the number of properties sold and in the number of mortgages issued to finance them. The number of properties sold reached 42,000 in 2014 while the mortgage number was 19,000 - equal to 45% of sales.

Since 2014, sales have increased by 8% per year, on average. First-time buyers have accounted for over 60% of all sales during this period. Forecasts suggest that sales will increase by a further 5% this year, a modest rate of growth that is at odds with the high level of demand that is driving up rents and purchase prices nationally.

At the low point in the market in 2009, there were 60,000 homes for sale on the property websites – a number that did not vary for about four years. As sales picked up from 2012, the stock of homes available for sale dropped year-on-year, until it reached an all-time low of 20,500 at the end of 2017. 

 

Mortgages & Cash Purchases

There were 30,629 mortgages issued in 2018 for home purchases, compared with more than 80,000 each year during the earlier part of the 2000s. Given that the workforce is back to the same numbers as in those years, it seems reasonable to argue that the number should be at least double what it currently is in a normal market. 

In the absence of mortgage finance, almost half of the homes purchased relied on cash and savings, similar to the recession years when mortgage approvals were at an all-time low. In fact, Irish households have increased their savings dramatically in recent years; bank deposits stood at €12.4 billion in 2018, compared to €7.3 billion in 2006.

 

Property Prices & Affordability

The shortage of supply has been driving prices up with the result that homes are becoming increasingly less affordable. The average home in Ireland costs just over five times the average income at present, which is much less than the nine times income that pertained at the height of the last boom. However, this ratio is considerably higher than the borrowing limit of 3.5 times income imposed by the Central Bank, meaning that many would-be purchasers cannot qualify for a mortgage.

 

Conclusion

The conclusion that emerges is that the property market is growing cautiously. It may not be fully satisfying the latent demand in the market, but the constraints on lending seem to be working well to prevent excessive borrowing that would drive up prices even more on the limited numbers of homes for sale. As the stock of new homes under construction rolls out into the market, the needs of more buyers can be met in an orderly way.

The upward trend in the property market is expected to continue in 2019, with sales to increase by 5% to 58,000. This will be facilitated by the increasing rate of construction of new homes as well as increasing supply of second-hand properties coming on the market.

 

 infographic consumer market monitor q4 2018

 

About the Author

 

Mary Lambkin

Mary Lambkin is Professor of Marketing in the UCD School of Business where she teaches courses to undergraduate and postgraduate students and is involved in a range of research projects under the general heading of marketing strategy.  She has written extensively on this subject in academic journals, and also writes commentaries on marketing topics of contemporary interest for professional publications. She has served as Head of the Marketing Group, as Dean of the UCD Business School and as a member of the Governing Authority of the university at various times, and also holds a number of positions in companies and professional organisations outside the university.


About UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School

 

The UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School is Ireland’s leading business school and research centre offering world-class business programmes that equip students to become future industry leaders. It is the only business school in Ireland, and one of an elite group of schools worldwide, to hold the ‘triple crown’ of accreditation from three centres of business and academic excellence—EQUIS, AACSB and AMBA. 
 
Academic programmes at UCD Smurfit School consistently rank among the world’s best and are accredited by the most internationally respected organisations. The Masters in International Business Management is ranked 7th in the world by the Financial Times and the school is ranked 24th among leading European business schools.
 
Engagement efforts have resulted in one of the world's top, business school, alumni communities with over 75,000 professionals around the globe in over 35 international chapters. Along with academic administration, leadership derives from two advisory boards, the Irish Advisory Board and the North American Advisory Board.
 
The UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School is one of four constituent parts of The UCD College of Business and offers postgraduate courses, including the MBA and a wide range of MScs in business, to approximately 1,300 students per year. The Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School opened a campus solely dedicated to graduate business education in 1991 and grew most recently with a new centre for PhD research in 2017. 

 

About The Marketing Institute of Ireland

The Marketing Institute is the professional body for Ireland's marketing people. It exists “to enable marketers to build great brands and great careers”. It does this by sharing best practice, insights and expert content, building the community of marketers, and aiding marketers in career progression. The three themes of content, community and career underpin all Institute activities. The Marketing Institute also owns and operates the All Ireland Marketing Awards, the CMO Summit, and DMX Dublin, Ireland's largest marketing conference.

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Irish Advertising Investment: What is Wrong with this Picture?

Posted By Mediacom, Wednesday 13 February 2019

Mediacom irish advertising investment 2019

Investment in advertising by Irish businesses has traditionally lagged behind that of their European counterparts. Currently, however, Ireland has the lowest advertising spend as a percentage of GDP and one of the lowest spend per capita in the EU. The recession in no doubt damaged the Irish advertising market, with a lasting impact that it has never recovered from.

Total Irish advertising spend fell by 40% between 2008-2012. Despite growth across the market being forecasted by many year after year, the reality is that the advertising spend has remained stagnant since the depth of the recession over 8 years ago. And this would be understandable, if the rest of the Irish economy had not bounced back with such a bang, and significantly outperforming other EU countries.

The purpose of this publication is not to determine the reasons why businesses fail to invest in Irish advertising to the extent of other EU ad-markets. These are many, being highly diverse and individual to each business. It is purely to put a spotlight on the differences between spend levels in Irish advertising versus that of other EU countries, noting particularly the current favourable position of the Irish economy. A comparison that is compelling, and highlights the lack of investment in advertising that exists among Irish businesses.

The truth is that there is an opportunity for the businesses that will invest in advertising ahead of the marketplace over the coming years. There is clearly a gap to be exploited, one which can drive penetration, capitalising on a consumer market with relatively strong margins and one that drives healthy returns for businesses.

 

 

For more visit www.mediacom.com

 

 

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A Day in the Life of... Geoff Codd, Head of Marketing and Retail Development at Energia

Posted By The Marketing Institute, Wednesday 13 February 2019

Geoff Codd Energia

What does a Head of marketing & Retail Development at Energia do?

My role is multi-faceted and varied but I primarily lead a team of 26 highly motivated and dedicated marketing professionals. The team consists of Marketing communications, Digital, Product management, Customer Value Management, Internal Communications and our Insights Team. I also work with all parts of the broader Energia business and I have found that marketing and creative ideas don’t just come from the marketing department.
 
I work with the team to develop strategy and plans for the B2B and consumer energy market. Day-to-day, we work with several agencies across creative, media buying, market research, web development, public relations, CSR and sponsorship. Our partner agencies include Boys & Girls, Richards Dee, Vizeum, iProspect, Isobar, Strata 3, The Brand Fans, MKC Communications, Behaviour & Attitudes and Legacy Communications. 
 
Also, as part of my role I work closely with individual team members in mentoring and a skills development role. Continued development is important across the business and we actively encourage innovation from all our stakeholders; staff, management, suppliers, partners and advisors.

 

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

I started out in Celtic Hampers/Family Album as a Marketing Executive about 18 years ago and after 3 years had gained a solid grounding in all things Direct Mail. From there I moved into the telecoms sphere with Perlico and then Meteor, before moving to Energia as Marketing Manager 11 years ago. 

 

What is the biggest challenge you face in your role?

There are many, but certainly talent development and retention are amongst the biggest. We work in a fast-paced environment and developing the opportunities for a talented team member to work on interesting and exciting work is important. At Energia we are very lucky to work with great partners in the supplier and sponsorship space which has enabled the team to work on some very interesting projects and partnerships, such as our partnership with Leinster Rugby and the recent launch of our new communications campaign, Power Behind your Power.

 

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

In my role, I look to draw on several skills, both innate and those that I have learned over the years. I believe strongly in being honest with team members, suppliers and business partners – if you don’t know the answer say you don’t know the answer. Linked to that, it is important to be a clear communicator in order to convey the various requirements and expectations of the business and our customers, as well as encouraging collaboration and always pushing for creativity, innovation and fostering a resourceful and trustworthy working environment. 

For me, trust is a key attribute that is required when working across such a diverse business, trusting my team and our suppliers. I work with a great team in and outside the business so I can trust that they will deliver and excel if the strategy and communications is right. 

Finally, on a more practical level, being organised and goal orientated is key at a strategic and tactical level, ensuring we as a team have the right processes in place that allow for successful delivery and measurement of all activities.



Describe a typical working day.

A typical day is busy and varied, and while it is an old cliché, very genuinely no two days are the same. Generally speaking, most days revolve around sewing the various pieces together to create a coherent marketing package for delivery. A good example is the process we undertook in developing a recent campaign to support the roll out of the Netatmo smart thermostat, a new product innovation that we are selling in conjunction with our Energy Services and Product Development team. With a lot of moving parts, I was required to work with a number of different areas of the Energia business and external partners in the areas of data science and research, to ensure end-to-end delivery, from development and roll-out through to measurement and reporting.

On a final point, like many others I do spend too much of my work life in meetings but they are a necessary evil….sometimes.
 

What do you love most about your role?

I love the variety and if I am being honest, sometimes the madness that it brings. Every day throws up new challenges and things you haven’t thought of – especially when it comes to consumer reaction and people management. I genuinely work closely with a great team at Energia and I enjoy encouraging those around me while also trying to have some fun!
 

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

The Energia brand is full of promise and growing quickly so while we have achieved a great deal, I feel there is a lot more scope to grow. As a team we have won several awards over the years (AIM Awards, AdFX  etc.) that we are very proud of, which drives us forward, and I am confident that there is a lot more of the same to come. 
 

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

Generally speaking, I look to innovators – the trail blazers. If you are afraid to fail you might as well go home. Try small and then roll out to a wider audience. You need to learn and improve all of the time. Like many, I would look for learnings from Richard Branson. I completed my thesis on Virgin and their brand extension strategies into different sectors. Through innovation and trust, consumers gave them the licence to move their business into many different areas, albeit some areas were more successful than others.

 

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