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Student Stories: Mairead Butler, MSc Digital Marketing & Analytics

Posted By The Marketing Institute, Wednesday 31 May 2017
Updated: Monday 29 May 2017

Mairead Butler

Mairead Butler was a joint winner of the Marketing Institute of Ireland Award for Excellence in Analytics in 2017. Mairead began her journey on the MSc Digital Marketing & Analytics in September 2015 and finished in December of 2016. The award was announced out the Dublin Institute of Technology graduation ceremony, where we celebrate the completion of the programme and champion the prize winners in the School of Marketing. Mairead received the award for an outstanding achievement in Analytics across the entire programme. We are proud of our graduates from the programme and wish them every success as they continue to blaze trails in their chosen field. 


The Marketing Institute: Tell us a bit about yourself and your current job. 

Mairead Butler: I work as a mobile specialist focused on mSite UI/UX and mSpeed. It is my job to train internal and external teams on the value of mobile and how you should invest in it to grow your business. We focus on market trends, digital insights and analytics. 


MII: Looking back, what were the key education and career moves that led you to your current role?

M.B: Similar to the rest of the Irish population, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my life when I left secondary school. I chose to study B.E.S.S because of the wide variety of subjects (maths, sociology, political science). I loved sociology and business and this became my focus area. After college I worked in an accounting firm specialising in technology audit. I learned a huge amount very quickly and knew that working in IT was definitely an area that I was interested it. When the opportunity surfaced to work in Google, I jumped at the chance. I spent a few years working with AdWords customers in the UK market and fell in love with Digital Marketing. I wanted to explore this more so I began a MSc in Digital Marketing & Analytics in D.I.T. As the course went on, I became fascinated with mobile marketing, which was what led me to change roles in Google.


MII: What are the key skills needed in your role and where did you learn those skills? 

M.B: A huge part of my role involves data analysis and spotting trends. I will review a client’s business from all angles: their site traffic, their marketing objectives, their growth opportunities. This means collating different data sources and providing a holistic story. In D.I.T we completed numerous analytics modules, which was a huge help with this. As with any role, nothing is comparable to hands on experience. You have to make the mistakes to recognise them in the future. At least 40% of my role involves face-to-face presentations, meaning that I need very strong communication and content creation skills. The D.I.T course gave us the opportunity to really develop these skills. 


MII: What are the main challenges you have to face? Any tips on how to overcome them? 

M.B: In my opinion, the biggest challenge any marketer has to face now is the complexity of the digital system. I often see people struggling with trying to marry their online/offline data or understanding if organic traffic is growing the business at the same rate that paid advertising is. I think the people who will be most successful in the next few years are those who have advanced measurement tracking in place and who understand all of the different levers that increase market share.


MII: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

M.B: The digital marketing industry is changing so rapidly that it will be very interesting to see the type of roles that will exist in 2022. There have been massive advancements in AI and automation over the past few years, so my priority right now is to try and stay ahead of the game! Data analysts are going to be absolutely crucial, as we have so much information but little insights. Improving my SQL skills are definitely on the list!


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Student Stories: Jane Russell, MSc Digital Marketing & Analytics

Posted By The Marketing Institute, Tuesday 23 May 2017

Jane Russell

Jane Russell, student on the MSc Digital Marketing & Analytics, was a joint winner of the Marketing Institute of Ireland Award for Excellence in Analytics in 2017. Jane began her journey on the programme in September 2015 and finished in December of 2016. The award was announced at the Dublin Institute of Technology graduation ceremony, where we celebrate the completion of the programme and champion the prize winners in the School of Marketing. Jane received the award for an outstanding achievement in Analytics across the entire programme. We are proud of our graduates from the programme and wish them every success as they continue to blaze trails in their chosen field. 


The Marketing Institute: Tell us a bit about yourself and your current job.

Jane Russell: I recently set up an agency, Outlaw Management, which represents a broad range of talent including comedians, actors and musicians. I was lucky to sign Deirdre O'Kane and Niamh Kavanagh as two of my first clients. I work with all clients on their digital and brand positioning, tour and audience development as well as brand associations. Outlaw also sources talent and creative teams for brand advertising, voice overs and corporate entertainment so there are several strands to the venture - plenty to keep us extremely busy!


MII: Looking back, what were the key education and career moves that led you to your current role?

J.R: I spent several years working in the entertainment and events industries which helped me build the industry connections I needed to go it alone. A key role was my appointment as chief executive of the Sky Cat Laughs Comedy Festival in 2009; that position allowed me to build my profile with corporate partners, government funders as well as with artists and international festival colleagues. It's the network I still work with every day.


MII: What are the key skills needed in your role and where did you learn those skills?

J.R: My graduate education in corporate PR and subsequent experience with marketing and event management roles equipped me with the core skills I still rely on today. My role requires that basis in rigorous strategic planning. Also key is an understanding of brand development and digital marketing. My recent Masters in Digital Marketing & Analytics has given me confidence that I'm equipped to tackle the challenges the new digital and social landscape continues to pose daily. Data analytics for example has particular applications for audience development; I began to apply those learnings in a meaningful way even while I was still studying and am still learning new ways to use data on the job.


MII: What are the main challenges you have to face? Any tips on how to overcome them?

J.R: Sometimes you have to push yourself out of your comfort zone. Doing a Masters and holding down a day job is really challenging but you can make it work with a bit of planning. I think the key thing is to just accept that it's going to be difficult - there will be long dark nights of the soul where you question if all that work is worth it - the thing is you'll always manage it in the end somehow. Talk to those who've gone before you, whether that be your education track or more senior industry colleagues and soak up their insights. It'll prove invaluable.


MII: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

J.R: I'd love to see Outlaw continue to grow both in terms of client base and staffing. We already manage one successful festival (which I can't resist sharing won Best Entertainment Website at the 2017 Web Awards!), and the plan now is to build on that early success and increase its footprint over the coming three years. 


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A Day in the Life of... Evan Arkwright, Commercial Manager at The Curragh

Posted By The Marketing Institute, Wednesday 17 May 2017
Updated: Tuesday 16 May 2017

Evan Arkwright The Curragh

The Marketing Institute: What does a Commercial Manager do? 

Evan Arkwright: I am in the office early and during our racing season, which this year includes 18 race days between now and September, days are particular long. With the development project now full steam ahead, there doesn’t seem to be any down time.  My role is wide and varied but predominantly a mixture of sales, marketing, public relations and communications. But as part of a small team, you get to learn how to multi-task.

An important objective is to make The Curragh a venue that people want to do business with, as well as an entertainment venue to attract people to come for a fun day out.  There is plenty going on as we finalise our plans for the very busy summer ahead but I always have one eye on the new development, which will be completed by the end of 2018. This will open up a huge number of opportunities for the racecourse.


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

E.A: Horse racing is a global sport and Ireland is recognised as a world leader. This opens up great opportunities for Irish people to pursue a career in the horse racing industry and travel the world to gain valuable experience.

I have worked in various roles in the horse racing industry in Ireland and abroad but working in the UAE with the Emirates Racing Association and Dubai Racing Club gave me my first real exposure working as part of a racecourse team. I joined the Curragh in 2003 and the responsibilities that were part of my initial role have expanded as the commercial business of the racecourse has developed.


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

E.A: The racecourse has commenced a very exciting journey and the new development is a huge challenge and one that I am really looking forward to.  Our business will be transformed and diversify from just a racing venue to one that will be multi purpose, giving us opportunities to attract the interest of major brands and corporate names as well as enhancing our partnerships with existing sponsors.  There is always going to be pressure to ensure we deliver on people’s expectations when it is completed but the whole racecourse team is very focused on delivering a world-class facility and one that will strengthen the very historic Curragh brand.


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

E.A: The horse racing world has a diverse number of stake holders so communication skills are crucial. 

The ability to be innovative and creative when pitching proposals to potential sponsors and partners is also essential, as well as the ability to multitask, as you never know what each day might throw at you. Loyalty and commitment are also important attributes.


MII: Describe a typical working day.

E.A: No day is the same at the Curragh – I am usually in work by 8.30am and depending on the time of year, I could still be in the office well into the evening.  Race days are all at weekends so once the season starts, a seven-day week is not unusual.   The week is packed full of meetings with regards to planning, event management, sponsors and partners, liaising with our agencies and lots more!  Race days are all about ensuring the customer experience is at its best and our sponsors maximise their association with us.


MII: What do you love most about your role?

E.A: I enjoy the variety of tasks and dealing with a great mix of interesting people.

I have a huge interest in horse racing so working at The Curragh sometimes doesn’t feel like work!


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

E.A: The exciting opportunities that the new development will create commercially for the racecourse are unlimited and there will be a whole lot more challenges as the venue evolves into a multi-purpose facility, which I am certainly looking forward to.


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

E.A: From our horse racing point of view, John Magnier is unsurpassed with regards to what he has achieved for Irish racing and enhancing the reputation of Ireland on the global stage.

I also admire people like Padraig Duffy and Phillip Browne for what they have accomplished for their sports and Irish business people such as Michael O’Leary, Michael Smurfit, Margaret Heffernan, Denis OBrien, Luke and Brian Comer and JP McManus who have achieved so much for Ireland’s international reputation.


You can read all the A Day in the Life features here.

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The People Factor: the Importance of Relationships in Sponsorship

Posted By Livewire, Tuesday 16 May 2017
people factor sponsorship

Welcome to Livewire’s report on the importance of relationships in sponsorship.

At Livewire, curiosity is one of our core values so it is not surprising that we set ourselves a task of uncovering the magic ingredient of the best sponsorships in Ireland. We wanted to understand how the people behind the biggest sponsorships in Ireland manage their relationships. Our goal was to lift the lid on these important relationships and pass on the learnings to the wider sponsorship industry.

All parties surveyed placed great importance on the quality of personal relationships for managing their sponsorships, but many admitted to often feeling frustrated. Overall, it is fantastic to witness the value placed on strong relationships, It makes us feel privileged to work in such a vibrant and people focused business. We are excited to present these learnings and hope that they will prove useful to people working in the sponsorship community.

After all, people buy from people.


Click here to read the report.



Livewire are sponsorship specialists that guide brands and rights holders through every stage of the sponsorship process. Livewire understands the commercial value of sponsorship and how to measure it, with precision. The company works with sponsors to enhance brand equity, establish consumer engagement and deliver bottom line impact. Livewire also work with rights holders to grow sponsorship revenue through brand-centric solutions. As part of Core Media Group, Livewire has unsurpassed market access and world-class resources.

Tags:  sponsorship 

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Winners unveiled for All Ireland Marketing Awards 2017

Posted By The Marketing Institute, Monday 15 May 2017


Huge attendance at Ireland’s Marketing Night of the Year

The Marketing Institute of Ireland has announced the winners of the 2017 All Ireland Marketing Awards at a gala dinner in Dublin’s Clayton Hotel, Burlington Road. The event was attended by almost 900 marketing leaders and professionals, and the MC for the event was RTE’s news anchor, Bryan Dobson.

The All Ireland Marketing Awards programme is Ireland’s marketing showcase, with hundreds of entries competing for places on the shortlist, for the eighteen awards which span the entire remit of the marketing disciplines. The awards event is a celebration of the achievements of all the shortlisted businesses.

Geoff Lyons INM & Fiona Dawson Mars
Geoff Lyons, INM, and Fiona Dawson, Mars

The All Ireland Marketing Champion award for 2017 was presented to Fiona Dawson, Global President of Mars Food, Drinks, and Multisales. Fiona is a member of the Mars Incorporated Leadership Team, which oversees sales in excess of $35 billion and 10 billion-dollar brands.This award recognises exceptional business leaders who have championed marketing effectively.

Speaking at the event, Chief Executive of The Marketing Institute of Ireland Tom Trainor said: “We are all immensely proud of the talent on show at the All Ireland Marketing Awards and delighted to have so many of Ireland’s top marketing professionals join us in recognising this business success. We congratulate all the shortlisted finalists and winners and we pay tribute to them as exemplars of marketing excellence.”

The Marketing Team of the Year award was taken by AIB, led by Chief Marketing Officer Tom Kinsella. SuperValu took two titles, winning the Public Relations Campaign Award and the Loyalty Marketing Award for its Real Rewards programme. The International Marketing Award was taken by BFree Foods, the wheat and gluten free food range, for it’s successful expansion into the U.S, and Cork-based Laya Healthcare took the Customer Experience Award championing it’s brand promise of “Looking After You Always.” Bewley’s claimed the Corporate Social Responsibility Award for Ireland’s Biggest Coffee Morning” initiative raising funds for local hospices. Britvic Ireland took home the New Product Award for the launch of MiWadi 0% Sugar, the only dilute brand in the market with zero sugar.

Marketing Team of the Year: AIB
AIB, Marketing Team of the Year


All-Ireland Marketing Award Winners 2017:

New Product Award : Britvic Ireland

Gradam Margaíochta le Gaeilge : Ireland 2016

Loyalty Marketing Award : SuperValu

Brand Campaign Award : Irish Breeze

Customer Experience Award : Laya Healthcare

Market Research Award : Ulster Bank

eCommerce Award : Littlewoods Ireland

Sponsorship Management Award : Vodafone Ireland

Public Relations Campaign Award : SuperValu

Mobile Marketing Award : National Lottery

International Marketing Award : BFree Foods

Marketing Innovation Award : IRS+

Integrated Marketing Award : Irish Life Health

Corporate Social Responsibility Award : Bewley’s

Small Business Marketing Award : MyComplianceOffice

Digital Marketing Campaign Award : Three Ireland

Advertising Campaign Award : Lidl Ireland

Marketing Team of the Year Award : AIB

All Ireland Marketing Champion 2017 : Fiona Dawson


To read more about these award-winning marketing stories, visit 

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