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A Day in the Life of… Niamh O’Driscoll, Senior Manager for Brand, Marketing & Communications at Virgin Media

Posted By The Marketing Institute, Wednesday 19 September 2018
Updated: Tuesday 18 September 2018

Niamh O'Driscoll Virgin Media

The Marketing Institute: What does a Senior Manager for Brand, Marketing & Communications at Virgin Media do?
        
Niamh O’Driscoll: As Senior Manager for Brand, Marketing & Communications I head up the areas of strategic brand management, Consumer Insights and all ATL and sponsorship management activity. I have a fantastically brilliant team and we are responsible in large part for executing the marketing plans that drive the brand and in turn the commercial goals of the business.

 

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

A lifetime in telco marketing! I’ve been a marketer in the Telco space for most of my career, first with Meteor where I spent over 7 years as Marketing Communications Manager and then with O2 where I worked as a Marketing Consultant on the Priority Moments loyalty program. In 2014 I moved to UPC and the following year we rebranded to Virgin Media. Such exciting times. I am a year into my current role at Virgin Media.


 
What is the biggest challenge you face in your role? 

The biggest challenge is making sure we are focused on key priorities that will drive the brand and our business. We are a small team working on a world renowned brand that is just three years old in the Irish market. I always feel that marketing presents never ending possibilities but it’s important to focus and place our bets on the activities backed by consumer insight that will best drive our objectives. Sometimes less done well is more!



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

It’s really important to be able to see the bigger strategic picture, to be thinking well ahead. Planning and organisational skills are key as well as bringing people on the journey to align objectives, goals and plans and get everyone moving in the same direction including our agencies who are an extension of our team.


 
Describe a typical working day. 

It’s a bit of a cliché but no two days are the same. It’s probably why I enjoy it so much. Every day is a combination of meetings with my team, our media and creative agencies and cross functional meetings with colleagues from other departments. Yesterday I started my day with a series of meetings on cross promotional activities with our Virgin Media Television colleagues and ended my day with the launch event of our partnership with the Dublin International Film festival and a star studded red carpet, not an everyday occurrence, but it’s the variety which keeps things interesting.


 
What do you love most about your role? 

I love seeing a marketing strategy and plan backed by sound thinking and insight come all the way through to a successful campaign that drives the numbers! I love being surrounded by talented people and learning from them every day. I love working for a strong brand that stands for something and has purpose.

 

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


I am passionate about brands and have been led by my interest in brand and marketing. It’s important to work on something that matters and that you feel will make a difference. It’s really important to me to like getting up to go into work every day and working with colleagues who inspire you on a daily basis. Sometimes when you work on what interests you, your career path finds you.



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


I really believe in mentorship. I’ve had a few key people who have looked after me in my career in terms of guidance, advice and mentorship. I hope to do the same for others. Also I have an excellent team and I learn from each and every one of them every day.

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Attitudes to Advertising in Ireland, August 2018

Posted By Mintel, Tuesday 18 September 2018
attitudes to advertising in ireland 2018

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A Day in the Life of... Suzanne McGann, Head of Marketing and Communications at The Convention Centre Dublin

Posted By The Marketing Institute, Wednesday 12 September 2018
Updated: Tuesday 11 September 2018

suzanne mcgann ccd

The Marketing Institute: What does a Head of Marketing and Communications at The Convention Centre Dublin (The CCD) do?

Suzanne McGann: As the Head of Marketing and Communications, I’m responsible for all elements of The CCD brand – developing integrated strategies and plans, managing the brand identity, public relations, internal communications, in-house digital media and all promotional activity.  This means both developing the strategy and being responsible for the delivery of all marketing activity.  I’m also a member of the Direct Leaders team, so I’m involved in developing the overall strategy for the organisation.  At the end of last year, we set out our Vision 2025, so it’s an exciting time for us.

 

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

I started my career in financial services marketing in Bank of Ireland.  Working in such a large organisation was a great training ground for both business and marketing.  I worked in a variety of marketing roles there, as well as spending three years as a currency dealer, before going back to my marketing roots in the French and UK markets with AXA Life Invest.  In 2014/15, I also fulfilled a personal goal of retraining and working in the fitness industry as a personal trainer.  That was a lot of fun and early mornings!  I started in The CCD in March 2016 and I love working here. The people are great, there’s always something going on and the business tourism industry is so interesting.

 

What is the biggest challenge you face in your role?

One of the biggest challenges for marketers today is to stand out in a competitive market. Our marketing strategy is built on brand awareness in predominantly international markets, a competitive and noisy environment.  All our marketing activity must resonate with customers and prospects and stand out in their minds.  In December of last year, we won World’s Leading Meetings and Conference Centre at the World Travel Awards, so we are lucky to have a strong brand identity, which we promote and protectIt’s a constant challenge to make your brand stand out, but it’s an interesting and enjoyable one.

On a personal level, my biggest challenge will always be time!  Marketing changes and moves so quickly – there is always more you can do and different ways to look at what you do.  It would be great to have more time to consider and test new ideas, perspectives and trends.

 

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

Strategic thinking and operational delivery, flexibility, attention to detail and strong communications skills.  I have both strategic and operational responsibility, so I need to be able to move between the two and deliver on both.  It’s important for me to translate our day-to-day marketing activity into a longer-term perspective on strategic output.  Attention to detail is key in my role, and strong communication skills, of course, are crucial, whether that’s with clients, the media or Clann CCD (our team).

 

Describe a typical working day.

Most of my days start between 5.00am and 5.40am, depending on whether I’ve planned a pre-work run or not.  Morning runs are the best…once you’re on the road!  I’m usually in the office just before 7.00am when I check and reply to emails and see what’s on for the day ahead.  It’s after this that the days get less typical, and I think anyone in Marketing would agree that there really is no such thing as a typical day.  It could be a day of meetings, a day at my desk catching up on actions, or as is the case currently, planning and budgeting for next year.  Work/life balance is so important to our health and wellbeing, so I try to leave the office before 5pm in the evenings. It’s not always possible or practical, but it is something that I keep an eye on, both for myself and my team.

 

What do you love most about your role?

I love the variety of work and the people I work with.  Everyone says it, but the people you work with really make a difference to your job. I have a great Marketing team, and among us we have knowledge and experience from a variety of industries. As a small team, it’s important that we support, learn and challenge each other and we demonstrate all of these in abundance.

 

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

This year has taught me that, despite best planning efforts, the universe has its own plan for you. And while I would have always been a planner, and indeed still am to an extent, I’m happy enjoying what I’m doing right now.  From a career point of view, what’s important to me is to keep learning and being challenged, and to grow and add value to any company with whom I work.  I hope that the next step in my career will offer me the opportunity to continue to do this.

 

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

I have been very lucky to know and work with many people who have inspired me at different stages of my working life.  Helen Roberts is a business coach who helped me to make the pivotal move in my career.  She continues to inspire me with her authenticity, motivation and positivity. I still sometimes ask myself “What would Helen do?”.  I get daily motivation from Danielle LaPorte and Alison Canavan, whom I follow online, both successful business women who inspire me to be the best I can be both professionally and personally and without compromise.

On a personal level, my sister Karen is a true inspiration and someone I’ve always looked up to.  At age 12, she knew exactly what she wanted to do and went for it in the competitive and tough environment that is television direction and production.  A successful BAFTA nominated producer / director, she continues to challenge and push herself out of her comfort zone, achieving and delivering great work, while remaining true to herself.  

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Meet the Speaker: Q&A with Keith McCormack of Today FM

Posted By The Marketing Institute, Wednesday 12 September 2018
Updated: Tuesday 11 September 2018

keith mccormack marketing breakfast

Keith McCormack will speak at our upcoming Marketing Breakfast in partnership with MCCP, where he will discuss the award-winning rebrand of today FM.

Keith is the CEO of Today FM and Music and Entertainment at Communicorp Media. Keith was appointed CEO of Today FM in June 2016, after two years as the CEO of sister radio 98FM where he built a phenomenal team and led both commercial and market share growth under his stewardship. Prior to joining 98FM, Keith worked for 6 years with Failte Ireland where he held various roles including Director of ‘Visit Dublin’ and Head of Events. Keith also held marketing positions in Greenstar, Glanbia and Irish Biscuits.

 

The Marketing Institute: You have an extensive Marketing background, what would you consider are some key career highlights?

Keith: I have been lucky over my career to  work with some great FMCG, Service, Destination and Media Brands. I have very much enjoyed working on all of these brands. If I had to pick out some highlights: developing the business plan for the Gathering Ireland Initiative, leading the rejuvenation of 98FM in Dublin, developing the tourism destination plan for Visit Dublin, bringing the Solheim Cup to Ireland and of course Today FM’s new brand evolution.

MII: What are the main challenges facing your industry at the moment?

Keith: The Irish Broadcast media industry operates in an environment of significant disruption and challenge, as a result of changing consumer behaviour and technology. This challenge is particularly evident in the younger demographic, who are now moving life stages and how will their current digital behaviour impact the future broadcast landscape.

At Today FM we continue to evolve our strategy and business model to meet changing audience needs. We will continue to invest in Irish content and brands. As part of that evolution, we will continue to better integrate our broadcasting services with non-linear (on demand) and social media. 

MII: What’s one piece of advice would you give your 25-year old self? 

Keith: Slow down. Find a mentor, stay with them and learn what you can. Don’t rush for the next promotion, and the next” title”. Set out a career path. Move industry as much as you can. Really test yourself. 

 

MII: Looking towards the next 12 months, what do you hope to achieve? 

Keith: Grow and deepen our connection with our audience, particularly in our core 25-45 year old demographic.  We want to strengthen our position as Irelands No.1 commercial Radio brand. That is not just through our on-air broadcast service, it will also be across our digital and social platforms. Today FM shares a strong and unique connection with its audience and we need to continue to develop audio products and services that allow our listeners to enjoy their favourite personalities and music, on a platform of their choosing. While at the same time introducing new commercial solutions for our media brands and customers. 


MII: Your favourite recent marketing campaign?

Keith: This year we have seen some great campaigns from the big agencies and brands, and some nice public messaging campaigns as well. Bound together from Guinness and BBDO, “Don’t be Dick” JWT and Dublin city councils, “Seize the Denny” from Rothco and Kerry Foods. But my favourite so far this year is from ESB and TBWA and the Brighter Future campaign – a great cover version music track, nice cinematic production and a well told story – from the outside its looks like it will hit the campaign brief. Well done to both teams! 


MII: One reason marketers should attend The Marketing Breakfast Series in partnership with MCCP with you?

Keith: The Irish Media Broadcast landscape is a fascinating place – as we experience consumer behaviour and technology change at a pace not experienced, ever before. Come and listen to how this Irish Broadcast brand is fighting back… and winning.

 

Book your place for the Marketing Breakfast with Keith McCormack:

Where: Fire Restaurant, Dawson Street, Dublin 2
When: Wednesday 19th September, 7:45 - 9:00am

Register here

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Who Won The Summer of Sponsorship 2018

Posted By The Marketing Institute & ONSIDE, Wednesday 5 September 2018

who won the summer of sponsorship

Interested in learning about what consumers, thought leaders, and your industry peers think were the highs and lows of this past summer of sponsorship? Then join us for another insightful marketing breakfast in partnership with ONSIDE as we examine the changing landscape of Irish sponsorship in 2018. Key areas for discussion will include SPORTING MOMENTS 2018, GAME CHANGERS, SPORT STAR and 2019 - LOOKING AHEAD. Our expert panel will feature key sponsorship influencers from Ireland’s biggest brands and rights holders.

Be a part of the discussion! Tell us who you think ‘Won the Summer of Sponsorship’ by taking this short survey. Survey results will be shared and discussed during the event, and all participants who take the survey will receive a free Key Findings Snapshot Report of this research!

Participants in this survey will be entered into a draw for two tickets to the IRELAND V Argentina game as part of the Guinness Autumn series, at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday 10th November.

For more information or to register for this event, check out our event page.

 

take survey

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