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Spotlight With Rory Sutherland On The Value Of Brands & The Role Of Engagement

Posted By Vizeum, Tuesday 7 June 2016

Vizeum have launched a new series of expert marketing videos called “Spotlight.” Each month they will feature a thought leader discussing some of the most topical areas within communications. This month, they interviewed Rory Sutherland, on the value of brands, the role of engagement and the little extras brands can deliver to set themselves apart.

Check out the video on, along with the Vizeum analysis. 


Vizeum’s promise is to drive business value through media for our clients. Established in 2004, Vizeum is structured to take full advantage of the opportunities brought about by the digitization of media. The company manages its client business via a partner structure. This ensures that every client has senior advisors managing their business. These senior points of contact develop integrated strategies across the entire bought, owned and earned media ecosystem. We then have the specialist skills in house to deliver that strategy in the most efficient and cost effective manner.

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Featured Member: Sheelagh Carroll, Head of Commercial, Kefron

Posted By The Marketing Institute, Tuesday 7 June 2016

The Marketing Institute recognises excellence at every level, and so we have introduced our Featured Member Series, featuring some of our most esteemed colleagues.



Sheelagh commenced her career in Marketing in financial services, working for Enba, Europe’s first only internet bank. It was the time of the dot com boom, when investment in companies like Enba was high. The company was launching new technology via WAP mobile phones, enabling customers to access banking via their phones.  New creative marketing techniques, such as email and internet marketing were emerging – otherwise known as ‘new media’.  

After the dot com bubble burst, Sheelagh moved to the Document and Information Management Industry and began working for Filestores and Shred-it. She was responsible for the ‘All Island’ Marketing for both brands and was shortlisted for Best North/South Marketing Strategy in The Marketing Institute All Ireland Marketing (AIM) Awards and Best Marketing Strategy with the Chartered Institute of Marketing.  

Sheelagh led a corporate rebrand strategy, bring all group brands under one cohesive brand strategy, including a company name change to Kefron. Kefron provides document and information management solutions in Ireland and the UK. The company has a strong presence in the financial, insurance, legal, public and semi state sectors.  Established in 1989 by Michael Kearns and Tom Hefferon, Kefron employs 150 people and is an Irish home grown success story. Sales grew 25% in the first year of the rebrand through the cross selling of services to new and existing customers, under one brand.

Whilst the recession hit Irish companies hard, it provided Kefron with the opportunity to become more innovative in its thinking.  Driven by a significant piece of market research, the direction of the organisation was evolved through the launch of new digital document management products and the expansion into the UK market.  Sheelagh’s role evolved alongside the business and she now heads up the Marketing, Sales and Key Account functions for both the UK and Ireland.

With the increase of compliance in data privacy and protection, more and more companies are aware of their responsibilities regarding their information management.  The upcoming changes to the EU Data Protection legislation will bring extra governance in this area.

“Looking back to when I started out in Marketing to how Marketing has evolved - the fundamental principles remain the same…understand the market you operate in, know your customers and the challenges they face. What has changed is the sophistication of Marketing Technology. Marketing has become much more scientific, whereby results are much easier to track and measure. Communication is more personal with the growth of business communities, so having a reliable database with valuable content that can speak to these communities is critical – otherwise it is just meaningless noise that people will very quickly disengage from.”

Sheelagh holds a Graduateship in Marketing from the Marketing Institute and a Post Graduate Diploma from the IMI in Strategic Marketing Management.


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Featured Member: Daragh Byrne - Commercial Director, UTV Ireland

Posted By The Marketing Institute, Tuesday 24 May 2016

The Marketing Institute recognises excellence at every level, and so we have introduced our Featured Member Series, featuring some of our most esteemed colleagues.



Daragh has been working in the advertising industry for over 15 years. Following his graduation from UCD, he began his career at All Ireland Media (now Carat Ireland), where he worked with a variety of leading brands, including Dunnes Stores and Diageo. Since his media agency days, Daragh held management roles within print and radio organisations – moving on to pursue his passion for the television broadcasting sector, where he has spent the majority of his career. Prior to his current role, Daragh was Group Director of Sales for TV3 where, under his leadership, the commercial team won the ‘Sales Team of the Year’ Award at the prestigious Media Awards. 

In 2014, Daragh was appointed Commercial Director of UTV Ireland, which was recently acquired by ITV plc, as part of their acquisition of UTV Media plc’s television assets (UTV and UTV Ireland). With a team of 25, the UTV Ireland commercial department is responsible for working with leading brands in devising communication solutions that deliver real business results across airtime, brand partnerships (incorporating licensing) and digital. Daragh and his team pride themselves on innovation and being brave – a culture which is encouraged and fits perfectly with that of ITV. As a core member of UTV Ireland’s senior management team, Daragh plays a key role in the strategic development and ongoing growth of Ireland’s newest television channel, where he continues to introduce new and innovative platforms for clients to reach their target audiences, on and off screen.     

Daragh is also Board Director at TAM Ireland - (Television Audience Measurement Ireland Ltd). TAM Ireland oversees an accurate and effective audience measurement system for the whole of the television advertising industry.

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Employment Growth Raises Consumer Confidence To Highest Levels In A Decade - Latest Consumer Market Monitor

Posted By The Marketing Institute, Friday 20 May 2016

  • Consumer spending up by 3% in 2015, expected to be main driver of growth in 2016 and 2017
  • Pay increases of about 2% as well as increased earnings among the self-employed
  • Retail sales up 6.4% on 2015

The growth in employment over the past few years is currently mirroring the amount of disposable income circulating in the economy according to the latest Consumer Market Monitor (CMM) published today by The Marketing Institute of Ireland and UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School. Data from the Quarter 1 2016 Monitor indicates that the consumer economy in Ireland is now showing strong evidence of a broad-based recovery. 

Domestic demand, currently growing at close to 4%, is now the main driver of this remarkable economic growth. Consumer spending was up by 3% in 2015 and is expected to be the main driver of growth in 2016 and 2017. 

Tom Trainor, Chief Executive, The Marketing Institute of Ireland, said: “The remarkable economic growth we are seeing is due to domestic demand, driven by increasing Irish household wealth as property values recover and consumers make progress in paying down debt, pushing consumer confidence to the highest level in a decade.”

Mary Lambkin, Professor of Marketing, UCD Smurfit School, and one of the authors of the Monitor, said: “The improvement in the labour market has been the most important factor driving the recovery, with the average annual employment growth of over 2% since early 2012.There are now 1.98 million people at work, up by 158,000 since the low point in 2012, contributing to the long anticipated increase in the amount of disposable income circulating in the economy - the ‘virtuous circle’ that we have been waiting for. In fact, there has been a remarkable increase in disposable income - gross disposable income increased by an estimated 9% in 2015, a kind of increase not seen since the heady days of the Celtic Tiger.”


Pay increases of about 2%, which were common in 2015, have also contributed to growth, as have increased earnings among the self-employed.

Increased consumer confidence is now at the highest level in a decade reflecting ‘pent up demand’ following a long period of recession, and this can be seen in growing sales of big ticket items such as homes, home furnishings, new cars and clothing.

Following several lean years, sales of new cars were up more than 30% last year to 121,110. 2016 is continuing this trend, with a further increase of 30% in the first quarter, suggesting a final figure of about 175,000 cars. An average of 160,000 cars were sold each year in the early 2000s. Sales of services such as accommodation, food and drink, and entertainment have also been strengthening, up by 5.8% during 2015. 

Retail sales are also improving significantly; sales volume rose by 6.1% in 2015. All retail categories got a boost in recent quarters, and the evidence suggests that 2016 is delivering strong growth for most retailers, up 6.5% in the first quarter year-on-year. 

Property sales are also buoyant, with 48,374 residential property market transactions recorded in 2015, up 21% on 2014 which, in turn, was up 38% on 2013. 22,767 new mortgages were issued in 2015, up 19% year-on-year.


Consumer confidence in Ireland fell dramatically in 2008 as the financial crisis unfolded, and remained low through 2009, the bailout in 2010, and the Eurozone crisis of 2011-2012. Confidence recovered slightly in 2013 due to strong employment growth and our exit from the bailout programme.  It rose further through 2014 due to a steady flow of good news on employment, tax receipts, and growth in services and manufacturing. This upward trend continued in 2015, reaching a record high of +16.7 in June, and remained strong through the rest of the year. 

Although there has been a slight weakening in confidence during the first quarter of 2016, perhaps reflecting uncertainly about the formation of a new government and about Brexit, at 14.9 consumer confidence in Ireland is now well ahead of the last peak in 2007 and also well ahead of our European neighbours. 


Household disposable income rose by a remarkable rate of 9.4% in 2015, due to a combination of increased employment levels and higher pay rates. This increase approached the growth rates of the Celtic Tiger era; the previous record was 9.8% growth in 2005.

Household spending is now growing consistently at a rate of 3-4%, and all analysts agree that this strong growth curve is well established and likely to continue for this year and next.


Following four years of decline, retail sales stabilised in 2012, and increased by a very slight 0.8% in volume in 2013. A significant turnaround occurred in 2014, with retail sales volume up by 3.7% and value up by 1.6%. This recovery accelerated further in 2015, with sales volume up by an impressive 6.1% and value up by 2.7% for the year.  Noteworthy is the fact that this growth in sales exceeded the growth in footfall (up 1.6%) providing evidence of a real uplift in spending. Strong Vat returns also provide evidence of growth; up by 7.9% in 2014, and by 7.1% in 2015.

The evidence suggests that 2016 is continuing to deliver strong sales growth for most retailers with spending in the first quarter up 6.5% in volume year-on-year. 


All product categories except fuel experienced growth in Q1 2016, up 6.5% in volume and 4% in value. Most remarkable is the significant growth displayed by sectors that have been weak throughout the recession, such as bars and newsagents. In summary: 

  • Food sales up 5.8% in volume and up 5.2% in value; 
  • Non-specialised stores (supermarkets) up 6.0% in volume and 5.4% in value; 
  • Fuel down -0.4% in volume and up 2.6% in value;
  • Clothing, footwear & textiles up 12.2% in volume and 8.7% in value; 
  • Household equipment up 5.0% in volume and 2.9% in value;
  • Department stores up 10.2% in volume and 7.6% in value;
  • Pharmaceuticals and cosmetics up 6.1% in volume and 4.2% in value;
  • Bar sales up 7.6% in volume and up 8.2% in value.
  • Books, newspapers, stationery up 6.5% in volume and 7.8% in value; 



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The Marketing Institute And Ulster University Collaborate To Help Graduates "Build A Strong Career Foundation"

Posted By The Marketing Institute, Wednesday 18 May 2016

The Marketing Institute of Ireland and the Department of Marketing, Entrepreneurship and Strategy at Ulster University have collaborated in the staging of an event aimed at helping graduates build a strong career foundation. This recent initiative, chaired by Professor Mark Durkin, enabled graduates to interact with guest executives who discussed their experience as practising marketers, change agents and strategic thinkers.

Dr Mary Boyd and Dr Sharon Ponsonby McCabe of the  Department of Marketing, Entrepreneurship and Strategy facilitated this “marketing conversation” between their students and five senior marketing executives from a range of sectors. The guests were Joe Crowe, Head of Operations and Change at Bank of Ireland Group; Valerie Ludlow, Director of Strategy at Anderson Spratt Group (ASG); Lesley McClure, Visiting Professor in Market Research at University of Ulster Business School; Edward Canning, Digital Lead and Account Director at Navigator Blue; and Nuala Loughlin of Bryson  Charitable Group. 

Professor Durkin, who chaired the event, characterised it as “a relaxed and informal conversation on marketing employability where stories, recollections and advice from the seasoned executives came more naturally than would be the case through a more prepared powerpoint delivery.”

A key issue which emerged from the conversation was the fact that while skills can be easily copied and indeed commoditised especially in the digital space, knowledge and thinking ability cannot. It was agreed that the imperative for success as a marketing graduate wasn’t in the qualification itself but in how the individual uses and applies that valuable learning and consistently demonstrates personal qualities of individuality, perseverance, adaptability, enthusiasm and achieves an appropriate balance of thought and action in their marketing role. 

Bank of Ireland’s Joe Crowe commented that ‘it goes beyond the degree certificate – everyone has a degree - into what you as a person can demonstrate from that learning which will add value to the company. Valerie Ludlow from ASG and Partners agreed and advised new graduates ‘expect to arrive at the office first, leave last and make themselves available to learn at every opportunity.’ Lesley McClure, formerly MD of IPSOS MORI added that ‘perseverance is critical – applying for jobs is a competitive process. If rejections come, and inevitably they will, keep trying and keep adapting yourself to the needs of potential employers – research their needs, learn about those companies you want to work with, push yourself to really market what you can offer to them.’ 

The Marketing Institute of Ireland offers graduates of the BSc and MSc Marketing programmes graduate membership of the Institute through a case study exam hosted by Ulster University. 

PHOTO: Back row (L-R), standing are: Edward Canning, Navigator Blue; Joe Crowe, Bank of Ireland; Nuala Loughlin, Bryson Charitable Group; Lesley McClure, former MD, IPSOS MORI Ireland. Front row, sitting are Mark Durkin, Professor of Marketing, Ulster University Business School; Valerie Ludlow, ASG & Partners.

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