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Featured Member: Fiona Curtin, Senior Innovation Manager, Heineken

Posted By The Marketing Institute, Monday 27 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.















With over twenty five years of brand/portfolio management, innovation and international marketing experience, across tourism, FMCG and banking sectors, Fiona Curtin is an accomplished senior marketing executive. Her career started with Bórd Fáilte in Germany and she subsequently joined HEINEKEN in their Berlin head office where she managed Murphy’s Stout and Murphy’s Irish Red launches in Germany.

Following a stint on sponsorship with Murphy’s in Ireland and a successful launch of Coors Light, she moved to C&C Ireland (now Britvic) to a portfolio role across Ballygowan, Club and Miwadi. She spearheaded the revamp of the Club Soft Drinks portfolio and launched Club Energise, leveraging the GPA connection, resulting in one of the first brand campaigns to hero GAA stars on TV and achieving almost 18% share of sports drinks within eighteen months.  

At AIB, as Head of Brand and Advertising she oversaw a number of strategic campaigns, most notably the launch of the “customer first” campaign, using real customers in communications which proved to be recession proof and drove differentiation versus other retail banks. Other campaigns while at AIB included “The Surfer”; the Ryder and Solheim Cup campaigns; the launch of the mobile banking app and a very successful first time buyer mortgage campaign.

She then moved to Irish Distillers-Pernod Ricard and worked on the Irish Whiskey portfolio, launching the revamped PADDY Irish Whiskey new packaging and the flavoured whiskeys range as well as crafting the Jameson Innovation roadmap. 

Currently Head of Innovation at HEINEKEN Ireland, she is responsible for HEINEKEN Ireland’s Innovation Strategy to drive incremental growth for customers and offer choice within beer and cider for consumers. She spearheaded the successful launch of Orchard Thieves in 2015 and is now leading the rollout of Heineken® Light, Orchard Thieves Light and Desperados Nocturno with the team.

Fiona is an ASAI Board Member and member (and previous President) of the Advertising Association of Ireland. She also previously served on the Marketing Society Committee. 

A graduate of UCC and UCD, she holds a BA (Hons), MSc in Technology Management and Innovation and an MBA. She is a qualified Business Coach and Chartered Director.



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SEO – An Introduction: The What, Why, and How for Beginners

Posted By Sing!, Monday 20 June 2016
Updated: Tuesday 21 June 2016

If you have a website, or are looking to get online you have probably heard of the term SEO used before. If not, this article will provide a basic overview for anyone new to the concept – and why it is an important term for anyone looking to cultivate an online presence.


SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation, and is the process of making sure that search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo notice your website and index it prominently when a potential customer is performing a search.

Being familiar with good SEO practices means being familiar with the algorithm used by search engines to determine what will appear on its front page- as well as its second, third and so on. By properly optimising your website, you can better ensure that your page is the winning result of that equation.


Studies have shown that a large majority of individuals who are looking for a business online will rarely venture farther than the front page of a given search engine. Instead of going to the second page when they don’t find what they’re looking for, most are more likely to simply vary their search terms and try again. As a result, the front page will get as much as 42% of all click-through traffic, with attention to second and third pages cut down to 11% and 8% respectively.

But you don’t just want to be on the front page. The ideal goal is to be at the very top, and you might be surprised how big of an impact that position can make for your website. Below, you can see the result of a study that tracked the gaze and focus of the human eye on the average Google Search.

The first few results are the ones getting the most attention, and that attention translates directly to business. The website ranked first on any given search will get nearly 33% of all click-through traffic. Similarly to which page of Google you’re located on, this rate will drop off rapidly after the first place selection has been decided.

The better the SEO is on your website, the better the chance for your website to appear on the front page of a search engine, and compete for the lion’s share of web traffic. Understanding this, one can see why SEO is such an important skill to be familiar with for anyone with an online presence.


Understanding SEO as a term is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to getting your website where you want it to be. Having the basics in mind when building upon your website is a great start to getting your site noticed.


Make sure that your website is easy to use and navigate for visitors. All live pages should be fully operational, and there should be no duplicate or broken content (404 and 500 errors, for example). This is important for your visitors, but is a key part of good SEO practices as well. When a search is performed, bits of data called “crawlers” or “spiders” go out into the web to look for quality results, navigating the internet through links and focusing on keywords. Like your human visitors, you want these crawlers to be able to find their way around quickly and easily, with as few dead ends as possible.


If the Internet is a highway, then keywords are the road signs that let search engines know that your website is out there. These are the terms that your ideal customers will be typing into the search bar, so knowing what keywords to choose means knowing your audience. You want to focus on the right words that will make your business stand out, but also easy to recognise. Say you are looking to promote your new coffee shop. Aiming to be the front page result for a general term like ‘coffee’ means that your website will be competing with a massive number of other websites around the world- 1,110,000,000 pages to be exact.

By choosing more specific terms, such as ‘Dublin gourmet coffee’ you can narrow these competitors down to a cool 212,000.

You can go on to push ahead of these remaining search results by being smart about where you place these keywords now that they’ve been selected.

There are select sweet spots on your website that Google will focus on when looking for the right result for a search.

  • Your website’s URL
  • Your Title Tag
  • The header (or H1) tag
  • The alt text for your featured images
  • In your web page itself – though no more than 2 to 3 times is recommended.


If keywords are highway road signs alerting potential customers to your website, link building is the road itself that will lead them to it. You want your road to be well-paved, illuminated, and most importantly – connected to other high-traffic roads that people are likely to be driving on. While keyword optimisation helps Google determine your websites relevance, link building establishes your website’s quality. Only the best sites make it to the front page. This is established by backlinks – other quality websites linking back to your own.

This can be done in a number of ways, the following of which are just examples to help you get started;

  • Press releases from news sites
  • Reviews on well-established and local blogs
  • Online journals and websites with a strong web presence.

The more quality websites out there that link to your own, the better your search ranking will be. Be careful to avoid ‘link schemes’ or scam websites that might offer to link to your website in order to manipulate search engines, as these can have a negative effect on your overall rank. You will also want to avoid stale linked to abandoned or outdated websites. Keep your website up-to-date, relevant, and accessible, and watch it rise to the top of the rankings.


Building up your website with original, useful and relevant content is arguably the best way to establish your website’s authority. Now that we’ve established how backlinking and link building is important for setting your rank on search engines, you’ll want to provide other websites with something that they’ll want to cite or feature on their own pages.

If you own a coffee shop, post an article with some tips on how to brew the best cup of coffee, or a post promoting that new line of drinks introduced for the season. When thinking of SEO, your site should be more than an online business card with your logo, location, and working hours. It should be a resource for your customers and like-minded individuals across the internet.


Similarly to how a website needs to be regularly updated in order to stay relevant, SEO is an ongoing process that needs upkeep to be maintained. Regularly researching the ranking of your keywords, links, and other elements is vital to making sure that your website remains relevant and visible.

To learn more about how you can get your website moving up the ranks of search engines contact us here at SING! Today.

This post was originally published on


Sing! is a performance digital marketing agency which focuses on improving sales performance through digital channels. Our team combines digital marketing strategists and specialists. We make sense of the bewildering array of digital marketing tactics and technologies to select the right ones to meet your business challenges head on and help you achieve your growth ambitions. Our goal is to see businesses prosper from the selection of business relevant digital marketing options.



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Event Highlights Of The Launch Of Eir - So Much More Than Just A Re-Brand

Posted By The Marketing Institute, Thursday 16 June 2016

Oisín Masterson, Head of Brand & Marketing at eir spoke at The Marketing Institute breakfast on 25th May at Fire Restaurant. Oisín discussed the process and the advertising strategy behind eir that has led to the success of the brand launch.

It’s a case study for ‘marketing leading an organisation out of the dark and into the light’, covering both the why and how of eir’s brand launch.

Eircom was recognised as fixed telecoms, or in other words “the provider your parents had”. As a brand, it was becoming stagnant and had lost relevance. Eir’s weakest link was their lack of credibility. Eircom needed to reassess its brand and to educate the market on the breadth of its offer.

Eir is an organisation that transformed from the inside out.  It had a fixed network and a mobile network that were operating in everyday lives.  It was the first to launch 4G into the Irish market, the largest network of superfast fibre broadband and it had exciting TV offering that was already out there.

However, as a brand, the confidence that eircom could deliver these offerings just wasn’t there. In order to build that trust in delivery, a different approach was needed.

Eircom needed to reposition itself to all stakeholders that this business was serious about change. In a moment of “feel the fear and do it anyway”, it was clear it was the right thing to do.


1. Introducing the brand - successfully relaunch eircom under a new brand and become part of the conversation.

2. Brand response – communicating successfully what eir would do differently. Reposition the company as a credible, multi-service provider.

3. Direct response - Finding which element delivers best growth.

As a company that had attempted to relaunch in the past, eircom as a brand was given no forgiveness. Eir not only needed to win the crowd, but it needed to win the crowd back. Previous sales activated campaigns caused sales levels to fluctuate, but failed to achieve steady growth. By building a brand and achieving brand fame long term results can be delivered.

They took a full 360 approach with staff, bringing 5,500 employees on this journey and immersing them in the brand. This worked in reminding them where they came from as a brand and why it was important to make this step. Other initiatives included a media launch event, featured on the RTÉ news on the day of launch.

The communication strategy had changed, and this was their last hurdle. Its aim was to be meaningful and salient of what eir was about and transform perceptions of the business. Eir already had a large existing customer base, which it had to bring along with the company as they grew.


By any standard, this was an ambitious project, but efforts have been rewarded and delivered outstanding results. Eir achieved:

  • 83% awareness of the rebrand.
  • 88% prompted awareness of the brand.
  • 75% awareness of the advertising.
  • 70% want to know more – high talk-ability.
  • Increase from 4% to 20% on the quad-play bundle.

Eir’s sales performance is better than ever, which is credited to this hugely successful brand launch.

Check out eir’s viral TV advert here.

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Facebook, Starbucks And Amazon Top BrandZ Ranking In 2016

Posted By The Marketing Institute, Wednesday 15 June 2016

Amazon is this year’s biggest riser in BrandZ, showing a 59% increase in brand value. It also tops the retail category with a brand value of $99bn, coming ahead of Alibaba, which takes second place at $49bn. The Home Depot claims third place with a value of $36bn.

Amazon’s play in other sectors has earned it much acclaim over the past 12 months. The brand won its first Bafta in the international category for the Amazon Prime original series Transparent.

Starbucks is this year’s second fastest riser having grown 49%, which bumps up by eight places to rank 21st on the list.

Facebook has grown its brand value by 44% to $103bn, making it the third biggest riser this year. Founder Mark Zuckerberg revealed in March that 1.09 billion people across the globe now use Facebook every day. Facebook has 1.65 billion monthly active users worldwide, as well as 800 million active monthly users of its messaging app.

It is now ramping up its live video and virtual reality credentials having made an early move on VR with the purchase of Oculus VR in 2014 for $2bn (£1.4bn). Facebook also expanded its ad network to video and desktop last month and has been opening up Instagram to advertisers over the past year.

Download the full report here.

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Insights - Irish Media Coverage Of The US Presidential Candidacy

Posted By Kantar Media, Monday 13 June 2016



This media insight report tracks all mentions of US presidential candidates Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders within the Irish media. Our Insight team analysed content across Press, Broadcast and Online for the period of the 5th to the 17th May 2016. The report includes a total of 1,342 media items.

All Press coverage was qualitatively analysed with every article assigned a rating based on Impact (Prime, Significant, Passing) and Influence (Positive, Negative, Neutral) attributing a PR value to Press coverage.

Broadcast and Online coverage have been presented quantitatively with Volume, Duration/Word Count and AVE Values provided.

This article was originally published on


Kantar Media provides critical information that helps our clients make better decisions about communications. We enable the world’s leading brands, publishers, agencies and industry bodies to navigate and succeed in a rapidly evolving media industry. Our services and data include; analysis of paid media opportunities; counsel on brand reputation, corporate management and consumer engagement through owned media and evaluating consumers’ reactions in earned media. As the global house of expertise in media and marketing information, Kantar Media provides clients with a broad range of insights, from audience research, competitive intelligence, vital consumer behaviour and digital insights, marketing and advertising effectiveness to social media monitoring. Our experts currently work with 22,000 companies tracking over 4 million brands in 50 countries.


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