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70% of Irish Marketers Plan To Increase Marketing Budget Given To Social Media - Marketing Institute and Edelman Social Survey Results

Posted By the Marketing Institute & Edelman, Tuesday 8 March 2016

Facebook leads spend and attention but Snapchat and Instagram on the rise


New research released today by Edelman and the Marketing Institute of Ireland has shown that 70% of Irish marketers plan to increase the percentage of their marketing budget given to social media in 2016.  51% of those surveyed highlighted Facebook as the single most important social platform for their business (up from 36% in 2015) with Linkedin and Twitter neck and neck on 22% and 21% respectively. The research was unveiled ahead of DMX Dublin, Ireland’s largest digital marketing conference which takes place at the Aviva Stadium on 9th March. 


Twitter remains the platform most likely to see an increase in activity, whilst Snapchat and Instagram see the biggest percentage change from 2015 results. Given Facebook’s already dominant position, it continues to perform exceptionally well with 60% saying they’ll increase their activity in 2016. 


The Irish marketing community was also very supportive of the new advertising regulations around the use of social media influencers. 75% of research participants appearing to endorse a recent announcement by the Advertising Standards Authority’s intent to crackdown on influencers who do not declare paid posts. 37% of marketers surveyed said that they had used a digital influencer in their brand activity, with 24% of this group paying them for their involvement.  Use of social influencers in marketing campaigns is set to increase in 2016, with 52% of survey participants indicating that they would increase their use of prominent bloggers, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat and Twitter users. 54% of respondents believe that online influencers can play a credible or very credible role but 25% are worried about the ethics of using online influencers to promote a brand or product. 


11% of respondents had experienced a social media crisis in the last year, with 20% feeling unprepared to deal with it.  Despite the increasing amount of online issues, 82% of Irish marketers surveyed had not undertaken any social media crisis simulation in the last year and 40% don’t have any social media guidelines for employees.


The importance of video was again underlined by the fact that 97% of Irish marketing professionals intend to increase its use in their marketing plans in 2016. Real time marketing also fairs well with 60% currently undertaking some form of real-time social media activities. 


When it comes to use of paid ad support of social media, 70% of those surveyed expect to increase their spend in 2016 with Facebook (91% up from 70% in 2015) leading the way in terms of paid social regularly used, followed by Twitter (44% up from 42% in 2015), LinkedIn (28% down from 34% in 2015) and Instagram (16%).


It appears Measurement has improved in the last year with 60% of Irish marketing professionals reporting that they are able to measure ROI of social media, up from 48% in 2015. However 57% haven’t set KPI’s for 2016 (up from 45% in 2015). When looking at effectiveness Facebook (60% up from 56% in 2015) and Twitter (60% down from 67% in 2015) perform relatively well.

Speaking ahead of the conference Darragh Rea, Director at Edelman, said “We’re delighted to continue our long term partnership with the Marketing Institute of Ireland both with our sponsorship of DMX and also the launch of our second annual Social Media Survey. This research sheds yet more light on a rapidly evolving integrated marketing landscape, and reflects some of the key trends we’ve seen over the past year. At a macro level the shift in budgets from traditional to online, shows no signs of abating, with marketing professionals continuing to explore new channels and invest more in content that travels across platforms. This is complimented by the continued rise of the social media influencer and the launch of new Live Streaming products and algorithms which reflect the rapid growth of video and real time marketing. It’s encouraging to see an improvement in measuring ROI since last year although the results show that there is still some work to do in the area of crisis preparedness and simulation.  

Tom Trainor, Chief Executive of the Marketing Institute of Ireland, the professional body which owns and operates DMX, said: “This is the second year of our social media survey with Edelman and again it has raised some important questions for Irish marketers. The Marketing Institute would encourage all Irish marketers to continually assess and improve their marketing activities and social media and its efficacy is growing ever more important. This research in addition to the sharing, learning and networking at DMX today will give Irish marketers some invaluable food for though and insights to improve their marketing.” 

This research was carried out online amongst 100 Irish marketing professionals throughout January and February of 2016. Full details and infographics are available on request or via or @edelmanIreland 

For more information contact Darragh Rea, Edelman, or 086 8981062 @darraghjrea 

Edelman @ #DMXDublin

This year Edelman will debut the Edelman #Hotdesk which will allow users both at the conference and at home to interact in real time with numerous features. Check our for more details. In addition to the #Hotdesk, Edelman Senior Planner, Phillip Trippenbach will give a presentation on the evolving nature of communications marketing, identifying 4 key trends and introducing Edelman’s approach.


Edelman is a leading global communications marketing firm that partners with many of the world’s largest and emerging businesses and organisations, helping them evolve, promote and protect their brands and reputations. We have deep expertise in consumer trends, research, analytics and insights, corporate reputation, health, technology, crisis, energy, and government affairs. Edelman has been awarded thirteen Cannes Lions including the Grand Prix for PR in 2014. Edelman has been voted Pan-EMEA Consultancy of the Year at the 2015 Sabre Awards, Global Agency of the Year and Best Agency to work for 2013 by the Holmes Report and International Agency of the Year 2013 by the PRCA. 

Edelman is the largest agency across the UK and Ireland with over 600 employees and offices in London, Dublin and Brighton. In Ireland Edelman works with clients including Musgrave, Ryanair, Visa, LinkedIn, Mars, National Lottery, Danone and Roche. 

Please visit for further information. 


The Marketing Institute is the professional body for Ireland's marketing people, in operation since 1962. With a mission to strengthen the profession of marketing in Ireland, the Institute aims to deliver in three key areas: (1) enhancing professional effectiveness through the provision of insights and expert content; (2) building the community of marketers through access to networks; and (3) providing professional career development to members through training and education. Content, Community and Career are the three themes that underpin all Institute activities.


DMX Dublin is Ireland’s largest digital marketing event, owned and operated by the Marketing Institute of Ireland. DMX Dublin features 40 world-leading speakers in multiple presentation streams, and 800 marketing professionals attendees in a full day of sharing, learning and networking. It is Ireland’s must-attend digital marketing event of the year, bringing together top international and Irish digital marketing leaders, marketers from multinationals and startups, advertisers, creative agencies, digital agencies, online publishers and vendors. The 2016 Event takes place on 9th March 2016 in the Aviva Stadium.


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Opportunities For Irish Marketers From The Edelman Trust Barometer

Posted By Martyn Rosney, Edelman, Tuesday 1 March 2016

The Edelman Trust Barometer is a unique piece of research that Edelman has conducted annually across the globe for the past 16 years. For the 2016 Edelman Trust Barometer, research firm Edelman Berland surveyed more than 33,000 respondents across 28 countries. The findings were unveiled on the 3rd of February at an event supported by the Marketing Institute of Ireland. 

Martyn Rosney, Account Director in Edelman Ireland’s Corporate and Financial Practice outlines some of the opportunities for Irish marketers.


Opportunities and implications for brands

There’s a good summary of the event and insights on here and on our own website but I’ve outlined what I see as some of the key implications and opportunities for brands in Ireland below to increase trust.  

Increasing CEO visibility: When it came to the spokespeople that were most trusted by the public CEO credibility saw the biggest increase.  Granted, the rise was from a pretty low base of 31% the jump to 43% represented the biggest jump on our list. CEOs are earning trust back after a few tough years. Edelman employs a 16 point trust-building leadership attribute audit for trust in Irish CEOs and in Ireland our CEOs were seen as underperforming under every single point. We know that Irish CEOs are performing better than the public believes so it’s all about communication.

“Real CSR”: Making a profit is not something to be ashamed of. All too often, we’re seeing organisations use CSR as a bolt on for cheap PR but it’s the organisations who build worthwhile social responsibility into their DNA that benefit the most.

More scope for controlling the message: Search engine, owned and social all saw rises in trust levels. Delving deeper into this we also saw a specific increase in trust levels for content created by brands from 40% to 60%.

Utilising employees as spokespeople: Employees are essential spokespeople. Companies that have the courage to empower employees as spokespeople can earn trust. Our research found that for a number of topics including crises and performance an employee can be seen as the most credible spokesperson.

Online influencer marketing: I’ve already touched on the jump in trust levels for content created by companies but the above chart shows the myriad of voices and their trust levels. It’s important to use the right people to engage with and amplify your content. Interestingly, content created or shared by celebrities is less trusted than that of elected officials.

These are just some of my own thoughts from a very extensive piece of research into trust. If you would like more information on the Trust Barometer talk to me at


Martyn is an Account Director in the corporate team of Edelman Ireland, the Irish office of the world’s largest PR company. He blogs on all things PR here. You can follow Martyn on Twitter at @rosney.


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Going Native – The Benefits Of Native Advertising

Posted By Sing!, Tuesday 1 March 2016

This week, Sing! begin to dissect exactly what native advertising is, how it works, as well as who uses it, and why.


As the old saying goes, when in Rome do as the Romans do. Native advertising is all about adverts blending in with their surrounds. The advert no longer becomes the main focus of the content; however this does not make the advertising message any less powerful.

You may be familiar with sponsored posts on Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr, to name a few. These sponsored posts are great examples of native advertising. It is important to remember that native advertising relies on the content being natural (native) and for people to see it more content based rather than advert based.

Plain and simple, native advertising is paid for advertising which is placed within content, thus bypassing a number of factors which would otherwise mean the advert would not be seen (ie. adblocking ad-ons, and apps). The main thing to remember with native adverts is that they offer a guaranteed way of promoting your content without being disturbed. Native advertising fits into the form of the content it is placed into so as not to distort and infringe on the user experience.


Native advertising is one of the cleverest forms of advertising out there, but how exactly does it work? Well the answer is simple … by pretending it is something that it’s not. The most important thing to remember with native advertising is that content is king. Our friends over at Facebook know this better than anyone. I present to you my very own Facebook newsfeed.

Right here nestled neatly between an update from Other Voices, and a Happy Birthday wish to one of my Facebook friends we have a nice example of sponsored content (one of the main tools of native marketing). Note how the ad beautifully blends in with its surroundings. Note how it completely distances itself from the other adverts on the site. Note how, as you scroll through your social media newsfeed, you don’t even need to glance to the side in order to be advertised to.

The fact of the matter is that these adverts appear throughout your social media newsfeed on a very regular basis, and you probably don’t even bat an eye lid. Why would you, it blends in with its surroundings so well, and as a result you will be joining the  other 49% of consumers who have never heard of native advertising.

The IAB categorises native advertising into three categories. Firstly, discovery/recommendation units, where the content is effectively sponsored in the form of a short tag below it, normally stating “sponsored by, recommended by…” Here the advert is integrated into the webpage, however it does not go into stealth mode and hide among the actual editorial content.

Secondly, we have the adverts which are mixed in with the rest of the content. These adverts do not link off the page in which they are on, but rather advertise through the content they are putting forward. These ads come in two categories. Paid for content/sponsored content, and sponsored content area. The only difference between these two is that paid for content/sponsored content is written in a partnership between the advertiser and the publisher, and sponsored content area can be written by either.

Thirdly, in feed – advertiser controlled. My Facebook screenshot from above is a great example of this, and this type of advertising generally links to a new page.


Native advertising is used by all companies big and small. As ad blockers, and other consumer habits begin to infringe on the impact of banner adverts, native advertising is powering ahead. In actual fact, consumers are 25% more likely to look at a native advert than they are a banner, and they are 53% more likely to engage with the advert. They also check native adverts out 4.1 times per session compared to 2.1 times for banner ads.

Consumers are also considerably more likely to share a native advert than they are a banner advert (32% versus 19%) and showed 18% more purchase intent after viewing them. With this in mind the real question isn’t who uses native advertising, but rather who should be using native advertising, and the answer is any company wanting to increase their market reach.

Further to the increased engagement that we can see from the figures above, there is also a lot to be said for the “stealth-like” approach with which native adverts conduct themselves. This “stealth-like” approach is actually so good that some 49% of consumers have never even heard of native adverts, with only a meagre 3% claiming to be very knowledgeable on the topic. The less people are viewing content as advertising, the more powerful, and valuable the content is.


As native advertising begins to take centre stage the big question that needs to be asked is to what extent this type of advertising actually works. There are numerous statistics on what both marketers and consumer think about native advertising, however in reality the only true mark of whether or not, or rather to what extent, native advertising works is through cold, hard facts.

So here they are:

  • On average 65% of media agencies produce between 1 to 10 native advertising campaigns per month for each of their clients.
  • Content marketing costs largely relate to the scope of the project being produced.
    When looking at Buzzfeed’s (a forerunner in native) campaign for Intel, it produced 12,481 social shares.
  • In 2016 the spend on native advertising is expected to be 13.9 billion US dollars up from 10.7 billion in 2015.

The output figures for native advertising campaigns are high, but as the old saying goes, you get out what you put in and larger budgets inevitably result in a larger return.

On top of a massive reach, a native advertising campaign can also align a company with the right image. When a company aligns itself with a social media “influencer” this can result in a certain image being evoked. Depending on your preference, your brand image can change for the better with the right newspaper, celebrity, or internet blogger promoting it.

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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The Use Of Video In Social Media

Posted By Vizeum, Tuesday 16 February 2016

Video has been the absolute golden child for social media content over the past 18 months. However make no mistake that when producing video content there are major factors to consider even before creating a content strategy.

  • Who is your audience, what platforms are they on?
  • How will the platform affect the content you create?
  • How are you going to measure it?
  • How can you innovate and break boundaries?

On top of this there are some hard hitting home truths that as marketers we must stand up to, face and at then end of the day accept. These are, your content is not likely to be viral, so invest in amplification, and secondly with 27M pieces of content being created daily, content is short lived and disposable. Don’t rely on one piece of artistry that needs to fill your content calendar for a year.

When looking at who your audience is and what platforms they live on, we must be data informed. Look at owned 1st party data from your social page analytics, google analytics and CRM data you have. You can also inform your content through social listening tools, Global Web Index Reports, think with Google and things like YouTube leaderboard.

Once audience and platform have been identified we must then examine what native content looks like on that platform. For example people spend longer watching a video on YouTube over Facebook.

With YouTube and Facebook we know that the most action must occur in the first three seconds, a big trend for 2016 is that brand content needs to be visually based and not dependent on audio, as the majority of content is consumed when people are out and about, e.g. commuting to work, standing in a queue, some brands are now even choosing to add subtitles to their video content.

Twitter is more of a real-time platform, and the nature of how you scroll through tweets means video needs to be short and concise. Instagram has limitations of 15 second videos and Vine with 6. How we use and measure value on Snapchat is the question on every marketers lips, however one thing is for certain, anything we do with it must be done in real-time. Other real-time video platforms that are growing in scale are Meerkat and Periscope. Go-Pro have just announced their partnership with Periscope, so users can live stream direct from their camera to their iPhones.

One piece of video content that we are all huge fans of in Vizeum is a short film created by Johnny Walker called the “gentleman’s wager”. It lives solely on YouTube, insight into their audience, choosing the right platform, and targeted amplification shows incredible results with nearly 12 million views. Of course, the fact that Jude Law stars in it definitely helps.

This article was originally published on


Vizeum is a global communications planning & media buying network, created for the new era of media. A convergent world where consumers and content come together, in real time, on platforms and devices. A global world massively impacted by digital and technology, totally reshaping the environment that brands and people live in.


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Strong Consumer Economy Growth Back To 2007 Levels - Latest CMM

Posted By The Marketing Institute, Monday 15 February 2016

New findings from the quarterly Consumer Market Monitor (CMM), published today by The Marketing Institute of Ireland and UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School, show that consumer spending is making a significant contribution to Ireland’s economic growth. 

This report, covering quarter four of 2015 and also providing a review of the full year, highlights the recovery in consumer spending and its reflection of the “pent up demand” from rapidly growing sales of “big ticket” items – new cars, homes and home furnishings, electrical goods and other consumer durables. 


Consumer spending looks set to keep an upward trajectory this year and for the foreseeable future - driven by figures of 1.98 million people currently at work, up by 158,000 since the low point in 2012, and the evidence suggests that pay increases of about 2% were common in 2015, and likely to happen again in 2016.

These factors led to a remarkable increase in the amount of disposable income that is circulating in the economy. Gross disposable income increased by an estimated 7.5% in 2015, an increase level not seen since the boom times.  

Increased consumer confidence was also seen in the sales of new cars which were up 30% on 2015. Lower fuel prices have also helped, as will the reductions in tax and social charges coming through in January 2016.

Retail sales are also improving significantly; sales volume rose by 3.7% in 2014 and this upward trend accelerated in 2015, with sales volume up by 6.2%. All retail categories got a boost in recent quarters, and the evidence suggests that 2016 is delivering sales growth for most retailers. 

Sales of services have also been strengthening, up 4.1% for the year 2014, and up by 5.8% for 2015. 

Sales of household goods have been particularly notable, most notably furniture and lighting up by 19%, electrical goods up 10%, and hardware, paints and glass up 5%. 

However, the appetite for home improvements has not been matched by property sales. There were approximately 42,400 residential properties sold in 2015, up by just 6% on 2014, suggesting that tighter lending rules are holding back house purchases. The number of new mortgages issued in 2015 was also muted, up 19% year-on-year for a total of 22,767, indicating that cash buyers still account for more than 50% of transactions. 

The indicators are that the consumer economy is now growing strongly, with all types of spending increasing, apart from fuel. In sum, consumer spending is now back to a level of about €90 billion, close to the previous peak in 2007. Before we start to fear a new bubble building, however, we need to remember that a normal healthy market would have grown in the interim years, so we should probably be at a level of between €100 and €110 billion by now without the recession. This suggests that we still have some way to go to get back on track in the consumer economy.  

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 3% in 2013, the first increase since 2008, and continued to grow through to 2014 and 2015, but at a faster rate - this increase exceeding the growth rates of the Celtic Tiger era.


Borrowing by Irish consumers grew at a record level from 2000 onwards and peaked in March 2008 at €150 billion, but has declined steadily since then, down 39% from 2008 to €92 billion in Q3 2015. Household debt is reducing at a rate of about 2.8% per annum. The figures show that lending to Irish households fell again in Q4, while deposits rose sharply.  

The rate at which Irish households have reduced their debt is quite remarkable, surpassing most other countries – with household debt as a percentage of income having decreased by 33%.


Sales of new cars experienced a major turnaround in 2014, with 92,361 units sold, a 30% increase on the previous year. This buoyancy continuing through 2015, with 121,110 new private cars licensed, a rise of 31% for the year. Sales of second hand cars are also thriving, with almost 950,000 transactions in 2015, which was up 8% on 2014.

Retail sales excluding the motor trade are also improving; sales volume rose by 3.7% in 2014 while value increased by 1.5% indicating a significant upturn in activity. Retail sales growth accelerated further in 2015, with volume up by 6.7% in Q4, year-on-year, and value up 3.3%.

All product categories except fuel experienced growth in Q4 2015. Most remarkable is the significant growth displayed by sectors that have been particularly weak throughout the recession, such as bars and newsagents. In summary: 

  • Food sales up 4.5% in volume and up 3.3% in value; 
  • Non-specialised stores (supermarkets) up 4.8% in volume and 3.6% in value; 
  • Fuel down -2.0% in volume and down -10.8% in value;
  • Clothing, footwear & textiles up 7.4% in volume and 4.1% in value; 
  • Household equipment up 10.1% in volume and 6.1% in value;
  • Department stores up 8.8% in volume and 5.6% in value;
  • Pharmaceuticals and cosmetics up 7.4% in volume and 3.7% in value;
  • Bar sales up 5.8% in volume and up 6.4% in value.
  • Books, newspapers, stationery up 1.3% in volume and 2.8% in value; 

Overall, retail sales are back on a strong growth path, getting stronger in each successive quarter of 2015. This positive momentum bodes well for continuing growth through the rest of 2016 and into future years, reflecting the broad-based strengthening of the economic fundamentals in the Irish consumer market.

Mary Lambkin, Professor of Marketing, UCD Smurfit School, and one of the authors of the Monitor, said: “Consumer spending accounts for over 50% of GNP in Ireland and is a critical factor in driving recovery in the economy. The level of consumer spending is fundamentally dependent on the amount of disposable income circulating, and this has increased significantly in the last year as a result of more people at work. In fact, the increase in disposable income last year was back to the sort of level that we have not seen since the Celtic Tiger years. This increase in incomes, together with greater availability of credit, is leading to accelerated spending on many categories of goods and services."

Tom Trainor, Chief Executive, The Marketing Institute, said: “Despite massive national debt and a shaky banking system, it is great to see consumer confidence reaching its highest level in a decade, as this is driving spending which is in turn enabling many businesses to grow and expand employment.”




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