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Q&A with Ray Kelly, Marketing Director, Musgrave Retail Partners Ireland

Posted By The Marketing Institute, Tuesday 27 October 2015
Updated: Wednesday 10 February 2016
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I think that continually staying very close to shoppers has never been more important. As the economy starts to move from recovery into growth, shopper behaviour and attitudes will start to shift.  Staying close to this change will be key.

Not only are behaviours changing but how consumers are interacting with brands are also changing. As digital becomes a more integral part of everyday life, more and more your shoppers will tell your marketing message for you (you are less in control of the message!)…be it good or bad. The implication here is that retailers need to be aware of this and strive for brilliance across the full omni channel experience.


First and foremost be very clear on what your brand stands for and excels at. Do not try and be all things to all men, because at best you will end up as average. Know clearly who your customer is (and isn’t) and ensure your brand delivers brilliantly for them. Consumers want great experience not just products. Brands and retailers need to ensure that this experience is engaging across all channels.


The retail sector is very active in the digital space, but in reality is still finding its feet as to what works and what doesn’t work.  Simply “advertising” in the digital space as they would in traditional media and expecting a big result is not enough. Consumers on digital are very savvy, and can skip/ignore/get around “traditional” advertising on digital. In effect, a lot of it is possibly wasteful.

Understanding how shoppers are actually using digital channels is key. Is it for research? Comparisons? What to do with the product etc. Only then can retailers drive effective marketing and provide details or experiences that their shoppers actually want.


Shoppers want great experiences with whatever product or service they are buying. Digital simply enhances or makes this easier or more convenient. The store experience is crucially important in making this experience brilliant. Important that it works seamlessly with the digital experience and not in competition to it. Retailers that get this and execute it seamlessly are the ones that will win. Front line staff directed in the right way will bring this experience to life brilliantly. Less about selling products and more about selling experiences.


For millenials most things start with digital.  They are digital natives so they don’t go to digital channels. Digital is just part of what they are and do. Understanding this and engaging them with the right content and digital experience is key. The ”older” generation tend to go to digital for something specific. Be it on-line delivery, instructions etc.


What’s working really well for SuperValu is the sharing of recipes and food inspiration by shoppers to other shoppers primarily via our web site, Twitter and Facebook. This is almost self-generating now and is a great example of shoppers buying into our brand and sharing this with others. Where can we do better? Continuing to further push our current activity and making sure our content is what our shoppers want and is best in class.


I think SuperValu has the right mix for now on the traditional and digital mix of marketing. Our focus is and will continue to give the best Omni channel experience to our shoppers. Essentially ensuring that the dots are joining up between traditional media, digital/social channels and importantly the experience in store. We are pursuing a lot of exciting areas in personalisation through the use of our loyalty card. This enables us to get better at personalised comms and offers to our shoppers.  Again, engaging them in the right way. The ultimate utopia is getting the elusive “one view” of the shopper, and the increasing role of digital in the mix helps to paint some of this bigger picture. This in turn allows SuperValu the opportunity to satisfy our shoppers more and so grow their loyalty with the brand.

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Marketing Your Nursing Home – Case Study

Posted By, Monday 19 October 2015
Updated: Wednesday 10 February 2016
Marketing for Healthcare

    Digital marketing agency in the healthcare sector, Encendo, recently carried out a pioneering survey to understand behaviours and motivations when choosing a nursing home.

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    This survey was originally published on

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    Budget 2016 Analysis by PwC

    Posted By PwC, Wednesday 14 October 2015
    Updated: Tuesday 9 February 2016
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    PwC specialists have taken a look at how this year’s key budget developments will affect you and your business.

    The report provides expert analysis on areas such as:

    • Large Irish Corporates and Plcs,
    • Private Business,
    • Financial Services,
    • Foreign Direct Investment,
    • Country by Country Reporting,
    • Property,
    • Indirect taxes,
    • Employment taxes,
    • Pensions,
    • Agri tax.

    To download the full report, please click on the image below.

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    This report was originally published on

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    Irish Rugby Stars Victorious in Public Support

    Posted By, Tuesday 13 October 2015
    Updated: Wednesday 10 February 2016
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      More than a year post retirement. Brian O’Driscoll has retained his number 1 status on Ireland’s most admired sports personality list, while Ireland captain Paul O’Connell made most gains in terms of public admiration of all Irish sports stars this year, according to the latest Onside StarTrack 2015, by sponsorship consultants Onside.

      17% of Irish adults singled out the ex-Irish rugby supremo O’Driscoll as the sports personality they admire most overall, while Katie Taylor was next in line at 11%, up 1% year on year as she prepares for the journey to Rio 2016.  But it was Rugby World Cup captain Paul O’Connell that has stood out as the Irish sports star making most gains in Irish public admiration across the year to date, a position converted by Onside in real terms into an extra ¼ million Irish public ‘avid fans’ of the rugby hero this year.  3 in 10 surveyed singled out a rugby star, with the collective of soccer stars next in line at 12%.

      The other sports personality showing marked positive momentum in terms of public support in the latest edition of the Onside tracker was Conor McGregor – climbing into the Top 10 for the first time at 6th place, two spots behind current Irish soccer team assistant manager Roy Keane and a 5th place Rory McIlroy (no change year on year).

      Commenting on O`Connell`s results this year,  John Trainor, Founder and CEO of Onside notes: “Paul O’Connell has gained the highest admiration scores recorded for him this decade in our research and has most likely grown this further through Rugby World Cup 2015. His support was particularly high in his native Munster where he comfortably topped the poll.”

      Trainor notes that “the battle for admiration proved particularly interesting when segmented by age, with Irish 18-24 year olds surveyed by Onside scoring Katie Taylor and Roy Keane as the personalities holding most appeal.”

      Irish soccer star Robbie Keane also made some ground in the 2015 Onside StarTrack survey, holding 7th position, with a gain of 2% year on year.  The top 10 is closed out by 3 stars that have completed the active participation phase of their careers – Henry Shefflin, Ronan O’Gara and Sonia O’Sullivan.

      And early indications from the Onside consultants are that 2016 may see a continuation of the return to positive growth in spend by brands in the personality endorsement arena. Trainor points to “brands in 2015 like Bank of Ireland that have effectively engaged with ambassadors like Shane Lowry and Irish rugby stars including Paul O’Connell and notes that a number of factors are at play that will stimulate such growth further, including interest in athletes in the run into the Olympics in Rio 2016 and Irish footballers appeal on foot of any Euros soccer qualification.”

      However Trainor cautions against brands that see personality endorsement as an easy win to build brand appeal and conversion to business growth.  “An association with a top athlete can be a highly effective way to engage with fans, but without a well-developed activation plan, it can under-perform significantly.  Low single digit outcomes are the results for many brands that fail to use this channel built on sound plans.”

      Outside of sport, The Onside StarTrack 2015 also found that Ryan Tubridy has retained the number one performance as the most admired television or radio personality in Ireland, with 12% of adults naming the RTE personality.  Meanwhile Gay Byrne is enjoying a resurgence in his appeal as he ranks second to Tubridy, ahead of Miriam O’Callaghan in 3rd place.  TV3 host Vincent Browne and Today FM breakfast host Ian Dempsey also made positive gains in the new research.

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      Beware: Customers See Your Competitive Advantage Differently

      Posted By PRSmith, Monday 12 October 2015
      Updated: Wednesday 10 February 2016

      You simply have to see the world through your customers eyes. Customer empathy is a great skill. Not just for tactical marketers but for CEOs searching restlessly for competitive advantage. Urbany & Davis (2007) Competitive Advantage ‘The 3 Circle Model’ is simply brilliant. It can be explained in 3 minutes in the this video or read the notes below.


      So here’s the very simple yet enlightening Urbany and Davis 3 circle model. Consider the 3 core concepts of Company, Customers and Competition. This is the Customer Circle…

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      It represents the value sought by the customer – the requirements and benefits that they seek. These requirements and benefits may include deeper values. Essentially the Customer Circle represents what the customer wants or what value the customer is seeking.

      The second circle is your Company Circle…

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      It represents the value customers perceive, or think, you offer to them. This is the way they see it. You have to understand this. The area in the middle within the broken lines (i.e. the overlapping area in the middle) and this is Positive Value. This is the value you/your brand is perceived to deliver to satisfy customer needs. The area on the left  is ‘Non-Value’, which Urbany and Davis describe as ‘the product or service you produce that the customer either doesn’t care about, or perhaps, doesn’t know about.’   The area on the right is called ‘Unmet Need’. Urbany and Davis describe these as ‘customer needs that are not satisfied by your products and services and hence they offer a possible future growth opportunity.’

      The third circle (below the other two circles) is called the Competitor Circle…

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      The competitor circle is the piece of the jig saw. It soon opens up a whole new way of thinking… The competitor circle represents what value does the customer perceive in your competitor’s offering. It’s a Venn diagram. The overlapping shaded area at the top is ‘the pure definition of competitive advantage’. As Urbany and Davis say, ‘this is the value that you create that matters to customers, but, that is different to competition. This is why people choose us.’ This is part of your Strengths & Weakness Analysis which is part of the Situation Analysis is the first part of your marketing plan (using SOSTAC ® Plan).

      So the next big question for you is ‘What’s your competitive advantage?’ This excellent question forces you to begin the process of defining your distinctive competitive advantage. Try asking six different members of your team, you might just get six different answers! You’ve got more work to do with your internal communications!

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