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Irish Marketers commit 22% of budget to Content Marketing, and plan to spend more

Posted By Dixons Carphone Warehouse, Thursday 3 September 2015
Updated: Tuesday 9 February 2016
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Irish Marketers commit 22% of budget to content marketing and plan to spend more, but trail their international peers in how effective they feel their content marketing efforts are.

That’s according to the results of Ireland’s first content marketing survey conducted by the Marketing Institute of Ireland, in association with 256 Media.

About the Survey

Between February and June 2015, the Marketing Institute asked members to participate in the online survey that asked detailed questions about how Irish marketers are using content marketing. We also framed many of those questions so that we could compare Irish responses with those from other international studies conducted in the UK, USA and Australia under the auspices of the global Content Marketing Institute.

Survey Highlights


  • Irish marketers are spending 22% of their marketing budget on content marketing. This compares to an equivalent figure of 26% in the UK;
  • 75% of respondents are producing more content than in the same period of last year;
  • 56% intend to increase or significantly increase their spending on content in the next 12 months. B2C companies are particularly likely to significantly increase this investment.


  • 67% of respondents (versus 87% of UK marketers) report having a content marketing strategy in place. 26% have no strategy, 6% aren’t sure;
  • 48% have not documented their content marketing strategy, while 48% have;
  • The number one strategic objective for content marketing was customer engagement, followed by sales/lead generation and website traffic.


  • The most used content tactic is social media (utilised by 92% of respondents), followed by articles, then video;
  • Blogs are used by just 51%, which is significantly lower than international norms (85% of UK marketers use blogs).


  • Irish marketers rated the effectiveness of their use of content marketing at 3.05 on a 5-point scale where 1 represented ‘not at all’ and 5 represented ‘extremely’ effective;
  • Only 26% of Irish marketers rate their content marketing efforts as ‘successful’ or ‘extremely successful’. This compares to 42% in the UK;
  • The most effective content tactics aren’t necessarily the ones that marketers are using;
  • Twitter is rated the most effective social media channel.


  • 53% have a dedicated person (or team) in-house who is responsible for content marketing strategy;
  • 43% are producing content internally only;
  • Only 14% use content marketing management software (such as Hubspot or Marketo);
  • 80% are outsourcing design, 34% writing.


The biggest challenge is ‘not enough time’, cited by 72% of respondents, followed by ‘producing engaging content, cited by 56%.


  • 48% measure their return on investment on content marketing;
  • 44% find it a challenge to measure their return;

Best practice

Those with a documented content marketing strategy are more likely to consider their efforts effective and to:

  • use personas;
  • produce more content;
  • increase their content spend;
  • use external resources;
  • have a dedicated team member responsible;
  • use content management software;
  • know what they are spending;
  • measure their efforts.

What we think

Commenting on the survey, Tom Trainor, Chief Executive of The Marketing Institute of Ireland, said “We are delighted to have this first insight into the state of content marketing in Ireland. It establishes the strategic objectives being pursued, the levels of activity involved and the degree of effectiveness being achieved in this growing space. It also allows us to benchmark ourselves versus other markets where content marketing is more established and points to opportunities for Irish marketers to enhance their return on investment in this area. This is important as only 26% of Irish marketers rated their content marketing efforts as effective compared to 42% of their UK peers.”

Karen Hesse, Managing Director of 256 Media, said “This survey suggests that Irish marketers are enthusiastic about content marketing, but still getting to grips with the discipline. Compared to our international peers there is considerable opportunity for improvement in how we are approaching our content strategy, implementation, use of technology and measurement of return on investment in order to drive better returns from our increasing spend. This is evident from the fact that only 42% use Buyer Personas, a staple of content marketing, to inform their efforts.”

To download the 24 page ebook ‘What’s the Story?’ with the detailed results of the survey, click here.

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Promotional Coding for Brand Engagement & Loyalty

Posted By Codico, Tuesday 1 September 2015
Updated: Wednesday 10 February 2016
Promotional Coding for Brand Engagement (1)

What have Coke Cola and a selfie stick got in common? Probably this year’s best use of on-pack promotional coding. This summer, the iconic brand invited consumers to buy a Coke, simply enter the promotional code on the inside of the bottle sleeve into a website and be in with a chance of winning one of 250,000 selfie sticks (that’s a lot of selfie sticks).

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Over the past decade there has been an explosion in the use of variable data printed directly onto product packaging, particularly in the food and drink sectors. Usually the variable data relates to dates of minimum durability and batch numbering for traceability. Today the printing of variable data for the purpose of on-pack promotional coding has become mainstream for FMCG brands as an effective sales promotion technique. This year alone we have seen brands like Pringles (Karaoke Kits), and Lucozade (Project Yes), many more are no strangers to promotional coding. Advancements in technology has now made this technique available to all smaller and medium sized brands.

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What are promotional codes?

Promotional codes can take many forms. They might be a QR code that directs customers to a specific website. Or they could take the form of an alphanumeric code – unique to each pack – that allows customers to win prizes. They are applied onto product packaging and are easy to identify.

Reasons to use on-pack promotions:

On-pack promotions can help brands realise the following benefits:

Stand out from the crowd

The food and beverage industries are fiercely competitive. Promotional codes help your brand to stand out on the shelf and entice customers to purchase your product. [Tweet this]. They are a highly effective way of engaging customers with innovative marketing campaigns and can act as the bridge between physical marketing and online strategies.

Engage with your customers

Marketing is about engaging your customers. And promotional codes give you a great vehicle for encouraging customers to take action. Whether you are inviting consumers to design their own packaging or offering them the chance to win prizes, it all helps to make your brand more memorable.

Build brand loyalty

Active brand engagement leads to strong brand loyalty. The godfather of brand management Kevin Lane Keller states that perhaps the strongest affirmation of brand loyalty occurs when customers are willing to invest time, energy, money and other resources into the brand beyond those expended during purchase or consumption of the brand. These days consumers are willing to talk about the brands they love, mostly without the use of a promotion and competition. So when brands engage with consumers with a promotion they can only benefit further from this trend. This in turn also drives traffic, mentions, connections and follows.

Capture your customers’ data

When you engage your customers, you encourage brand loyalty. Run a campaign that captures an email address and gains permission for further communication then you have a fantastic opportunity to make the relationship between you and your consumer even stronger.

Increase revenue

On-pack promotions are an excellent way to grow quick sales and market share for the duration of the campaign. Does that mean that after the campaign is over sales decrease? Perhaps or maybe not. Increased loyalty from the promotions can cause additional revenue to carry on beyond the short term and into the medium and long term.

Top 5 tips for successful on-pack promotions:

1. Make it interesting/fun for your customers (not just for you).

2. Pick a prize that reflects your brand & target audience.

3. Take in to account customer effort versus perceived value of reward.

4. Make it fair and robust.

5. It’s all in follow up.

How do you add promotional codes to food and drink packaging?

With the right choice of equipment.

It’s important not to underestimate the engineering challenge of adding promotional codes to packaging. They must be printed with 100% clarity – at speed – and must not conflict with essential traceability codes and best before information.

In the case of competition codes that are unique to each customer and each individual product, you also need a system that is capable of generating hundreds of thousands – possibly millions – of different codes within a short space of time. For example, an 8 character code has 4,294,967,296 unique possible outcomes.

Then there’s the matter of whether you print the promotional codes directly onto the packaging on the production line, or add the codes later in the production process. There are a small number of companies that can generate the unique codes for you to print. Some of these companies also look after the back end of the promotion to insure the website can handle the promotional entries and issue win/lose responses. Check out who can oversee all aspects of your loyalty programme.

The right decision depends on your industry, the type of promotion you want to run and your manufacturing processes. 

This article was first published on

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A Look at the Past, Present and Future of Social Media Monitoring

Posted By Kantar Media, Tuesday 25 August 2015
Updated: Wednesday 10 February 2016
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Just consider how the meaning of ‘monitoring social media’ has evolved from an optional to a critical aspect for many businesses. The approaches to social monitoring have changed, and businesses must adapt. Key social, cultural and technological shifts have impacted the media sector. Are you keeping up with the changes?

Kantar Media - Social Media Monitoring

In the past, social media was considered as a ‘gadget’ and not a concern for companies, organisations, and different institutions. The earlier adopters of social media monitoring were mainly public relations and advertising agencies, who used this monitoring as an additional means to manage their clients’ online brand reputation.

As the amount of information grows, particularly in social media, monitoring can become time consuming and less relevant. Therefore, analytics are becoming more and more important. Analytics are more focused on aggregated information, providing trends, summarized reports, tonality or competitive information. Moreover, clients are tired of dealing with multiple tools.

Nowadays, too many companies choose the monitoring and measurement tools before planning, measurement and evaluation takes place. In the future, social media will be used in every field of life and organisations will take the time to do cross departmental planning. Marketing, customer service and PR teams will join together to use similar frameworks, tools and metrics that can be used for integrated reporting and strategy.

To read more and find out some tips and easy strategies that you can use to understand and manage your social media monitoring, please download the step by step guide to social media monitoring & analysis.

This article was first published on Kantar Media

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What We Need to Know about the Media’s Use of Social Media

Posted By PSGPlus, Monday 10 August 2015
Updated: Wednesday 10 February 2016
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    We hear a lot about the blurring of the lines between media and social media. A new study from Cision and Canterbury Christ Church University of 3,000 journalists (but none from Ireland, so do bear that in mind) shows just how much.

    The study is the result of a survey of 3,000 journalists in nine countries with 20% of them based in the UK. According to the study:

    • Social media is extremely important to journalists.
    • More than half of UK journalists say they couldn’t do their job without it. 48% say that they regularly read the posts of the people that they follow and monitor discussions on socials platforms about their own content.

    Despite the popularity of social media, email still ranks highly as the preferred method of contact. 86% of media professionals in the UK prefer to be contacted by email, 32% via social media and 39% are happy to receive phone calls.

    When it comes to who they turn to when looking for content, although 46% of UK journalists say public relations people, a significant 33% want to hear from experts.

    So what conclusions can we draw about how we engage with the media? 

    • Different media professionals use social media differently, therefore your method of contact needs to be tailored to their preferences in the same way brands segment audiences to deliver tailored communication
    • Journalists deal with a heavy load of social media traffic but are becoming more strategic about how they spend time on social media. This means they are not ‘always on’ but depend on social media as part of their toolkit
    • Journalists are clearly focused on using Facebook and Twitter according to the report
    • Although social media is increasing productivity, it is not resulting in a reduced workload. Journalists will make strategic decisions about their principal use of social media and their preferred tools for achieving their work goals
    • Email will continue to dominate the PR-journalist relationship. For journalists, the preference for telephone contact will continue to drop and be replaced by social media
    • Journalists will continue to rely on experts so they do not compromise their values and views of their profession by sourcing from perceived unreliable sources

    This survey was originally published on

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    Carat Pulse News: A Grocery Shopper Special

    Posted By Carat, Monday 10 August 2015
    Updated: Tuesday 9 February 2016
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    Carat’s yearly tracker of grocery shopper habits is now in the fifth year of measurement. Steady patterns are evident, with some category change along with some preferential differences between males and females emerging.


    Buying brands on promotion continues to dominate purchase decisions, and we are seeing a real stabilisation around switching between brands and private label over the last two years.

    Looking within each category, the biggest shifts are within the tea and alcohol brands. They continue to command the highest loyalty levels however, these segments have also seen an increase in brand switching driven by promotions, cider with the largest increase with 7%.

    The milk and cereal categories have seen a 5% and 3% increase respectively, in consumers that have switched to private labels and are happy with the decision.

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    When it comes to responsibility of being the main grocery shopper, females continue to take the majority of ownership with a slight decline from 75% last year to 73% in 2015. Meanwhile, males shopping responsibility has increased in the same period from 43% to 47%.

    Males are showing a stronger preference to do smaller shops throughout the week (61% agree) while female shoppers are more inclined to do one big shop a week (53% agree).


    7 in 10 shoppers are spending more time in-store comparing prices and special offers. Similarly, 7 in 10 shoppers are shopping around for better prices. Both continue a steady trend from previous years.


    Similar to brand loyalty, shopping decisions based on discounts and offers remain quite steady. Money off the usual price along with Buy one get one free continue to be the most appealing.

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    Promotional displays, on shelf advertising & free samples continue to be the most effective types of in store advertising. This year we also added new channels to the list including direct mail (30%).

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    This survey was originally published on

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