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Welcome to MII Learning Insights. Here we will share course reviews and trainer interviews. Would you like to share a piece of content relating to learning and development? Contact training@mii.ie

 

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Top tags: Meet the Trainer  course review  Meet the Lecturer  MSc Digital 

Meet the Lecturer...Jade Kim

Posted By The Marketing Institute, Wednesday 9 October 2019
Updated: Monday 23 September 2019

 

What does a lecturer at TU Dublin do?

A lecturer at TU Dublin guides students towards problem-solving methods, makes the bridge between industries and academic research, provides the class with knowledge material that will help them become the managers of tomorrow. At TU Dublin, we put emphasis on smaller classes so we can develop connections and discussions between the lecturer and the student. Lecturers are encouraged to find real case studies for their students so they can be in touch with their current and future career challenges. Being a lecturer at TU Dublin is being aware of the fact that theory has to communicate with practice.


What route did you take to this role, i.e. what did you study in college, experience on the way?

I got my MA in Management studies at Grenoble Graduate Business School in France. I then moved to Ireland to pursue a full-time PhD degree in Marketing at TU Dublin where I study Identity construction in the workplace. I have since been lecturing in UX design and Marketing environment for the full-time Msc in Digital Marketing and MA in Public Relations at TU Dublin.



How important do you think continued upskilling and education is to marketing?

As Marketing is a fast paced environment, it is important to keep up to date with the findings from Academic Research and their implications to practice in order to innovate and anticipate problems. Moreover, studying with people interested in that topic helps students improve their networking skills and creativity. Group work allows individuals to develop their interpersonal skills, their critical thinking and leadership skills which are beneficial to the managers of tomorrow. Furthermore, Marketing is a field that regroups a great variety of disciplines such as communications, psychology, project management, sales and so on. Therefore, continuing to upskill one’s education in marketing is fundamental as you will have the opportunity to cover this vast array of topics.



What benefits can attendees hope to obtain from attending training programmes?

Attendees can hope to obtain insights on up to date Marketing practices while remaining in touch with their industries as well as the ones of the other attendees. They will benefit from the discussions happening in class with their classmates when sharing their experience. Attendees can also hope to refine their working skills regarding project management, writing and presentational skills. Moreover, they will be able to gain access to more responsibilities and higher positions at work thanks to their Msc Degree that is internationally recognized.  



What do you consider as the key criteria for learning to be effective?

Curiosity, creativity, attention.


What do you believe are the challenges facing marketers today?  

I don’t think we can talk about Marketing nowadays without using the term Digital Marketing. The 3rd industrial revolution has impacted the way we collect information, communicate, build processes and even manage people. For Marketing, communications, sales channels, business models as well as regulations (ie. GDPR) have tremendously evolved which means that marketers need to keep up to date with new practices and innovations so they can anticipate changes and challenges in the industry.



How important is education in terms of career progression for marketers?

In terms of career progression, education can be seen as a passport for marketers. It is a stamp that is highly recognized and essential in a job market that is competitive. Getting a Msc means that the person acquired a higher set of skills which can make a big difference in terms of responsibilities, career progression and wages. It also means that those marketers can hope for more strategic driven positions within their companies. Education allows them to make the transition from operational tasks to strategic, decision-making ones which I believe is important for one’s personal development. 



And finally to whom do you look for professional inspiration in your role?

I look up to a MIT scholar named Sherley Turkle. She has been focusing on the impact of new technologies on human behaviour and was able to share her insights to the public (you can check her book “Alone Together” or some of her TED talks). As a researcher I find it essential to be able to translate your findings into something that concerns us all. In my opinion, establishing the link between Academic research, practice and genuine intellectual curiosity is a remarkable skill.

 

 



Jade Kim is a Program Manager for MSc in Digital Marketing & Analytics in TU Dublin.

Tags:  Meet the Lecturer  MSc Digital 

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Meet the Trainer...Richard Shotton, Founder of Astroten

Posted By The Marketing Institute, Wednesday 2 October 2019
Updated: Friday 27 September 2019

Richard Shotton

What does Richard Shotton at Astroten do?

I’m the founder of Astroten, a consultancy that helps marketers apply behavioural science to their challenges. Over the last year I’ve worked with companies like Google, O2, Brewdog and the Co-op, helping them apply the findings from this discipline to their work.


What route did you take to this role, i.e. what did you study in college, experience on the way?

I studied geography at Oxford University and then joined the industry as a media planner in 2000. After that I moved into research before, finally, specialising in applying behavioural science to marketing. 


How important do you think continued upskilling and continuous professional development is to marketing?

In the film Annie Hall, Woody Allen’s character says “A relationship, I think, is like a shark. You know? It has to constantly move forward or it dies.” The same could be said of a career, you’ve got to keep moving forward and learning new things or you stagnate.  

 
What benefits can attendees hope to obtain from attending training programmes?

Behavioural science is the study of how people actually behave, rather than how they claim to behave. So, if you know about the findings you can shape your marketing to work with human nature rather than against it. 

We’ll focus on the insights from the discipline that are most relevant to marketing and introduce a straight-forward framework that makes applying behavioural science simple. 

Attendees will leave the course knowledgeable about the topic and able to harness it in their next campaign

What do you consider as the key criteria for training to be effective?

Effective training needs to be practical, interactive and fun.

What do you believe are the challenges facing marketers today?

Many of the challenges in marketing are the same as they have always been. Questions like: 

How do you get noticed? Or How do you make your brand more appealing than your competitors? Behavioural science provides some fundamental insights into those perennial questions. 

What trends are shaping marketing briefs in 2019 and 2020?

People’s motivations are remarkably consistent from one year to the next. Bill Bernbach, the greatest creative director of the 20th Century, said:
It took millions of years for man’s instincts to develop. It will take millions more for them to even vary. It is fashionable to talk about changing man. A communicator must be concerned with unchanging man, with his obsessive drive to survive, to be admired, to succeed, to love, to take care of his own.

Our industry spends too long worrying about the latest new thing and not enough on the fundamentals of human behaviour.

What are the current challenges and opportunities that marketers face in terms of marketing effectiveness? 

Many of the insights on briefs rely too heavily on claimed data, that is what people say motivates them. 

One of the key themes of behavioural science is that these claims can often be misleading. 

So, an effective brief needs to have a healthy scepticism about customers’ claimed motivations and instead dig deeper to unearth the genuine drivers. 

And finally to whom do you look for professional inspiration in your role?

Rory Sutherland and Dave Trott are two of the most interesting marketing thinkers of the moment. I’m always keen on hearing on what they have to say.


Richard Shotton is the lead on the Marketing Institute’s CMO masterclass, Using Behavioural Science to Solve Business Challenges, taking place on 14th November 2019. More details on https://mii.ie/event/Behavioural_Science

 

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Meet the Trainer....Brian Sparks, Managing Partner at Agency Assessments Ireland

Posted By The Marketing Institute, Monday 19 August 2019
Updated: Monday 19 August 2019

  

 

What does Brian Sparks do?

Consultant, Trainer and Lecturer at Agency Assessments Ireland – the leading consultancy in Ireland for agency reviews (pitches) and advice on getting the best out of your agency partners, roster management and payment by performance reviews. 

 

What route did you take to this role, i.e. what did you study in college, experience on the way?

I have a classic business education with a B.Comm from UCD  and an MBA from the Smurfit Business School. Along the way I have had many years’ client experience at the coal face of marketing for Irish Distillers in Dublin and Guinness in Ireland , Malaysia and Africa.  Along the way I also worked on the agency side for Irish International (BBDO) and as Managing Director for McCann Erickson in its Dublin office. Plus guest lecturing at the Irish Marketing Institute, Irish Management institute and Smurfit Business School. Since joining Agency Assessments I have managed a multitude of pitches and client/agency relationship projects in Ireland, UK , Europe and the US.  

 

How important do you think continued up-skilling and continuous professional development is to marketing?

The pace of change in marketing and the channels of communications is rapid. Only the consumer is keeping pace with these developments. Unless we as marketers stay on top of the learning curve we run the real risk of being left behind. It is no longer tolerable to just be aware of developments. Continuous professional development demands an insightful understanding of their implications for us as practitioners and for the changing role of marketing and communications in the wider societal context.  

 

What benefits can attendees hope to obtain from attending training programmes ?

A practical guide to best practice briefing underpinned by practical ‘best practice’ examples from leading companies and brands.

 

What do you consider is the key criteria for training to be effective?

Loads of real life examples and case studies. Loads of questions.  Loads of participation and dialogue from participants. 

 

What do you believe are the challenges facing marketers today?

Everyone talks about the pace of change and the challenges of the technical revolution. They are of course right. These are major challenges.  But the real progress can only be made if we fully understand how people and communities face up to and adapt to these changes. In the past companies and brands grew by talking AT CONSUMERS. Now the balance has shifted so that CONSUMERS hold the balance of power.  Companies and their brands need to play a much more responsible and socially conscious role in the markets that they participate in and in the communities that they sell their brands. Underestimate the power of the consumer at your peril. 

 

What trends are shaping marketing briefs in 2019?

There is an increasing recognition that briefs now need to be centered around developing communications for a much broader range of channels. It used to be just ‘off line’ and then over recent years it then included ‘online’. But now briefs need to take in many other channels and influences including PR, Events, Sponsorships, internal stakeholders, external stakeholders, Business to Consumer , Business to Business, Touch Points, Paths to Purchase, Acquisition, Retention and the diversity  and segmentation of  audiences that will be targeted.

Finally marketeers need be conscious of the wider context in which the resultant communication will be viewed. The Media are an ever waiting critic when brands  over step the mark. 

 

What are the current challenges that marketers face around crafting an effective agency brief?

All of the above !

 

And finally to whom do you look for professional inspiration in your role?

It is great that marketing has become much more accountable and measurable and that knowledge is spread so widely and so freely. I take my inspiration from Effectiveness case studies and there are many to choose from here in Ireland (AFFX) and abroad (EFFIES). And Creative awards (Cannes in particular and ICAD/Shark locally ) provide an enormous gallery of great creative work to review and take inspiration from.  And hats off to the Irish agencies that won this year in Cannes. They call it punching above our weight

 

Brian Sparks is the trainer of the Marketing Institute’s How to write a Creative Brief  taking place on 9th October 2019. More details on https://mii.ie/event/creative-brief 

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Meet the Trainer... Paul Smith, Author, Speaker & Advisor

Posted By The Marketing Institute, Monday 5 August 2019
Updated: Wednesday 24 July 2019

  

 

What does PR Smith, or Paul Smith do?

 

Author, Speaker/Trainer & Advisor www.PRSmith.org + founder of SOSTAC® planning framework. Also founded the NFP Great Sportsmanship Programme to inspire youths through short stories about sportsmanship.

 

 

What route did you take to this role, i.e. what did you study in college, experience on the way?

 

B.Sc. (mngt) DIT, then I got my MII Graduateship studying at night (I had started working with a Belgian Multinational in Dublin). After two years, I was offered a position in our new London office, so I moved and watched a lot of live music almost every night! To avoid becoming an alcoholic, I signed up for evening classes: PG Dip Finance in Southbank Poly (now Uni). After that I wanted to do an MBA part-time but my multinational wouldn’t give me the half day off, so I resigned, started the MBA  & simultaneously started marketing Christmas Crackers in the USA. This paid for my MBA and gave me confidence to market innovations (there were no crackers in the USA at the time!). I also started teaching accounting and marketing in five different locations in London – buzzing around on my Yamaha 125. I fell off three times in one day (I had never before, or after, fallen off a motorbike) – I learned that things happen in threes and got the final interview (re crackers) after sitting, sore and bruised in the rain in a puddle in a car park in Heathrow 30 minutes earlier [sounds like Monty Python ‘So you were lucky to be born in a cardboard box on a motorway’…!). Since then, I developed the SOSTAC® Planning framework and worked around the world in mostly innovative businesses. 

 

 

How important do you think continued up-skilling and continuous professional development is to marketing?

 

Now, more than ever before, it is critical as (a) tech change is almost exponential  (b) there is also a fundamental need for marketing orientated thinking and (c) refresh events/courses, like a book, if you get one great idea you win. If you get several – you are sucking the proverbial.   Today, I am learning more about marketing than ever before – almost all free and online – continuously, everyday – trying to set aside time.

 

 

What benefits can attendees hope to obtain from attending your training course?

 

A solid crystal-clear logical structure for making plans and decisions amidst a chaotic fast-changing digital world. So, tools and techniques for digital marketing. Plus, the more general skills: how to write the perfect plan; how to make great decisions; how to reduce risk; how to create strategies; how to avoid classic errors.     

 

 

What do you consider is the key criteria for training to be effective?

Enjoyable interaction and engagement with delegates. Carefully structured content.Memorable & actionable instruction (& content). Break everything down into actionable steps. Have reference material to look back on later when you need it. Measure where you are now (e.g. with your campaign results) then compare this to the results in the weeks, months, quarters and years to come. Also, an inquisitive mind requires confidence, so to gain confidence in what you are doing and be interested (and confident enough) to ask great questions to continually improve. 

 

What do you believe are the challenges facing marketers today?

We create our own barriers by not talking turkey with the board and financial directors in particular. With digital, everything is much easier to measure e.g. ROI of a website, an app, AI bots, a campaign. Boards get this. We can now also quantify the value of our funnel – the financial value of a visitor, a prospect, a hot prospect, a customer and a lifetime customer. Also Sentiment Analysis and NPS, although criticised by some, but, they are numbers and boards like numbers.  We have a screaming opportunity to break down this barrier and enter the boardroom. BTW don’t embarrass your FD in public but do ask: if he/she agrees that data is your greatest asset? When they say ‘yes’ ask them why isn’t in on the balance sheet then (in a friendly way).   We are not the ‘colouring department’! We are the custodians of two of your three greatest assets: the brand and data. Help them understand this. One other challenge is of course keeping up with digital transformation, particularly, AI, and customer mind states (shortened attention spans, time poor, convenience driven and information fatigued customers).

What trends are shaping marketing strategies in 2019?

Integration of AI into marketing at all levels; Marketing Automation integrating with CRM; Developing constant beta culture (which may well be replaced by immediate AI predicting best campaigns, words, pictures, pitches – already happening).  GDPR, of course, is good for marketing as it ensures we build and protect one of our greatest assets.  Lifetime CX, Personalisation, Contact Strategies, ‘Always On’ campaigns, Audio search. 

 

 

What are the current challenges and opportunities that marketers face around building long-term sustainable competitive advantage in 2019?   

Harnessing AI (& bots), Data, IoT, AR/VR (& other new sensory experiences) & MA  to add continuously add personalised value to the CX - also See Q6 & 7. Hyper competition is just warming up and the big data platforms are accelerating it. Beware of the Dark Web (see how it helped BREXIT & Trump www.PRSmith.org/blog ) & beware of rampant, unregulated use of  AI & Data. Finally, purpose and human-centred marketing may determine the quality of employees you recruit.

  

And finally to whom do you look for professional inspiration in your role?

My co-author & founder of Smart Insights, Dave Chaffey;  Ireland’s own Gerry McGovern; my client and friend, Dr. Eddie O’Conner and his latest outrageously innovative project www.SuperNode.Energy; Robert Pirsig (author Zen and The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance), interviewing the late Professors Ted Levitt and Peter Doyle  as part of the world’s first marketing training programme delivered on CDs (remember those?) and the late great Chris Berry with whom I had the privilege of sharing an office for 20 years and who still inspires me today. 

 

Paul Smith is the lead on one of the Marketing Institute’s Marketing Strategy and Tactics course, taking place on 26th September 2019.

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Course Review - Postgraduate Diploma in Management and Marketing

Posted By Learning & Development Team, Monday 22 July 2019
Updated: Thursday 11 July 2019

 

In your own words how would you describe the Postgraduate Diploma in Management & Marketing? 

The PG Dip in Management and Marketing was a great course for me. Coming from a non-business background, it laid the foundations of management and marketing for me in the first semester, foundations from which I was able to build upon and extend in the second semester. The course helped to equip me with tools that were immediately transferable into my working life, and served to provide me with a solid base from which I could begin to plan and implement strategies in both management and marketing areas within my organisation. The marketing part of the course was a fantastic insight into modern practises, and gave a fascinating insight into a number of live case studies which made the course extremely interesting and relevant. The course ignited a long-term interest in these areas for me, that I went on to continue the course at Masters level. 

 

 

Why did you decide to complete the programme? 

As a journalist at the time, I wanted to expand my own skill set due to the needs of my job at the time. The course enabled me to make the leap from journalism into marketing and communications, a move that I’m delighted I made and one which I would not have been able to do without the course. 

 

 

What aspects of the programme did you like?

I really enjoyed getting to work with real life companies in helping them to plan strategy and marketing strategies. Knowing that you were planning a marketing strategy for an event that was actually happening made the work more interesting and also helped you to put what you had learned in the classroom into practice. Making presentations to the class and to the companies who we were working with was also great practice for real life situations, and helped to give me the confidence to go on and deliver presentations in my working environment. 


The guest lectures who delivered courses throughout the year gave brilliant insights into life as a marketer, and also gave real-life examples of best use of analytics and a number of other tools. 

 

 

 

Would you recommend the programme and why?

 I would highly recommend the programme, particularly for anyone hoping to move into the field of marketing in their careers. The programme gave me a practical and solid base from which to start exploring further career opportunities, and it helped me to meet and connect with a number of different people across a wide variety of sectors. As mentioned, the initial PG course was so interesting for me, I went on this year to do the Masters programme. 

 

 How will you incorporate your new found knowledge into your current role? 

At the time, 2015, I was a journalist, and the knowledge helped me when we were working with clients who wished to have sponsored content on our site and how to help them to activate their partnership with us. A few months after graduating, I moved into a Communications and Marketing role, and had the tools necessary to perform well in this role thanks to the course. 

 

Interested in finding out more about the Postgraduate Diploma in Management and Marketing starting on 17th September 2019? Click here.

 

Scholarship Opportunity closes 31st July 2019. 

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Meet the Lecturer....Dr Lesley Murphy, School of Marketing at TU Dublin

Posted By The Marketing Institute, Monday 8 July 2019
Updated: Tuesday 2 July 2019

 

What does a lecturer at TU Dublin do?

My role as a lecturer is to teach undergraduates and postgraduates using innovative and engaging teaching techniques to bring marketing to life and to help students be more commercially aware and civic minded.  Well that’s the official line from my job description!
 I love trying to ignite a spark in student’s learning and to ensure that they work on projects which they find interesting, relevant and also achieve learning outcomes. The last thing I want students to be doing is dreading coming to my classes!  This year the Marketing Institute - TU Dublin Postgraduate students worked on a marketing plan for a CSR client which they then presented to a panel at the end of the semester – the client was delighted with their output.  I also worked with students on a reusable coffee cup marketing project this year. Another cohort created a digital marketing plan and groups raised over €4.5K. I also love teaching through Problem Based Learning which is a student centred approach where students learn about a subject through solving an open ended brief with no defined solution. It’s an approach that started in medical education. Every year I work on a live company brief which gives students an opportunity to work in groups on a real world problem. They always find the projects daunting to begin with but it is my job to bring them along the journey and facilitate their learning. I find there is always a great sense of achievement for both students and company as well as myself.
We also have a focus on research informed teaching here in TU Dublin and carrying out research that is relevant to industry. I am interested in researching organisations in relationships and have published output in that area. At the minute I’m working on a digital trust project with two colleagues – we have recently been awarded funding so that is a focus a present.  I also supervise at an undergraduate and postgraduate level. This year I am supervising some really interesting dissertations in the area of CSR, virtual brand communities and the effectiveness of augmented reality and immersive marketing.  Part of my role is also bringing industry into the classroom and I regularly organise guest speakers to come in to talk to students. In the past we have had AIM winners in and representatives from Google in giving masterclasses and YouTube talking about the power of video. I also make a point of attending conferences such as the Web Summit and DMX and bringing my learnings back into the classroom. 

 


What route did you take to this role, i.e. what did you study in college, experience on the way?

I did European Studies and French in Queen’s in Belfast originally not really intending to go onto future study. However, I ended up doing a graduate management development programme and got some commercial experience which got me thinking about a career in sales and marketing. After doing an internship in the European Commission in Brussels, I came down to Dublin in July 2001 to work for a market research company and completed an MBS in Strategic International Marketing part time in DCU. At that stage I knew that being a lecturer was a career possibility for me but I needed to get more experience under my belt.  So after 3 years in sales and marketing in Cadbury, I jumped into the world of academia. I was awarded a scholarship to do a PhD and then finally got a job as a lecturer in the now TU Dublin. I have also completed a postgraduate diploma in teaching in learning which has allowed more to reflect on my teaching practices and articulate my teaching philosophy. 



How important do you think continued upskilling and education is to marketing?

Of course as a lecturer I am going to say that education is really important! However, marketing is changing so rapidly – particularly in the area of technology and digital marketing so it is really important to continue to be current and up to date with what’s going on. I do recommend that people do make a commitment to themselves to do some sort of CPD annually –whether that is a day long seminar, a short course, a module or a postgraduate programme.   



What benefits can attendees hope to obtain from attending training programmes?

I work on two programmes with the Marketing Institute – the Postgraduate Diploma and the MSc in Management and Marketing.  It is an exciting opportunity for non-business graduates to convert into business graduates and then gain a deeper specialism in an area that interests them – such as digital marketing or measuring marketing effectiveness. Every year, I see graduates of the programme gaining in confidence in delivering presentations, writing marketing plans and successfully changing career. The postgraduate diploma allows non-business graduates to “step in” or “step up” in marketing and we have plenty of testimonials from past graduates who have changed career or got a promotion as the result of the programme.



What do you consider as the key criteria for learning to be effective?

I regularly supervise MBA students and part time Masters students who have full time jobs and families as well as trying to do an educational qualification part time. Over the years I have seen the most effective learners as those who break things down into chunks – they would maybe read a journal article on the train or listen to a podcast on the commute into work. The most effective students are also those who use technology wisely – in this day and age,technology can make group work much more effective and reduce the amount of meetings and different versions of assignments.  
Getting blocks of time are also critical. Here I speak from experience – when I was trying to complete my PhD, with a toddler and a baby, as well as working the day job as a lecturer (and also a husband who was back being a student -that’s a story for another day), I was beating myself up that I wasn’t getting as much done as I wanted to  – it was actually impossible to dip in and out every day except to download articles or to tidy up the formatting on a document. What I did do was plan well in advance and carve out longer blocks of time –such as bank holiday weekends to really focus on writing and the meatier stuff. And also to pull down the shutters on a Saturday when the sun was streaming through the windows and I was trying to get my analysis done!

 


What do you believe are the challenges facing marketers today?  

There are so many challenges facing marketers today. In the classroom I hear students talk about the challenges they’re dealing with. Being authentic. Being trusted. Being accountable and understanding what elements of your campaigns are working and what aren’t working.  Ensuring you are investing in the right marketing technology. Managing data.   



How important is education in terms of career progression for marketers?

Again, I see it as super important. It provides evidence that you are actively interested in furthering your career by embarking on professional development activities.  Also, in the past we’ve had students who have embarked on a programme as they haven’t got a business qualification and have found themselves not getting short listed for a job they wanted. Or perhaps their manager has suggested it to them at their annual appraisal. Also, I regularly get phone calls from people who may have graduated a good number of years ago and want to complete a programme so they have an up to date qualification so they can go for a promotion they’re interested in.  



And finally to whom do you look for professional inspiration in your role?

In my current role, I would say Laura Cuddihy  has constantly inspired and encouraged me every step of the way – she is so positive and student centred I always feel I can take on the world after a conversation or a coffee with her. I also work with a fabulous bunch of lecturers in TU Dublin who inspire me every day at the kind of projects that they’re devising for students or the research that they’re carrying out that is really relevant to industry practitioners.  
I haven’t seen him in years but a pearl of wisdom from Brian O’Sullivan who is now CEO of Fulfil Nutrition quite often rings in my ears. At a company conference around fifteen years ago (which has gone in the blink of an eye by the way), he made the point that if you’re not jumping out of bed to go to work then you’re in the wrong job which has stuck with me ever since.  I am delighted to report that I am definitely still jumping out of bed in the morning twelve years in. There’s life in the old girl yet!

 



Dr Lesley Murphy is a lecturer on the Marketing Institute’s Postgraduate Diploma in
Management & Marketing
, starting this September. More details on mii.ie/page/PGDiplomaMarketing

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Meet the Trainer... Denise Doyle, Managing Director at Retail Republic

Posted By The Marketing Institute, Monday 10 June 2019
Updated: Friday 7 June 2019

  

 

What does a Managing Director of a Creative Consultancy do?

 

Typically my clients have smaller marketing teams and value an external marketer opinion.  Most of my day is spent writing marketing plans, moderating brand workshops or trafficking jobs through the studio ensuring all creative makes it through on-brief.  I usually wait until after close of business to do Managing Director duties like paying the bills and turning the lights off!  I have early starts and you can find me networking before breakfast at events that I am usually speaking at!

 

 

What route did you take to this role, i.e. what did you study in college, experience on the way?

 

My primary degree is in marketing but my first job was in advertising way back in 1996.  It was a great time to enter adland, back when TV campaigns were a weekly occurrence and every agency was a stone’s throw from the next with premises dotted around Fitzwilliam Square – the original ‘creative quarter’! My days were happily spent as an Account Manager going between recording studio and post production houses with client meetings in between.  I then took a ‘travel the world sabbatical’ and returned to take up a role on client side in Unilever, Citywest. From there I navigated my now marketing career through Nestle, C&C, Meteor, Eir working on a portfolio of iconic Irish brands (Lyons Tea, Ballygowan, Club Orange, Meteor Mobile, Eir) across product and services marketing from research to NPD through to communications.   It turns out I love marketing as much as I love communications so I opened an agency that supplies both!

 

 

How important do you think continued up-skilling and continuous professional development is to marketing?

 

The constant flow of new digital platforms, digital tech and the pace of digital advertising demands up-skilling to keep ahead of trends happening faster than this industry is used to.  But it is not just digital advances that demand we up-skill it is also the pace of ‘emerging generations’ with their individual needs and requirements.  Marketers need to work on up-skilling to keep ahead of this massive shift in the marketing discipline.  The branding course which I lead for The Marketing Institute is designed to give marketers a fundamental understanding of brand and the branding processes to keep their communications relevant to whatever target audience challenges we face in the future.  

 

 

What benefits can attendees hope to obtain from attending a branding course?

 

In professional learning scenarios we sometimes feel we should know the material before we get there.   Branding has terms, processes and points of view that are complex and confusing.  My course is a blend of text book, current thinking and case study learning.  I bring in practical examples of scenarios I learned from during my time working on iconic Irish brands like Lyons Tea, Ballygowan and Meteor.  Participants will leave with clarity on branding terminology and brand processes as well as current brand thinking.    

 

 

What do you consider is the key criteria for training to be effective?

Hands down effective training comes from a trainer who has industry experience.  Academic approaches are necessary for fundamental learning but professional training is where we learn to apply the theory to the everyday.  Sharing industry experiences is also the place where we learn perspective and this course is an ideal peer learning opportunity. 

 

What do you believe are the challenges facing marketers today?

 Data, demonstrating ROI, keeping up to date with digital plus the long term impact of short term digital tactics, are the challenges faced by every marketer. Something else however is piquing my interest – multiple generations taking part in a single society.  Boomers, Gen X, Gen Y (Millennials) and Gen z (iGen) all earning and having active roles in society is an exciting concept for today’s marketers. 

 

What trends are shaping marketer’s brand strategies in 2019?

1) Resurgence of branding
2) Customer experience (CX) for life-long customer relationships 
3) Gen Z – today’s teenagers are tomorrow’s young adults

 

 

What are the current challenges and opportunities that marketers face around brand development in 2019. 

The effect of ‘short-termism’ is being played out today in brands over reliance on short term promotions aimed at driving immediate sales peaks.  Brands need to remove the reliance on promotional tactics, weather a possible short term dip in sales and have confidence long term brand communications (which according to the excellent work of Field and Binet is circa 6 months).   Price promotions have become the heroin of today’s marketers, we need to detox.  

  

And finally to whom do you look for professional inspiration in your role?

Fiona Curtain in Pernod Ricard (Dublin) and Mark Ritson Adjunct Marketing Professor (Melbourne) are two marketers whose opinions have always impressed me.  However, Lucinda Ardern is my absolute inspiration.  She is a born marketer.  She understands her audience needs, she designs her service around their requirements and delivers a service with absolute integrity, genuineness and empathy.  Her authentic customer first approach will impress and transcend multi generations which is of utmost importance to her role as custodian of Brand New Zealand. 

 

Denise Doyle is the lead on one of the Marketing Institute’s marketing fundamentals series,  Aligning Brand and Commercial Goals, taking place on 18th June 2019. More details on mii.ie/event/brand-workshop

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Course Review - MSc Digital Marketing & Analytics

Posted By Learning & Development Team, Friday 31 May 2019
Updated: Thursday 25 April 2019

 

In your own words how would you describe the MSc in Digital Marketing and

Analytics?

It is a great programme which is well designed, developed and delivered. Focused on professionals who want to improve their skills, increase their knowledge, grow in their careers and become experts in this competitive marketing market. The programme is 100% focused on professionals with a vast experience in the market, which makes the experience even more interesting and complete. Each subject covered during the course is critical to making this programme a perfect option for anyone who wants to boost their CV or career.

 

 

Why did you decide to complete the programme?

In my case, I come from a corporate and integrated communication background, which involves marketing in some way, but not always directly. The programme was perfect because I could expand my knowledge, acquire new skills, even remember some topics covered in college, expand my horizon on new possibilities in the market and feel well prepared to boost my career.

 

 

What aspects of the programme did you like?

As previously mentioned, the format of the programme is very well designed and focused on professionals with extensive experience in the market and a high level of knowledge. For me, that was the most interesting aspect, as it turned each talk and discussion into a profound lesson, bringing different points of view, with professionals from different sectors of the market, with incredible backgrounds and experiences to share.

The level of commitment of all parties involved in the programme is another essential point. There was also the possibility to listen and share experiences with professionals from different industries during the workshops and to work with very interesting clients during assignments and the final project. In addition, all lecturers were brilliant, which makes the experience even better.

 

 

Would you recommend the programme and why?

 I would strongly recommend this programme to anyone who wants to boost their career and open the door for new possibilities in the market. Nowadays, having a MSc on your CV from a university as TU Dublin, in partnership with The Marketing Institute is an essential key to make yourself a marketing leader in this competitive market. 

 

 How will you incorporate your new found knowledge into your current role? 

I still cannot incorporate all new found knowledge into my current role, but I can apply a good part of that, which is perfect. As mentioned before, this programme is perfect for professionals who want to become experts in the marketing market, to expand their horizon on new possibilities, boost their careers, and to feel well prepared for future challenges. 

 

Is there anything else you would like to share about the programme?

Just do it! It pays off every amount spent, every evening and summer weekend in class, all free time studying! All your effort will be rewarded in the end.

 

Interested in finding out more about the MSc Digital Marketing & Analytics starting on 17th September 2019? Click here.

 

MSc Digital Marketing & Analytics scholarship opportunity closes 31st May 2019. 

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Meet the Trainer... Les Binet, Head of Effectiveness at adam&eveDDB

Posted By The Marketing Institute, Monday 27 May 2019
Updated: Monday 27 May 2019

Les-Binet

 

 

What does the Head of Effectiveness at adam&eveDBB do?

I measure the effectiveness of our clients’ marketing, help them to understand what works and what doesn’t, and help them to make it work better. It’s all about making better work, selling more stuff, and helping businesses make more money.



What route did you take to this role, i.e. what did you study in college, experience on the way?

I’m a scientist and mathematician by training. I read Physics at University, and had my heart set on an academic career. But when I started doing academic research, I found it disappointingly narrow. I also realised that I was more interested in people than crystal structures! So I moved into Artificial Intelligence, where I was modelling the way people process language. But again, I found the academic life a bit stifling. And then, quite by chance, I fell into advertising. And I realised that one could study people in a business setting – and get paid for it!



How important do you think continued upskilling and continuous professional development is to marketing?

We all need to keep learning and growing, no matter how senior we are. A lot of that happens on the job, of course, but there’s a lot to be said for taking time out of the office, stepping back, and looking at the fundamentals. Especially in marketing, where so many of the common assumptions about what we do are just plain wrong.



What benefits can attendees hope to obtain from attending training programmes?

Well the obvious aim is to make you better at your job. But at their best, great training courses can change your whole life. I know that sounds like a tremendous exaggeration, but it’s true. I can immediately think of a couple courses that have helped me reshape my life, both in work and outside. 



What do you consider as the key criteria for training to be effective?

Oh that’s hard. The material needs to be good, and relevant, of course. But the most important thing is the teacher. Teaching is a great art. It’s very hard to say where the magic lies, but you recognise it when you see it.



What do you believe are the challenges facing marketers today?  

There are lots of challenges. They have so many tools at their disposal, many of which are new and unproven, and it can be hard to understand which ones work best and how to deploy them well. And they are under relentless pressure to deliver results.



What are the current challenges and opportunities that marketers face in terms of marketing effectiveness?

We’ve never had better tools at our disposal for selling stuff, so this should be a golden age of marketing. But the numbers suggest that effectiveness is actually in decline, so something is clearly going wrong. I would argue that we are being held back by some fundamental misperceptions about how marketing works, and that this is leading to ineffective strategies. That’s what my course is about – that and how to solve the problem.



And finally to whom do you look for professional inspiration in your role?

Great thinkers, like Byron Sharp, and great practitioners, like the founders of adam&eve.


Les Binet is the lead on the Marketing Institute’s CMO masterclass, Marketing Effectiveness, taking place on 13th June 2019. More details on mii.ie/event/Marketing-Effectiveness

 

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Meet the Trainer... Aileen O'Toole, Chartered Director & Digital Strategist

Posted By Learning & Development Team, Monday 29 April 2019
Updated: Thursday 25 April 2019

What do you do as a Digital Strategist and a Chartered Director? 

I’ve a portfolio career with three elements – digital strategy assignments, non-executive board roles and pro-bono commitments.  My digital work focuses on supporting leadership teams to plan, deliver and troubleshoot ambitious digital projects that support their business strategies.  My board roles involve helping to formulate strategies and having oversight of their implementation by executive teams while my pro bono roles are about causes that light my fire.

 

What were your key career moves to get to your current role?

I am a former business journalist and Editor. I took an entrepreneurial leap in 1989 when I co-founded The Sunday Business Post where I combined my part owner/Executive Director/Company Secretary role with editorial management, and an involvement in the marketing strategy that ultimately created a strong media brand. 

Three years after the newspaper was sold, I wanted a fresh challenge outside of the media sector and established Ireland’s first digital strategy business in 2001. That has been like three separate start-ups in one, as I’ve had to pivot the business to respond to digital changes, client requirements and where I can add the most value.  I’ve combined this with non-executive board roles and in 2016 I qualified as a Chartered Director.

 

What is the biggest challenge you face in your role?

Staying up to date, relevant and strategic.  Given the fast pace of change in digital technologies, I’ve to constantly upskill and stay on top of trends.  I see my role as enabling my clients to be both future-focused and make strategic decisions. Right now, for example, clients need to be considering how emerging technologies like artificial intelligence and blockchain will impact on their sectors and their businesses.  They also need to avoid the many temptations to invest in “shiny new digital things” that may not deliver any long-term business value.  Instead, they should have a clear vision of how digital can deliver on their business strategies and then be able make informed investment and people decisions.

 

What key skills do you need to be effective in your role?

Firstly, it’s necessary for me to be strategic and concentrate more on what is of most importance to the long-term success of the business, instead of being buried in the entrails of a digital project.  Communications skills are vital.  For many senior leaders, techno babble is a turn off so I need to translate the jargon into business speak and make it all relevant and accessible to everyone. 

Digital projects are really change management projects and taking a customer perspective helps to get an understanding and buy in to change.  Similar strategic, communications, technical and other skills are also relevant to board roles.  Given my portfolio life, I have to be highly organised in how I manage multiple complex projects and other commitments concurrently. 

 

Describe a typical working day.

It very much depends on the mix of client commitments, board and pro-bono activities I have on a given day.  I might be facilitating a digital strategy workshop, commissioning or analysing research or managing a vendor selection process.  If I’ve an upcoming board meeting or board committee meeting, I’d have to spend a lot of time reading and annotating the board pack.  As a non-accountant, I can’t simply skip over the sometimes voluminous financial data as board members without accounting qualifications are as equally responsible for the oversight of the financial performance as those with such qualifications. 

I’ll also have to make time for pro-bono commitments, which at the moment involves a female leadership initiative I co-founded and mentoring some young professionals. There isn’t a day goes by without me consuming a lot of media – traditional and digital – and sharing content on my social media accounts.

 

What do you love most about your role?  

Variety.  The mix of what I do is ever-changing between different sectors, businesses, teams and suppliers. Because I’ve worked across all sectors, and am completely independent, I can often make a breakthrough by applying an approach that works in one sector to another one.  I also love achieving a tangible result arising from my work or my input into something.  That result may be hugely significant to a business, like the successful entry into a new market, or to an individual, like mentoring them to successfully transition to a new career.

 

Looking ahead, where might your career path lead to next?

I’m about to embark on a process to help me to answer that very question. Every few years, I take a step back and with professional help try to envision what I might do next.   In the past, this has helped me make some big career decisions, like leaving The Sunday Business Post and taking time out to pursue a corporate governance qualification. It’s also helped me shed some of the work I no longer find challenging and identify new potential areas of opportunity. At this stage, the changes are more evolutionary than revolutionary.

  

Aileen O’Toole is facilitating the Marketing Institute's CMO masterclass, Increasing Marketing's Influence in the Boardroom on 28th May. More details on mii.ie/event/boardroom

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