AdLib: Getting switched on to a digital future
The key pillars needed for marketing strategies to work remain the same as always and are based on the customer coming first, emotionally intelligent leadership, a collaborative culture and the right project management processes, a think tank hosted by recruitment agency Alternatives indicates. Great marketing has always been about putting the customer first.
But now marketers no longer have full control of the messaging, forfeiting pole position to consumers.
Digital is imposing new rules where marketing is now much more about what customers are willing to hear, as opposed to what brands need to say. So marketers must embrace new skills like e-CRM, social and content management, as well as be technically savvy in areas such as data analytics.
Without involvement from key executives, most importantly chief executive, changes are difficult to make. Marketers need to build and lead the changes and show initiative before the CEO asks for change, particularly when it comes to digital strategies as they can mean a big shift in how companies operate overall.
For collaboration to work properly, both internal and external marketing team have to be involved. Senior marketers who may not be fully up to speed on digital should recognise they are now in charge of executives who have a strong grasp of new and ever-evolving technologies. The think tank discussed how best to access the skills of agencies, particularly where creative, media, experiential and specialist agencies all compete in providing digital services. The best way to do this is to ensure that there is collaboration across external agencies.
Charley Stoney, group managing director of Alternatives, says the group agreed that the main area for development and digital learning is among middle ranking marketing managers. People who have core marketing skills, but didn't grow up with digital skills, may act as a block within a company and require a more multi-channel approach and need upskilling in digital. The think tank on 'Future proofing marketing teams in today's digital world' was chaired by Charley Stoney, and facilitated by Arnotts' multi-channel director Asta Lund and Digital Institute co-founder and managind director Anthony Quigley.
Other marketers taking part were Edel O'Leary, head of marketing, Ulster Bank; Gordon Newman, head of digital, Lifestyle Sports; Michael Nugent, sales and marketing director, BMW-Mini and Lisa Browne, head of marketing, Electric Ireland.
* On the PR front, Sheena Horgan has joined Murray's consumer division, MCSquared, as associate director. Previously with Gibneys, Keatings and Insight Consultants, Horgan has written extensively about ads targeted at youngsters and celebrity campaigns which "airbrush reality". A co-founder of London agency Eulogy, she helped launch the Conservative Party's children's taskforce 10 years ago.
Recent wins for Murray include Let'sGetChecked and Center Parcs, the British holiday resort group which has plans to develop a €100m complex in Co Longford. Elsewhere, O'Hea PR, run by Roisin O'Hea, is now handling Royal Caribbean cruises and Turkish Airlines. O'Hea has extensive experience in travel and hospitality communications, having worked for Holidays with Aer Lingus, Travel Department, Ethiopian Airlines and Clarion Hotels.
* With September starting next week and schools back, marketing events get going again with gusto. Digital gets the ball rolling for the next Association of Advertisers (AAI) Toolkit Tuesday seminar. Targeting consumers using digital search is the theme for a number of experts, including Google's Eoghan Phipps. Maeve O'Meara, marketing manager at the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB), will facilitate a group discussion on the morning of September 22 in Core Media's offices.
* Staying with Core Media, the group's boss Alan Cox -pictured with RTE's Geraldine O'Leary and Margaret Barron, Topaz - will speak at the Marketing Society's '2025: A Brave New World' breakfast seminar on Thursday, September 24. Cox joins British management consultant Alan Welsman whose business goes by the curious name of Rubber Shirt, along with other speaker yet to be confirmed.
Welsman's previous roles included stays at Walt Disney, Orange and Sony Computer Entertainment, whose best known brand is PlayStation. The society will confirm the venue in the coming days.
* With the Rugby World Cup (RWC) kicking off in England and Wales in mid-September, there may well be a sponsor for everyone in the audience. If TV3 viewers think its RWC line-up appear more dapper than usual, it's all thanks to Arnotts. The department store has been chosen as the official wardrobe partner, so anchors Matt Cooper and Tommy Martin, along with analysts Peter Stringer, Matt Williams, Shane Byrne, Hugo MacNeill and Keith Wood, pictured, can look the part.
While Brent Pope won't show up in person on RTE's rival station, at least his Pope range of shirts from Arnotts will get a look-in.
Michael Cullen is editor of Marketing.ie: firstname.lastname@example.org