Monday 27 May 2019

Confidence high, but Brexit fears a bigger worry for some sectors


Trading up: Alternatives managing director Bernie Keogh said the study found prospects are encouraging.
Trading up: Alternatives managing director Bernie Keogh said the study found prospects are encouraging.

Michael Cullen

Business confidence is holding up well for the fifth year running, but some parts of the economy expect Brexit to have a negative impact. That's according to the annual report on salaries, insights and market sentiment, produced by the Marketing Institute and recruitment company Alternatives.

Government, pharma, motor and drinks companies are among those most worried about how Brexit could impact their operations, with one in five of the 1,181 respondents across 25 sectors interviewed expressing uncertainty. Yet, 62pc of those surveyed said things are a lot or a little better, particularly those in construction, manufacturing, gaming, finance and hospitality.

Bernie Keogh, managing director of Alternatives, said trading prospects are encouraging, with the survey showing a 55pc positive score, as opposed to a 36pc negative or very negative response - largely due to Brexit worries.

The average starting salary in marketing is €30,000, with most heads on €95,000 and directors on €123,000. The report found 61pc of interviewees got salary increases in the last year, with 41pc earning 5pc more, one in five getting 6pc or more and 29pc no increase. Male executives are better paid than women, with the exception of employees at entry level. Most male directors were paid 13pc more than women, while men in junior roles got 8pc less.

With regards to benefits, those working in large companies and multinationals received more rewards. Men get more benefits across bonuses, car, mobile phone and contributory pensions. Other perks include healthcare, share options, flexible hours and remote working. The survey claims the gig economy is "alive and kicking" in Irish marketing. Eight in 10 companies hired interim managers and consultants. One in three have contracted or freelanced for work-life balance, portfolio tasks and project experience. Respondents were asked about the role of marketing in companies and how strategic it was.

Marketers considered most strategic play a key role in shaping brands, propositions, customer experience, business strategy and pricing. Digital and data analytics are now central to marketing operations. Those seen as strategic, revenue-generating partners are at 64pc, with 42pc represented on boards. Marketing as a support function got a 22pc score. Resources are relatively tight with larger companies, while consumer businesses boast greater resources. Team sizes overall are quite small, apart from multinationals. Some 62pc work in marketing teams of one to 10, while 14pc are part of a team of 40 people or more.

Every year Nestlé Cereals calls on schools and playschools around Ireland to host Cheerios breakfasts to raise funds for the ISPCC's Childline. Due to new regulations, the focus can no longer be on youngsters. So the organisers are calling on corporate support for Ireland's only 24-hour listening service for kids. Childline answered around 380,000 calls last year. Davy was the first company to sign up. The organisers urge businesses, community groups, schools and creches to host a Cheerios breakfast on any morning next week. Interested parties can register at

Energia has formally announced Legacy Consultants as its sponsorship agency in handling its work with Leinster Rugby and the naming rights for Energia Park in Donnybrook. Energia has a 10-year deal as a club partner. Legacy's commercial director, Dublin footballer Bernard Brogan has fronted SuperValu and King crisps ads. Legacy's other clients include Littlewoods, Laya Healthcare, Volkswagen, Glenisk and AIG.

PJ Carroll has entered the e-cigarette market with Cirro vapours. Cirro co-sponsored the Irish Grocers Benevolent Fund annual sports lunch in the Aviva Stadium, with 470 guests joined by Roy Keane, Henry Sheflin, Ireland hockey star Anna O'Flanagan and rugby's Shane Byrne.

And finally... award-winning songwriter and composer John Walsh is at it again. The hirsute Cavan man's 'Symphonic' netted a silver at the Sharks festival in Kinsale for his original track used in Jameson Irish whiskey's Scully global TV ad. Walsh's other ad credits include Aldi, Bord Bia, McDonnells and Fáilte Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way.

Michael Cullen is editor of;

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