Business Media & Marketing

Friday 23 March 2018

AdLib: The search for new marketing maestro

Potato-grower Tom Keogh, last year’s winner of the Marketer of the Year award
Potato-grower Tom Keogh, last year’s winner of the Marketer of the Year award
JP Donnelly chief executive of Ogilvy Ireland
Elaine O'Reilly and Cathy O'Donohoe, co-owners of the Pluto agency

Michael Cullen

What have SuperValu's Ray Kelly and Barnardos' Ruth Guy in common? The same as the GAA's Peter McKenna and Britvic's Kevin Donnelly. They are among recent winners of the Marketer of the Year award.

Every year, there's only one. Since the early 1990s, Marketer of the Year has saluted executives who faced a marketing challenge, worked out their aims and objectives, and developed and executed a winning strategy.

The person is someone who through strategy, innovation, communications and impact on the marketplace has made their brand, product or service an outstanding success.

Back in 1993, the inaugural winner was Liam Marnane for Cadbury's TimeOut, a chocolate wafer snack bar developed in Coolock. Year two saw Michael O'Rourke of Green Isle Foods take the award for rolling out Goodfella's after test marketing the pizzas in the north of England.

Simon and Amanda Pratt of the Avoca retail chain were honoured in 1997. Fast forward to 2003, when the work done by Mary Davis and Suzanne Weldon in Ireland hosting the Special Olympics in Croke Park got the nod.

More recent winners include John Concannon, who devised the Discover Ireland staycation campaigns, and John Noonan for the success of Flahavans porridge oats.

Last year's winner was potato-grower Tom Keogh, whose Keogh's Crisps made a major mark on home and export snack markets.

So what do the judges look for in selecting Marketer of the Year? Candidates must clearly outline the scale of the job in hand and what they set out to achieve.

Providing the consumer insights driving the strategy is the next step - along with the actions taken and tactics used. Finally, the judges want to know about the impact the strategy had on the marketplace, including sales and awareness, and how success was measured.

Dr Damien McLoughlin, professor of marketing at the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School, again chairs the judging panel. The closing date for entries is Thursday, September 22. Organised by magazine, the award sponsor is recruitment company Alternatives. This year's winner will be announced at an industry lunch in Fade Street Social restaurant in Dublin in mid-November.

* Traditional media remains the most trusted media channel, research by Ogilvy shows. Ogilvy Ireland ceo JP Donnelly says the Media Influence study included interviews with editors, producers and reporters across the WPP agency's international network and looked at how media workers themselves consume news and what sources they value.

Most of the journalists surveyed said they still trusted traditional outlets more than any other. Even if they are more likely to find stories through a new platform like Snapchat, it still matters who first wrote and posted the report. More than half of those interviewed said they must produce suitable content multiple platforms.

Three-quarters of respondents have more confidence in traditional media over paid, direct-to-consumer, and social channels in North America and EMEA. Some 37pc said traditional earned media is a leading channel for driving buying decisions, while 28pc believe social media promotes purchases. Over half of the journalists surveyed said the more a brand is covered by traditional media channels, the more credibility it has among key stakeholders.

New platforms are becoming more important in newsrooms, over half of the journalists said, and 40pc agreed that journalists should have influence across multiple platforms, stressing the need to use both traditional and social media to reach audiences.

* The Printed Image (TPI) marketing services group has acquired experiential agency Pluto for an undisclosed sum.

Run by Colin Culliton, TPI, which includes the Zest and Runway agencies, employs 135 staff at offices in Dublin and one outside London.

Culliton, a current finalist in the EY Entrepreneur of the Year award, predicts revenues will reach €20m next year. He hopes to buy a digital agency in the near future.

Launched in 2007, Pluto is co-managed by Elaine O'Reilly and Cathy O'Donohoe. As well as events, the company handles incentive travel and conference management.

Clients include Aldi, Bank of Ireland, Eir, Glanbia, Google and Virgin Media. Projects include the Skoda 'Nation Talks' roadshow and an Audi R8 promotion in Ballsbridge fronted by rugby player Rob Kearney and TV presenter Angela Scanlon.

* Sponsors are sought for the Achill international harp music festival being staged in Co Mayo at the end of October.

Mairead O'Reilly of Mor Sound says the idea of the festival grew from links with Scotland after the Kirkintilloch tragedy in 1937.

Ten young migrants from Achill Island working on the potato harvest perished in a fire in the town near Glasgow.

Close ties soon developed between Scottish bagpipers and Irish harpists. O'Reilly says while the Arts Council provides funding for musicians' costs, there's no support for the festival's expensive sound equipment.

A special piece of music has been commissioned for bagpipes and Celtic harp to be performed at the festival's opening night on October 28.

Michael Cullen is editor of

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