Thursday 21 November 2019

Marketers' assets not intangible

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Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen in Game of Thrones
Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen in Game of Thrones

Michael Cullen

Irish marketers have a lot more to do if they really want to 'crack' the C-suite and join the higher echelons of business and gain access to boardrooms. That was the message delivered to Marketing Society members attending a recent breakfast seminar entitled 'Why Marketing Matters' in the Royal College of Physicians in Dublin's Kildare Street.

Three speakers with a marketing background - Eir CEO Carolan Lennon, Britvic Ireland MD Kevin Donnelly and UCD Smurfit Graduate Business School professor of marketing Mary Lambkin-Coyle - spoke about moving up the executive ladder to assume leadership roles. Donnelly said not only does marketing belong in the C-suite, but great marketers make the best board members.

Keelin Vickers
Keelin Vickers

Lambkin-Coyle pointed to a recent study of executive leadership by Spencer Stuart in the US which showed that marketing lags way behind other business disciplines, particularly finance.

When marketers are pooled alongside 'other corporate executives', like operations and tech, the category's total share of influence is 24pc, with marketing amounting to a paltry 4pc.

Marketers are missing out on C-suite roles because the characteristics and skills most required by CEOs and chairmen are diversity (women and ethnic minorities) on 75pc and financial expertise, scoring 62pc. Marketing skills come in at 21pc. Why should that be?

Well, most board directors have a background in accountancy.

"The focus is on a corporate rather than a consumer audience," Lambkin-Coyle insists. CEOs and boards are less interested in marketing metrics and what's often seen as being 'the fluffy stuff'. The corporate focus is on shareholder interests and regulatory issues. Deloitte identified three factors which make a chief marketing officer (CMO) successful.

Firstly, know how to use data and analytics. You must have an entrepreneurial mindset and act as the consumer voice in the boardroom. Add to that strong leadership and motivational skills. Lambkin-Coyle says marketers now have a big opportunity to get to the top table by stressing how intangible assets raise corporate value.

Business places a high premium on brand value in mergers and acquisitions (M&As) and intangible assets also stretch to corporate reputation - both of which are second nature to marketers.

The value of intangible assets has swung full circle from 17pc to 87pc. While Irish marketers should be evangelistic about brand values, they must adopt a corporate mindset.

Kevin Donnelly said if marketers are to dispense with its 'hats and balloons' image they must find a source of sustainable corporate advantage. Any brand manager should be the 'MD of the brand'.

To move up the ranks, be prepared to leave your comfort zone and get to grips with sales and finance. Listen to what they say and show ambition to work together.

Carolan Lennon said that for any marketer to get on in their career they must be prepared to network - even if it's not your thing. Make work time work. Get things done and put other demands to one side until you have the job at hand sorted. Don't kill yourself trying to do everything in your life all at once.

  • Budweiser is launching its biggest-ever global campaign targeting 3.2 billion football fans watching next month's FIFA World Cup in Russia.

Bud's 'Light up the FIFA World Cup' includes the deployment of noise-activated cups with three LED red lights and a mic.

An ad shows drones carrying Bud from its brewery in St Louis, Missouri to World Cup parties from Shanghai to Rio, and on to Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium. More than eight million cups will be offered inside football stadia in Russia, at viewings events and in bars around the world.

England will be looking to Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane to get them off to a good start in their opening game against Tunisia in Volgograd on June 18. The other countries in England's group stage are Belgium and Panama.

  •  On the movers front, Eoghan Crawford is now marketing director at Mars Ireland. He has considerable confectionery experience with Cadbury's owner Mondelez, both in Ireland and overseas. The Mars portfolio includes Snickers, Maltesers, Starburst, and Wrigleys, as well as pet food brands Whiskas and Pedigree Chum.

Keelin Vickers has been promoted to senior account manager at Carat. She joined the Dentsu Aegis agency a year ago, having worked in client service roles at MediaCom and across the wider GroupM network.

  • Tourism Ireland has been promoting what the Emerald Isle has to offer at the Cannes Film Festival. A short Ireland video with images of the Dark Hedges and Skellig Michael, reminding festivalgoers of our country's ties with Game of Thrones and Star Wars, has been running on a giant screen on the famous Croisette Boulevard in the city centre.

Ireland attracted a record 550,000 visitors from France last year.


  •  And finally ... Former Kerry footballer Darragh Ó Sé was on hand to launch the Property Partners' rebrand and new website across its 25 offices nationwide. The rebrand was created by The Delta Group.
  • Michael Cullen is editor of;

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