With 1,200 employees and offices in Dublin, Belfast, Cork, Galway, Kildare, Limerick and Longford, Grant Thornton is one of the fastest-growing professional services firms in the country. As the firm expands, so too does the challenges faced by its marketing department, as Ciara Bourke explains to John McGee.
Describe your role with the firm
I’m the marketing director and part of the senior management team, along with our managing partner and six other directors. My role has many facets but ultimately, I’m responsible for every aspect of the Grant Thornton brand. This includes managing the full marketing mix, from digital communications and company events to above the line and below the line activity, as well as the production of marketing collateral.
With that comes managing agency and supplier relationships, proposals, tender responses and our client satisfaction survey to ensure our brand continues to resonate and represent the firm.
What challenges do you face?
One of the big challenges that faces all marketers, and in fact, all businesses is GDPR. My team was very active, working with partners and experts at the firm to prepare for the recent May 25 deadline and ensure that all client-held data was compliant.
An ongoing challenge for marketers is to demonstrate return on investment, and keeping abreast of the latest advancements in technology can really assist with this. At Grant Thornton, we’re finalising a new CRM system that will give us even greater capability to track engagement with the marketing campaigns we develop, and in doing so substantiate the investment we make. Our marketing needs to be nimble and flexible, so that we can move and adjust to support rapid growth areas at the firm, using the best platforms to get the right message to the right audience at the right time.
How does the brand get cut-through in the marketplace?
We ensure we get cut-through by focusing on what differentiates Grant Thornton’s offering. Our client survey runs quarterly, and this gives us huge insight into the client perspective and acts as a constant check for the marketing team. It’s our job to ensure all our marketing activity caters for the actual needs of the client, rather than the perceived needs. This is the type of approach that ensures real cut-through.
We also have a very active sponsorship and partnership programme under way and this year we expanded the annual Grant Thornton Corporate 5K Challenge to include Galway as a new venue for the first time. The next two events in the race series are coming up on June 13 and 21 in Cork and at Belfast City Airport.
We also partner with the National Concert Hall for its inaugural young female conductor programme, one of the first of its kind worldwide. Our flagship and biggest sponsorship deal to date has just been launched with Dublin Airport Authority for Fast Track with Grant Thornton at T1 and T2. It’s one of the first sponsorships of its kind, and it brings our brand to a business audience outside the confines of the boardroom.
As the retail market heats up once again for the summer months, the discounter Aldi Ireland has launched its latest campaign to woo shoppers with the promise of major savings to be made on the weekly shopping bill.
Created by the advertising agency McCann Manchester, the cross-platform campaign follows the shopping journey of four families, tracking their shopping spend over eight weeks — four weeks shopping in their usual retail outlet and four weeks shopping at Aldi.
The till receipts for all grocery purchases for the eight weeks are then analysed and the four families reported a significant monthly saving by swapping their main grocery shop to Aldi.