It’s further than you think

29 02 2012

The Marketing Institute of Ireland and An Post combined this week to provide us with some useful information on the differences between consumers in Ireland and consumers in the UK. Prepared and presented by Gerard O’Neill of Amarach Consulting it was very clear that there are significant differences between the two groups and marketing professionals would do well to note these when planning campaigns.

Aside from the key points highlighted by Gerard here is what I noted personally:

  1. 72% of Irish consumers are spending less this year compared to last year – no great surprise there but striking none the less, especially if you are in the retail trade;
  2. Facebook is trusted to be “honest and fair” by only 23% of those surveyed with social networking in general faring even worse at 18%. Google scored quite well coming in at 48% (only the Gardai and An Post scored higher). Banks, unsurprisingly, came in at just 6% with the Government coming in at 4%;
  3. Trust in advertising channels very much favours traditional mass media channels (TV, radio, newspapers) with new media channels showing very high levels of distrust. Adverts in games/apps are trusted by only 15% of Irish respondents, for example;
  4. Mobile phone and internet access is extremely high in Ireland. Internet access at home is at 97% while mobile internet access is at 54% and rising quickly.


New media, with the possible exception of Google, still has to earn the trust of consumers. However, people are very comfortable online and brands that get the communication process right have the potential to be very successful. In reality, a mix of traditional and new media is still required to deliver results.

Can you sell through social media?

27 02 2012

One of the issues surrounding social media is about how to commercialise it. How do brands interact with consumers in a way that leads the consumer to make a purchase? How do they manage the relationship they have with their consumers so that the consumer will continue to engage without feeling pressurised.

Bloomberg recently published an interesting article on the failure of major retailers to sell directly through Facebook  (

The article quoted Sucharita Mulpuru, an analyst at Forrester Research, who described f-commerce (as selling on Facebook has been named) as being “like trying to sell stuff to people while they’re hanging out with their friends at the bar.”

This is backed up separately by research carried out by IBM Institute for Business Value. That research indicated that 70% of people indicated that they are online to keep up-to-date with friends and family. Only 23% indicated that they were online to interact with brands.

There is no doubt that social media is a powerful tool for engaging and sharing but the challenge of how to commercialise it directly remains.

Some thoughts from Irish Sponsorship Summit 2012

23 02 2012

Here are five key observations on sponsorship from the Irish Sponsorship Summit 2012.

  1. Marketing teams should be structured along product or brand lines rather than along channel lines. This relates particularly to channels such as PR or social media which are often separate from brand or product marketing teams.
  2. A sponsorship must be credible if it is to be accepted by the public. This means knowing the space that you want to be in.
  3. A sponsorship should be part of a long-term strategy and should not be a short-term tactic. Do not get involved in a sponsorship just because you can (or because the CEO wants you to) but at the same time do not be afraid to end a long-term sponsorship if it no longer fits with your strategy.
  4. An open, honest and robust relationship between the sponsor and the rights owner is essential.
  5. Use all available channels but do not over complicate. Social media is a strong channel but it is not the be all and end all.
To finish, here is my favourite quote of the day with thanks to Jonnie Cahill of O2: “I’ve no interest in collecting ‘likes’ or tweets. I want to do stuff online.”

With the Liam McCarthy cup at the Irish Sponsorship Summit 2012