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5 Key Takeaways from DMX Dublin 2019

DMX Dublin 2018 Top Takeaways

We came, we learned from the best in marketing, we networked with our industry peers and below are our Five Key Takeaways from DMX Dublin 2019...

Mega crabs, Egg McMuffins and singing babies. We heard it all at DMX Dublin 2019.

No, the notorious ‘Ruff Ryders’ rapper did not visit Dublin last week (much to the dismay of some Twitter users when they saw #DMXDublin trending), but rather at Ireland’s largest marketing conference, brought to us by the Marketing Institute of Ireland which took place on Thursday March 7th.

Once again this year organisers put on a stellar performance; scoring a line-up of 30 world class speakers who engaged an audience of over 800 marketing professionals with a (Mexican) wave of inspiring insights and advice at the Aviva Stadium – sporting puns entirely intentional.

We came, we learned from the best in marketing, we networked with our industry peers and below are our Five Key Takeaways from DMX Dublin 2019…

1. Don’t throw out the marketing rule book

The very first speaker of the day may very well have stolen the show and that’s unsurprising given it was from the “Godfather of Marketing” Les Binet, Head of Effectiveness at Adam & Eve/DDB.

The fundamentals of marketing have not changed according to the keynote speaker. The digital revolution has certainly increased the efficiency of activations; however, brand building and ‘traditional’ media still play a hugely vital and are extremely undervalued role in the marketing mix.

The magic formula for successful brand building: broad reach, emotional engagement and memorability, and while “digital makes everything work harder”, TV and OOH are still crucial.

But what about tech firms, we hear you say? Les quickly answered our premature doubts by pointing out that the 2nd highest ad spend on TV in the UK is by a tech firm, Amazon, and the likes of Facebook, Apple and Google aren’t far behind.

The learning? Dial down activations. Focus on brand building. Take a blended approach. Rebalance your budgets – get the best of both worlds!

2. Focus on Building Trust

How do you get the egg into a McMuffin? McDonald’s might not be the first company that comes to mind when you think of trust, but they, as highlighted by Edelman Ireland’s Senior Director Darragh Rea, sit beside the likes of the NY Times as example of brands who are leveraging the value of trust and succeeding. 

In an uncertain world trust is the ultimate currency and as Darragh’s colleague Damian Low pointed out high trust companies are outperforming in their sector. Building trust means you can take more risks and Edelman have unearthed the 4 core dimensions to building trust: ability, integrity, dependability and purpose.

EY’s Yvonne Kiely echoed the Edelman team’s principal message providing an interesting perspective on how a brand should engage in social issues; “we don’t want every customer. We want the right customer.” The topic popped up again once again when Ian Noakes of The Economist insisted “there is nothing more provocative than the truth” – trust is trending, it appears.

Using their Trust Barometer insights and extensive research into the area, Edelman are enabling organisations to best manage their trust capital to operate, lead and succeed, click here for the full Irish report.

3. Irish marketers *really* need to get on board with podcasts

If you’re not already listening to podcasts, you will be, according to INM’s Digital Content Specialist Daire Whelan – and with 600,000 Podcasts in the market today in B2B and B2C formats you won’t be short of content to listen to. Listening is all well and good, however as marketers what we really need to be taking seriously is sponsorship.

Citing a fresher than fresh piece of research, Daire revealed that, for the first time ever, over half of US adults have listened to a podcast, a figure that is set to increase, and with Ireland approximately 6 years behind America in terms of podcast listenership audio is something we need to be taking seriously.

Still not convinced? 80% of podcast listeners listen to most or all a podcast. This is not a passive radio audience we’re talking about. Podcasts, or rather audio (the rise smart speakers and smarts cars mean audio will be integrated throughout our lives) present a perfect opportunity for marketers to create content and to reach their target audiences.

4. Cut through the clutter with creativity

When your job is creating adverts it’s not easy to hear that 64% of people think advertising is annoying. But Pat Stephenson, Client Service Director & Partner at Boys & Girls, wasn’t shy about basically telling a room of marketers that they are doing their job badly when he revealed this stat.

This is testament to his passion for advocating just how important creativity is to break clutter in a very competitive marketplace and he did so on the day through the metaphor of crabs!

It’s kind of one of those ‘you had to be there moments’ but Pat explained how as it turns out many, many crabs die before they reach their ultimate goal – just like ads – and used example of ‘mega crab’ brands like Red bull and LEGO who are using creativity to claw through the noise and grab attention – “Sometimes an ad doesn’t have to look like an ad.”

Pat gave some homework on this topic and recommended this article as essential reading. 

Creativity creeped up again during the final talk of the day with Lachlan Williams, Head of Strategy at R/GA, who made a bold appeal for us to “get more weird and be more interesting.”

He gave brilliant examples of creative bravery and pushing the boundaries on client briefs, and highlighted how often, it’s not enough to just be right. To win today (and more importantly, tomorrow), you have to be interesting.

Always ask yourself, Lachlan stressed, “why would anyone give a shit about this?”

5. Get Emotional

Of course, we didn’t leave with just one takeaway from Les Binet’s opening talk, and bear with us we’re about to get emotional. In a nut shell, Les explained how singing babies and cool songs sell things.

As noted above, Les emphasised that marketing comms strategies should focus on brand building, not activation. He was at pains to point out, however that “marketing works not by messages but by emotions” and effectively did this by showing the AA’s ‘Singing Baby’ advert – a toddler belting out Tina Turner’s soul classic while the AA helped her dad get back on the road.

Les says “we don’t need to communicate, we need to condition!” and build our brands with emotion. But don’t get us wrong, Les was far from being sentimental here; emotion is the most profitable approach after all and 70% of purchase intent that comes from advertising is influenced by music choice.

Not the only speaker to address emotion-fuelled marketing on the day, later in the day Mindshare’s Shane O’Leary made a compelling argument for marketers to “aim for fame and prioritise emotions” is, further demonstrating its importance and relevance.

Irish People Want Businesses and CEOs to Drive Change, Edelman Trust Barometer Shows


You can download a copy of the report here.

  • 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer shows companies must deliver for society as well as shareholders
  • Expectation that CEOs will create positive change on societal issues is ‘the new normal’, survey shows
  • Employers more trusted than government, NGOs and media
  • Employees will act as powerful advocates for trusted firms

Dublin, February 7th, 2019 – Irish people are looking to their employers for guidance and CEOs to provide leadership on change at an unprecedented level, the 2019 findings of the Edelman Trust Barometer show. The 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer surveyed 1,150 people in Ireland to gauge respondents’ trust levels in and attitudes towards business, NGOs, the media and the political system.

The Barometer’s Irish findings revealed that more than ever, the Irish general population now expects that CEOs should take the lead on change rather than waiting for government to impose it. The findings also show that CEOs can create positive change on issues such as equal pay, the ending of discrimination, improving the environment and job training. The belief that companies should benefit society as well as being profitable is now ‘the new normal’ for businesses.

The benefits for businesses that provide this leadership also come sharply into focus through the 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer’s Irish findings. The pay-off for businesses that meet these expectations and achieve high levels of trust are employees who align their identity and thinking with their employer and who are far more likely to advocate on their behalf. This employee advocacy includes recommending a company’s products and services but also extends to championing their employer as a place to work. 

Commenting on the findings, Joe Carmody, Managing Director, Edelman Ireland said: “The 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer clearly shows that Irish people expect their CEOs to provide leadership and to affect positive change on a range of societal issues. There has been a massive shift in the past year among Irish people about the role of business, with the vast majority of the public now expecting companies to do good as well as being profitable. The reward for employers and business leaders who are aligned with the public’s view is also considerable, with staff acting as powerful advocates for employers.

“This year’s Irish findings show that trust levels in traditional media remain high at 62%, while at the same time trust in social media remains low at 27%. Overall, the 2019 Trust Barometer shows far higher levels of news engagement than in 2018, as concerns over the use of fake news and disinformation remain prevalent.

“Due to ongoing political uncertainty, the Barometer shows increased trust in the EU, but political uncertainty also fuels concerns about employment and job security, especially the impact that international conflicts may have on trade policies and tariffs.”

The 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer is a global survey. Now in its 19th year, in 2019 it surveyed more than 33,000 respondents across 27 markets.

The Irish findings show that the vast majority of respondents who are employed among the general population (69%) have trust in their employer – an increase of two points on the 2018 figure. Irish people are also overwhelmingly looking to businesses and business leaders for leadership: 70% of Irish respondents agreed with the statement: “‘A company can take specific actions that both increase profits and improve the economic and social conditions in the communities where it operates”, an increase of nine points on the 2018 figure.

The 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer also reveals that the vast majority of Irish people (75%) expect CEOs to take the lead on change rather than waiting for government to impose it – an increase of 12 points on the previous year. Respondents identified that CEOs can create positive change in all of these areas: equal pay (72%); training for the jobs of tomorrow (67%) and making positive changes to overcome challenges such as prejudice and discrimination (66%) and sexual harassment (62%).

Further underlining the importance that Irish employees attach to CEO leadership, 71% of respondents said that it was critically important for CEOs to respond to challenges – ranging from industry issues, political events, national crises and employee-driven issues. The Barometer also shows that trusted employers were rewarded by their staff with greater commitment (82%), advocacy (75%), engagement (64%) and loyalty (63%).

Despite the Irish public viewing their relationship with their employer as the most trusted one – 69% – the Barometer also shows that only 44% of respondents felt they trusted business in general compared to 50% who said they trusted NGOs. Meanwhile, just 38% said they trusted government and 35% of respondents said they trusted the media.

Against this backdrop, 69% of respondents said they worried about false information and fake news being weaponised, with just 27% trusting social media. The 2019 Trust Barometer also shows a massive increase of 17 points in news engagement on 2018 among the general population, with 65% of respondents engaged.

Amid ongoing political uncertainty, the Irish public has also placed increasing trust in the EU, which increased to 56%.

Although the Republic of Ireland is nearing full employment, the 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer identified relatively high levels of concern about the future. Over half of Irish respondents – 53% – said they were concerned that they lacked the training and skills to get a well-paid job, while automation and international conflicts about trade tariffs and trade policies were matters of concern for 47% and 46% of respondents in relation to their employment.

The study also showed that trust is divided along gender lines with women more sceptical than men of institutions. Women report lower levels of trust in Business (-4 points), Government (-5 points) and the media (-4 points).


For further information, please contact:

Richard Brophy/Gill Curran, Edelman:

083 300 2828/087 176 8124

01 678 9333


About Edelman

Edelman is a leading global communications marketing firm that partners with many of the world’s largest and emerging businesses and organisations, helping them evolve, promote and protect their brands and reputations. We have deep expertise in consumer trends, research, analytics and insights, corporate reputation, health, technology, crisis, energy, and government affairs. Please visit www.edelman.ie for further information.

About the Edelman Trust Barometer 

The 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer is the firm’s 19th annual trust and credibility survey. The survey was powered by research firm Edelman Intelligence and consisted of 30-minute online interviews conducted between October 19 and November 16, 2018. The 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer online survey sampled more than 33,000 respondents, which includes 6,000 informed public respondents across 27 markets. All informed public respondents met the following criteria: aged 25-64, college-educated; household income in the top quartile for their age in their country; read or watch business/news media at least several times a week; follow public policy issues in the news at least several times a week. For more information, visit https://www.edelman.com/trust-barometer

Edelman Digital Trends Report 2019


If there’s one report you need to read ahead of the New Year, its our Edelman Digital Trends Report for 2019 (Edelman Digital Trends Report 2019)

This year’s theme is #InnovatingWithImpact – click through to learn about creating real value with influencers, balancing privacy against personalisation and other insights that will help you up your social game in 2019.

Friday5 | 5 Do's For Effective Measurement


Friday5 | 5 Do’s For Effective Measurement


Why it matters @Quinton, Simon


Data is at the heart of the modern convergent world. It’s the backbone that holds everything together. So it’s important to create that backbone first and foremost. – Asad Rehman, Media Director of Unilever for North Africa & Middle East.


Data’s central role in marketing is more relevant than ever in the modern digital age. Data is the modern currency for marketers whose roles have dramatically expanded. It is now commonplace for marketing experts to be asked to look at increasing amounts of data, process it and make strategic recommendations.


More than ever before, clients are looking to marketing experts to provide strategic counsel on data analytics. Questions such as why a certain strategy worked or failed, or how a particular campaign, piece of content or influencer activity performed against previous activations are now all part of the marketer’s role – and yet not everyone is prepared to answer these key questions.


This is why it is essential that marketers develop the skills to analyze and quantify the results of the strategies they have put in place for clients. Having a robust method of tracking this activity enables all parties involved to see if what was done was actually a success, and better still, to help us improve in the future. However, implementing the proper analytic tools is not always a simple task and does require a certain amount of time, effort and buy-in from different parts of the business and teams involved. Often measurement happens in silos, either internally, through multiple agency partners, or at a market level.


Below are some simple tips to help marketing experts as well as clients approach data measurement in the effective way possible:


  • Develop a clear understanding of your objectives


This applies across the wider business and communications objectives. Without knowing where you are going, it is difficult to map activity back to the central focus points of the business. Having clear objectives is the first step to creating a KPI framework, which is the basis of all effective measurement. Developing a KPI framework allows us to map specific metrics back to these goals/objectives, assuring that the marketing plan is hitting the overall business strategy.


  • Don’t neglect to measure outcomes, as well as outputs


There is a plethora of data available to us in the modern marketing age, across all forms of digital (social, web, search, mobile, email etc.), but also offline (surveys, in-store promotions, events etc.). The mistake that is often made is to measure only the outputs of that data, which means that the actual impact of our efforts is not always tracked. Marketers need to better measure the outcomes, for instance:

  • Look more long-term, not just at the next campaign
  • Speak directly to audiences to ascertain if perceptions have changed
  • Approach ideas with a ‘what if we do this?’ mindset


  • Measure effects on business results (where possible)


Once objectives are in place, it is essential to create measurements that align with our objectives to track the results. For most clients measurement is linked to sales. Through digital channels, we can track customer journeys using customer analytics. However, in order to achieve proper analytics, we need to ensure the digital ecosystem we are employing is set-up correctly—meaning websites are tagged, pixels are working, and sales data is being attributed correctly. Without measuring the impact of marketing activity on business results, it is often difficult to justify future marketing proposals.


  • Measure digital streams (always!)


Digital streams, be it social, web, email, search or mobile should always have some form of ongoing tracking in place. This can often be done via owned channel analytics or managed tools, which are a cheap, efficient way to collect performance data at scale. Often this data can be used across multiple measurement pieces, be it for a specific campaign, event, or other marketing activity. This tip also applies to competitors as well as advocate/detractor activity. Active listening to other brands and audiences is also critical in helping us understand where our own performance stacks up.


  • Ensure replicability


Often, marketers perform measurement analytics as a one-off, but the time and effort that goes into this should be rewarded more often. Measurement should not be just a one off, but rather, a mind-set, a change in the way marketing experts approach marketing strategy. In order to ensure that all the marketing experts in your team are employing key data analytics tools consistently, it is critical to create a measurement framework and approach that is as simple as possible. Additionally, it is important that the entire team understands why tracking and measuring our efforts will help our teams and clients to be more successful.

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