Five Ways to Impress Your Boss

We all want to impress the boss, but it’s hard to know what they’re always looking for. A good place to start is to understand what they are doing to succeed. This article I saw on entitled ‘5 Steps to ‘Marketing CEO Success’ gives a great insight into what CMO’s are doing globally to succeed in complex and demanding environments.

Today’s CMOs have had to change their perspectives to succeed; they now have to focus on getting more value from everything they are responsible for. While being a proactive change for some, others have experienced expansions of their roles or found themselves wearing multiple hats, thus forcing a broader business-leader perspective. So having adapted to their increased responsibilities, they are operating much more like CEOs rather than just looking after the marketing function.


Just as the best CMOs know their customers intimately; succeeding at C-level requires in-depth knowledge of the needs, wants and motivations of their C-suite colleagues. This knowledge helps them build alliances and deliver meaningful value and results for the key people.


Changing regulations, technologies, social trends, business conditions, consumer behaviour and a shed-load of other economic and business factors make a CMO’s world ever more complex. And unfortunately it is only getting worse! The best CMOs deal with this by putting on the “what would the CEO do” hat and seek to get better and better at dealing with and leading their teams through complexity.


The latest new thing isn’t always the best option. The best CMOs have learned to fine tune their antenna to separate the good from the bad. Not always easy, these CMOs have developed skills and built the right team around them to evaluate the sea of change in order to identify what “new” to embrace and how to best do so.


CMOs have to create market demand. To do this they must encourage and nurture a culture of innovation. On average, innovating firms grow four times as fast as non-innovating firms (Roper et al, 2009). It is the CMO’s job to interpret and convert insight into new ideas, products, and services that disrupt the norm and really drive consumer demand.

So, understanding what your boss needs to do to succeed should make your job that bit easier. Helping them accomplish these five steps is sure to put you in a favourable position come review time!

Gary McLoughlin
Managing Director



Are European Marketers Ready For Inbound Marketing?

Anecdotally, we are told that European marketers are 12-18 months behind their North American colleagues when it comes to Inbound Marketing, but our experience with clients throughout Europe and beyond suggests this is not the case.

According to Seth Godin, the pioneer of inbound marketing, the beauty of inbound marketing is its ability to bring people together. As Godin said at Inbound 2013 “The Beatles did not invent teenagers, they just showed up to lead them.”

So when you are the brand that leads, you are going to be well positioned to emerge as a leader in your field.

In the crudest of terms, Inbound Marketing is advertising through blogs, podcasts, video, eBooks, e-newsletters, whitepapers, SEO, social media marketing, and other forms of content marketing. We see a lot of our clients carrying out this activity; Webseam, Sage, and Key Capital being good examples.

However, 49% of European marketers reported not testing their Inbound Marketing at all, which suggests there is a gap in Europe, in terms of pulling it all together. There doesn’t seem to be a strategic approach where marketers are setting the right kind of priorities and metrics. Ultimately, being able to show an increase in both customers and revenue is what is required and like any marketing activity, this kind or reporting will help you gain support from internal stakeholders and probably release more budget!

Research from HubSpot suggests that 42% of European companies plan to increase their Inbound Marketing spend this year – but this spend needs to be strategic and address the key issues companies have, like reaching the right audience and generating more leads. Companies like ours can help you with your Inbound Marketing strategy, but there are things you can start to look at to help you get ready:

1.       Assess where you are
2.       Start to identify your businesses distinct personas
3.       Think about how you can address their specific needs
4.       Understand how you can move personas through the funnel to becoming leads
5.       Start to get your KPI’s and metrics in place

Some of this you will be doing already and some you will need help with.  If you would like to know more about how you can get ready for Inbound Marketing, just let us know and we will be happy to help you out.

Conor Byrne
Head of Digital

New Ad from Adobe asks, “Do you Know what your marketing is doing?”

The numbers continue to climb when it comes to companies and businesses dipping their toes into the sea of big data, but when it comes to actually interpreting that data, a large number of marketers feel they are in the dark. This is basically the key insight behind Adobe’s most recent ad promoting their Marketing Cloud services, as misinterpreting your customer data can be quite costly and often fatal to the future of certain businesses.

Adobe reports that a shocking 76% of marketers think marketing has changed more in the past two years than the past 50 and for most companies, digital marketing approaches are in a constant cycle of trial and error (“Digital Distress”).

With articles featured on Forbes, Ad Week, and an in-depth research study called “Digital Distress” published on Slideshare, it has become clear that the frustrations of collecting, understanding and especially measuring digital marketing efforts are felt by many.

The latest ad from Adobe, running at more than 60 seminars and events this week during Advertising Week, takes a comical spin on the misinterpretation of data and we witness how easy it can be for things to spiral out of control. Enjoy!


Meg Goodrich
Digital Account Executive



How do you start an inbound marketing strategy?

In Dialogue we recommend you focus on the core problem that your business solves and put out lots of content, energy and ideas on how to solve that problem.

Find interesting stories to share. Look at your ideal customer (persona) and the challenges they face in their sector. Don’t sweat so much about talking about your product or service. Build your audience first with compelling stories that will help them solve the problems they are searching answers for at that very moment in time.And once they engage with your content, the inbound marketing process is in play.

Worry less about sounding professional and worry more about creating remarkable content that these specific personas will relate to and seek answers for. In the age of the connected world, its Dialogues experience that it’s what you write, not where you write it, that matters most.

Dialogue were selected as Hubspot’s inbound Irish Agency partner. We would be delighted to walk you through their world class process and get your Inbound Marketing campaign up and running and delivering your marketing team superior and quality results.


Michael Killeen

We’re Moving!

It’s September–so it’s back to school for Dialogue!

You may have heard we had a real deluge in here during the heavy rain a few weeks back. The damage was extensive and we have been working through it but the time has come to move out of our Wellington Quay offices.

All of our contact details will be the same, so email and phone numbers are the ones you have grown to know and love.

From Monday 16th September you will find us in our new playground in St Kevin’s School, 1 Grantham Street, Dublin 8.

The Dialogue Team


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Michael Killeen reflects on his recent visit to Moscow

Russia is currently riding the BRIC wave, while Ireland attempts to depart its PIGS status.

Dialogue has been working successfully with our partner Itella Connexions in Russia for close to three years. Current CRM wins include Philips, Renault and Philip Morris. We generally deliver the CRM strategy and creative, while Itella focus on strategic support, production, campaign delivery and analysis.

I recently returned on a new business development trip to meet current clients and new prospects. With the help of our existing clients, and the Enterprise Ireland’s Moscow team, we opened specific project discussions with Rosneft Oil Group, Megafon Telcom, Nissan and Nokia and had exploratory meetings with a number of other prospects, influencers and potential advocates.

Hats off to the Enterprise Ireland team of Gerard MacCarthy and Olesya Chaplynska, who played their part in setting up a superior meeting with one of the largest oil groups in the world, which proved to be very encouraging. We even got a slot with one of Irelands leading business people in Europe, the dynamic Avril Conroy, Rosneft Regional Director, who flew in to meet us for 30 minutes and sped off for a meeting in Central Europe. In the course of an intense session, we were invited to develop a plan for a significant strategic programme with our partners in Russia and India. During the week we also received tender invitations for two briefs and are speaking with three other prospects about 2013 and 2014 programs.

The investment in face to face meetings with key decision makers is the advised way to go. A lot of pre-correspondence is required to set these up so that each meeting is highly productive. All meetings and correspondence are carried out in English as these companies are global players who conduct their business in English, predominantly. One needs to make sure that your LinkedIn profile and other references are up to date and tell a great story about you. Like all security conscious cultures, its common practice to have a large file on you prior to any meeting.

Marketing in Russia has its challenges. The larger cities are seeing tremendous growth while the regional ‘Bear’ areas are slowly coming to terms with the early 1990 economy collapse.

Internet and smart phone penetration grows at tremendous pace in urban areas, while rural populations are using land line and direct mail as a main means of direct communication. Irelands experience with similar growth is invaluable to marketers there and gives them great confidence in our ability to deliver.

Like other foreign markets we enter, the Irish brand continues to punch above its weight. The respect for the quality of our work, professionalism, honesty, energy and our respect for their local cultures is fascinating to all. We excel by leveraging these positions of strength to gain immediate trust and clarify exactly what it is we can do that is currently not available in their home market. In one case, we declined a piece of work because it wasn’t our core area of expertise. When questioned further whether we could do it with one of our partners the contract came our way. They have great respect for honesty, as local companies seem to claim to be expert in everything possible.

Authority is still king in Russia; nothing gets done unless the main decision makers say so. Middle- tier managers, while hugely talented, must do their time in order to move up the pecking order. It reminded the culture of Ireland in the 60’s 70’s and 80’s. No matter how good, you had to do your time. I find it rewarding to take the time to understand how Russians history has developed these cultural hurdles. No one challenges authority, no one delivers bad news, and no one will move an inch off brief unless it comes from above. So if you ask a colleague to get you a ham sandwich and two hours later you go looking for him with a ‘’where’s my sandwich?’’ It will most likely be answered by, “they only had chicken!’’So the scope for thinking for oneself and acting decisively is massive. It will come in time as the youth movement is gaining confidence and starting to challenge authority. And remember this youth movement is well aware of past failure. They too, had to stand in queues in the early 90’s and have no intention of going back to those days again.

While full of opportunity, one has to be very careful in engaging in contract negotiations. Clarity is so important. What is agreed in one meeting will change overnight without any recourse. You are always on your guard to make sure everyone is absolutely clear on what is being agreed and who is responsible for what. Those who write the check expect the supplier to do all the work. In some cases we are expected to read the mind of authority as the inputs can be incredibly vague. So when you get the chance to meet the decision makers, it’s wise to seek out all forms of preferences for future time savings. It’s also critical to meet with the procurement teams as they have a better handle on contract agreements. They can be very useful friends to have on your side if tasks and responsibilities go astray. Something Irish procurement departments could learn from.

The people are incredibly friendly once the right introductions are made.  There is a great hunger from Russians in learning and working with world class professionals.

On a final note, I met with our past client Jonnie Cahill (ex O2), who is the new Marketing Director for Heineken Russia. Jonnie has some incredible challenges on his hands balanced with amazing opportunities that most marketing directors might only dream of.  Jonnie is a stalwart of team success and is making great headway in getting his people to feel more confident in making decisions for themselves rather than relying on top- down activation. In the short period he has been there, he has enough ammunition for a classic book on the dos and don’ts of international business development.

So, is Russia an avenue for other Irish service companies? I would certainly believe so. The pros and cons take digesting. There is a certain pioneering feeling about making progress there. But I would back it for the longer term. They are deservedly coined a BRIC country and the Irish are respected while other developed nations are less so. They have very long memories and would be far more inclined to work with those who have the necessary skills without the baggage. Dialogue are backing the Bear!

Michael Killeen

What is Inbound Marketing?

As we talk more and more about Inbound Marketing or Content Marketing solutions to clients, we have realised that the starting point is a really clear definition of Inbound Marketing.

We find that a great starting point is Hubspot. They are the world leaders in Inbound Marketing and define it as ‘’a holistic, data-driven marketing strategy that involves attracting and converting buyers (who are seeking your product or service) into customers. It does this through personalised, relevant  content when its most needed– not interruptive messages – and following them through the sales funnel with on-going relevant planned engagement’’.

Over the past several years, HubSpot have found that marketers are witnessing a significant shift in strategy, from campaign-based interruption marketing, to a consistently measured, closed-loop Inbound Marketing strategy – one that pulls interested customers to your company and creates lasting relationships. This new shift follows the increasing power held by consumers to research and interact with brands, companies, and service providers on their own terms and to extend their experiences (good and bad) to the connected world through digital word of mouth.

Traditionally, the difference between Sales and Marketing is that Marketing owns the message and Sales owns the relationship. Inbound marketing merges these. We have finally found a way of delivering science to the marketing discipline.

If you would like to learn more on how to set up and create a superior inbound marketing campaign email us today.

Conor Byrne
Head of Digital



The sad reality of smartphones

A touching 2 minute video which depicts the sad reality of why we are not living in the moment. Smartphones are taking over and we are missing out on the important things.

Aoife McDonnell
Account Manager







It’s now Easier to Administer Promotions on Facebook

In case you missed it yesterday, Facebook are making it easier to run promotions! Straight from the Facebook for business page:

We’ve updated our Pages Terms in order to make it easier for businesses of all sizes to create and administer promotions on Facebook. Here’s what Page administrators need to know:

We’ve removed the requirement that promotions on Facebook only be administered through appsNow, promotions may be administered on Page Timelines and in apps on Facebook. For example, businesses can now:

  • Collect entries by having users post on the Page or comment/like a Page post
  • Collect entries by having users message the Page
  • Utilize likes as a voting mechanism

As before, however, businesses cannot administer promotions on personal Timelines. Accurate tagging is required in promotions

In order to maintain the accuracy of Page content, our Pages Terms now prohibit Pages from tagging or encouraging people to tag themselves in content that they are not actually depicted in. So, for instance:

  • It’s OK to ask people to submit names of a new product in exchange for a chance to win a prize
  • It’s not OK to ask people tag themselves in pictures of a new product in exchange for a chance to win a prize

We hope these updates will enable more businesses to use Facebook to launch their promotions. For more information regarding the changes to our promotions policies, check out our downloadable Promotion Guidelines, which include FAQs and best practices for running promotions through Facebook.


Conor Byrne
Head of Digital


Losing Your Childhood to LinkedIn

LinkedIn has reduced its minimum age limit for members from 18 years to 13 years (in Ireland) in an attempt to attract younger users to a new university section of the website. The new feature aims to give prospective students access to information about colleges and the ability to connect with other students and alumni.

While extra security measures will be put in place to protect the privacy of younger users, this doesn’t take away from the fact that this new move is pushing kids to define themselves early and put the facade on display at a very young age. Perhaps a little prematurely?

According to LinkedIn, “Smart, ambitious students are already thinking about their futures when they step foot into high school – where they want to go to college, what they want to study, where they want to live and work. We want to encourage these students to leverage the insights and connections of the millions of successful professionals on LinkedIn”.

Yes. But surely not at the tender young age of 13? This is a time when kids should be focusing on self exploration – exploring their likes and dislikes, a time to start unearthing and nurturing their talents.

LinkedIn can wait.

Sinéad Ni Ghaora
Account Director