2016 European Consumer Trends

5 Consumer Trends set to influence Europe in 2016.

The Marketing Institute recently invited Mintel’s Richard Cope to present their research findings on European Consumer Trends for 2016. It was a really interesting presentation with lots of insights as to future needs and wants of consumers and how our environment is evolving. In particular there’s some  really useful information for  brands looking towards new product developments, retailers looking to remain relevant to their customer base and for tourism offerings who want to stay ahead of the competition – read on to see how!  Continue reading

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Learn Inbound January ’16 – a marketing review

Academy pic introPart of being an effective Digital Marketing Consultant is ensuring you are up to speed on all the latest thinking and tactics in your field so you can apply that learning to produce results for your clients and keep them ahead of their competitors. So, last week I attended the first #LearnInbound event of 2016 in The Academy in Dublin. A great initiative organised for evening time learning in very relaxed surrounds. 3 main speakers on the night – this time, all UK based practicing inbound professionals, discussing different topics all around driving traffic to your website and driving business growth. My main objective in attending was to take home some actionable tips for my SME clients and I’ve shared and summarised the talks below. Continue reading

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Communications in Business

Are you communicating effectively?

on mobilesSome time ago I attended the Smart Business Show in the RDS in Dublin. Amongst the many stands and talks/seminars I was impressed by, one presenter really stood out for me. Mostly because she is so experienced, she totally captivated her audience and everything she said made complete sense, she being of course the communications maestro Terry Prone. With the myriad of ways businesses can now communicate with their customer quite often the tendency is to focus on the method or platform we are using rather than what we are actually trying to say. So, to refocus the mind here are her condensed main recommendations for effective communications.

5 Positive Methods of Communication

  1. Shut Up!!! We are great talkers – not great communicators. LISTEN.
  2. Pick your target audience and put one face on it. Personify it! (We use this method all the time when working with clients – customer profiles) THEN pick your medium to reach the people you want to reach .i.e. radio or one of the social media platforms or print etc.
  3. Work out the end result you want.
  4. You need to be 1. Interesting 2. Understandable 3. Memorable. You cannot use jargon. Don’t speak conceptually.
  5. Story is the single most powerful method of communication.

The Dont’s

  1. Do not multitask, the human being in front of you takes priority over everything!
  2. Do not use clichés.
  3. Don’t use Powerpoint.
  4. Don’t buy communication tricks –mirroring for example (it doesn’t work!).
  5. Don’t keep talking after you have stopped communicating.

If you’d like more help with your communications strategy do get in touch we specialise in assisting small and medium sized enterprises with identifying their target audience and  reaching them effectively online.

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Why your website needs a blog!

Blogging for ecommerce websitesI was doing some research recently when I came across a very interesting article on inc.com that resonated strongly with me and I thought was worth sharing. It’s content focuses not just on the benefits of business blogging but specifically how it can be of value to e-commerce websites. I strongly believe in the value of blogging to educate and inform and to provide value and to establish your authority online. I’ve summarised very briefly below but if you would like to read the full article click on the link 6 Reasons E-Commerce websites need a blog

6 Reasons E-Commerce Websites Need a Blog

1. Blogs are important for SEO to get your content crawled.

2. Inform and (Value) your reader.

3. Address a task or problem readers may have.

4. Answer or start a discussion about a popular question.

5. Share an experience or a relatable story.

6. Structure can make or break a post.

“The Takeaway

When Internet users purchase goods or services online, they care about who they are buying from. A business blog helps to show that your e-commerce site actually values the needs and interests of their clients. In other words, it establishes credibility. Combined with providing valuable information and having your site rank higher to get more traffic, you actually make a presentation that keeps customers wanting to come back for more. Blogging will set your e-commerce site apart from your competitors and with time, building up content may help you advance in a way that serves both your business and customers”.

So what do you think? Have you any stories of how blogging has helped your business?


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New Business Information Service – Wexford Library

Wexford Business Info Service Screen Grab


Yesterday evening Wexford Library held an event to launch their new Business Information Service. I was particularly interested to attend to discover what databases and resources and would be available through the library. I understand that business can access among others the Mintel database which is a good resource for SMEs conducting market research on their industry within Ireland. It’s super to have access to this locally and I look forward to using the service on behalf of my clients. Companies with an international or export focus will still be best served by a visit to the Enterprise Ireland Market Research Centre which can be accessed through your Enterprise Ireland Adviser.



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Women in Digital – Women@Google

Women at Google event

Last week I had the pleasure to attend an event organised by Women@Google in Google HQ in Dublin – in The Foundry. Entitled Women in Digital there was an impressive lineup of speakers there set to inspire the invited Digital Leaders, as we were dubbed by John Herlihy, Head of Google Ireland, who welcomed us to the event. He introduced the remarkable  Eileen Naughton, Managing Director of Google’s UK & Ireland operations. Continue reading

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Digital Marketing Strategy – Vouchers available apply now!

Online Trading Vouchers

Online Trading Vouchers

In my last blog post I discussed some recent research on Ireland’s Digital Future and how SMEs had some way to go to improve their digital presence. I’m delighted to say that the government are going to give qualifying SMEs financial help to do just that. Through the network of 31 Local Enterprise Offices around the country the government have extended a pilot programme for Online Trading Vouchers for SMEs and applications are now open throughout the country.

1000 vouchers will be issued up to the end of 2014 with more coming onstream in 2015.  It is matched funding (maximum grant of €2500) and competition for these vouchers will be intense so act now if you are interested in improving your business digital marketing strategy, online advertising, ecommerce website development or upgrade. More information and an application form can be found on the Local Enterprise Website. These vouchers can be used for some of the services provided by Optimise Marketing so if you wish to find out more you can contact me by email on sharon at optimisemarketing.ie or give me a call on (087) 2043486.

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