By applying the 5 key steps of the Business Growth Cycle, which are based on the core principles of marketing, Niamh has delivered successful results in every role to date.
To illustrate how this approach is readily applicable to a diverse range of industries, it is shown here as Niamh applied it to Tourism Brand Ireland, for which she was responsible as Director of Marketing in Tourism Ireland / Bord Failte.
How do you promote the island of Ireland as a tourism destination, as the competition gets tougher and our core strengths appear to be eroding?
How do you develop a strategy that can work effectively in 20 countries internationally?
How do you develop a world class communications programme which delivers measurable results?
How do you tap into the knowledge base of key stakeholders and gain their buy-in?
Apply the basic principles of marketing effectively and consistently across the 5 key areas which impact upon business growth
Benchmark best practice in completely different sectors
Involve key stakeholders throughout the process
Then.... watch the results!
To gain insights into how customers really viewed the island of Ireland as a tourism destination, qualitative research was undertaken involving potential visitors in New York, Paris, Frankfurt and London. A key insight was recognising when visitors discovered and experienced the Irish way of life, they took home rich and memorable experiences, not souvenirs.
To develop a clear strategy which could work in 20 overseas markets, workshops were conducted with key personnel from Dublin and overseas. This involved brainstorming potential strategies which led to re-positioning the island of Ireland as an “enriching experience”. Fifteen consumer benefits were identified that worked at both global and local level. These included rational as well as emotional benefits.
E.g. Germans loved to chill out and unwind in the relaxing landscapes. Americans felt connected to an historic culture. Our nearest neighbours from Great Britain enjoyed the craic with the Irish people.
Based on the market information, members of the tourism industry were informed of the new emerging trends such as “well–being”, for which Ireland is potentially well positioned. The tourism industry continues to develop competitive products/services to meet customer needs.
A new global advertising campaign was developed, based on the theme “the island of memories”. The campaign was carefully targeted at “best prospect” visitors. It went on to win the top Advertising Effectiveness awards in both Europe and Great Britain. It also resulted in increased levels of advertising recall and improved competitor rankings in key markets.
To guide-line brand values in 20 countries around the world, an attractive yet simple brand identity system for the island of Ireland was devised and implemented. This system was based on a modern adaptation of the shamrock.
The tone of voice for all advertising, literature and other marketing communications reflected the unique brand personality for the island of Ireland: warm, charming, witty, natural and inspiring.
Given the difficulty of separating macro from micro measures, the Balanced Scorecard measurement system was developed and applied to Tourism Ireland. This helped to separate and distinguish the Company performance from the wider industry effectiveness.
From a macro perspective, visitor numbers have reached 8 million per annum, and revenue is now worth in excess of €4bn to the Irish exchequer. From a micro perspective, all key performance indicators in the Balance Scorecard system showed continuous improvement over time.
For the long term, a solid strategic model is now in place which can be developed and refined over the coming years to enable future business growth.