Bizcamp South East June 12th

I’ve been asked to give a talk at the upcoming Bizcamp event in Waterford in June 12th. Its the first Bizcamp event in Waterford following on from successful ones held in Dublin and Limerick. The concept is ‘by entrepreneurs, for entreprenurs’ with multiple sessions of talks, each lasting no more than 20 minutes with a further 10 mins Q&A. The plan is to cover a wide range of topics on the day, so people depart having learned something new, come up with new ideas and some new contacts. The event takes place on Saturday June 12th next from 9.30am in Arclabs, which is based on WIT’s Carriganore campus (map below) and it’s entirely free.

My talk will be looking at the use of Facebook for business. It will be more practically driven than my last presentation, Market To Me (slides here), as in the aim will be to  give the audience ideas on how to begin or improve their social network marketing strategy.

You can register and get more information on the event here, they are also still on the lookout for speakers so if you would like to get involved check out their site. Strictly NO sales pitches!

Info on speakers confirmed so far here

Googlemap to the location below. From the city centre, go out the cork road to the Holycross roundabout, take a right, the next left, the next right, yes it is a small country road, and the entrance to the driveway will be signposted on the right hand side.

View Google Map to Arclabs

Full Press Release:

Bizcamp event comes to the South East to inspire and support entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs, innovators and people with ideas in the South East region are invited to get involved as both speakers and learners for an upcoming conference with a difference.

Organised BY entrepreneurs, FOR entrepreneurs, Bizcamp South East is the first event of its kind to be held here in the South East on June 12th. Based in the Arclabs Research & Innovation Centre in Waterford, this day long event follows the model set by previous events held in Dublin and most recently Limerick with great success.

Peter Grogan, Director of Emagine Media and Bizcamp South East organiser said: “With a growing unemployment rate in the South East, we rely on the successes of innovators and entrepreneurs for our future economic success and prosperity. We are asking people from the South East to come to Bizcamp and learn and share from each other.”

“The Bizcamp event is deliberately NOT about sales pitches, we want to hear about skill sets you wish to share, to lessons learned, to valuable experiences gained within your business.”

Bizcamp already an exciting panel of speakers lined up, but organisers still want to hear from people in the region who would like to present a short talk.

Speakers will give a short 20-minute presentation, with 10 minutes for open discussion, on a topic of their choice. Bizcamp is not necessarily a ‘techy’ event and topics will vary from starting your own business, to marketing, to presentation skills, to design, finance, web & social networking and stress management.

Continuing the theme of innovation and entrepreneurship, Tom Corcoran, Centre Manager introduces Arclabs as the Bizcamp South East venue; “ArcLabs is all about encouraging, mentoring and supporting innovative and ambitious early-stage business ventures. The centre has all of the leading-edge facilities that companies need and expect, but much more than that – it is an exciting networking community, driven by entrepreneurial spirit in which businesses can thrive and become successful.”

You can register online for free tickets at www.bizcamp.ie/southeast

Contact Details:

Website: www.bizcamp.ie/southeast

Twitter: www.twitter.com/bizcamp_se

Facebook: www.short.ie/bizcampse

Event Organisers:

Peter Grogan, Emagine Media / Tom Corcoran, Arclabs

Email: southeast@bizcamp.ie

Tel: 051 302 900

5 Local Businesses Rocking Facebook (& Social Media)

At last weeks Martketing Institute presentation I used three local examples from here in Waterford, Ireland, to demonstrate how Facebook is being used for marketing by local businesses. (The slides of the presentation are available here). The point in using local examples was to demonstrate that it’s not just the big brands and multi-national co’s who can incorporate Facebook into their marketing strategy, but its happening right here on our doorstep.

Here’s those three examples again plus two new ones. I have no links to four of the businesses, other than having frequented them at one point, but I have been involved in developing the Facebook profile the fifth example the Bay Spa Tramore.

Each example demonstrates a local business who have nailed, in my opinion, at least one aspect of social network marketing. In no particular order;

Dignity Bar

It’s good because… Integration! They were the first local business to integrate their Facebook presence (along with Twitter and Youtube) into their offline marketing, simply by adding logos to their newspaper ads. Think of it like this when will I see their newspaper Ad again? Who knows. But if I add them on FB then Dignity don’t have to rely on me picking up the local paper again. I always thought this was critical to increasing fans/likes and just last week FB brought out a study highlighting businesses that advertise their social network presence grow 20% faster than those who don’t.

Espresso Waterford

It’s good because… Personality! Before they were on Facebook the image of the eatery was informal, relaxed, fun and Italian. When they launched on FB late last year they brought that exact personality to life. There’s frequent competitions that get their fans actively involved in the page such as a recent Easter Rhyme/Egg Pun comp and they’re not afraid to take ideas from anywhere. Last years Ikea competition on Facebook (tag yourself as a piece of furniture in Ikea profile picture first to win it, see it here) was replicated into a ‘Tag’-liatelle competition where fans could win meals by tagging themselves in pictures.

The Espresso Facebook Profile


Its good because… Customer care! They took a problem and turned it into an example of great customer care for everyone to see. Ok, this didnt happen on Facebook but over on boards.ie in March. Many businesses worry about giving customers too much control, input or opportunities to voice their opinions because they may not always be positive. But Revolution took a complaint on a public message forum, addressed it and received thanks not only from the person who made the initial complaint but also several other people. If you didn’t know it already you suddenly realise just how much the bar cares about its customers.

Here’s a link to the thread on Boards.ie, the first post is the initial complaint and the 24th post on page 2 is the owner.

Fitzwilton Hotel

Its good because… they know how to grow their fanbase! The Fitzwilton Hotel opened in Waterford around 2005 and is probably the newest Hotel in the city. Waterford is the 5th largest city in the country, yet this relatively new hotel situated in a small regional town has the highest number of Facebook fans for a hotel in all of Ireland. Now it may be that the size of the town has little to do with the Hotel as most of its business will come from outside the city, but you can be rest assured Waterford is far from being one of Irelands top tourist destinations. As for business travellers, this city is suffering more than other places in this recession, so that would affect in some way the amount of business travellers. The hotel is also a 4 star, placing it in a price bracket above most of the hotels in town. However with all this going against it, the hotel is punching well above its weight and is hurtling towards 8,000 fans as I type.

The Fitzwilton on Facebook

Bay Spa Tramore

Its good because… Its customised! The Bay Spa Tramore is a client of mine. It’s also the only local business that I could find with a customised Facebook presence. What do I mean by customised? Well for one there’s a new landing page. Instead of arriving at the Bay Spa ‘wall’ first, users arrive on a customised tab with an offer for free loyalty points for fans. Thats also linked to another tab with a full price list. The Bay Spa has a unique interior so we installed a new larger and more professional slideshow with professionally taken photo’s demonstrate this. And it doesn’t stop there, we are soon to launch a shop on the Bay Spa Facebook profile. The shop will use Paypal for all transactions will be safe and secure, not just on the customer side but also from the business side. Thats what I mean by customised, but there’s plenty more that can be added, we only revamped the page recently. Any business can customise FB they just need to sit down and work out what it is they would like FB to do for them. Why is customisation important? So you can differentiate your business and engage customers even further. Most businesses don’t differentiate their Facebook presence and are happy to work with the default Facebook profile. I dont understand why, I mean you wouldn’t take out an advert in the local paper that is identical to your competitor, so why be happy with the default Facebook profile? It looks like everyone else’s. To be remembered in marketing you have to be different, and to be not remembered in marketing is a waste of money.

The Bay Spa Tramore Facebook profile

Youth Marketing:Keeping Up With Gen Y and Why You Need To

I’m going to be presenting at the next Marketing Institute of Ireland south east branch event ‘Youth Marketing:Keeping up with Gen Y and Why You Need To’.  It’s on Thursday April 29th at 6pm in The Gallery Restaurant in Waterford Institute of Technology.

I’ll be presenting research I carried out last year into the attitudes and opinions of social network users into marketing on that channel. I’ll also be including a lot of my own experiences and some existing case studies to help illustrate the presentation. I’m up first and will be followed by the CEO of Beat 102-103 Gabrielle Cummins.  I’m quiet excited about this so lets hope it all goes to plan.

The full press release is below and the event is on Linked In see here

Marketing Institute of Ireland South East Region invites you to come along to our next event:

Youth Marketing Seminar: Keeping up with Gen Y and Why You Need To

1. Marketing To Ireland’s Youth Using Social Networks

Facebook has 1.3 million Irish users and over over 500,000 of these are aged between 15 and 24, making Facebook a critical component when targeting the youth market. However, unlike marketing on other channels such as on Television or in print, in social network marketing the customer seeks out brands and products for their marketing messages. Customers are literally asking brands to market to them.

But how do the youth really feel about social network marketing? And how can this information provide marketers with the basis for more informed decisions when using the channel. Based upon in depth interviews carried out with social network users in Ireland and the UK, practical experience and existing case studies, this presentation will demonstrate the valuable role social networks can play when targeting the youth market.

Luke Abbott spent seven years working in the event marketing sector in Ireland and the UK. He is currently a researcher in Social Media at the Waterford Institute of Technology, and his marketing blog can be found at www.mrlukeabbott.com

15-24 year olds – Why You Need to Find Their Frequency and Tune In

Gabrielle Cummins, CEO of Beat 102-103 talks about the value of the 15-24 year old market to businesses and discusses how best to reach them. In an age when young people create their own media content, creativity, relevance and the ability to stand out have never been more crucial.

Beat 102-103 is the leading radio station for 15-24 year olds in the South East. Gabrielle Cummins has a strong background in journalism, TV station management and broadcast media marketing.


Date:       Thursday 29th April 2010

Time:       6pm til 8pm

Venue:      The Gallery Restaurant, WIT, Waterford

Cost:       €20 for non-members, €15 for members

DrinkAware.ie Rag Week Ambient Advertising

Rag Week, or Raise And Give Week, is almost upon us here in WIT. It’s a college tradition dating back to the 1820′s in the UK, when thousands of students up and down the country go on what is essentially a massive drinking binge in order to raise money for charity. Irish organisation DrinkAware.ie aim to raise awareness of the negative impact excessive alcohol  can have. This year they target five college campus’ UCD, UL, NUIG, DCU and CIT with this eye catching ambient floor vinyl that depicts an individual passed out on the ground of a bar or nightclub bathroom. I’m not sure how successful something like this might be when drinking to excess, being the subject of countless stories, or having one hell of a funny story to tell is often part and parcel of the average student night out. I picked this up from a local paper here in Waterford as Rag Week is next week, however WIT isn’t one of the five colleges where the scheme will operate, which is unusual considering the notorious Christmas Day event that attracts non WIT students, former students, those in employment, and usually the national media attention.

Further information on the campaign from here.

Ford, GM & Waterford Wedgewood

Its a co-incidence that I am posting parts of my ‘Ford Versus GM‘ written report to my blog the day that Irelands oldest company, Waterford Wedgewood, goes into receivership. The three companies share many similarities. All three companies are brand giants in their fields, all have seen better days, and all face an uphill battle for survival. The Waterford brand is one of the best known in the World, its profile and association with prestigeous events makes it a unique offering. Yet it finds itself in these dire straits, the move today would of been expected by many since the Irish Government refused to provide a loan last May coupled with the rapid deterioration of the world economy in recent months.

As recently as last week media reports of a takeover were circulating, as a brand of that stature would still generate a certain amount of value in the right hands. For all its high profile associations the Waterford brand is also seen as luxury product for an older market, from a time when shoulder pads and Blake Carrington ruled the roost. I do remember a time when Waterford Crystal was a highly sought after product in Ireland. However, in the high flying late 90′s and 2000′s the brand failed to connect with the fashion-conscious and upwardly-mobile go getters who saw some of the Waterford Wedgewood products as out dated. A failure to connect with that audience during a time when money was in plentiful supply was only going to create problems when that money supply deteriorated as we are seeing now.

Is it possible to re-position an organisation with such a strong and illustrious heritage that has fallen foul to changes in taste? Yes. One company that successfully repositioned itself towards a younger audience in the late 1990′s was Burberry, the 153 year old British clothing brand. Although that brands’ associations with ‘chav’ culture might not be the most desireable links, Burberry managed to overcome these setbacks. A lot of this success has come through celebrity endorsements from the likes of Kate Moss contributing to the fashion labels popularity with royalty, rock stars and just about every fashion hack in between. As Burberry succeeded Waterford failed to regain its iconic status, while rising production costs here in Ireland did not help. 

Returning to Ford and GM, similarities exist in so far that all three companies are almost a victim of their heritage, where rising manufacturing costs at home contributed significantly to losses and an inability to out manoeuvre competitors. As Henry Ford once said “The only history worth a dam is the history we make today”.

Below are extracts from the report written in May 2008, for a link to the full report drop me a line.

Ford Versus GM Report


This is the Report to accompany The Ford Versus GM in Asia case study. In our report, as in our case study we decided to look at the two companies in a larger context, in Europe and America. We also looked at famous Marketing battles between well known rivals such as Coca Cola & Pepsi as well as Nike & Adidas. In highlighting the Asian market we conducted a survey amongst 33 Chinese students in WIT to ascertain their perception of the two Car manufacturers, to extrapolate those results into the wider context. A copy of our questionnaire can be found in Appendix 2.The Report begins with a history of the two companies. As a way of engaging with the audience during the presentation, and to deliver information in a slightly different way, we decided to deliver Ford’s history in an interview form, the interview with a fictional Henry Ford. A transcript of the interview is available in Appendix 2.

<snip> for middle section of the report contact me <snip>


Move Loss making Manufacturing Divisions to Asia
We suggest this for two reasons, the obvious one is to utilise cheaper labour costs on that Continent, especially in China, India & Korea. This will also give the two car manufacturers a greater awareness in a market that is one of the fastest expanding in the world. The reason behind just moving loss making divisions would be to ally fears that GM’s presence within the USA might be disappearing altogether and while it might be a bitter pill to swallow, for the public. It is the public who are buying imports and thus why can GM and Ford take advantage of such tactics

Seek Cost Savings
In the remaining profitable Divisions in the USA, both companies should seek to make cost savings. These could be made in the areas of wages, manufacturing, or the sourcing of parts for automobiles.

Invest More in R&D, Marketing & PR
The two US car companies are seen in their home territory as lacking in innovation when compared to the Asian car manufacturers. With savings gained from the above two points Ford & GM should invest more in research and development, maybe even establish R&D department in the Asian market and seek to reverse this opinion and gain recognition for innovation. These saving should also be invested in Marketing, to ensure awareness of the companies is maintained in all territories, that includes having a marketing office in defined territories to act as required in order to maximise sales, awareness and loyalty. Investing in PR will hopefully assist in any negative publicity that might be garnered by the first two points and for future projects PR will assist the marketing department in building awareness and loyalty.

Sell Assets not maximising full return
If GM and Ford move manufacturing to Asia, will this leave manufacturing plants and offices under utilised? Can remaing divisions be merged to leave prime property, under capacity machinery and plants available for sale as a way of earning short term financing.

WIT Marketing Awards May 2008

Back in May I picked up an award for Services to Marketing from WIT.

Here’s a press release from The MunsterExpress

WIT Marketing Student of the Year Award

The WIT Marketing Student of the Year awards ceremony took place in the Granville Hotel on Thursday, 8 May last. The ceremony, which is sponsored by Ann and Liam Cusack, proprietors of the Granville honours the top three marketing students across three courses at the Institute.

The three winners for 2008 are Conor Dunne from Piercestown, Co. Wexford, who won the BA in Marketing Award; Aisling Comerford, from Arklow, Co. Wicklow, won the Bachelor of Business Studies Award; and Ms Clare Geoghegan, from Wexford town, who came first in the BA in Languages and Marketing Award.

Dr. Tom O’Toole, Head of the School of Business, praised the three winning students for their excellence not just in terms of academic results but also for their presentation and communication skills, their contributions in class and their team based approach to learning.

Dr O’Toole went on to thank the Cusacks for their continued sponsorship of this event over the past 16 years and highlighted in particular their own marketing expertise as good role models for everyone.

A further 12 students received special commendations at the ceremony. These included BBS student: Helene Burkhardt, an Erasmus student from Bavaria in Germany; Mike Sheehan, from Carrigtohill, Co. Cork; John Hickey from Dunshaughlin, Co. Meath; Ciaran Nolan from Glendalough, Co. Wicklow; Kevin Dempsey from Glenegad, Clonmel and John Murphy from Ballycallan, Co. Kilkenny.

BA in Marketing students included: Luke Abbott from Ballytruckle and Ciara O’Hanlon from Grantstown Village in Waterford City; Danny Roche and Carol Tubrid from Wexford town; Dale Kearney from Crossneen, Co. Carlow and Declan Whooley from Ahakista in West Cork.

In addressing the gathering of students, staff and parents Dr. O’Toole highlighted the importance of marketing as a key discipline for any business, and that a degree in marketing is highly attractive to any potential employer.

Mr Liam Cusack, sponsor of the event and proprietor of the Granville, congratulated the winning students and said he hoped they would continue to be ‘winners’ in their future careers.

Other attendees at the event included Dr. Denis Harrington, Head of Graduate Business and Ms Joan McDonald, Head of the Department of Management and Organisation.


Marketing Multimedia Projects

Here’s a collection of Marketing Multimedia projects I completed for my Marketing Degree in May 2008.

The first is a flash Ad of the TV show Dexter, not an amazing show (besides the excellent Michael C Hall) but their marketing techniques are pretty good (an example of season 1 and season 2). I choose Dexter because of its stiking visual imagery thats easy to manipulate. I have been told it plays slightly to fast, but my arguement back is that it mimics the frentic action of Dex doing what he does best.

Dexter Ad

My second ad is for Mika and his first album ‘Life in cartoon Motion’. The brief was the pick an artist currently in the charts and design an ad for that artist. The 2nd Mika ad contains sound and the 3rd ad additional video. Its quiet basic, the images are all Mika artwork downloaded off the internet hence their low quality. What i do like about this ad is the way the Mika logo opens out and closes back in on itself creating the advert ‘environment’.

Mika Ad 1

Mika Ad 2 (Sound)

Mika Ad 3 (Video)