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Tourism Ireland bets on marketing partnership with IMAX producer to bring back tourism



Tourism Ireland bets on marketing partnership with IMAX producer to bring back tourism

Ireland, which features Liam Neeson as narrator and is produced and distributed by MacGillivray Freeman Films

This February, Tourism Ireland is teaming up with a new IMAX documentary about Ireland to welcome travelers back after the enduring travel slump from the Covid-19 pandemic. But ensuring the partnership is successful has called for a lot more than Irish luck, it’s taken a sophisticated mix of integrated marketing and data management.

Launching Ireland on IMAX

“From a tourism perspective [the film] is a great opportunity with terrific cinematography just to showcase the natural beauty and authenticity of Ireland,” said Alison Metcalfe, executive vice president North America and Australia/New Zealand of Tourism Ireland. The organization is presenting partner for the release of the IMAX documentary, Ireland, which features Liam Neeson as narrator and is produced and distributed by MacGillivray Freeman Films (MFF), known for making IMAX docs like Everest and To the Arctic. “The IMAX movie is obviously the centerpiece, and we’re working with MFF in building out a whole promotional campaign which will play out over most of the next year.”

She added, “As different components come onstream and the film builds momentum, there will be publicity, social media and digital campaigns – lots of moving parts and a fully integrated marketing campaign around that.”

Aside from captivating scenes of Ireland on 70mm film, Ireland the movie, directed by Greg MacGillivray, also includes a premise that dovetails nicely with an integrated travel campaign. The film follows writer Manachan Magan and concert violinist Patricia Treacey as they discover cultural points of interest and connect people of Irish heritage all over the world with their homeland. Four traveling teenagers are also in the cast.

“Ireland for our company and our family has always been a place we’d wanted to make a film on,” said Shaun MacGillivray, producer of Ireland and MFF’s President. “We’ve made films all over the world, but we’d never done a film on Ireland, it’s history, and it had never been done in IMAX before. It seemed like just an incredible topic.”

The film wrapped shooting in 2020 right before the pandemic became widespread. With borders closed by St. Patrick’s Day in March, travel was put on pause, and Tourism Ireland had to change its message to travelers while remaining on their minds as a top destination once things opened back up.

Retooling a marketing strategy during the recovery

In March 2020, Tourism Ireland paused its paid media advertising.

“At that point, people didn’t know how long this was going to go on,” said Metcalfe. “In April we decided we needed to find a way to stay connected with our potential audiences at a consumer level, but also to stay connected with our industry partners, including airlines, tourism and media partners.”

They launched a global social media campaign amplified through their partners, as well as with paid social ads. It centered around nine different buckets of content or “passion points” to “keep people warm about Ireland,” Metcalfe explained.

Over a year later, in May 2021, Tourism Ireland pivoted again into “reassurance mode” promising travelers that Ireland would soon be open again now that travel restrictions were loosening in other markets.

“It wasn’t appropriate to talk about a ‘book now’ message at that point, but when the borders opened for international travelers and vaccinated Americans on July 19, we went into a more proactive message – now is the time to start planning that trip,” she said.

They kicked off the “Green Button” global campaign to officially restart welcoming overseas visitors.

The promotion around the IMAX release falls into the category of brand partnership, one of Tourism Ireland’s biggest. It branches off of the core “Green Button” campaign to connect with “culturally curious” new travelers.

Investing in marketing technology

“Over the last three or four years, we’ve invested significantly in our marketing technology, capabilities and infrastructure,” said Metcalfe. “Tourism Ireland has had an ambition to be world leaders in digital destination marketing. During the pandemic, we continued to invest in having the best digital relationship with consumers.”

Keeping their customer data in a data-management platform ensures that Tourism Ireland’s communications with travelers are personalized and are retargeting pools of interested prospects with relevant content.

“We’ve seen really good engagement from the current campaign, so it’s just leaning in to be more data-driven, and also getting to the point where we can identify that sense of presence and attracting people across multiple touchpoints, and continue to engage when they actually arrive in Ireland,” Metcalfe said.

She added that they now have a dashboard that gives marketers in offices around the world real-time access to see what digital engagement is working. Media across digital and offline is also managed in partnership with Tourism Ireland’s media agency, OMD.

The offical trailer for “Ireland”

Cinematic art backed by small screen content

With a data infrastructure in place to respond as the world opens back up, Tourism Ireland has a plan to gain more momentum from the new film Ireland.

“By following a writer around Ireland in the movie, you do get a sense of the past, as well as the present,” said Metcalfe.

For social and other digital media, the focus in spreading word about Ireland the film will be on hitting those passion points in music, food, literature and history that digital-first travelers will want to find out more about. Media partners are part of the plan, as well as influencers.

The new social media strategy includes producing social-first assets, and also producing assets with a specific job in mind, and fitting that into the customer journey. In the TV space, linear TV local buys in major markets are supported with CTV, as people have cut the cords, Metcalfe explained.

“When we go out and film these amazing projects, we capture a lot of content,” said MacGillivray. “We’re able to tell, obviously, that pinnacle story that is shown on that giant screen in science centers and IMAX theaters all over the world. But also we’re able to create bite-sized content for specific digital platforms, getting people excited about not only the film, but also these amazing places that we go to.”

“We’re looking to develop how we can bring the story to life,” Metcalfe said. “Particularly during the pandemic and the recovery: seeing is believing.”

About The Author

Chris Wood draws on over 15 years of reporting experience as a B2B editor and journalist. At DMN, he served as associate editor, offering original analysis on the evolving marketing tech landscape. He has interviewed leaders in tech and policy, from Canva CEO Melanie Perkins, to former Cisco CEO John Chambers, and Vivek Kundra, appointed by Barack Obama as the country’s first federal CIO. He is especially interested in how new technologies, including voice and blockchain, are disrupting the marketing world as we know it. In 2019, he moderated a panel on “innovation theater” at Fintech Inn, in Vilnius. In addition to his marketing-focused reporting in industry trades like Robotics Trends, Modern Brewery Age and AdNation News, Wood has also written for KIRKUS, and contributes fiction, criticism and poetry to several leading book blogs. He studied English at Fairfield University, and was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. He lives in New York.

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HubSpot to cut around 7% of workforce by end of Q1



HubSpot to cut around 7% of workforce by end of Q1

This afternoon, HubSpot announced it would be making cuts in its workforce during Q1 2023. In a Securities and Exchange Commission filing it put the scale of the cuts at 7%. This would mean losing around 500 employees from its workforce of over 7,000.

The reasons cited were a downward trend in business and a “faster deceleration” than expected following positive growth during the pandemic.

Layoffs follow swift growth. Indeed, the layoffs need to be seen against the background of very rapid growth at the company. The size of the workforce at HubSpot grew over 40% between the end of 2020 and today.

In 2022 it announced a major expansion of its international presence with new operations in Spain and the Netherlands and a plan to expand its Canadian presence in 2023.

Why we care. The current cool down in the martech space, and in tech generally, does need to be seen in the context of startling leaps forward made under pandemic conditions. As the importance of digital marketing and the digital environment in general grew at an unprecedented rate, vendors saw opportunities for growth.

The world is re-adjusting. We may not be seeing a bubble burst, but we are seeing a bubble undergoing some slight but predictable deflation.

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About the author

Kim Davis

Kim Davis is the Editorial Director of MarTech. Born in London, but a New Yorker for over two decades, Kim started covering enterprise software ten years ago. His experience encompasses SaaS for the enterprise, digital- ad data-driven urban planning, and applications of SaaS, digital technology, and data in the marketing space.

He first wrote about marketing technology as editor of Haymarket’s The Hub, a dedicated marketing tech website, which subsequently became a channel on the established direct marketing brand DMN. Kim joined DMN proper in 2016, as a senior editor, becoming Executive Editor, then Editor-in-Chief a position he held until January 2020.

Prior to working in tech journalism, Kim was Associate Editor at a New York Times hyper-local news site, The Local: East Village, and has previously worked as an editor of an academic publication, and as a music journalist. He has written hundreds of New York restaurant reviews for a personal blog, and has been an occasional guest contributor to Eater.

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Advocate | DigitalMarketer



Advocate | DigitalMarketer

Happy customers love to share their experience, but sometimes they need some encouragement to do so. The cool thing is, once they do, they become even more loyal to your brand.

So, at this stage of the Customer Value Journey, ask people to share their positive experience with your brand by writing a review or sharing a social media post.

Once you get to stage seven, the Customer Value Journey is going to get a whole lot easier for you. This stage is all about learning your customer’s experience, and building up your testimonial database. 

The most important part of this step is asking these four questions. 

What Was Your Life Like Before Finding Our Solutions? What Challenges Were You Facing That Caused You to Consider Us? 

These questions are great not only because it gives you some really good stories, but because it gives you some insight on how you can provide similar prospects with that AHA moment. Understanding the average day of your clients is important in reflecting on your Customer Value Journey, and helps you understand what really set you apart from your competitors.

What Key Features Had the Biggest and/or Fastest Impact?

Not only is this going to get you to really specific stories, you will understand the specific things you provided that gave the biggest impact. The answers to these questions will not only give you great insight and testimonials, it will provide you with ideas for new lead magnets. This part is a new Entry Point Offer goldmine! 

What Has Been the Impact or Results in Your Life or Business Since Using Our Product or Service? 

This is a fairly broad question, and that’s why we put it after the others. You will have already gotten all of the specifics out of the way with #1 & #2. But when you ask this question, this is where you get the most valuable stories. You can use this part as testimonials, as an order form, as a sales page, this part is testimonial gold. 

If You Were Asked to Justify this Purchase to Your Boss or a Friend, What Would You Say? 

This is our favorite question by far. If you had to go back in time and justify this purchase, what would you say? I promise you what we’re going to find is a lot of great ideas for the jobs that your product or service has done. You’ll get a lot of great ideas for your core message canvas. This question is about backfilling all of the assets that you may not have. Here you’re going directly to the customer who are already happy, and using their justifications to help you sell to new customers. 

Hopefully you now understand just how valuable the Advocate stage could be, as well as the key questions you need to ask to get your customers talking. Here’s how it works for our example companies.

When it comes to fashion we all love to show off our outfits. So a good example for Hazel & Hems would be to have customers write reviews for a discount code or points towards their next purchase. 

Better yet, follow up with the customers to ask them to share and tag themselves wearing the items in a social media post and providing them with something valuable as a reward.

For Cyrus & Clark Media, hopping on zoom meetings or a streaming service for live talks about them and their business could generate valuable awareness for them, and a live case study for the agency. They can use the questions Ryan provided during this lesson to conduct the interview.

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Drive Conversions and Generate Engagement With Instacart Promotions



Drive Conversions and Generate Engagement With Instacart Promotions

Through deals and coupons, Instacart has saved consumers more than $700 million in 2022. As we dive into 2023, the leading grocery technology company in North America has big plans to help consumers save even more while also helping CPGs generate sales. Instacart recently announced an advertising solution that helps both sellers and consumers called Instacart Promotions. This exciting feature is designed to help drive conversions, boost sales, and generate overall engagement on the app.

Interested in this feature and how it can help your business on Instacart? Read on as we dive into everything you need to know about this ad solution including benefits, how to get started, and more.


What are Instacart Promotions?


Instacart Promotions is an advertising feature that’s now available to all brand partners, including emerging brands, within their open beta program. Promotions give CPGs the opportunity to offer new deal structures, promotions, and incentives with Instacart Ad campaigns. With this feature in place, consumers will have access to more promotions, coupons, and deals that are tailored to them within the Instacart Marketplace.

“With the launch of our new Instacart Promotions, all of our brand partners now have the ability to set up coupons and promotions that can drive meaningful business results while also passing on more savings opportunities to consumers. We’re proud to continue expanding our portfolio with additional self-service capabilities, ad formats that drive results, and measurement that brands need to understand the true impact of their campaigns on Instacart.”


– Ali Miller, VP of Ads Product at Instacart


Source: Instacart


How Do Instacart Promotions Work?


Promotions, now available in Ads Manager, gives consumers the ability to discover more promotions and savings opportunities within the Instacart app. These promotions now show up directly on product item cards before checkout for easy accessibility. Promotions allow advertisers to customize their campaigns to sync with their goals and objectives whether that be driving sales, building baskets, or boosting trials.

Instacart shared a recent example of a brand successfully utilizing Promotions… 

Athletic Brewing, General Mills, Sola Company, and Wells Enterprises (maker of Halo Top) are strengthening campaign performance by pairing Instacart Promotions with ad formats such as Sponsored Product and Display. Instacart Promotions include two new flexible and customizable structures: Coupons (“buy X units, save $Y”) and Stock Up & Save (“Spend $X, Save $Y”). 

According to Instacart, in the coming months, the company “will work to further enhance the new offering with new deal structures such as Free Gifts and Buy One, Get One (“BOGO”). The new deal structures will help brand partners run “Free Sample” programs that can win new customers and serve personalized discounts for different customer segments, such as “new to brand” and “new to category.”  


Example of Instacart Promotions

Source: Instacart


Instacart Promotions Benefits


Deliver Value and Savings to Consumers


With Instacart Promotions, you have the opportunity to deliver value and savings that will have consumers coming back for more. With this savings feature, your brand can stand out among the competition and offer a variety of deals to shoppers ie: “Buy X units, Save $Y”.


Hot tip: Ensure you are selecting products for your promotion that are well-stocked and widely available.  


Tailor Your Campaigns to Specific Objectives


With a variety of savings options available, your brand can structure deals to fit specific business goals and objectives. 


Hot tip: If you’re looking to drive visibility and awareness, try pairing promotions with Sponsored Product campaigns. 


Access Real-Time Performance Insights 


The Promotions beta program is live and can be accessed within Instacart Ads Manager. Within Ads Manager, advertisers can access real-time insights to maximize performance and adjust campaigns as needed.


Hot tip: Make sure your budget matches your discount and objectives.


“As an advertiser, Instacart’s unique offering to self-manage promotions is so exciting! Historically, making adjustments to offer values and other promotion parameters was a more manual process, but now we’ll be able to easily make optimizations in real-time based on redemption performance.”

Emily Choate

Emily Choate, Senior Specialist, Marketplace Search at Tinuiti


Interested in Instacart Promotions?


With Instacart Promotions, you have the opportunity to reach new customers, build bigger baskets, and drive sales. Interested in testing out the beta program or looking to get started with advertising on the app? Drop us a line – we’d love to help elevate your CPG brand on Instacart.


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