CHILDREN'S CHARITY STRATEGIST AWARDED MARKETER OF THE YEAR
Ruth Guy, director of fundraising and marketing, Barnardos, is this year's winner of the Marketer of the Year for the work she has done to position Barnardos as Ireland's leading children's charity and grow fundraising income. Now in its 15th year, the Marketer of the Year award is organised by Marketing magazine and sponsored by Alternatives.
Winner Ruth Guy, Barnardos, receiving her award from Michael Cullen, editor, Marketing and Sandra Lawler, managing director, Alternatives.
Guy faced a challenge where there was a lack of brand awareness and understanding of Barnardos' ability to raise funds. Her aims were to increase brand awareness - both spontaneous and prompted; increase brand understanding and raise income for the charity. The strategy was to promote brand standards, fundraising and media profile.
Key consumer insights driving Guy's strategy included a lack of understanding of the issues affecting and empathy with children and families affected by poverty in Ireland.
Guy developed branding, integrated campaigns, use of media and key spokespersons to raise profile and awareness of Barnardos and created opportunities to present the charity as the experts in children's welfare in Ireland. Guy worked with the charity's advocacy team to ensure consistency in message - ‘We are Barnardos, we are for children'.
Marketing success was measured internally mainly through the increase in funds, while closely monitoring the return on investment. Barnardos' fund income more than doubled in the three years to the end of 2007, topping €5 million. The charity measured the same advertising value of all print media coverage and last year that amounted to over €3m.
With a background in marketing and advertising, Guy was well qualified to lead a media push to drive home front-of-mind awareness of Barnardos. Billboards, bus shelter posters, radio, online and direct mail were used to position the charity and raise public awareness of the work it does and the difference it makes to children's welfare.
As well as marketing communications and fundraising campaigns, Guy's responsibilities at Barnardos extend to the charity's seven shops across the country, each of which provide a valuable source of income and high street presence. The shops' interiors and fronts were upgraded to a corporate bright green. All labels and point of sale material was redesigned and standardised for use in shop windows to support wider campaigns.
The Barnardos Brand New initiative was developed to tackle the drop in donated goods and the increase in bogus collectors. The shops team nurtured relations with business for donations of brand new items - like end of line stock, sample stock, clearance and liquidation goods - for sale as brand new goods but at a fraction of the original cost.
Barnardos measure awareness and understanding through a national omnibus survey every September are part of the Irish Charity Engagement Monitor (ICEM). In the survey, under spontaneous awareness, Barnardos now ranks as Ireland's sixth biggest charity and the leading children's charity in the public mind for the first time ever.
Under unprompted awareness, Barnardos grew over by over ten per cent, the biggest increase of any charity in the period measured to March of this year. Barnardos is now in fifth position in this charity league table. Concern tops the table, followed by Unicef, ISPCC and Goal. SVP, Simon, Sightsavers and Barretstown follow in line.
Stephen O'Kelly marketing manager for Carlsberg at Diageo Ireland, and Conor Carmody, marketing director, Meteor Mobile Communications, were the two candidates to make this year's Marketer of the Year shortlist. O'Kelly was honoured for the brand's relaunch in Ireland and Carmody for the continued growth of the Meteor mobile brand.
Diageo had to reclaim the ‘spotlight' from Heineken as Carlsberg drinkers felt they were in the shadow of the Dutch lager. The challenge was to make Carlsberg look and feel like a premium beer by improving the brand livery at point-of-purchase and the lager's image.
Top livery rollout backed by effective advertising and sponsorships achieved targets.
Since taking over as marketing director at Meteor, Conor Carmody has continued to strengthen the brand's performance. He has played a major sales and marketing role at Meteor since it first opened for business in 2001 - after three years of legal wrangling - right up to September this year when Meteor signed up its one-millionth customer.
One of the posters created by The Hive to raise awareness of the work by Barnardos in promoting child welfare. Apart from marketing communications, Ruth Guy is responsible for fundraising and the charity's seven high street shops.