AG Barr buoyed by May weather

AG Barr, maker of Irn-Bru and Strathmore, says good weather during May has helped boost sales, while the acquisition of Rubicon has successfully broadened its portfolio.

Marketers spot their first (pale) green shoots

The hard times aren’t over yet: fears of job insecurity and the economy worsening still abound, but for the first time since the recession hit home, CIM research finds most marketers optimistic about their business’ future and their ability to adapt to these tough times. By Louise Jack

The real-time thing

As brands take advantage of online tools to carry out quantitative and qualitative research, Joe Fernandez discovers this technology not only provides real-time insights, but costs less than traditional methods

Don’t give up on prospective customers

Your direct marketing special report (MW 21 May) raised some interesting issues around the changing face of marketing during the recession, but failed to address the issue of exactly who brands should be trying to target. In the current market, the old adage that “it costs five times more to target a new customer than to retain an existing one” is more pertinent than ever. As a result many marketers are focusing their energies purely on retention.

Step up the game and we can prevent ‘marketing’s decline’

The Chartered Institute of Marketing’s white paper – “Marketing’s decline: a wild exaggeration?” (MW 21 May), refers to crucial points where our profession is failing to show its true worth. However, the pressing issue is not to bemoan our failings but to agree how we can start to improve things.

Global clout is not enough for a name change

Santander’s decision to replace three of the British high street’s most recognised banking brands may not be all plain sailing. Change is certainly needed, but while Abbey customers have had some time to get used to the Santander’s branding, the same is not true for A&L’s and Bradford & Bingley’s.

Data privacy issues

Michael Nutley’s article about targeted online marketing practices (MW 21 May) and the public’s concerns about privacy is a reminder that although we have access to insight, measurement and tracking techniques, in the wrong hands it can be disastrous.

Risks in redemptions

Reading Money for Nothing (MW 14 May), what the Marks & Spencer sale and, in particular, the over-redemption of the Threshers e-shot highlighted is that brands are not applying sufficient due diligence in putting together their promotions.

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