How did you get into the Motor Industry?
From a young age I always had an interest in cars and could name pretty much every car by its make and model. I was never mechanically minded and was more interested in driving than understanding how they worked, so after school, I studied for a Degree in Business and went on to do a Masters in International Management. At this stage I knew that I would like to do something in marketing, and when a job for an entry level position came up for a “Marketing Executive with a Leading Global Automotive Brand”, I applied and before I knew it, I had my first role in the Motor Industry with N.Conlan & Sons – a BMW & MINI Franchise in Kildare. I worked for them for 10 years and was very lucky to be given access and experience to all aspects of the business. From there I worked with CAB Motor Company, a Ford franchise in Cork before moving to Johnson & Perrott. I couldn’t have had a better start in the Motor Industry.
What is a typical day for you as a Marketing Manager?
Currently I am responsible for all marketing with regards to our 10 motor franchises. The majority of my time is spent on a computer overseeing all our marketing activities for each department. The focus varies, but typically I spend a large amount of time on social media and our websites - ensuring that content/SEO is up to date and interesting. A big focus is put on digital interactions with customers/prospects and the tracking of leads that come in via our websites (we have 11) and social media accounts (we have 16). The creation of content for these digital activities also take up a lot of time, namely photo and video content which is then integrated into our advertising campaigns across Facebook, Google and YouTube. Finally we also do a lot of PR events such as sponsorships, sale events and charity events, as well as working hand in hand with our brand ambassadors.
How have you developed in your career since working in Johnson & Perrott Motor Group?
Education is key, either formal or informal. The marketplace is constantly changing and that makes for an exciting but challenging time - as what worked last year, may not work this year. Just before starting at Johnson & Perrott I completed an MBA from the University of Limerick but since then I have completed numerous online courses and attended countless seminars, meetings and conferences. Covid in particular was a wake up call for the Motor Industry and fortunately we were in a position that allowed us to keep working and move our business online – this has meant a huge shift towards eCommerce and online systems to track interactions. Perhaps the most important skill I have developed since working with Johnson & Perrott is the ability to be agile so I can adapt quickly to market demands. Most notably, that has been the move to a “Digital Showroom” and using digital channels for marketing rather than traditional media such as print and radio.
If someone wanted to become a Marketing Manager, what qualifications do they need?
A business/marketing degree background with an awareness and interest in marketing is best. First and foremost however you will need to be a digital native with photo and video skills, as well as having a keen understanding of the digital landscape. Finally, a willingness to learn is essential.
Do you have any tips for young people thinking of getting into the Industry?
Working in the Motor Trade provides an interesting and rewarding career. My advice would be to
1. Get qualified, education is of paramount importance.
2. Get your foot in the door (literally! don’t rely on an emailed CV or a call to do the job – we get hundreds so stand out from the crowd) and demonstrate your interest in both the role and the industry.
3. Show a willingness to learn.