Saturday 18th September 2021 – Vol 001 Edition 00016
by Jim Campbell
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Companies look for an organised Sales and Marketing Manager to assist in advertising and selling their products and create competitive advantages for their company in their particular market.
A Sales and Marketing Manager is responsible for researching and developing marketing opportunities and planning and implementing new sales plans. They will also manage both the marketing and the sales staff and perform managerial duties to meet the company’s operations goals.
Their responsibilities include generating unique sales plans, creating engaging advertisements, emails, promotional literature, developing pricing strategies, and meeting marketing and sales human resource objectives.
My profile for Edition 16 of ‘A Day in the Life of’ is Shane Curtin, the Sales and Marketing Director at Kent Stainless in Wexford.
Even though Shane was interested in Business Studies during his school years, he wasn’t sure which career path he wanted to pursue. All he knew at this stage was that he wanted to travel.
The famous Wembley Stadium
Shane, born in Co Tipperary, attended school in Colaiste Chiarain in Leixlip, County Kildare. He did Business Studies in Carlow IT before moving to Paris for a year. He studied Marketing at DIT College of Design and Marketing in Mountjoy Square in Dublin on his return to Ireland.
Shane joined Kent Stainless in 2003. When I spoke to Shane, he pointed out that Wembley Stadium was his first and the company’s first street furniture project in the United Kingdom back in 2007. Two other big projects quickly followed this: The Dublin Luas (2008-2011) and Dublin Airport (2010- 2012).
Along with Michael Hurley and technical director Stephen Roche, Shane was instrumental in bringing the craftmanship of the Wexford company to the famous Wembley Stadium.
Danish sausages, Galtee rashers, and bags of Tayto
During the two-year preparation for the Wembley contract, Shane explained how he got to know some Irish working in London. “We got to know the Irish lads working in construction over there. We used to bring them over Danish sausages, Galtee rashers, and bags of Tayto. In return, if we needed to know anything that helped, they would tell us.” A fair exchange, one would think — one of the many great stories from Shane. I have heard of many ways of getting a man to talk, but this is a classic.
When yours truly was living in London, I took a trip to Wembley Stadium. I was always fascinated by this famous stadium from a young age supporting my beloved West Ham United. Not that the Hammers were there that often, but in my opinion, Wembley is the home of the wonderful and prestige football competition, the FA Cup.
I took the long walk to the stadium, and observing the beautiful street furniture on the route, I noticed, engraved on a small metal piece, was the name Kent Stainless, Wexford.
Shane was on hand to offer advice which impressed the delegation
Now, who would have imagined a Wexford company involved in the building of a city in Qatar? Yes, not surprisingly, Kent Stainless succeeded in doing just that after Shane Curtin and Michael Hurley travelled on a short visit to the West Asian country, scheduled to host the 22nd edition of the FIFA World Cup competition in 2022.
After three days, the two men attended a meeting. When the topic about the holes in the ground needing covers came into the discussion, Shane was on hand to offer advice which impressed the delegation, especially the Australian chairman.
The committee requested the two men to extend their stay in Qatar. Within a week, the two men had secured a mighty deal for the Kents Stainless with their involvement in building a city in Qatar in 2020, even if this meant turning down the Olympic 2012 project in London, which left them little opportunity but to do just that.
Meanwhile, back at home, when Shane arrives in the office in the morning, he first checks the company’s new website for enquiries. Each morning he would find several enquiries regarding the company’s products.
As a manager, he distributes the queries to the members of the sales and marketing team. Half of these queries would be clients looking for prices, while the other is from architects looking for drawings. These queries would continue to come in via the website throughout the day.
“We are always trying to feed the pipeline two years down the line”
The team was looking at the immediate projects and focused on projects in the longer term.
The Sales and Marketing Manager represents the company’s brand and drives strategies to increase product awareness by observing the market, competitors and industry trends. “We are always trying to feed the pipeline two years down the line.”
Dealing with Construction Engineers onsite and Mechanical Engineers in the factory, the Sales and Marketing Manager would observe the products already on the floor throughout the day. “Things change in construction -you are halfway through something, and someone wants something delayed or brought forward. This involves a couple of meetings, communicating it to the production and engineering teams, and handling the drawings back and forward.”
“Timescale can be changed depending on the urgency“
After an approximate two months of correspondence regarding drawings and prices with a customer, the order moves to the next stage to the design and production team. “When an inquiry comes in, it takes three weeks forward and back with the drawings. Then another three weeks are spent getting feedback from the factory floor. This timescale can be changed depending on the urgency.
The concept of marketing meetings is relatively straightforward – they provide opportunities for marketing teams to come together and discuss relevant topics of importance. In the same vein, marketing meeting agendas are the schedules and outlines that give these meetings structure.
“Every Monday morning, we have management meetings discussing the production forecast PFM (Production Forecast Meetings), and on Thursdays, we do sessions to discuss what jobs are out there to win. This is what we call a CRM (Customer Relationship Meeting); we look at the jobs that we have quoted. At the end of every quarter (every three months), we have a sales forecast meeting to look in detail at what has happened in the past three months.”
“On average, once a week, we would have zoom meetings”
Zoom is an online audio and web conferencing platform. People use it to make phone calls or to participate in video conference meetings. “On average, once a week, we would have zoom meetings, making presentations to our customers, consultant engineers, and pharmaceutical companies in the United States.”
Depending on the customer’s time zone, these meetings are usually held at five, six, or eight in the evening with American customers. These zoom meetings are called ‘Lunch and Learn’ sessions in America.
“Meetings could take place at seven in the morning”
Conventionally, companies organised these sessions for internal training, but marketing, sales, and customer success teams have also been using them to interact and share knowledge and expertise with clients. When having a zoom meeting with customers from the Middle East, these meetings could take place at seven in the morning.
It’s fair to say that generally, Shane’s hours are like most office hours, except for occasions where zoom meetings are required. Other duties would include brochure design, website management and handling of sales enquiries.
“It can be chaotic sometimes, that makes it interesting too“
Shane loves the variety of the job. “It can be chaotic sometimes, that makes it interesting too. It’s the variety of work here that’s most interesting to me. I love meeting customers and I love dealing with architects at the design stage.
The Sales and Marketing Manager’s advice to students wishing to pursue a career in Marketing: “Forget what you are going to earn in the first year or two. Just get in and try to do things, earn a quarter of what you will earn further down the line. When you arrive at first, the company cannot predict how useful you are going to be. Try something out and get good at it.”
To be a successful Sales and Marketing Manager, you should have strong interpersonal, leadership and communication skills. You should also possess in-depth knowledge and understanding of Sales and Marketing.
My sincere thanks to Sales and Marketing Director Mr Shane Curtin, Managing Director Ms Ann O’Brien and Rev Conor O’Reilly for their help during this blog. Very much appreciated.
All Images and Original Text © All Rights Reserved-Jim Campbell 2021
About the author:
Jim Campbell is an Irish photographer, freelancer and photojournalist. Campbell has being contemporary photographer for more than two decades.
A native of Wexford town in the south-east of Ireland, Campbell studied photography in the Dublin Institute of Technology before going to work with a newspaper.
Since 1998 he has been working with local and national papers in Ireland and the UK. His work has appeared in publications globally including newspapers, magazines and online publications.
In 2013 Campbell made his first of what would become many trips to the conflict areas of the world. To observe more on Jim’s work vist the link to his website below.