The Marketing Institute: What does a Head of Marketing at Fáilte Ireland do?
Daragh Anglim: I do the best job in the country; I get Irish people to take more holidays in Ireland. I help increase the revenue contribution of tourism to the country and ultimately help create more sustainable jobs in tourism. We do this by encouraging people to take incremental short breaks in Ireland. It’s amazing the more holidays people take in Ireland the better for me and ultimately the better for Ireland.
MII: What were your key career moves to get to your current role?
D.A: I’ve spent most of my career on the other side of the table working in agencies. I started out working BTL then moved into DM and ended up in specialising in Digital, I also ran my own consultancy business for a number of years. I started out in Fáilte Ireland initially as the Head of Digital and over time lead the creation of an integrated marketing team. Fáilte Ireland was already a leader in digital and in traditional marketing so I had a really fantastic base to build a team of marketing specialists from.
MII: What is the biggest challenge you face in your role?
D.A: Measuring the effectiveness of our marketing and work, my job is do work that will drive visitor numbers, revenue and jobs however there are a huge number of macro and micro factors that we have no influence over that fundamentally effect peoples decisions to take incremental short breaks in Ireland. While we have a brilliant research and insights team we’re really focusing on building an even more robust insight engine to help us deliver effective work and help us track the impact of that work on people’s holiday behaviour.
MII: What key skills do you need to be effective in your role?
D.A: Passion, patience, tenacity and a good sense of humour. We’re lucky we sell holidays and don’t have the same pressures as other teams in terms of case sales or pints in hand, we do however have other pressures. Tourism is such a critical economic driver for the country and is so important to so many people’s livelihoods that we have a bigger responsibility than P&L. We need to bring people with us both internally and externally and demonstrate that the work we’re doing will deliver for them and the country. That can take time and be a slow process but it’s worth it when we see the effect on revenue and employment.
MII: Describe a typical working day.
D.A: Phew, not sure there is one. I spend about an hour a day planning, about 2 hours working with each of the marketing managers (Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland’s Ancient East and Dublin) on their current WIP and future projects. I sit on the Executive of Fáilte Ireland so a lot of my days are often spent working business strategies and plans. Most days I meet with internal stakeholders and/or our agency partners.
MII: What do you love most about your role?
D.A: I’m selling holidays in Ireland!! I love the pride I feel when I tell people in the pub where I work and what I do. I have an absolutely brilliant team who work incredibly hard to deliver amazing work, a lot which is never seen publicly but is critical to the success of domestic tourism. I’m incredibly lucky to have a very supportive ‘boss’ who gives me the freedom to do the work I think is right and the permission to try new things. I believe we work with the best agencies in the country creatively, digitally and in media all of whom are extensions of our marketing team, and finally Fáilte Ireland is a fantastic organisation whose sole focus is to make Ireland unforgettable for every visitor who holidays here. What’s not to love?
MII: Looking ahead, where might your career path lead to next?
D.A: I do see myself moving back into the private sector in time, I miss some of the commercial and financial pressures of a P&L. Having run my own business I’m tempted to someday go back out and work for myself again but who knows what will come along. At the moment we’re going through a period of change in Fáilte Ireland so I’m excited to see where that will lead.
MII: To whom do you look for professional inspiration in your role?
D.A: The wider Fáilte Ireland Executive team has some really brilliant people on it who constantly challenge your thinking and opinions; they have a huge wealth of experience. I’ve maintained good relationships with most of the senior people I worked with in agencies and I’m lucky I can check in with these people to help me with any big professional challenges. Finally I’m a big believer in ongoing coaching and personal development so I regularly work with a professional coach to keep me on track with my personal and professional goals.