Talk in CIT by Gary O’Connell
Marketing Director – Centralised Sales and Marketing at Trend Micro
17 April 2018
What I thought might happen
I wasn’t sure what to expect from Garry’s talk, it had of course special significance as it was the first of our activities for our professional development assignment but how a short talk by a guest speaker could impact my professional development, I wasn’t sure about that. Surely it needed to be more profound to have any lasting impression. The talk was on channel marketing, an area of Digital Marketing I knew nothing about and so I went along open-minded, armed only with a voice recorder for the night ahead.
Gary seemed young to me, a very confident guy which of course, I’m sure you would need to be, to hold an important role in an international organisation.
The audience was mixed, young and older, men and women students and teachers. The atmosphere was filled with an air of anticipation, obviously, Gary was well known in marketing circles to draw such a crowd.
Gary spoke for about an hour, he was very composed in front of the audience and gave a great presentation. I wished I could be that good at public speaking, he rarely if ever looked at his notes and seem very at ease speaking on a topic that he was obviously passionate about.
I thought he had a very common sense approach to marketing and he kept reiterating the importance of keeping it simple.
For example his “30-second rule” if an idea couldn’t be explained and understood it 30 seconds or less, they wouldn’t use it and also always set a success metric, if you can’t measure the results how will you know if it is successful or not. Simple and to the point, I thought.
After the experience
I felt happy leaving the talk as I always feel its important to take away two or three key points from any talk that I attend and I certainly achieved my goal from Garry ‘s talk.
His style of presentation was engaging and almost conversational as if he was in a one to one, telling you about his work, I was impressed by that.
Keep it simple, no matter how big or small the job, keeping things simple always works best, I was a little surprised that a very large organisation such as Trend Micro would at the heart of their marketing plan be very concerned with keeping things simple, but at the end of the day, the more people that understand your message quickly and easily the better chance of success you have, this is true in any business I’m sure.
What did I particularly value and why
The most important learning for me was that Gary placed himself not in a big office but out on the floor between the sales and marketing team, he could hear first hand the problems and successes the sales team were having and quickly shape the marketing strategy with his marketing team to reflect this feedback. This struck me as another simple but very effective step to building an overall marketing strategy as driving more sales is the ultimate goal of any marketing team.
What have I learnt
Looking back I guess it was great to get a chance to hear from someone at the top of their profession and discover that even a very large elaborate organisation like Trend Micro has at its heart, a very simple approach to marketing that can be applied to any business and any budget. I had suspected that bigger companies would have some extraordinary approach to marketing that would be very difficult to apply to a small organisation such as Skibbereen and Bandon Credit Union.
One simple change that I have made was to move from my upstairs office to a spare desk downstairs next to the loans team (sales team) and this has proven very beneficial as I am now in constant contact with the loans officers and have a much better understanding of their needs and challenges.
I have also set about improving my public speaking skills, Gary did a great job explaining the very complicated world in which he works in and I would love to be able to keep an audience interested in the way he had, so I’m doing a course on Udemy to try and improve this aspect of my work life.