Aoife Behan, Digital Marketing Manager, The Montenotte Hotel takes part in our
My Career feature in Women on Wednesday.
Name: Aoife Behan
Lives: Douglas, originally from Waterford
Job title: Digital Marketing Manager at The Montenotte Hotel
Salary bracket: €30-45,000
Education background: Having completed my Leaving Certificate in St Declan’s Community College in Kilmacthomas, Co. Waterford, in 2014, I went to University College Cork to study Economics & Italian as my undergraduate degree and later graduated from UCC with a First-Class Honours in MSc Management and Marketing in 2018.
Hobbies: GAA, hiking, reading, socialising.
Describe your job in five words: Creative Challenging. Engaging. Rewarding. Collaborative.
Describe yourself in five words: Reliable, creative, honest, personable, motivated.
Personality needed for this kind of work? As part of my role as Digital Marketing Manager at The Montenotte Hotel, which I must say that I love, clever content creation at the hotel is very much a collaborative approach and at the heart of all our marketing strategies. Therefore, it really helps to be personable and approachable.
Secondly, no two days are the same, what with constant advancements in technology and the current Covid-19 pandemic. Therefore, curiosity, adaptability and creative problem- solving are key personality traits associated with the role.
How long are you doing this job? I joined the team at The Montenotte Hotel in April, 2021.
How did you get this job? Marketing has been a passion of mine since I was introduced to it during my undergraduate degree in UCC when I worked part time with Pipin Pear, a chilled baby food company which was very much in its infancy at the time.
I gained an invaluable insight into the world of marketing through promoting and marketing the product in supermarkets.
Having completed my undergraduate degree, I went straight on to complete a master’s degree which provided me with great theoretical knowledge of marketing and management. Time management and organisational skills were vital for success.
The second stage of the degree involved a five-month placement to apply the knowledge learned during the year. I was fortunate enough to work for the destination brand Cork Harbour Islands which was developed to promote the islands of Cobh, Fota, Spike Island and Little Island. The unique placement allowed me to work with complete autonomy, from developing a marketing strategy to implementing it.
It was during this time ‘my grá’ for the tourism industry began.
I then returned to Pipin Pear as a Marketing Executive, where my role focused on content creation. I also carried out some voluntary work for Dunhill Eco-Park where I gained valuable B2B digital marketing experience.
In 2019, in addition to my role in Pipin Pear, I co-founded a Sports Recovery Business which allowed me to create a brand from scratch before joining The Newpark Hotel in Kilkenny as Marketing Manager. This was my first experience within the hospitality industry and my role saw me responsible for the creation and execution of a comprehensive digital marketing strategy which included the management of the hotel’s online presence, including social media platforms, website, and email campaigns, as well as the monitoring and evaluation of all online activity.
When Covid-19 hit in March, 2020, I enrolled in an online Graphic Design course to upskill, having recognised the value and cost savings of a brand being able to keep all this work in- house. Unfortunately, in July I was informed that due to unprecedented decline in business, my position was no longer available.
I was very disappointed, but I was very fortunate that it meant I could focus my energies into navigating my Sports Recovery business through the pandemic, which involved a location move from Waterford city to Kilmacthomas, as well as building and launching a website for the brand before joining The Montenotte Hotel team in April, 2021.
Do you need particular qualifications or experience? It is of help to have theoretical knowledge behind you, and on a personal level, I believe that the experience work placement afforded me was instrumental in getting a job. However, there are ample free tutorials and courses online that would be worth giving a go if you think marketing is for you!
Describe a day at work: When I arrive in the office at 8.30am, I firstly catch up on my emails before checking all the hotel’s social media channels for any messages or comments that need to be responded to.
I would typically then pop up a story post on our Instagram page before checking what posts are scheduled to go out that specific day. After that, no two days are the same.
Marketing at the hotel is a collaborative approach, so we often have team meetings to discuss and create strategies for upcoming campaigns, both with the Sales & Marketing department and with other departments within the hotel.
Content creation is a daily task of mine. This could involve anything from taking images, filming videos and reels to recording audio for our brand-new podcast, The Full Monty. Once captured, this content needs to be edited, re-sized, captioned, uploaded, and scheduled to go live on the relevant digital platforms.
I try to stay at least a week ahead of myself with content, to allow for some breathing space when things inevitably change!
I typically spend some time each day on The Montenotte Hotel’s website, ensuring all content is up to date, all pages are performing, and that the content is fully optimised for SEO. This involves liaising with both our Website Provider and our Digital Marketing Agency.
To increase the number of users visiting the website, we support our organic marketing efforts with paid digital activities such as Paid Social Ads, PPC/Display Advertising, Metasearch Campaigns and more. We also communicate to our email database on a regular basis, so I spend time putting these e-zines together, with great input from the team, before scheduling them to go live.
Finally, once all the campaigns are in place, it is very important to check in on their performance and tweak campaigns where necessary, so I would spend time every day doing just that across different platforms.
When campaigns are finished, we look back, detail and analyse the learnings from each to determine how to make improvements next time around. We are thrilled to have won the Best Social Media Campaign award at the 2021 Cork Digital Marketing Awards in association with Cork Chamber.
Setting aside a few minutes each day to look at Twitter and LinkedIn is also important as a means of networking for the hotel.
On a personal level, I recently became a member of Network Cork late last year and I was thrilled to have been asked to join their Social Media Team for 2022 alongside some truly inspirational business leaders.
I usually finish my day by writing a to-do list for myself for the following day, double checking that all enquiries through social media are responded to, before creating an Instagram story to pop up later in the evening!
How many hours do you work a week? 40.
Is your industry male or female dominated? In my experience it is 50/50, which is lovely. One of my favourite things about the industry is the diversity of staff. The team is made up of fantastic people of all ages and nationalities.
Does this affect you in any particular way? Yes, having a diverse team really helps my role, as having a variety of perspectives increases creativity. On a personal level, I really enjoy hearing the career stories of other team members - there are learnings from them all!
Is your job stressful? How? Rate it on a scale of 1-10: Around 7. Like anything, some days are more stressful than others. The key to reducing stress is to plan and allocate sufficient time to get things done.
Do you work with others or on your own? I work as part of a team. Marketing at The Montenotte Hotel is a collaborative approach. We have a great Sales & Marketing department which is led by Ray Kelleher, Director of Sales and Marketing, and our team is made up of Zuzana Brosnan, Marketing Manager, and Sharon Murray, Food & Events Sales Executive. I work very closely too with Eithne Tighe, our hotel Revenue Manager, and the reservations team.
Best bits: Constantly learning – no two days are the same. Scope to be creative. Working with different people every day.
You can see the results of your work almost instantaneously.
Worst bits: I must say I love what I do! However, if I had to choose some downsides: Social media is 24/7 – it is important to be active when your audience is but with planning and teamwork, it is very manageable. Dependability on technology – is there anything more frustrating than when systems act up?
Advice to those who want your job? Firstly, find an industry that genuinely interests you – it is very difficult to create a marketing strategy around something you have little to no interest in!
Once chosen, I would recommend reaching out to such a business to try and gain some experience, even if that is on a voluntary basis initially – it will show your eagerness to learn. Stay updated on the latest digital platforms and the ever-changing algorithms, stay creative, and try to surround yourself with people more talented than you - and don’t be afraid to ask for help – everyone needs a support group.