Marketing July 26, 2010 Last updated September 22nd, 2018 565 Reads share

Bloggertone Interview: A Chat With Aisling Foley

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Aisling Foley has 23 years marketing experience in the IT industry. Before founding her marketing consulting business in 2007, Aisling worked as Head of Marketing for CR2 in Dublin and Dubai & prior to CR2, she worked as Marketing Manager in Sabre Holdings in Dublin.

Tell me about Aisling Foley Marketing?

Aisling: Aisling Foley Marketing helps IT companies with marketing activities. This can be on a short term basis – for example to launch a new website, write case studies or manage events, or on a long term basis to act as the company marketing department for a period of time.

I have been working in a marketing capacity with IT companies for my whole professional life. I spent 7 years in BT in London and 15 in US and Irish owned software companies in Dubai, Dublin, Brussels and Cambridge.

Why start your own business and  how did you get to where you are now?

Aisling: I have experience working full time for big and small companies with big and small marketing budgets and I much prefer working with small companies.  It’s easier to get things done in small companies and you are not so constrained by bureaucracy and red tape. Also, I love going into different companies and fixing things for them (marketing things of course).

There are around 500 small to medium Irish-owned IT companies and the vast majority of these have little or no marketing department. So, in May 2007, after returning from Dubai, I set up on my own in order to help these companies. I had my first few clients within a month.

My IT background and international marketing experience quickly got me to where I am now.

What would you say is the greatest business lesson you learnt along the way and how has it helped to develop your business?

Aisling: Probably the biggest lesson I have learnt is to be tenacious and never give up. It’s harder than ever now to get budget assigned to marketing activities in cash-strapped smaller companies so it’s important to put in a lot of ground work and target the right companies. I’ve found that if you continually work to increase your profile and build your contacts as well as using the satisfied customers you have to spread the word, the work still comes through.

Where do you see the new opportunities in your sector over the coming years & how do you plan to take advantage?

Aisling: A report by Global Enterprise Monitor at the beginning of July stated that the Irish are almost twice as likely to set up our own businesses as our European counterparts.  That’s the news I like to hear, because a big chunk of those Irish start ups will be tech companies.  And they will need my international marketing expertise.

What do you see as the biggest external threat to your business?

Aisling: The tough times that all businesses experienced recently have affected everyone. Although the IT industry was less affected by this than other industries, companies still had to be very careful how money was spent.  Marketing is frequently one of those things that takes a hit when cash flow is tight. The truth is though; it becomes even more important to continue marketing your brand during recessionary times.

In fact, one of my clients found that business increased in the last 12 months because he continued with marketing activities. Persuading companies of this fact can be a challenge sometimes.

What’s your opinion on the role of social media for business and how do you see this evolving?

Aisling: Another recent survey, this time by Regus, found that 41% of companies in Ireland plan to devote a proportion of their marketing budget to social networking activities by the end of 2010.  I’m delighted to hear that because I really do think social media is an excellent way for B2B companies to market themselves.

From an Irish software company perspective, we still have a long way to go. Research I conducted in January this year showed that only 26% of software companies have set up a Twitter account. And only half of those actually use it.  I have seen some of these companies start to use Twitter since, however I am interested to see how much things will improve when I do the same survey next year.  I don’t think there will be a huge change.

I have noticed though, that IT start-ups are using Twitter and setting up Facebook pages from launch.  So it’s only the more established Irish IT companies that still need persuading.

Other than your website where can I find Aisling Foley online?

Aisling: You can connect with me on  Twitter, LinkedIn , Facebook , Worky & Weedle.

Thanks to Aisling for giving me this interview.

If you would like to know more about Aisling & her business, she can be reached by e: aisling{at}aislingfoley.com or p: 353 87 918 2986

If you would like to be interviewed & have an opportnity to showcase your business, please e-mail us here @ webmaster[at]tweakyourbiz.com using the title “Bloggertone Interviews”.

Thanks

Niall

Niall Devitt

Niall Devitt

Digital expert, top 10% influencer with over 10 years’ senior management experience - including managing projects and teams, and growing companies in the Irish, international and online marketplaces. Co-founded one of the largest B2B blogs in the world, helped grow a B2B social media to over 1,000,000 members, created the strategy for one of the most effective SME Facebook pages in the world and have grown 3 business websites (TweakYourBiz.com, BizSugar.com & MyKidsTime.ie) to in excess of a 100,000 unique visitors per month. Have consulted and worked with both corporate and SME clients on leveraging digital to drive business KPIs. Speaker at industry events, have authored several industry reports on the Digital Economy and appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Business Insider and other leading online and offline business publications. Specialities include: Entrepreneurship Business Development, Start-ups, Business Planning, Management, Training, Leadership, Sales Management, Sales, Sales Process, Coaching, Online Advertising, Blogging, Online Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Digital Marketing, Content Marketing, SEO, Social Media Strategist, Digital Strategy, Social Media ROI, User Generated Content, Social Customer Care.

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