My life in the grocery trade

Claire Hale, marketing executive at Dale Farm

BRIEFLY OUTLINE YOUR EMPLOYMENT HISTORY

While studying Marketing at Ulster University, Jordanstown, I worked with Dale Farm as a placement student where I supported the marketing team across a variety of projects and day-to-day tasks. It was a fantastic learning experience and introduction to the industry. After graduating with honours (Marketing) from Ulster University, I returned to Dale Farm as marketing assistant, before taking up my current role as marketing executive.

 

WHAT DOES YOUR ROLE INVOLVE?

I am responsible for successfully delivering the Ice Cream marketing strategy for both the Dale Farm Ice Cream and Mullins Ice Cream brands. It is a busy and diverse role, that involves planning and implementing NI and RoI integrated communications campaigns across various consumer touchpoints and managing brand profiles specifically across social media channels. I am also responsible for organising and delivering consumer sampling events and trade shows. My remit also encompasses new product development for ice cream, with responsibility for product development, packaging design and production.WHAT ARE THE BEST & WORST PARTS?

When growing up, Dale Farm was a brand that was always in our fridge freezer (especially a Pear Picking Porky or two) and now I am excited to be working with such an iconic, local brand. One of the best things about working at Dale Farm is the supportive workplace culture which encourages professional development and creativity. Like any fast-paced marketing department, it can be challenging to prioritise tasks and respond to changing demands.

 

BRIEFLY OUTLINE A TYPICAL DAY

I get into the office at 7.30am, and start the working day by catching up on emails and identifying and prioritising key tasks.

Every day is different, but can consist of internal meetings to monitor progress on current projects and planning ahead. I am currently delivering two major NI and RoI campaigns for the Dale Farm Ice Cream brand which aim to build brand awareness and encourage trial of our products. Whilst an exciting time for the brand, both campaigns require a substantial time commitment. On other days, I get the opportunity to travel across the island of Ireland to meet with various agency partners, trade customers and sales representatives.

WHAT HAS BEEN THE PROUDEST MOMENT OF YOUR CAREER?

The highlight for me so far has definitely been winning then 2019 Lorraine Hall Young Marketeer of the Year award, along with scooping the Best Brand award for Dale Farm Ice Cream. Both these awards give recognition to the commitment and contribution from the team.

 

WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT THE LOCAL RETAIL INDUSTRY?

For me, it is important to encourage consumers to shop local. Dale Farm is the UK’s largest farmer-owned dairy cooperative, which has 1,300 dairy farmers. We take pride in producing a range of dairy products that families know and love.

 

WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO TO UNWIND AWAY FROM WORK?

I like to keep fit with classes after work during the week. However on the weekend I love nothing more than a leisurely brunch with friends.

 

TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT YOURSELF THAT NOT MANY PEOPLE MAY KNOW

I wouldn’t say I’m an adrenaline junkie, but I did once bungee jump off a bridge into a glacial ravine in Canada. Whether I would do it again is another question. I have also had a go at zip lining and white-water rafting.

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