Direct approach ensures success for marketing guru

To quote a well-known online bank, sometimes it pays to be direct and Midlands-based businesswomen Carmel Connolly is a living example of this.

Founding director of Athlone and Dublin based Direct Response Marketing Agency thinkdirect, and direct-talking businesswoman, Carmel has been making a name in marketing circles over the past 15 years.

Her entry into marketing started in a roundabout way, having originally graduated from DCU as a translator and interpreter in French and German. However, an IBEC-run European Orientation Programme graduate placement ignited her passion for marketing and that’s the craft she has been practising with considerable success ever since.

Having worked in Belgium, Holland, Germany and France, Carmel returned to Ireland and the Midlands in the mid 90s to join An Post subsidiary One Direct as head of marketing. Prior to taking the plunge into self-employment she was also a key player in the building of the new post office-based bank Postbank.

Originally from Galway, she now lives in Athlone, and together with business partner Chris Small operates thinkdirect from there and Dublin.

“In founding thinkdirect, our vision was to develop a marketing company that provides businesses the skills, knowledge and expertise of a larger agency but without the hefty fees associated with those larger agencies. We particularly wanted to offer good quality, insight-driven and customer-focussed marketing solutions to smaller and medium sized companies, and demonstrate how good, well-thought and targeted marketing campaigns deliver great results and return on investment. In a nutshell, we’re in the business of growing our customers’ business.”

thinkdirect’s client base is an impressive mix of household brands and those ‘on the way there’. “We particularly love working with smaller independent businesses because seeing our marketing ideas and solutions turn in into tangible results for our clients is very rewarding and what motivates us to do more.

“It always gives me a buzz to hear our ads on the radio, see our ads in the newspaper, or handle a finished direct mail piece that gets our customers’ phone ringing and the emails flying in!”.

Aside from running a successful business and raising a family, Carmel is an active member of Athlone Chamber of Commerce and Midlands Gateway Chamber. As newly elected president of Athlone Chamber, she is only the second woman to have held this role since the establishment of the Chamber over 50 years ago.

thinkdirect can be contacted on (090 ) 6450611 or (01 ) 8818888, or by email at [email protected].

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