Team profile - Meet business development manager, Ireland, Mark Cunningham

In March 2024, Miconex welcomed Mark Cunningham to the Miconex team as Business Development Manager, Ireland.

In March 2024, Miconex welcomed Mark Cunningham to the Miconex team as Business Development Manager, Ireland. As Love Sligo Programme Coordinator, Mark was instrumental in the Love Sligo Gift Card achieving over €500,000 in sales in 5 months. With a strong sales background, including with Irish independent retailer EJ Menswear and as a freelance consultant, Mark tells us more about his career journey so far:

“I’ve worked in the retail industry officially for over 20 years now but my first experience of retail goes back even further as part of family business EJ Menswear, a leading Irish independent retailer which has a strong focus on premium products and excellent customer service. From as young as 10 years of age, I was working the shop floor, subconsciously gaining an understanding of what it means to be a customer obsessed business.

“As the general manager at EJ Menswear, like many people running a business I was master of all trades, responsible for 40 plus brands and keeping those relationships strong, plus procurement, operations, customer service, e-commerce and more.

“More recently, I’ve operated my own freelance sales and marketing consultancy, using the skills and experience gained in 20 plus years in business to help other business owners with the challenges they’re facing, both tactical and strategic.

“Family life is very important to me. I’m married to Hollie and we have two children, JJ who is 3 and Ayda who is 2. We live in Sligo on the West Coast and love the outdoors. I played a lot of Gaelic football and soccer when I was younger, but nowadays free time is all about the kids.

“Having an in-depth knowledge of what it takes to run a business, and the recurring pain points put me in a unique position to deliver growth the Love Sligo Gift Card for Sligo BID because I could see the program from a business owner’s perspective and think about the type of questions they’d want answered.

“Businesses are facing increased challenges such as increased costs, increased taxation and increased bills, so to be able to bring something to the table through the Love Sligo Gift Card that carried zero costs for businesses in acceptance and set up was a real positive. The zero percent commission attached to the gift card was a first for Sligo businesses. This was a huge factor in the success of the onboarding. I could confidently reassure the business owner that they would not be at a financial loss at any stage, by being a part of the gift card.

“Sligo businesses have seen so many gift cards and loyalty incentives come and go, with no success stories. Key to introducing the Love Sligo Gift Card was to show how it was something new and different as businesses were very sceptical due to negative experiences in the past where they were hit with high commissions and unexpected charges from competing multi-store gift cards.

“My sales background definitely assisted with onboarding businesses in Sligo. It required lots of energy and enthusiasm, and my number one priority was gaining the trust of the business owner. Being there in person to answer questions and provide reassurance is vital when launching any new product. You can’t expect that people will go out and try and find the answer to something themselves. And even though it is time consuming to onboard businesses face to face, it’s worth it to develop a strong proposition on the gift card that will drive sales later on.

“Working alongside Sligo BID on the Love Sligo Gift Card over a 5 month period, I knew it was a unique product with a really attractive offering. As part of this work, I built a great relationship with Davin Doherty, Town & City Gift Cards Client Growth Manager for Ireland, we’d talk most days about facilitating the corporate orders that were coming in and as a result I learnt a lot about Miconex as a company and I was excited about the potential of the Town & City Gift Card initiative for Ireland as a whole.

“I was then introduced to David O’Neil, Miconex Client Growth Director who was hugely positive about where Miconex is going as a company, and the potential of Town & City Gift Cards in Ireland. I could really sense that Miconex is a people centred organisation where every staff member is valued, which for me is really important. I recently visited Miconex head office in Perth where I received a very warm welcome from Colin, Leigh, Ria and the rest of the team. There is a strong sense of passion and motivation from the team, and a clear focus on the future.

“It’s a great time to start working with Miconex in Ireland. I’m really looking forward to getting out there and helping other Irish towns and cities to introduce their own Town & City Gift Card, taking the learnings I gained from the role at the Love Sligo Gift Card and applying them to a new environment. In any sales based role, I think you have to have complete confidence in the product you are selling, and with Town & City Gift Cards, from the success we experienced with the product in Sligo, I have that in spades.”

Read more about Mark’s experience with the Love Sligo Gift Card in this case study.



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