AB at Laptop in Lobby

Green Acre Marketing Managing Director Aileen Barron, who founded the company in 2013. 

Green Acre Marketing is celebrating its 10th anniversary in agribusiness, a milestone which founder and Managing Director Aileen Barron is taking in her stride.

“Of course, reaching this particular anniversary naturally brings with it a sense of satisfaction,” said Aileen.

“That sense of accomplishment is, for me, part of Green Acre’s journey of business growth and business development, which has seen us achieving certain milestones over the years – and clearing certain obstacles, all of which we’ve done successfully and productively to this point.”

Explaining what led her to setting up her own business, initially under her own roof and currently housed in the City Enterprise Centre in Waterford City’s Industrial Estate, Aileen recalled: “The main catalyst was that I was working in the industry, I was working in marketing as well as working in agriculture. Thanks to both, I was getting exposure to a number of different brands through other roles I had in other companies. So that experience led me to the conclusion that there was no other marketing support out there for marketing teams.”

She continued: “If you worked in an agribusiness marketing department, there were very few people whom you could reach out to for additional marketing support who had the specific skillset applicable to agriculture, which could provide extra support to during those key busy times of year in marketing departments.

“So that factor, coupled with the fact that I was heading out on maternity leave at the time I established Green Acre Marketing meant I had a little bit of headspace outside of the day-to-day rhythm of working life, which gave me an opportunity to think about developing Green Acre Marketing and the belief that I could actually bring it to life.”

So what initially got the word out about Green Acre Marketing? “It’s slightly ironic that I’m saying this as the MD of a marketing company, but word of mouth and customer feedback remains some of the best marketing that any company can benefit from,” Aileen replied.

“The quality of the work we deliver for our clients remains paramount.”

“The quality of the work we deliver for our clients remains paramount. I often remind myself that we are only as successful as the last job we have done, so it’s really important that every role we play for our clients and that everything we deliver from the office through the team is done to the best possible standard. Our quality of output continues to generate word of mouth as well as online reaction as customers like to talk about the standard of our work, which has led to quite a number of referrals from existing customers along with new businesses and long may that continue.”

Illustrative of her drive to expand Green Acre’s footprint, Aileen is driven by the ambition to set and achieve fresh goals. “The business is constantly evolving, so you’re constantly thinking about the next innovation and what’s just around the corner,” she said.

Having a visible presence in the marketplace has been an essential cog in the Green Acre Marketing wheel, as Aileen explained.

 “There’s no doubt that getting out and about to events and meeting clients – prospective clients too, of course – and agribusiness colleagues is key,” she said.

“That point was really impressed upon me at a recent event I attended, when I realized just how many friends we have in the industry; I spent most of that day chatting with several people that I hadn’t seen for quite some time. And I think it’s only now, with Covid getting smaller and smaller in the rearview mirror, that a lot of us have realised how great it is to be out and about, talking not only business but being in a non-boardroom environment again and having general conversations. And it’s also reminded me of just how many fabulous people we have in the industry. When we’re attending events, we’re always conscious that we’re there to do a job for a client but we get to enjoy those jobs too thanks to the company we’re in and the relationships we’ve forged.”

“We brought our expertise to bear with clients during the pandemic.” 

Reflecting on maintaining the business through the pandemic, Aileen commented: “We had to move with what’s happening and we did that pretty seamlessly in terms of working from home. We already had a series of good systems in place, we were very good at communicating digitally anyway so we had developed a great level of savvy on that front. And we brought that expertise to bear with clients who hadn’t fully embraced digital platforms prior to Covid but are now fully on board with that approach. That particular window in time brought home how important it is to innovate.”

Innovation is essential for sustaining, developing and growing a business. So how does Aileen feel that Green Acre Marketing has innovated and adapted since 2013?

“Well, I link innovation and paranoia very closely together and the reason I put it like that is because, for me, it’s a constant question: are we doing the latest and greatest of what we need to be doing? Are we being innovative enough in our business? Are we adapting as we need to? Are we adopting new technologies to make us more efficient for our clients? On the whole, I feel we’ve done well in those terms given just how much the industry has changed over the past 10 years and how we in turn have evolved in terms of the services that we’ve provided for our clients.” 

When asked about her hopes for the next 10 years with Green Acre Marketing, Aileen stated: “I’d like to think that we are even more successful than we are now, which would be really saying something because I am very, very grateful for all the clients we have worked with over the past 10 years, given where it has placed Green Acre Marketing.

She concluded: “I love the fact that we’ve got a lovely strong team here and that everybody is so committed to the business and if we continue to innovate within the business the way we do, we’re probably going to be in a very different space come 2033. I think that AI is going to play a massive role in terms of the services that we deliver for customers – and I say that in a very positive way. I think it’s going to make our business more efficient in terms of what we do, particularly in the whole digital space, but that’s a challenge I’m confident Green Acre Marketing will rise and respond to.”     

Pictured at the ASA 2023 Banquet were, from left: Aileen Barron, Shona McGailey, Lisa Myler and Dermot Keyes.