Belfast Distillery Company

Head of Sales & Marketing – Belfast Distillery Company

Reference No: 23078


Belfast Distillery Company is recruiting for an experienced, dynamic and exceptional Head of Sales & Marketing to lead the commercial, sales and marketing function at the next stage in our company’s journey to being one of the most successful companies in Irish Whiskey. The position will be based in Belfast, located at the J&J McConnell’s Distillery and Visitor Experience, Crumlin Road.


McConnell’s was the name that delighted whisky-lovers around the world for over 150 years. Now the Legend is Reborn. Pride in Belfast and its whisky heritage is our reason for being – Belfast Born 1776. Belfast Distillery Company, the venture behind McConnell’s Irish Whisky, was established with a single goal: Restoring the Legend. And we’re well on our way. We have triumphantly revived McConnell’s, a brand that dates back to 1776 and which is once again finding great success across Belfast and NI, from its local pubs to its most prestigious bars. The brand has already achieved significant success and is winning international awards, building the profile of our portfolio in global spirits markets, including the US, Canada, Australia, Asia, South Africa plus of course the major Irish whiskey markets in Europe. And most excitingly of all, we’re only getting started as in tandem with the brand growth we will complete construction of the J&J McConnell’s Distillery and Visitor Experience in North Belfast, opening in Q4 2023.

Reporting to the CEO, you will have full autonomy over sales and marketing strategy, execution and evaluation, growing the team that is determined to be the very best in the Irish Whiskey industry, as well as being an integral member of the leadership team that is “Restoring the Legend – McConnell’s Irish Whisky”.

The Role:

  • Build a comprehensive sales and marketing strategy, including but not limited to Sales, Route to Market, Distributor Performance, Advertising, Trade Marketing, Digital Communications, and Public Relations
  • Lead the commercial conversations with all Belfast Distillery Company customers and distributor partners with a focus on driving distribution and rotation whilst maximising commercial benefit for the company
  • Create, manage and constantly upgrade the McConnell’s Distribution Partner network with a focus on constantly improving the performance of McConnell’s portfolio across all global markets
  • Establish first class personal relationships with leading distributor principals to inspire and motivate their teams in order to excel on the performance of McConnell’s Irish Whisky in respective markets
  • Manage profit delivery across all markets with a focus on pricing, portfolio evolution, promotional spend, COGs, overheads to constantly meet and exceed company targets on margin and EBITDA delivery
  • Prepare annual marketing plans, creating a calendar of campaigns and events for global markets, ensuring a consistent brand message is delivered throughout all marketing channels.
  • Set and manage the sales and marketing budget to deliver a solid portfolio performance then ensure that resources are used efficiently through regular planning, implementation, and evaluation of spend.
  • Work with customers and distributors to plan, develop, execute, and evaluate BTL marketing programmes.
  • Recruit, manage and brilliantly lead the sales and marketing team, providing opportunities for personal development, enabling team members to achieve the targets of the business and personal success.
  • Full P&L responsibility for the portfolio, providing detailed reports and research to Board of Directors on business performance with recommendations on strategic direction.
  • Review competitor activity and market conditions to adapt marketing strategies accordingly and ensure that McConnell’s Irish Whisky wins in a highly competitive category.
  • Develop, implement, and monitor systems necessary for the smooth operation of the sales and marketing function allowing for collaboration with other functions within the business to maximise success.
  • Co-ordinate media and other external interest in the organisation to ensure regular contact with target media and appropriate response to all stakeholders including company shareholders.

The Ideal Candidate:

  • Degree level education with significant experience working in a Sales & Marketing leadership role.
  • Extensive background in sales, marketing and trade marketing at a senior level, ideally within international

spirits business sector or within FMCG

  • Excellent financial and numerical skills combined with significant P&L management experience.
  • Experience setting and managing budgets; growing and leading sales / marketing teams to succeed.
  • An ability to motivate a team and harness the energy, enthusiasm, and expertise within the business.
  • Excellent interpersonal and presentation skills to ensure people believe in the strategic direction.
  • Ability and experience in managing relationships both internal and external with key stakeholders.
  • Highly driven, enthusiastic, able to work on own initiative and be a key part of a winning team.
  • Excellent communicator with ability to develop strong business relationships.
  • Exceptional customer services standard, encouraging a culture of high standards throughout the team.
  • A capacity to work in a fast-paced and hands-on environment.

For a full candidate brief on the role and a confidential discussion please call Joanne McAuley during office hours on 07834 321139 or email [email protected]

Application is by tailored cv and supporting statement.  Closing date for applications is 5pm on 3rd October 2023   Belfast Distillery Company is an equal opportunities employer and Clarendon Executive is acting as an agent on their behalf.

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