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Martin Rice, operations director, Green Field Marketing

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Martin Rice

Martin Rice

Martin Rice

TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF

I’m operations director at Green Field Marketing and have worked in the industry for over 10 years. We previously traded as Contract People and more recently PRL In-Market Solutions (NI), until Russell Johnston (managing director), Lisa Curran (finance director) and myself recently acquired the business through an MBO. I’m passionate about growing brands, and a firm supporter of local companies. I am married with two young children, so home life is a refreshing departure from the workplace, replacing PowerPoints with Peppa Pig and staff development with potty training.

WHAT DOES A TYPICAL DAY INVOLVE?

Typical days have changed hugely over the past year with lockdown enforcing changed ways of working. As a company, we’ve now moved away from the traditional office based 9-5 setup, into a more flexible working solution, giving people the freedom to work either from home or from our offices in Belfast City Centre. Regardless of location, every day starts with a strong coffee and reviewing actions for the days ahead. From there on, it can vary, but will involve some mix of client meetings, staff development and data analytics. Whereas we’ve been glued to Microsoft Teams over the past year, I’m excited to be able to meet clients and staff members face to face again soon.

WHAT HAS BEEN THE HIGHLIGHT OF YOUR CAREER TO DATE?

Without doubt it has been the formation of Green Field Marketing. After the long process of finalising, it’s been a real joy for us all to be able to openly discuss this with clients and field staff. Feedback has been incredible, and we’ve now got the freedom to drive real changes in terms of our technology offering, as well as our overall company ethos.

I’m especially proud that we can now also call ourselves a carbon positive business. As well as making changes under our control such as putting field staff in electric cars and going paper-free, we’ve also teamed up with Ecologi, who plant the required number of trees each month to totally offset our carbon footprint. The 4,440 trees we will plant this year reduces our carbon footprint by 400 tonnes. To put this into context, this is the equivalent of 788,664 miles driven in a car and will save an estimated 948 square metres of sea ice.

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WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT YOUR JOB?

I’m results driven by nature, so what I most enjoy is seeing progress. This is especially apparent with our outsourced sales teams, where we’re lucky enough to work with some of FMCG’s biggest brands including KP Snacks, Dale Farm, Royal Canin and GSK. Looking at the results we’ve driven in terms of core range distribution, merchandising and NPD success always justifies every bit of hard work put in.

WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?

Work smarter, not harder. I certainly don’t mean this in terms of slacking off, but more in terms of maximising the use of your time. We’ve worked hard on automating technology solutions for both office and field staff to take away menial tasks. This allows all staff members to be more productive in their working time, and means every action is adding direct value.

WHAT TALENT WOULD YOU LIKE TO HAVE?

I’d love to speak more languages. I did French at school and forget almost everything. I’ve started to learn Italian on at least five occasions and haven’t got past the ordering food and drink stage. One day…

WHERE IS YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE?

We have family in North Italy, and every time to go it feels like a home away from home. Having said that, I’ve always been a real believer in Belfast. The emergence of some superb restaurants and pubs over the past 10 years has further emphasised the quality we have at our own doorstep.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE FOOD PRODUCT?

Can’t beat some local steaks and cheese. I’ve become obsessed with places like Two Sisters and Fodder over the past year, as well as Belfast staples Arcadia and Sawyers. Outside of food, lockdown lifting has hammered home the joy of a good pint of Guinness with friends.

HOW DO YOU RELAX?

Family first and foremost. Nothing helps you unwind like coming home to hugs and kisses from the kids. Being able to show them places and things for the first time is always a privilege. I’m also unapologetically obsessed with golf, though you’d never tell from watching me hack a ball around.


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