John Healy, CPM, talks to Jim Copeland about hardware brands and boosting sales

It will be two years in January since John Healy took the helm at CPM Ireland – and he has been one busy man. Sitting down with John, I was immediately struck by his energy, quick-thinking and collaborative yet no-nonsense approach, all of this he brings to the role which he says, “Is challenging in a competitive market”, but one which he is thoroughly enjoying.

CPM is one of Ireland’s longest established and largest Field Sales Agencies, established in 1986. Part of the Omnicom Group (a global Top 4 media conglomerate with a turnover of $14bn and operating in 28 countries globally) CPM Ireland is proud to be one of the Group’s leading agencies & top performers. John said that the Irish business is forecast to have grown by over 40% in the last two years, which is significant growth. CPM Ireland was also named number one in the Omnicom companies across Europe for its diversity and inclusion strategy, which is increasingly relevant as sectors such as hardware are focussed on attracting talent, by encouraging more and more diversity in its workforce.

John’s background made him the ideal candidate for General Manager of CPM’s Irish business, given his mix of big brand and retail experience at home and internationally. His retail experience spans buying/senior management roles in major multiples Dunnes Stores, Superquinn and Musgraves followed by working with Aer Rianta International (ARI) (travelling to places such as Bahrain and Delhi) centralising the buying and supply chain for the duty-free shops that ARI operates on behalf of airports. In this role John was working with international brands across a myriad of sectors – drinks, tobacco, beauty, clothing, accessories and confectionery – experience which would prove invaluable to his role in CPM.

One of the best-established Sales & Field Marketing Teams in the country, CPM works in partnership with hardware, FMCG and utility clients across the Island of Ireland. They work hand-in-glove with clients including Diageo, Haleon, Suntory, Britvic, An Post, Samsung, Vodafone, Black & Decker and many others. CPM employs over 500 people full time and another 100 on a flexible or campaign basis. While many leading brands in the hardware sector are aware of CPM and what they do, more often than not their customers aren’t, as CPM is the ‘invisible brand’ behind many of the best brands in the marketplace.

“Our team and staff have very diverse roles. When I think about what a “A Day in the Life” of CPM looks like, our people are everywhere! For example, the mouthwash you bought in the supermarket yesterday was probably put there by a CPM employee, while the call you got about moving your account to Electric Ireland may have been from one of our call centre team…the list is endless” John said.

He added: ‘During the pandemic, one of the biggest trends countrywide was people saving and spending some of those savings on their homes, having spent so much time there and enjoying them again. Hardware enjoyed a big boost while ‘big ticket items’ like televisions, appliances, garden and household tools became ‘normal’ purchases. So, if you go to buy a Samsung television, a Black and Decker appliance or high-end vacuum or coffee machine, chances are CPM will be the brand ambassadors in store, demonstrating how to use the product and maximise the benefits. CPM can help brands grow their business, as they offer clients the best of both worlds – the benefits of a fully integrated agency, delivering multi-channel thinking & services – combined with the personal touch of a local agency and the scope and power of a global group.

All their staff are fully trained, coached and developed to work as their experienced representatives for their client brands. John explained: We are part of our client teams, wear client brands uniforms – we are the ‘invisible brand’ behind many of Ireland’s leading brands. Our sole objective is to accelerate our client’s sales growth, by producing insightful, creative solutions & campaigns to increase visibility, educate customers and build brand affinity.

CPM’s work in the hardware sector is varied, mainly in the following areas:

  • Sales & Merchandising – high impact visual retail & digital merchandising for in-store and online brand campaigns, driving availability, distribution and sales.
  • Product Demonstrations – at live events, in store and online – demonstrating how to use client’s products and optimise the benefits.
  • Telesales – capitalising on new opportunities.
  • Technical support & Service solutions – Customer care for client brands and aftercare service and support.
  • Data Analysis and Insights – informing and enabling innovative, different campaigns.
  • Customer experience and events – educating and engaging client customers with their brands.

CPM knows that the most successful brands aren’t just in store, they are enhancing and expanding all their channels to augment their in-store presence. Using advanced analytics to combine sources of data with their own insights, CPM help clients make better and faster decisions, devise impactful campaigns, all with a view to building relationships with customers. To that end, CPM International launched its new worldwide website earlier this year, introducing the exciting new CPM concept and developed methodology – LIQUID. John explained: Fundamental to LIQUID is connecting client brands with customers – where they want, how they want, when they want – be that in store, online or by phone. This
investment in sales technology is significant – therefore it is unlikely to be matched by non-specialist sales

“Those insights enable us to help brands across the hardware sector establish and build relationships with customers, by understanding clearly who they are and what they want. One size definitely doesn’t fit all in this hybrid world; so, while some customers want to go in store to see and feel a product, others will want to buy and get technical support online, or on the phone, 24/7 – whatever works for them. We meet customers where they are; not where they used to be!’ John concluded.

In conclusion John talked about what he described as the ‘CPM culture’ which is embedded across the organisation. “Our DNA at CPM Ireland is all about inspiring and influencing human behaviour, by having an expertly trained and experienced team, working smarter and harder for our clients. We are laser-focused on coming up with solutions that inspire and surprise clients and their customers, by developing the optimum mix of resources to deliver brand sales and growth.

The significant strategic investment we’ve made in our digital capacity, our team and their vast experience and expertise ensures our advice to clients and decision making has a solid foundation, is data led, with an unrelenting focus on quality sales growth.

To find out how CPM can help your business to boost sales contact them at +353(1)7080300, email or visit