On the 22nd of October Techspectations hosted a digital marketing session in the Helix Theatre at Dublin City University.

Most people when you say ‘digital marketing’ they give you a look of confusion and this includes some PR consultants as well. Last week I got a crash course on digital marketing and picked up a lot of good hints.

Dr Theo Lynn from DCU who was one of the main driving forces behind this event opened up the session and during the day introduced various speakers.

First up was Matt Kellett and Ceo of Magnet Networks and Vice President North Dublin Chamber of Commerce. Matt told us about his personal experience with Digital Marketing. He estimated that 850euros spent on Google ad words returned revenue of 270,000Euros which was a great return on investment. The use of Facebook and Twitter contributed to around 450,000Euros of revenue, basically using word-of-mouth on the internet. His company, Magnet provides online TV and uses the north Dublin transatlantic fibre network which is report as close to the speed of light as possible; it is the fastest data highway between Europe and the Americas. It’s great to hear some positive business news.

After Matt we had Prof Ferdinand von Prondzynski from Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen. He is a renowned blogger and he took us on a journey on how he first starting using a computer to the present where thousands of people read his blog on a daily basis. He does not claim to be an IT pro but someone who avails of the technology to deliver a more professional service within academia. He believes you need to use social networking in order to attract new customer. You need to make them aware of you, you need to go out and find them rather than having them finds you.

Eimear Faughnan talked to us about her company, Kantar media and they use of target group index in marketing. TFI can be used in ad intelligence and single source market research. Katar develop attitudinal statements with regard to certain group demographics and hence they claim to have enhanced understanding on what makes people buy.

Piaras Kelly describes himself as a PR agency and writes his own blog http://www.pkellypr.com/blog/index.php which has being running for around 5 years. To get your brand know you need to publish on the net and it may seem obvious but the more you publish the more your brand will be known. And of course, you and your brand need to be remarkable, what you say needs to be interesting or people will not listen. But please don’t dress up like that unnamed low cost airline boss.

Our next speaker was Eamon Clekin from TI Chiara Consulting who candidly admits he sounds and talks a little bit like Dara O’Briain was the definitely the highlight of the session. He talked about the need of digital marketing but also the need for traditional marketing; in the future there must be cohesion of the two channels rather than the current perceived perception of separation. Some facts (about Ireland) he threw out at us were very interesting like people now watch 10% more TV than 5 years ago and Google & Facebook can hit 80% of the population with a month.
He then spoke about the fundamentals of advertising; a brand is a contract between the customer and the business. In simpler terms if you buy a brand than you know what you are getting. If you are a marketer for a business than you must understand their brand, their business, their customer and how to communicate with said customer. If a business’s marketer cannot do that than the business needs a new marketer.

Lastly Chris Ciauri gave a quick rundown on Cloud computing (CC). I wrote about CC in another blog so wouldn’t bore you again. Chris did mention that in 2009 social media networking surpassed email for the first and also more people used Facebook search than Google search.

So not to sound to cliché about it, Web 2.0 and Enterprise 2.0 are definitely changing the way we communicate. Digital Media isn’t the end of traditional media but just an extra add-on.

DCU Business School put events like this on a regular basis; if you are a SME it would be worth your while attending one of these events as it will give you some great marketing ideas.