Social media and digital technology are part of the toolkit for success in modern business.
That was the key message from Google, Facebook and LinkedIn when the global platforms joined forces with Institute of Technology Sligo in a major campus marketing conference
As the capacity attendance heard how the internet continues to change the face of commerce, speakers stressed the importance of harnessing new technologies to boost marketing and brand objectives.
More than 150 people attended the free on-campus event, which was aimed at a target audience drawn from marketing students, lecturers and business people in the West and North West.
Ann Higgins, Head of the Department of Marketing, Tourism and Sport at IT Sligo, said: “This event delivered on two key objectives – ensuring a postive learning experience for students and staff and enabling knowledge transfer to the business community.”
She added: “Given the rapid growth in digital technologies and the internet, businesses have seen dramatic changes in the way they identify, communicate with and sell to customers.
“The replacement of traditional media by social networking sites, mobile applications, blogs, and video sharing sites has forced businesses to think innovatively about how to capture and capitalise on the opportunities of an enormous audience through digital channels.”
The key participants included speakers from academia and business and included John Heavey, Global Accounts Analyst, LinkedIn; Ivan Heneghan, who leads Facebook’s Global Shared Services Ads team in EMEA; Dr Laurent Muzellec, Academic Director for the MSc. in Digital Marketing at the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School; Jim Geraghty, Marketing Manager, Ireland, for Lucozade Sport; Carmel Doherty, Agency Education Lead, Google Canada, who took part via video link.
John Heavey highlighted the personal and business benefits LinkedIn usage, for example in showcasing professional identities and business and professional networks.
Ivan Heneghan presented a comprehensive insight into Facebook as one of the world’s most efficient marketing platforms and he explained how small to medium enterprises can utilise it to reach all the people who matter to their business. His contribution held particular signifance for two members of the audience. Ivan is from Ballymote, Co Sligo, and his parents were present to hear his presentation.
Dr Laurent Muzellec presented an overview of the connected consumer purchasing process and its implications for digital marketers.
Jim Geraghty, whose responsibilities include sponsorship and online marketing, explained how Lucozade Sport engages with its consumer base through social media and its importance in driving brand awareness and linkage.
Carmel Doherty brought fresh perspectives into how brands are weaving social media and digital technology into their marketing communications.
Dr Catherine McGuinn, who is Chair of the MSc Marketing programme at IT Sligo, said feedback was very positive.
“Each year we hold a conference about aspects of contemporary issues facing professional marketers and business owners,” she said. “It‘s an annual event which is part of the learning course for the Master of Science in Marketing. This year’s theme was ‘How Social R U?’ and we are delighted that so many found it to be relevant, timely and useful.”
Potential students interested in pursuing a career in marketing can view the programme offerings at www.itsligo.ie. There are a number of exciting programme developments currently underway, including the proposed introduction of a Bachelor of Business in Digital Media Marketing to address the increasing job opportunities in this area.
John Heavey, LinkedIn, presenting at the IT Sligo Marketing Conference.
Business people Philip O’Brien, Claire Ronan, Conor Ronan, Gillian Connolly, Ronnie O’Hara and Michael Harte at the IT Sligo Marketing Conference.
Ivan Heneghan of Facebook at the “How Social R U?” conference with IT Sligo academics Suzanne Ryan, Dr Catherine McGuinn, Ann Higgins and Nicola Lacey.