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NI Businesses 'Wedded To Online Marketing'

30 March 2011

Northern Ireland business has become seduced and wedded to online marketing often at the expense of more traditional marketing techniques, according to a University of Ulster marketing expert.

Professor of Marketing, Mark Durkin from the Ulster Business School, said that while the growth in social media presents an important marketing opportunity for business here, real customer closeness is a function of both off-line and on-line engagement.

He was speaking today [Wednesday] at the ‘Digital Future’ conference in Belfast’s Waterfront Hall.

Professor Durkin told delegates: “Opening the door to fully engaging with potential and existing customers through social media platforms brings both opportunity and threat for smaller companies.

“Events like this allow for a more thoughtful exploration of what the key issues facing managers today are. In my view the key challenge is in knowing how to establish the most appropriate balance between online and offline marketing in the context of the specific business in question. Contrary to popular belief there is no universal ‘right way’.”

Gareth Dunlop, MD of Ion, organiser of the event said: “This event is all about giving marketers the confidence to understand the changing dynamics in marketing today, and Professor Durkin’s practical approach, complemented the case studies and business knowledge of our speakers from the commercial sector.

“His inputs helped delegates marry the practical experience with the research and best practice aspects of this emerging area.”