By Gavin Lacey

Observations by Anthony

Anthony Quigley, the chairman of Digital Dún Laoghaire, tells us about working in Dún Laoghaire, SMEs and the benefits of Digital Marketing

In December 2016, Red Man Media attended the Digital Dún Laoghaire: People – Property – Partnerships Showcase event, in the DLR Lexicon library. Everyone there was brimming with enthusiasm and positivity about the future of business in Dún Laoghaire and it was a great opportunity to interact with fellow local businesses who share the same common objective – build a strong cluster of companies in the locality that will innovate in the digital sphere both locally and nationally.

The chairman of Digital Dún Laoghaire is Anthony Quigley, a seasoned entrepreneur with over 30 years experience in developing, managing and leading successful businesses. He is also the Co-founder and Director of the Digital Marketing Institute (an organisation that has over 15,000 graduates in 80 countries around the world).

We spoke to Anthony about Digital Dún Laoghaire, the current digital marketing landscape and how SME’s can use digital marketing to their advantage.

What is the number one thing every Irish SME needs to understand about digital marketing?

I believe that most SME's do not understand (a) the importance of digital in the marketing landscape and (b) how it works. While many are starting to realise that digital can be important to their business, many simply do not understand how it all works. What this means is that they then start to depend on third party agencies to do this for them, resulting in engaging with someone who does not understand your business and your needs. I would strongly suggest that every SME understand HOW digital marketing works. Try it, start small, test things (advertising on Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc), understand how email works, figure out which social media platform is right for your business, learn about video marketing, teach yourself measurement and analytics tools, etc. If an SME at least understands the various digital marketing channels, then they can direct a third party – otherwise they are completely dependent on other people's expertise.

If you want more reasons why you should go digital then go here.

What should small Irish businesses do to grow their business online?

Start with small budget, try stuff, iterate and learn. Figure out what works for you, increase the budget and expand from there. The great thing about digital marketing is that it can be iterative – you can try something and very quickly measure whether it is working for you, taking decisions along the journey.

To get more tips about how to build an e-commerce strategy then look here.

What course content are you offering in for 2017?

One of the things that we do well is create educational content that business professionals can implement today. While there is a lot of talk around certain topics (such a wearables and VR, for example) this is too cutting edge for most businesses so we do not include this type of stuff in our general programmes. We tend to focus on what digital marketers are actually using. So, while customers often look for us to cover emerging topics (which we do on a customised basis), we work closely with our Syllabus Advisory Council and our Subject Matter Experts and Industry Professional partners to ensure that we create and deliver programmes that are suitable to a global market.

What was the most interesting Digital Marketing trend or medium that emerged in 2016?

Actually, what was very interesting was the impact that Content Marketing has made of the past 12 months. Google changed their algorithms to ensure that good, relevant content started to have a positive impact.

Finally, back to Digital Dún Laogahire or #DigiDL - Why Dun Laoghaire for Digital?

Dún Laoghaire is a great place to both live and work. We were looking at how we could re-energise Dun Laoghaire from a business perspective and realised that the there are a whole bunch of reasons for people to relocate or start their business in Dun Laoghaire. The infrastructure is improving, there is a super sense of community and it is a mere 10km from the city, where there is an increasing pressure on office space. There are lots of people in the Dún Laoghaire region who would love to place their next (or existing) business in the locality.

If you would like to keep up to date with all things #DigiDL well then you’re in luck! You can follow them on Twitter @DigiD_L or you can follow Anthony himself @AnthonyQuigley.

Don’t forget to follow Red Man on Twitter @red_man_media and on Facebook!

Start with small budget, try stuff, iterate and learn. Figure out what works for you, increase the budget and expand from there. The great thing about digital marketing is that it can be iterative – you can try something and very quickly measure whether it is working for you, taking decisions along the journey

Red Man Media

4 Adelaide Street,

Dún Laoghaire,

Co. Dublin