Food companies encouraged to ‘Think Digital’
Bord Bia has announced a partnership with the Digital Marketing Institute to offer Irish food and drink companies an opportunity to grow and develop their online presence with a view to increasing brand awareness and sales. ‘Think Digital’ is a 6-month digital marketing programme available to all Irish food and drink companies designed specifically to address the digital skills gap in the industry.
According to Indecon, Irish consumers spend €850,000 per hour online, a 20% increase since 2012 which is expected to grow by a quarter in next 3 to 5 years. While the numbers purchasing food and groceries remain relatively low at 8%, CSO data shows that 86% of people use the internet to find information on goods and services.
Eileen Bentley, Bord Bia said, “The fact that four out of five people are using the internet to research products presents a huge opportunity for food and drink companies and it is imperative that brands are well-represented, discoverable and, where possible, available to purchase online. The feedback we are receiving from businesses is that there is always a need for upskilling in the ever-changing world of online marketing and the ‘Think Digital’ programme offers just that. Irish food and drink companies are producing some of the finest products in the world and we need to make sure that they are competent when it comes to telling people about what they have to offer.”
A recent report by the Digital Marketing Institute on the Marketing Skills Gap in Ireland, the UK and USA showed that only 8% of marketers tested achieved entry level digital marketing skills and 86% of marketers in Ireland believed that they will need to improve their digital marketing skills to remain competent in their current role in the future.
Cathal Melinn, Digital Marketing Institute said, “Even though digital marketing has become increasingly essential for businesses, there is a persistent global and local skills gap that threatens to undermine future organisational growth. There is an urgent need for digital skills education for professionals and we are delighted to be able to offer training to Irish food and drink companies, so they can take advantage of the rapidly expanding market opportunities.”
The ‘Think Digital’ programme is open to all Irish food and drink companies and will incorporate 10 modules which can be completed online over a 6-month period. Bord Bia will also host a number of seminars in its creative space, the Thinking House, which will demonstrate the practical application of the digital knowledge in the food world. Participants will hear from a range of food brands, retail analysts and digital experts offering insights on how to achieve success online.
According to the Digital Marketing Institute report, strategy and planning is cited as the leading digital skills gap in organisations. In Ireland, research and insights, as well as analytics and reporting also register as areas of concern. Addressing this, taught module topics on the ‘Think Digital’ programme will include Strategy and Planning; Analytics; Search Marketing (SEO) and (PPC); Digital Display Advertising; Email Marketing; Social Media Marketing and Mobile Marketing. Participants will also receive ongoing support and resources from Bord Bia and the Digital Marketing Institute throughout the year.
For further information, or to apply for a place on the course go to www.bordbia.ie/thinkdigital. The closing date for applications is Thursday 31st August, 2017. The programme begins in September 2017.