Caption: The two Siobhan Laverys: Siobhán Lavery, Managing Director at ICAN with Siobhan Lavery, NI Director at ICAN Belfast.
The digital agency ICAN is to open an office in Belfast and plans to recruit 12 staff over the next year.
“Establishing a Belfast office is the next logical extension in the continued growth of ICAN. The agency has experienced, and been a major contributor to, the growth of digital marketing in Ireland and we’re now building upon that through this exciting expansion of our business,” says Siobhán Lavery, managing director of the agency.
“Northern Ireland is currently on an upward trend in terms of digital but there is still a lot of catching up to do north of the border. While digital spend in Ireland is now in the region of 24% – more than radio, outdoor and magazine advertising – digital spend in Northern Ireland is currently in the region of 10%.”
The ‘NI digital barometer’, carried out by ICAN in conjunction with Millward Brown Ulster, surveyed a range of Northern Ireland businesses in October 2014. The research found that almost 9 in 10 businesses (89%) have a website and 7 in 10 (77%) have a social media presence; however only one third (31%) of businesses surveyed were using any other digital channels, with only one third (31%) using online video advertising, less than a quarter (24%) using mobile advertising, and 1 in 10 (11%) using web based tools such as mobile apps.
“At the moment, Northern Ireland businesses are lagging behind consumer behaviour and demand. Our belief is that we can help brands to put digital firmly at the heart of their business strategies and identify new and exciting growth opportunities,” added Siobhán.
Despite opening its Belfast base just this month, ICAN has already been working on an all-Ireland basis for a number of years, delivering award winning work in Northern Ireland. In October this year, the agency won a PANI (Publicity Association of Northern Ireland) award for Tennent’s Tunetap – an interactive music app that lets people ‘DJ’ from their smart phone at selected bars and bus stops across Belfast.
ICAN Belfast will be led by former UTV Sales Manager, Siobhan Lavery, who has taken up the post as the agency’s Northern Ireland Director.