Belfast (IE), December 2019 - Alex Aiken, Executive Director of the UK Government Communication Service, discussed the development of new technology at a conference held by the Chartered Institute of Marketing. Marketing professionals from across Northern Ireland came together at The MAC in Belfast to hear how the development of new technology and the corresponding changes in consumer expectations are disrupting the sector.
With evolving technologies such as augmented reality set to enhance the consumer experience, a senior Government figure has predicted that marketing professionals will need to raise their game and learn new skills if they are to compete successfully in these changing times.
With Northern Ireland’s economy continuing to grow, and the government announcing a new £163 million economic package to create jobs and drive economic growth, Northern Ireland’s tech industry is expected to blossom. The start-up scene in Belfast already accounts for 17% of the UK’s high growth firms according to the UK Tech Nation 2017 report.
Speaking at a Chartered Institute of Marketing conference, Alex Aiken, Executive Director of the UK Government Communication Service (GCS) highlighted why the need to take action is now. "New forms of consumer interaction, such as voice and augmented reality, will allow marketeers to design experiences and services that work across a multitude of platforms. If marketing professionals want to stay ahead, they need to upskill and become digital leaders in their organisations. If they don’t do this, they will soon become ineffective," he said.
Referring to a wealth of research insights found in the GCS "Year of Marketing" published earlier this year, Mr Aiken highlighted emerging technology and data tools, artificial intelligence, and machine learning as presenting some of the most exciting opportunities for creating unique and powerful customer experiences.
He added, "The prediction for the marketing industry is very exciting and also very challenging. This reinforces the importance of continuous professional development and of becoming a member of professional bodies like the Chartered Institute of Marketing, the Government Communication Service, and the Northern Ireland Public Sector Communications Forum."
Speaking about the conference, which was designed to help marketing professionals adapt and respond to significant themes of change, Eileen Curry Chair of CIM Ireland, said, "This is a crucial time for us all to look at how we as a profession can best prepare for the future given the rapid pace of change. Listening to Alex Aiken and today’s other speakers, it’s clear that if we align our knowledge and skills now with these developments, we will secure valuable benefits for our customers and for our business."