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Coleraine Businesses “Thinking Big….Thinking Marketing”

Coleraine firms gear up for new marketing initiative

Pictured is Richard Rafferty of Aquaholics (centre) with Martin Clark of Coleraine Borough Council Council (right) and Seamus McAdams of I2 Total Marketing (left)

Ten Coleraine businesses have just signed up for the second phase of the Think Big…Think Marketing Programme. The programme, which is funded by Coleraine Borough Council and co-financed through the European Union’s Regional Competitiveness (ERDF) Programme, provides businesses in the Council area with an unrivalled opportunity to avail of hands-on support to improve their marketing skills, ultimately assisting them to grow their business. The programme is managed by i2 Total Marketing.

Twenty firms participated on the programme last year, which resulted in a major upsurge in firms engaging in marketing activities such as re-branding, development of new websites and promotional materials, launching new products and effectively targeting new customers.  These activities have led to increased sales and the creation of a number of new jobs in the area.

Aquaholics, the Portstewart-based Dive Centre and Sea Safari specialists, participated on last year’s programme.  Explaining how it benefited his firm, owner Richard Lafferty said “Think BIG… encouraged us to look at our customer base differently and pitch our activities at these distinct customer groups.  Being a five star PADI Dive Centre we already have a strong reputation throughout the UK and Ireland for our Diving Centre.

However, we realised that our specialist sea safaris, where customers are taken for exciting sea trips along the North Coast, or to Donegal to see basking sharks, even over to Scotland for a day trip, was not fulfilling its potential as a casual leisure/tourism activity that has broad appeal to every visitor to the North Coast area from the very young to the not so young.  Our marketing mentors from i2 enabled us to look at these customers separately and focus on getting the message out to them, which is already paying dividends.  In doing this, we have become much more confident about the potential the Sea Safaris now offer and are looking forward to a bumper season in 2012”.

The key focus of the initiative is the provision of hands-on marketing supports, with each of the 10 participating businesses receiving one-to-one business mentoring, delivered by highly experienced marketing professionals. Each firm will have a marketing skills audit carried out on them which will form the basis for the marketing supports provided.

The programme is being delivered by i2 Total Marketing, which has extensive experience in working with businesses to grow their business through well branded, targeted marketing, promotional and sales development campaigns.


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