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Sunday, May 19, 2024

A Glimpse Into The World Of Digital Marketing With VIMAR Digital Marketing


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Irish Business News Journalist, Owen, caught up with Alastair Roe of VIMAR Digital Marketing based in Portlaoise…

Tell us a bit about VIMAR Digital Marketing and what is different about what you offer?

Well, VIMAR Digital Marketing was set up to be different in a number of ways. Our vision was to create a reliable team of marketing and technical experts all under one roof. We all know there are agencies, but we wanted it to be more organic and personal to deal with for SMEs in Ireland.  We could see that it was successful in larger cities like Dublin, but it just wasn’t here in Laois back in 2018.  Industry leading graphic design matched with bespoke development capabilities is something we aimed to focus on. This was our core strength. We believed this would give local small and medium businesses the opportunity to excel when looking to improve their brand online. We wanted to give small businesses a more competitive edge in the highly competitive online space. 

My job as the Strategic Director is to typically work with our clients to figure out how to best market their business online. Being a small business, our clients get to know our team during a project.  It’s not always simple to get success, but we definitely put the work in. 

Our aim is to partner with businesses and help them grow in many different ways. Our services are vast but can be summarised into six main categories; Branding, Web Design and Development, Online Advertising, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Social Media Marketing, and Content Production (Copywriting/Video). These services can be either project based or part of a longer term partnership. We are aiming to be more task-focused and deliver quicker, better results.

When was VIMAR Digital Marketing established, and how have you grown since then?

The team started to come together in late 2018, but our office was first launched in Portlaoise town in May 2019. The initial founding partners were Jan Smolorz, Greg Margas and myself, Alastair Roe.  With different business backgrounds, we jumped into growing our own brand straight away.

VIMAR Founders (L – R,  Jan Smolorz, Alastair Roe and Greg Margas)

Already with a selection of clients across Ireland, we aimed to grow locally first. Our growth at this stage was hard earned, as we were the new company in town. We took on lots of exciting projects early on which helped us rapidly grow our team. 

This allowed us to expand our team and move to various offices throughout the years, We are currently at Vision 85 in Portlaoise. We are definitely a growth focused company.

Can you highlight some recent key achievements/news at VIMAR Digital Marketing?

We are an award winning agency with an ambitious vision to be a large employer here in Laois. We aim to compete with the best digital agencies in the country. We have had great success on campaigns promoting local events such as the Leaves Festival, Laois Culture Night, Laois Gift Card and of course the Laois Jobs Fair. 

2023 has been super impressive as we partner with larger events such as the Ideal Home Show and Forever Young Festival to improve their online presence. Partnering with organisations such as the Chamber and the Council have also been fantastic in recent years. We manage hundreds of websites and want to do more ongoing campaigns.

The pandemic had originally forced many businesses to start thinking differently about how they attract customers. With the help of Local Enterprise Office Grants, many small businesses have been able to make drastic improvements to their online marketing abilities. This has helped us to support small local businesses such as Miller’s Home and Garden, Doyle’s Shoes and The Laois People to all improve their online presence. We have scaled up our organisation and partner with larger companies too. Time has now passed and better content is really what many of these businesses need. 

We have had some great support from The LEO Laois to help us grow with projects such as Lean for Micro and we recently completed a Green for Micro campaign. Building a bigger, better company is our aim for the coming years.

The Vimar team at the Laois Jobs Fair 2022.Picture: Alf Harvey.

Why is such a progressive digital agency situated in Laois?

Of course, we believe in Laois as a place to be in business. There are so many opportunities to grow and expand across the country. We have clients in Dublin and Cork, so getting on the road to meet them isn’t too bad at all. 

A big benefit for me personally is that there is a good business community here in Laois. Getting to network with other businesses and being able to speak to decision makers has helped us get off the ground and secure local business. The Chamber Networking and BNI have been invaluable to us over the last four years. Of course getting home from the office in less than ten minutes is a big bonus.

Managing Director Jan Smolorz and Art Director Joanna Bar

What is the most valuable piece of advice you have been given in business?

‘Knowing what you want to achieve’. I’ve always focused on having a vision for what you want to achieve in business. Having this belief and overall focus is what gets you through the difficult times in business. Celebrating the success along the way keeps the whole team going. 

What does the future hold for VIMAR Digital Marketing?

We want to be the best. In 5 years time we aim to be competing against the top creative agencies for the biggest companies in Ireland. Attracting the most talented people to work here in Laois or remotely. The digital landscape is rapidly changing and we want to be a part of it. There are huge opportunities and challenges in the tech centre in Ireland. 

Visit https://vimar.ie/ for information on VIMAR. 

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Owen is an excited writer with over 10 years of experience in the newspaper industry. Born and raised in Ireland, Owen developed a passion for writing and journalism at a young age. He pursued this passion by studying journalism in college and quickly landed a job as a reporter at a local newspaper. Over the years, Owen worked his way up the ranks in the newspaper industry, eventually becoming one of the top editors in the company.

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