Irish state agency embarks on Google Adwords campaign

16 Jan 2009

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IDA Ireland, the state agency responsible for inward investment, has taken a novel approach to drumming up new investment by embarking on a Google Adwords campaign to attract foreign investment to these shores.

It is understood Google provided in-house expertise and resources to IDA Ireland to help build an optimum ad campaign targeting potential investors.

IDA Ireland is largely credited with making Ireland the jewel in the crown of Europe’s technology sector, landing major investments ranging from Intel and Google to Microsoft, Yahoo! and eBay.

“Some 20pc of the world’s population or 1.3 billion people are currently online,” said Finance Minister Brian Lenihan during a visit to Google’s headquarters yesterday.

“Through technologies created by Google and others, Irish companies can access multiple markets, in multiple languages quickly, easily and efficiently without the need for significant investment in local sales offices. This is creating a level playing field for Irish SME’s to compete and win against larger corporations globally, and it is a huge opportunity I hope many will grasp.

“IDA Ireland is leading by example,” Lenihan continued. “Their success in winning 130 new investment projects for Ireland, valued at €2bn and creating more than 8,000 jobs in 2008 was a stellar performance in a very difficult international environment.

“Ireland has been successful in winning investment by being agile, by creating a pro-business environment and by seeing the potential of new industry sectors as they emerge.

“Harnessing the power of the internet to market Ireland as a location for investment is another example of the IDA seeking new and better ways to get the message out that Ireland is open for business and I congratulate them on this campaign,” Minister Lenihan added.

A key objective of the campaign will be to drive traffic to www.idaireland.com and www.theirishmind.ie

The campaign will commence at the end of February, when IDA Ireland launches its new online presence, and will run in multiple languages targeting the US, Canada, France, Spain, Italy, Germany and China.

“Ireland is becoming renowned as a location for the most important digital media and internet-based services companies,” said IDA Ireland’s head of corporate communications Trevor Holmes.

“Google, Facebook, Yahoo!, eBay and Amazon are just some of the world leaders now located in Ireland.  If we are to position Ireland as a smart economy and grow this investment further, it behoves us to take advantage of these new technologies to ensure that future Larry Page’s and Sergey Brin’s (Google founders) are constantly aware of Ireland’s unique advantages.”

A range of keywords were developed jointly by Google and IDA to maximise the impact of this campaign, with a particular focus on the new R&D incentives introduced by Government recently. Users will be directed to specific landing pages on the IDA Ireland website, depending on the keyword typed into the search engine.

“Every day 1,100 people in Google’s EMEA headquarters in Dublin are working with companies in over 50 countries, helping them to access millions of consumers and generate revenues through successful online ad campaigns,” John Herlihy, vice-president online sales and operations for Google EMEA, said.

“Dublin is the engine driver for Google sales across EMEA and has been a great location for us to attract talented young people with the language skills we need to undertake our business,” Herlihy added.

By John Kennedy

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Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com