It's a brave time to be expanding any business, but Irish digital marketing agency Brand Social is set to enter the UK market this month.
The recently rebranded Dublin-based agency -- formerly The Creative District -- will set up in central London to provide what it describes as a "range of digital marketing services to brands based in the UK".
The firm currently counts Universal Pictures, RTE and the Digital Marketing Institute amongst its clients in Ireland.
It employs six people in its Dublin headquarters and is aiming to fill six more full-time positions in both Dublin and London before the end of 2012.
The new brand identity is being launched in Dublin tomorrow but the company is adamant the new name "reflects the company's unique creative approach towards platform-agnostic, conversational and social marketing".
"One of the company's core service offerings is helping marketers and brand managers make best use of their digital content by ensuring that it is fully accessible to consumers, regardless of what device or platform they access it from," they said.
Commenting on the new brand launch and office opening, company MD Ken Stanley said: "Our brand identity received a much needed overhaul to ensure we had a more globally accessible image. This is particularly important now that we're setting our sights overseas.
"International expansion is a significant step forward for us and while we're ambitious about our plans for the UK we are still very much focused on continuing to build on our customer base in Ireland, where we are headquartered," he added.
The company was set up in 2009 by industry veterans Ken Stanley and Ray Doyle and claims to specialise in digital media planning and buying, mobile and socially-integrated campaigns, search marketing and strategy as well as having full technical and creative capabilities in-house.
Mr Stanley continued: "Conversation hasn't changed, the medium has. We help brands communicate with their audience through conversational marketing using mobile, social and other digital channels. Wherever your customers are, we'll help you talk to them."
The Dublin event will take place in Slatterys in Dublin and features speakers from Facebook, the Digital Marketing Institute and Prosperity.
Mobile wallets will be here soon
MOBILE wallets became reality for Dunkin Donuts customers in the US last week and other big US retailers such as JC Penney plan to follow suit.
Mobile wallets -- the idea that you can "load" cash on to your phone and then use it to buy items -- has been around in the developing world and other areas where the traditional banking structure isn't well developed, but can it ever work in Ireland?
Ray Tierney, who heads Oxygen8 Ireland, the Irish arm of a company that specialises in this space, thinks so.
"The method is so convenient, and in many ways more secure than cards or cash, that it definitely has a future here," he claims.
Oxygen8 hopes to launch mobile wallet products here "in the coming months".