Throughout June 2014 - the whole of East London was talking about Birmingham. Our integrated campaign #techbrum involved high impact out of home print, extensive digital marketing and social media efforts alongside a flagship event in Shoreditch. The effort in London aimed to realise our objective of raising Birmingham’s profile as a perfect place for tech and creative companies to expand and thrive. The campaign caused a massive online stir, pushing Birmingham into the limelight and raising the profile of our truly thriving and exciting tech and creative scene.
We targeted East London for clear reasons; the high prevalence of tech and creative companies, London’s status as an international gateway, and the pressures Tech City entrepreneurs are facing in areas such as talent acquisition and rising business costs.
Birmingham is already home to 6,000 tech firms employing nearly 40,000 people. 25% of the UK’s gaming workforce is based here and digital tech firms boost the region’s economy by in excess of £1.6bn every year. However - creativity and innovation are little use without business drivers such as access to talent and affordable rates, areas in which Birmingham seriously outshines the competition.
Competitive business costs, a huge talent pool and excellent connectivity fuse to create a genuinely complementary offer to the capital. Ironically it is also our proximity to London that is a key advantage over other cities with a short 75 minute train journey allowing flexibility for business owners. In addition the city is consistently receiving recognition from the business community, including being named as the UK’s most entrepreneurial city outside of London and a ‘start-up hotspot’ (Start-up Britain), as well as the number one Foreign Direct Investment destination of the future (FDI Association).
The #techbrum campaign symbolises the diversity of our tech and creative community. We benefit from having both a dynamic start-up scene with companies such as SOSHI Games, Whisk and Droplet making waves, alongside a solid representation from major tech firms such as SCC and Codemasters. In addition the city is looking forward to brilliant new developments such as the BBC Digital Guerilla Unit and Virgin’s centre of excellence to complete the mix. Start-up support is abundant with facilities and programs such as Innovation Birmingham Campus, The Custard Factory, Fazeley Studios, and Entrepreneurs for the Future (e4f) and Oxygen Accelerator providing an ideal ecosystem that has found a perfect home in our creative quarters in Digbeth and the Jewellery Quarter.
The key to Birmingham’s success is our community – the companies, agencies, groups and personalities that provide the credibility and real-world content to our proposition. Apart from Marketing Birmingham’s own efforts we have countless independent organisations and collectives such as Silicon Canal waving the banner for the city. We are a proud and dynamic community with a lot to shout about.
Amidst the media attention during and following the #techbrum campaign, the message remained strong – Birmingham is a great place for tech - but this merely scratches the surface. The city is currently reaping the rewards of 20 years of major investment and planning and 2015 will see the completion of major new developments such as Birmingham Grand Central, New Street Station, Arena Central, the Mailbox re-development, and Paradise Forum alongside the continued gentrification of our creative quarters in Digbeth and the Jewellery Quarter. These massive developments signal a sea change for connectivity, lifestyle and business within the city.
This level of investment and development has transformed the city into a buzzing destination as people are drawn to the city’s history, world class shopping districts, eclectic nightlife and burgeoning food scene. Birmingham’s cultural and social landscape is gaining international recognition including a fourth Michelin star in 2013 and being ranked as having the highest quality of life of any UK city outside of the capital, by the Mercer Quality of Living Report 2014.
We are proud to be a part of this city’s amazing transformation – and are anticipating incredible opportunities and projects in the near future so want to talk to as many companies, entrepreneurs, investors and individuals as possible. Together with our community we are truly making things happen in Birmingham, and the #techbrum campaign is a symbol of our ambition for the city.
Director of Marketing Services
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