How will the marketing and media scene in Manchester develop over the next five to 10 years?

By The Drum Team | Staff Writer

CheethamBell JWT

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manchester article

June 27, 2012 | 6 min read

What developments can we expect to see in Manchester, hailed as the second city of creativity, over the next five to 10 years? The Drum speaks to industry insiders operating in the media and marketing space to gain an insight into what to expect.

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We asked: ‘how do you see the marketing and media scene in Manchester developing over the next five to 10 years?’Rob Mortimer, account planner/digital strategist, CheethamBellJWTThe hope is that the arrival of MediaCity and the BBC will spark more and more creative people to discover Manchester. Over the next five to 10 years I’d like to see more people wanting to work here, an increase in the number of clients who appreciate the value and creativity of what we have to offer, and the erosion of the idea that we are regional agencies. Manchester has some of the best agencies in the country, and combining that with new talent and new opportunity should bring great things.Nigel Papworth, owner, RefineryThis is the big question, or more precisely, what happens to digital and what comes next? Digital is simply another channel and as such will increasingly become just part of the integrated marketing communications mix. I believe we will see a process of buy outs and mergers that will result in the consolidation of the majority of specialist companies. There will still be room for a significant amount of smaller specialists to service organisations who, due to the size of their business, or highly specific sector will continue to market purely through digital channels. With regards to what comes next, the biggest change will be seen with brands that we truly want to engage with i.e. fashion, fast cars and funky goods, but for life for virtually every other sector life will remain much the same.Tim Newns, chief executive, MIDASWe have no doubt that this sector will continue to grow even stronger with the expansion of MediaCity, The Sharp Project, the development of a new cultural sector in First Street (which will be the new home of Cornerhouse and Central Library) and, of course, the talent within the city’s Northern Quarter. More than £60 million has been spent on the digital infrastructure to support Manchester’s ambition to become one of the world’s top 20 digital cities by 2020. Manchester is the only city in the UK to offer next generation broadband with fibre to the premises allowing speeds of up to 100mbps in a true open access network. BT has recently completed a £575 million investment in 300 digital exchanges covering 3,000,000 lines, which places the Manchester region two years ahead of other UK cities outside London for its access to digital services. This infrastructure allows companies to work in a different way, to advance tapeless workflows, to be efficient, work internationally and have the capacity to transfer files in an instance – all of which will put them ahead of their competition based elsewhere in the UK. Iain White, head of media, DeloitteManchester is wisely investing now in infrastructure and drawing up plans to ensure it continues to enhance its reputation on the world stage in the next decade. By 2020, MediaCity, Airport City and the Sharp Project will between them be home to hundreds of high-value businesses, many of them in the digital or creative sector. Importantly, city leaders, including the council and MIDAS, the inward investment agency, are also preparing strategically for the next five to ten years. The Greater Manchester Growth Plan recognises the significance of the digital and creative sector and urges businesses and universities to work more closely together to ensure their interests are aligned. Such collaboration is vital for the city region to produce the kind of entrepreneurial graduates it needs. Those businesses can also expect Manchester’s professional services sector to continue to improve its service offering to clients in an increasingly-important sector.Natalie Gross, CEO, AmazeManchester has had an influx of infrastructure (BBC, MediaCity, strengthening of university marketing and media propositions), which should be leveraged and see the city grow its reputation in these industries internationally. The size of the city and its marketing and media economy means it is large enough to be a strong force in the UK and small enough to be a community where large agencies, niche agencies and cross-sector specialists work together, through acquisition or collaboration, to compete against the best on a global stage. The city will either use these strengths well or work in pockets with a divergent set of representative bodies. This is both the threat and the opportunity.
Brian Rees, chairman, the if agencyManchester will continue to punch above its weight. We will hopefully retain those who were educated here as the city develops into a leading hub for broadcasting, online publishing, media and digital technology. My real concern is that we may overlook opportunities in more conventional industries and miss out on other areas of growth such as manufacturing or energy.
Lou Cordwell, founder and CEO, magneticNorthThere’s currently lots of interest about the region’s digital sector from investors, creatives and clients. That gives us a window of opportunity in which we can, if we get our act together, create an incredibly attractive digital ‘brand’. We’re starting to develop this offering already in a way that caters for all ends of the spectrum and digital will very much lead that charge over the next few years. On the one hand we have the more corporate, ‘grown up’ offering of MediaCity and on the other hand we have fantastic ‘indie’ initiatives like The Sharp Project bringing through the next generation of digital brains all focused on being the next ‘Instagram’ or ‘SocialCam’. Having outstanding offerings at both ends of this scale gives us every right to take on cities like New York who have absolutely put digital at the heart of their creative sector agendas.Jane Hudson, MD, Forever CreativeAs digital marketing becomes the focus of our world, all agencies will need to become more reactive in their approach to new technologies as they emerge. Clients are desperate to get to grips with social media and be seen to be leading the field in the digital arena. It is our job as agencies to keep at the forefront of new developments so we can advise clients on the best way forward for them. However, whatever the future holds – engaging ideas will always be the key to an effective campaign.Sponsored by:

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