Is Manchester tipped to be the next leading digital city?

Manchester. A city of firsts. This bustling metropolis was home to the first programmable computer - referenced beautifully in Tony Walsh's inspiring 'This is the Place' poem. It was where the first test tube baby was created and born; and, Manchester even received the title for the world’s first passenger railway – operating from Liverpool Road.

As the city has evolved, from the boom of the textile industry to the devastating decline of its industrial heart, Manchester has never stopped moving forward, and is becoming almost unrecognisable from its roots. Now, it seems, the city is in the middle of another revolution - of the digital kind.

Manchester’s digital revolution

The BBC has set up shop here, and investment in the area has sky-rocketed. Having three universities in close proximity to each other has also attracted tech companies looking for young, ambitious students. One candidate for Manchester mayor even vowed to make the city the next Silicon Valley. An unlikely dream perhaps, but it’s one that sits nicely alongside data from the Office of National Statistics: over 52,000 people are employed in the tech industry in Manchester, the biggest chunk of techies outside of London. This number, when combined with other digital professionals in the city, reaches over 85,000.

Manchester has also welcomed an online fast fashion district, home to internationally recognised brands, including Boohoo, Missguided and Nasty Gal, and within its parameters, you’ll also come across HQs of big online retailers, including AO, and leading digital publications like The Lad Bible.

Salford outranks London for start-up growth

With Wi-Fi introduced on the streets, and Salford Quays redeveloped from commercial docks to the epicentre of media and communications, it’s no surprise that many brands are turning to digital marketing agencies located in Manchester. Attracted by more cost-effective marketing services than those offered by London agencies, organisations are no longer feeling bound by distance; instead opting to look further afield if the creative concept appeals. Skype and WebEx have supported the reduction in marketing budgets, even surpassing the benefits of the shortened two-hour train journey from Manchester to the capital. In short, choosing Manchester digital agencies has become easier, and is a tempting choice already for even the biggest of brands.

As Salford outranks London as the UK’s top city for start-up growth, particularly in TV and media, we can expect the digital revolution to continue. Between January and March of this year, an impressive 1,393 new companies were set-up, an increase of 85% from the previous period. At a time when growth overall is decreasing, this highlights the possibilities of Manchester’s second city, further encouraged by London’s increasing commercial rents.

With more business comes more trade.

How to embrace Manchester’s digital landscape

As the tech cluster grows, and with a £5.3 million fund approved to build a large hub for creative and digital organisations in Manchester, the digital landscape will continue to evolve, making it somewhat tricky to remain at its forefront. At Delineo, we devised our Digital First methodology, which has continued to shape our campaigns. Mapping personas and identifying online behaviours of our target audience are the foundations to each campaign. Then, it’s all about reaching this audience, optimising our conversions and tracking. Our methodology has enabled us to offer creative campaigns that continue to drive great results, and it’s something we’re extremely proud of. Digital First is more than just digital marketing. At Delineo, it’s behind everything we do.

As the digital revolution takes hold, Manchester is leading the charge. For us, it’s an exciting time to be part of the city, and an even better time to be in digital marketing.

Want a Manchester digital marketing agency to head up your next campaign? Speak to us!