MY City: Shining the spotlight on the creative industry

The following is a column by our Head of Strategy Nicola Docking, published in the Liverpool Echo on Monday 19th September 2022.

According to national statistics, around 300,000, or over one in eight UK businesses, were part of the country’s creative sector pre Covid.

With many individuals reassessing their career paths during the pandemic, our industry locally is jam-packed with more agencies and freelancers than ever before.

This doesn’t concern us, but it does make us pose the question – why isn’t there more variety when it comes to approach and overall concept? And why aren’t brands making more use out of this expanding talent pool?

Our team has been fortunate enough to work all over the world, with several years spent in New York, and we’ve witnessed first-hand just how different the landscape is elsewhere.

When we first launched Poke, we were – and continue to be – quite vocal about how Merseyside is seen from a creative marketing perspective.

When someone is asked to name the capital of the country’s creative hub, we still come way behind Manchester and London.

We want to be a driving force of change and provide a solution to an element that’s lacking -putting the city on the map using a more strategic approach.

There needs to be an end to vanity creatives with meaningless targets and ill-thought-out tactics, and even though we may seem disruptive by even saying this, for us it’s about being passionate about being different.

It’s strong emotions like this that we think are needed in order to move things to the next stage. If we don’t, it’s not just reputation at stake. It’s the impact on revenue, our hospitality and tourism businesses and relationships.

For our clients, we use a strategic behaviour change framework to identify the content that will change attitudes and drive behaviour change. This approach defines the why of marketing. It was put together to convert, shift perceptions and activate people into desired behaviours.

Maybe it’s about time that Liverpool had a new plan, in order to prepare it for the future and to ensure it stands head and shoulders above other creative cities in the UK.

Surely Liverpool is due our moment in the creative spotlight on a national and global level?

Nicola Docking – Head of Strategy at Poke Marketing