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Insider North West Digital Breakfast
Having attended many networking events and breakfast meetings and found them to be a mixed bag to say the least, I was understandably sceptical about how useful this Insider Media Breakfast meeting would prove to be.
The venue was the recently opened Fabrica on Ancoats street, with awesome views over the city and a bright, open space, it was the perfect venue for the event. I have always enjoyed Chris Maguire as a compere and his light hearted and amusing repartee had the audience chuckling from the offset.
The opening Q&A session with Steve Oliver, CEO and Founder of Music Magpie was both engaging and insightful.
Steve opened by emphasising Music Magpie’s priority is making life easy for consumers. “We are all consumers and we are all generally lazy and all generally a bit daft – we all walk up to doors that say pull or push because we have a tendency to switch our brains off and need things spelling out for us”.
The user experience or “UX” is clearly considered a priority for these guys having recently introduced functionality such as a barcode scanning feature via webcam. Also Steven talked about their popular iPhone app, now downloaded over 2 million times, which allows quick and simple upload of product details, as clear examples of how, despite huge success and popularity, Music Magpie are not resting on their laurels.
Steve stated that the future will demand further innovation around mobile and tablet devices and pointed out the Music Magpies new app is days away from release. Also, “re-commerce” or reverse commerce, being one of the top 10 global trending terms of 2013, is core to the business and enables users to fill a basket with items they wish to sell.
As Music Magpie now provide customers with the option to not just sell CD’s, DVD’s and electrical goods but now clothing, Steve eluded to the fact that 80% of the population will never sell products via ebay, purely due to the fact that it is such a long and involved process and people simply don’t have the time or inclination. Music Magpie intend to tap into these people and provide them with a “one box” solution, making the process of selling their products much simpler, whilst providing the option to sell additional products moving forward.
When asked what are the most effective marketing channels for Music Magpie, Steve stated TV advertising is still the main driver, however SEO and PPC are still crucial to driving visitors to their website.
Music Magpie are clearly one to watch as a digital innovator and we look forward to seeing what’s next for them as a business- in particular their new app!
Aside from Steve Oliver, I found the session which included an insight into The Hut Group from its CEO and Co-Founder Steve Whitehead of particular interest.
The Hutgroup is a multi-website online retailer and straight off the bat, Steve talked about how the company is driven by website traffic and as a business they look into the behaviour of visitors to websites, deriving in-depth behavioural data. From this data, The Hut Group’s brokers identify potential investment opportunities and pass the relevant insight to their team of buyers.
Each Hut site has bespoke content, editorial, marketing and pricing specifically addressing its target customer whether premium, mainstream or discount.
Steve mentioned the perception of organic SEO as a dark art but correctly stated that relevant, content rich websites are the best way to drive traffic and ultimately conversion.
Other interesting contributions from the likes of Elliot Mueller, CEO of Metronet discussing the possibility of free wi-fi for Manchester city centre and Paul Bason, Director of Digital innovation initiative at Manchester Metropolitan University who talked about the change in teaching methods around digital including the introduction of virtual learning, made for a very interesting and beneficial session.
We look forward to attending future events, including the upcoming Insider North West Retail Breakfast on 19th June at the Theatre of Dreams (Old Trafford).