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SBE18 Speaker Sessions: Mike McGrail

Hi folks, I’m Mike McGrail from Velocity Digital and I'm speaking at Scotland’s Business Event. My business is a digital marketing consultancy, we deal with companies at the scale of billion-dollar start-ups down to whiskey brands, spirit brands and local start-ups too.

How did you get into this area of marketing?
Why am I in marketing? Well I actually studied it at University and have been doing that ever since. I've worked in agencies, I’ve worked in finance and publishing and then seven years ago I decided to try and do things my way, so I launched Velocity Digital. 

What’s on the horizon for your business?
Well I'm actually branching into a new area that is video production and the marketing of those videos so I'm launching a new brand called velocity Insight where we've already got some exciting videos and films under wraps and I'm going to be launching that all soon.

What will your talk be about?
In my talk at Scotland's Business Event I'm going to be talking about the opportunities that video offers in today's marketing world. You can't deny how powerful that it can be when done properly. From Instagram stories the longer form video is such a vital type of content, but businesses tend to struggle with it so in my talk I'm going to deliver key practical advice of how to get started with video.

What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve ever received?
Simply build a great network and I don't just mean a network of customers or potential customers but people who can advise you and help you through the tough times. I'm the sole director in the business I don't have any employees I work with great freelancers to deliver the services so it's really important for me to have people I can go to for advice about help when I need it.

What’s been the biggest challenge to achieving your success and how did you overcome it?
The biggest challenge for me succeeding with this business so far has been the fact that a lot of companies see marketing as a necessary evil, but you’re never really understood. Without marketing and sales, you're not going to have a business so why is it seen as this thing where ‘’O, we better add some budget to the marketing allocation’’ or whatever it may be so that's not been easy to come out of but actually by telling people what it can achieve and measuring it for them that's been really helpful.

How do you see marketing changing in the next few years?
It's very hard to say. I don't see a new social media platform coming, for example that's going make any big impact. Instagram is the place to be right now, Facebook still has its place and in a business to business setting LinkedIn has really grown in popularity and effectiveness in the last two years so I don't see there being any new piece of technology that we all need to really be concerned about but I do think it's just going to get harder and harder to make impact on social media.

What’s the most interesting trend you’ve seen in the past year?
The last question here is what the most interesting trend was I've seen in the last year and that must be short form, short burst video particularly on Instagram. Instagram stories have been an absolute phenomenon they've nearly blown Snapchat out of the water so that has just been an amazing trend to watch and I've enjoyed trying to get my clients thinking about that.

Why would you recommend business owners and professionals attend New Start Scotland?
I recommend that you attend New Start Scotland because you are going have access to some incredible businesses that can really help your business to grow; but you're also going to be able to see a lot of great talks from people like myself and tons of other professionals in their sectors that are at the top of their game and of course the networking. You need to be meeting new people all the time. potential people to do business with, to learn from.  I think networking is so vital today especially with the advent of all this technology it’s still great to go and meet people so I hope you come along and have a great time at the show!
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