As part of your economic development marketing plan, here are five key steps to keep in mind when preparing to tell your municipality's story.
Do the research - Building on the work of your economic development strategy, further research can be undertaken to determine gaps in your current marketing efforts, and uncover specific business needs and opportunities.
Have a story to tell - Start with highlighting your unique competitive advantages. What are the community's main strengths? What is the main benefit of your community's location? Is it the multi-skilled people in your labour force? Creativity and innovation in your key sectors? A cost advantage in shipping goods?
Tell it well - Always lead with benefits, of course. But different audiences have different needs, and messages must be developed that will strike a chord with their intended target. Having a strong brand is part of telling it well. It also means supporting the message with well-designed and creative materials, grabbing the attention of the recipient so he or she can see value in reading further.
Tell it often - Marketing studies show that responses increase when an integrated, coordinated, multi-channel approach is taken. Beyond simply purchasing media space or posting social media entries, there needs to be a process for keeping the marketing program on the rails.
Build the relationship - This is the punch line: creating and nurturing those contacts with whom you expect to do business - whether it is a prospect, an industry representative or an influencer.
Keeping these five steps in mind will help you develop a compelling story about your community - and lead to the long-term relationships you're seeking.