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Archive for the ‘Marketing to the Creative Class’ Category

Building Your Creative Economy: Attract Alumni through Social Media

The loss of educated graduates has become almost an accepted fact of life in small and rural communities and is most definitely a drain on a community’s ability to develop its creative economy.

Social media, however, offers your community a powerful means of finding and reconnecting with your town’s expats, and the opportunity to provide them with reasons to come back.

Former student high school alumni groups are some of the most popular and abundant groups on Facebook. For every high school of any size there will be at least one, and often several, Facebook groups for former students to join. These are hubs for people who share common experiences to reconnect with old friends, and share memories and photos of the glory days. You’re likely a member of one or more of these groups yourself. (more…)

Social Media as a Cornerstone of a Creative Economy Campaign

If attracting the creative class is a strategy for economic growth in your community, you need to be aware that social media will likely be a key communications channel for your marketing campaign.

Why? Because social media websites and tools provide the most effective and economical means for you to segment your target audiences and to measure how much activity your messages are generating.

Challenges of Segmentation

Creative economy campaigns are focused on people as opposed to industries. This requires a different marketing approach, as we have pointed out earlier in this series (please see “Marketing to Attract the Creative Class,” April 13, 2010). The first challenge is that the creative economy is so broad that marketing dollars can easily be wasted by not hitting the right points on this very large target.

A necessary first step, then, even before a strategy is developed, is to define your target creative audience. This can be done using (more…)

Developing a Creative Economy Investment Attraction Strategy

Economic development organizations are accustomed to developing strategies to attract new or expanding businesses to enlarge their tax base. To do this they spread messages that appeal to corporate interests. What are the strategies and messages that need to be developed to attract the creative class?

It is this class – people who are paid to think – that is building the economy of the future. To effectively reach this target audience requires a new kind of strategy, one that resembles a consumer marketing campaign.

You need a clear, simple message broadcast to a carefully defined target audience.

Your strategy should be based on an understanding of what kinds of creative communities already exist in your region, what makes your region attractive to them and what messages should be designed to appeal to similar creative groups who will respond to those (more…)

Defining a Creative Economy Target Audience

It’s all about people

Creative businesses and workers can be found in every sector of the economy. How, then, can they be identified and targeted for investment attraction? This presents a new and significant type of challenge to economic developers.

The first big mind-shift is that, contrary to past marketing efforts that were all focused on attracting businesses, economic developers now have to think about how to attract people. This requires a completely different marketing approach.

Marketing to the Creative Economy

Cutting across sectors and geographical lines, the creative economy is so broad that the audience cannot be easily defined. Marketing to this target audience requires clear definition of who is being marketed to and how this group can be reached.

General characteristics of people in the creative economy are widely recognized, because such people are being sought by communities all over the world. A recent report, Unveiling the Creative Economy in Arkansas, prepared by Regional Technologies Strategies Inc. on behalf of several public-sector organizations (, describes the creative-economy target (more…)

Creative Economy Marketing

Growing Consensus

For several years there has been growing consensus among economic developers about the importance of the creative economy, and many organizations have sprung up to examine and promote its concepts. In Canada, for example, the Creative City Network of Canada offers many kinds of resources to municipal staff and the recent annual conference of the Economic Developers Council of Ontario was built on the theme of “Defining and Capturing the New Economy,” with Rebecca Ryan, founder of Next Generation Consulting, as the keynote speaker.

In the US, preparations are under way as this is written for the third annual Creative Cities Summit to be held April 7-9 in Lexington, KY. Another thought-leadership organization, the Seattle-based International Regions Benchmarking Consortium, released a report in December 2009 confirming that the springboard for economic growth these days is talent, not industrial resources or infrastructure.

The report, A Tale of 10 Cities: Attracting and Retaining Talent, lays out the typical growth pattern in the creative economy: “A region begins by attracting capable people though existing employers, its university system and an attractive local lifestyle. A growing talent pool then attracts new employers who seek a skilled workforce. This growth in knowledge-based industries, in turn, attracts even more well-educated and (more…)

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