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Archive for the ‘Target Marketing in a Networked World’ 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…)

Target Marketing on the Internet

Your investment-attraction strategy probably includes reaching out to specific audiences. For that purpose the Internet provides new opportunities to reach more people in target niche sectors than any other kind of marketing ever has.

Today, messages can be segmented to go to people who self-identify based on what information they search for. You do not have to guess or hope that recipients are interested in what you have to say – you already know. This makes for very cost-effective marketing, something that is top of mind to economic developers in these times.

Self-Selection Through Search

People reveal on the web what they are interested in by the keywords they enter for searches. Today’s web products and techniques can use those keywords to bring your organization into the direct line of vision of the searcher.

A Google Adwords campaign, for example, can be extremely narrowly targeted. Not only can you determine the geography and other parameters for where and when your ad will be served. Most importantly, you can insert keywords into your Google ads that are designed to match (more…)

Cultural Mapping

Municipalities are responding to new economic and demographic realities by building local economies through culture. Creativity and culture are powerful drivers in building local economies and strengthening quality of life.

Attracting People with Culture

The field of investment attraction today is focused on attracting jobs in a knowledge-based economy. Municipalities are working to regenerate downtowns and build healthy neighborhoods so they can market themselves as livable and environmentally sustainable. They know that places that offer lively cultural and entertainment options are magnets that attract and retain creative people. This creative workforce in turn generates wealth.

Culture, then, is a primary measure of economic attractiveness. People are not secondary assets that follow business and investment. For communities that position themselves as places where people want to live and work, business and investment follows people.

Culture is now commonly referred to as the “fourth pillar” of sustainability along with social, economic and environmental aspects of economic development. Its importance is growing with the impact of immigration (see “Marketing to New Immigrants” in this series). People searching (more…)

Marketing to New Immigrants

In the decade to come, the number of workers reaching retirement age will be several times the number entering the work force. This will affect communities all over North America. Immigration will be vital to maintaining a workforce that can sustain economic prosperity, but immigrants are drawn overwhelmingly to large cities. What can mid-sized or small communities do to attract the immigrants they will need?

They can do what a number of large cities are already doing: identify the communities they wish to attract and draw them to their websites to explore economic-development opportunities.

Simple tips include:

  • Welcoming them and providing information in multiple languages
  • Providing useful information specifically valuable for new immigrants
  • Making it easy to find the new immigrant information section on the website

They can also take steps to make their sites stand out from the pack by adding interactive tools and extending their messages out to immigrant communities.

Be Welcoming to New Immigrants!

The first step is to serve notice that your community is serious about welcoming an immigrant work force. For an example you (more…)

How Can Your Website Stand Out?

Research continues to underscore the primary role of the web in economic development. In a national US survey conducted in 2008 by the University of California at Berkeley, both economic developers and site selectors agreed that an organization’s website provides the most effective economic-development strategy. It is the first point of contact that site selectors have with a potential site community.

By the third stage of the site-selection process – evaluation of a long list of potential locations – site selectors are almost one and half times as likely to have visited investment-attraction websites as to have personally contacted the community’s economic-development organization. If an organization does not communicate effectively through its website, a significant amount of possible direct contact by site selectors is lost.

The lesson learned from such research is that economic development organizations simply must get the web right if they are to succeed in attracting target industries to consider their communities for potential location. Here are four principles to follow:

Search-Engine Optimization

Previous Tech Trends articles have defined and discussed search-engine optimization, the importance of which cannot be overstressed. Your target industries will be searching on the web for communities with certain characteristics, using certain keywords. Do you know what (more…)

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