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Our Top 5 Economic Development Marketing Trend Articles of 2012

2012 was a great year for Yfactor! Some of our highlights included:

  • We launched our new analytics tool, Prospect ID, which can turn blind web traffic into identified investment leads
  • We helped dozens of communities across North America to launch economic development, municipal, tourism, and immigration attraction projects including websites, social media, apps, branding, marketing strategies and design
  • We’ve built relationships with 26 new clients representing communities across the United States and Canada, completing over 100 projects

2013 is shaping up to be an even bigger year than last and we are looking forward to sharing more great articles, as well as stories about Yfactor, our staff and some of our client successes.

In the last year we sent out 20 articles on topics including: Creative Economy, Downtown/Mainstreet Marketing, Talent Attraction, and Economic Gardening.


Developing a Downtown Marketing Strategy

Nothing reveals a community’s determination to be economically competitive more than a thriving Main Street. Achieving success downtown is a strong signal that the entire region has found its economic direction. People are working together. That’s one of the core requirements for a successful downtown marketing strategy.

A healthy downtown is a symbol of community pride. Research shows that a vibrant Main Street boosts economic health and quality of life for miles around. If the Main Street environment attracts people, this feeds retail businesses which in turn attract more people, creating a positive spiral of growth and economic sustainability.

Moreover, Main Street renewal can be viewed as a signpost to the future, especially in the creative economy. Downtown is important to young people as a gathering place. A recent study by the Brookings Institution found that young people in their 20s and 30s are tending to move to metropolitan areas that they regard as “cool” and where they can feel connected. This puts a premium on marketing the attractiveness of your community’s economic core. (more…)

Creative Economy Marketing Programs and Events

Here’s a question you might like to toss around the table the next time your economic development department is planning a creative economy marketing program or event: What makes creative people in your community happy?

It’s a simple question but the answers can be quite complex and far-reaching. Economists have begun to use research into happiness to explore questions in economics, policy and management.

The Martin Prosperity Institute, in a research paper published in March 2010 written by Richard Florida, Charlotta Mellander and Kevin Stolarik, found that satisfaction with individuals’ current location has a big impact on the decision to stay or move.

“Our findings indicate that place-based factors, in particular the beauty and physical appeal of the current location and the ability to meet people and make friends, explain more of the desire to stay than do community economic conditions or individual demographic characteristics,” the authors reported in the study, called The Effects of Community Satisfaction on the Decision to Stay or Move. (more…)

Creative Economy Marketing Websites

Is it time to reconsider the strategy behind your investment attraction website?

It could be, if your existing strategy is several years old and your community has since turned its marketing focus to the creative economy.

Just as there is a difference between a traditional investment attraction marketing strategy and a strategy for creative economy marketing, so there is a difference between a broad-based Economic Development website and one designed specifically to attract and retain businesses led by the creative class. You might, in fact, need to consider having more than one site. (more…)

Creative Economy Marketing Strategy

The creative economy has changed many things, not least of which is the economic development profession. We are a long way from the 1970s, when manufacturing was the mainstay industry of most communities and the primary role of economic developers was to communicate their community’s availability of land, good transportation routes and skilled workers.

Today’s economy is fundamentally more complex. The creative economy is pervasive as a subset of all major industries – those segments that are driven by ideas, innovation, knowledge, collaboration and creativity. Economic developers are still coming to terms with the marketing concepts that underlie success in this new era.

Some jurisdictions and communities have got it. Colorado is one. The state recently enacted legislation that encourages local communities to create arts and cultural districts as a spur for economic development. Leaders behind this initiative understand that having a vibrant arts and cultural community can serve as a magnet for creative talent.