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Posts Tagged ‘Target Audiences’

Social Media Monitoring for Economic Development

If you are in the business of attracting or retaining business for your community, chances are your customers – whether site selectors, business owners or creative people who invent new products and services – are active on social networks and sites.

How widely are such sites used in the economic development world?  We don’t really know, because research just can’t keep up with the rapid changes.  The most often cited statistic is that 57 per cent of members of the International Economic Development Council surveyed by the IEDC and Development Counsellors International (DCI) said they were using social media tools.  But that was in 2009, a lifetime ago in Internet years.

More recently a survey of 3,800 marketers from all industries, carried out for the 2012 Social Media Marketing Industry Report published by, found that 83 per cent of respondents said that social media was important for their business.  The survey also found that the Number 1 reported benefit of social media marketing was generating more business exposure (reported by 85 per cent of marketers), followed by increasing traffic (69 per cent) and providing marketplace insight (65 per cent).

Economic development organizations, too, probably employ social media to an almost universal extent, but they are missing out on one of its most essential benefits – finding out about themselves.

Mobile Apps for Investment Attraction

Citizens of the City of Boston can be in touch with their local government wherever they go. At the City of Boston’s official site, citizens can download the Citizens Connect App to their phones and easily report potholes, graffiti and other service-related issues to City departments for resolution.

Launched in 2008 and upgraded since, the Citizens Connect App is part of a suite of mobile applications that Boston expects to develop and release to the public. There’s no app for economic development yet, but it’s instructive to read a statement made by Mayor Thomas Menino on June 22, 2011, when Boston added a new feature to Citizens Connect to enable citizens to report missing or damaged street signs.

“We continue to look for new ways to use technology to make government even more accessible and more responsive to our constituents,” Mayor Menino said. “Citizens Connect has been a valuable tool for the City and this new feature will allow us to more effectively monitor and respond to these issues.”

Mobile App Usage is Growing for Citizen Engagement Projects

Municipalities everywhere are recognizing that mobile apps are a popular and effective way to engage their target audiences. In February 2011, Arlington, Texas launched a mobile application to give users access to municipal services, report problems, apply for permits and pay (more…)

Best Practice #4: Specialty Websites and Portals

Not long ago, investment attraction websites were designed with the idea that one site fit all. But that’s not true any longer.

Creative Economic Development Web Initiatives

Multi-channel web marketing has come to the forefront quite quickly in recent months. This has led to some remarkably creative initiatives by economic development departments all over North America. But, it’s also causing some headaches.

As mentioned in our article of August 5, 2010, EDOs are finding themselves managing several websites in part because of the need to build web properties for social media purposes. But there’s another reason.

Multiple Target Audiences Drive the Need for Specialty Websites

In today’s creative economy EDC’s must deliver messages with carefully defined purposes. Their targets are people as much as they are industries; people with specific questions on their mind. They won’t be attracted by a general purpose website containing much information that (more…)

Best Practice #2: The Competitive Economic Development Website

The very rapid evolution of web-based economic development – or Economic Development 2.0 as we call it – means that your website no longer stands alone as a channel. It is only one part of the broader web channel which now typically consists of multiple web properties. What is the new and evolving role of the economic development website? What part of the job of investment attraction and business retention and entrepreneurship does it have to deliver on?

As discussed in our previous article, the Number 1 best practice for an economic development web program is to create a strategy to ensure that all web marketing is cohesive, focused, goal-oriented and measurable. The Number 2 best practice is to ensure that your main website is competitive.

At the Heart of the Economic Development Web Strategy

The economic development website is at the centre of your solar system of web properties. The planetary sites include social media services, niche sites, partnership sites and related media such as web video.

Some web users will find your municipality by keyword searches and will land directly on the main website; others will find your website after gravitating to one or more of your affiliated planetary sites first and then following the links back to your (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…)