Random Acts of Marketing Don't Work

Posted by Whitney Daly on Nov 18, 2016 11:09:10 AM
The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) and the Arizona Association for Economic Development (AAED) put on a stellar marketing course recently in Phoenix, AZ. And what a great place for a conference in November. It's warm, unlike most others places around the country, although it has been unseasonably nice in Denver this month. We're not complaining!
IEDC Marketing Course in Phoenix
The conference went off without a hitch, and while we're not here to simply regurgitate the information that was presented, we do want to deliver three of our main takeaways that you too might find useful and beneficial for your work in crafting your community's unique messaging and positioning.
Our three takeaways:
  1. Economic developers still are not comfortable with digital marketing even though they all admitted it was their most efficient marketing tool.
    • The awesome thing is that digital marketing is efficient and it's cost-effective and its payoff is significantly higher when compared to more traditional methods of marketing and advertising. Economic developers need not be worried they're the only ones not partaking in the digital menu that's available today. Because they're actually among good company. Good company that knows the power of digital, that knows they need digital, but might not otherwise know how to take advantage of this thing called digital. And that's perfectly acceptable. It's okay to admit you need a little help in understanding what digital is and getting your program of work initiated. 
  2. Everyone thinks their baby is cute; In other words, because economic developers see their communities through rose-colored glasses, they can’t effectively market themselves.
    • We all have to come to grips with our shortcomings. As people. As businesses. As economic development organizations. And honestly, that's the hardest but most rewarding part. Once you understand your weaknesses, your opportunities, your threats, and that which stands in your way to being successful, is when you can really turn the corner. It's at that point you can take a truly objective look at your community and understand how to make your efforts more impactful. And without impact, hard work is really all for nothing.
  3. A marketing strategy is now a MUST-have for communities looking to drive long term impact.
    • Without a strategy, you're shooting in the dark. And remember, random acts of marketing don't work. A strategy conveys a vision, and a vision is really the foundation for what your organization wants to achieve. Once you know where you want to go, the marketing strategy acts as the conduit to help you get there. Think of a marketing strategy as the stepping stones that aid in your journey toward vision (or mission) fulfillment. 

Simone McFarlandSimone McFarland, Economic Development Manager from City of Sierra Vista, was among the 100+ economic developers in attendance, and she too found valuable takeaways from the course. "This was a really great training session. I walked away with a list of items to implement in my own work - simple action items that will improve the marketing for my community."

Take a step back. How is your community doing? Would you consider your community healthy and thriving? Or is it struggling to find its place? And what about your marketing endeavors? Have you embarked upon digital initiatives that are paying dividends? Let us be the judge. We'll take a peek at your current efforts, and let you in on how we think you're doing. We'll grade your economic development marketing efforts at no cost. It's our gift to you this holiday season!

Grade My ED Marketing Efforts

Topics: Economic Development Marketing, IEDC, Economic Developers, International Economic Development Council

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