Yakima County Development Association - Selling Blue Sky and Everything Under It

Jonathan Smith

The President’s Pen is a weekly blog written by Jonathan Smith, New Vision’s President and CEO about local economic development projects and initiatives. It also covers economic trends, workforce issues, business climate policies, and manufacturing news. 



Selling Blue Sky and Everything Under It

Selling Blue Sky and Everything Under It

September 23, 2013

The Seven Deadly Sins of Community Marketing Roger-Header-Pic

At the Northwest Economic Development Games recently our Marketing Director Shannon Hitchcock picked up some great advice and information on economic development.  The five day class reaffirmed that Hitchcock has learned tremendously in her first year at YCDA.  It also gave Shannon an opportunity to bring home some knowledge that will help everyone in our office.

In particular the marketing seminar taught by Roger Brooks hammered home the importance of a strong website.  Brooks recommends spending almost half of your marketing dollars on website that can close the deal for your agency.  As we know from working closely with site selectors, the breadth of data, news articles and analysis www.ycda.com has is complimented time and time again.  Going into 2014 this is an area that will in fact focus much of our time and attention as we refine our message and make our websites even more user friendly.

It is now estimated that consumers receive over 5,000 advertising messages a day and so it is no surprise that as a result, we have honed our ability to block out most message. Therefore, whether you are marketing your business, a new product or your community, it is important to understand who your audience is you are speaking to, be clear and concise with your message and stand out from the crowd!

Roger Brooks, an expert community branding, marketing and tourism recently spoke at the Northwest Economic Development Course started off with a discussion on the 48 words to avoid in marketing. All 75 students laughed as we each plead guilty to using more than a few of these words such as, explore, discover and experience.

Brook’s mantra,  “Jettison the Generic!”was repeated over and over again as he challenged each of us to, “Find out what makes your community unique and go with it.” He cautioned ,not to reinvent ourselves into something we’re not but to embrace the legacy of our individual communities and be proud of it. Brooks goes on, “When someone wants to experience what your town has to offer is your community the first one that comes to mind?” Throughout the two hour seminar students were peppered with similar, thought provoking questions getting each of us to reexamine our own marketing efforts.

Five times as many people will read a headline in an ad and move on. In those few seconds you, as a marketing professional have to capture their attention and keep them on your ad, make each word in your headline count! “Change your words, change your world,” was hammered home.  And as important as your words are to the success of a campaign so is the appropriation of your organization’s resources to execute that campaign. Brook’s recommends the following allocations:

45% dedicated to a website that can close the deal

20% PR and brand building

20% on advertising that drives consumers back to your website

10% on printed materials

5% on trade shows

YCDA is right on track as we compare our 2014 marketing plan with takeaways from the marketing seminar. If you would like a PDF of Roger's presentation please email us a request at: shannon@ycda.com


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