Posted on | March 11, 2010 | 2 Comments
Last week I gave my State of the Chamber speech. I have been on the executive team for 4 years, and this year I’m having a blast as President. As the economy was sucking wind last year I called a round table for the local business community. My theme for the round table was “Tough Times Spur Creativity”. I’m sure you heard that once or twice in 2009! Well, I took the message to heart and implemented ideas like crazy with a newly appointed board. Since that meeting we were able to create strategic partnerships with the town government and the port to secure an additional $75,000 for marketing. That might not seem much to larger communities but that is more than a 100% increase in marketing for our tiny town (population 860).
For the first time ever we purchased a billboard ad, tv commercial spots, implemented an e-newsletter to 1500+ visitors, created a new logo, ramped up on social media with Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, and cranked up our ad buys in general. Most importantly we will be getting signage ($15,000 price tag) on the interstate along with directional signs along the way marketing waterfront historic district.
Creativity also came in the form of getting lean and mean. We cut over $4,000 in rent by tough negotiations along with many more smart decisions on cutting overhead expenses. Believe it or not, our membership level is at an all-time high.
The current economic times suck. But, on the other hand, we are smarter, leaner, meaner, and more creative because of it. My hope is that as things shake out, my small town will be on top of our destination marketing game.