An Integrated Approach to Place Marketing

Place marketing is the application of branding and sales strategies to different regions, cities, states or countries. A business example of place marketing consists of departments and city councils competing to attract new residents and companies using branding techniques.

JAXUSA Partnership, a division of the Jacksonville, Fla. Chamber, is Northeast Florida’s regional economic development initiative. Their goal is to attract companies to relocate or expand in Jacksonville. The organization is tasked with place marketing for the entire region, including the seven distinctively unique counties, with businesses and potential members of the workforce.

Burdette Ketchum worked with the JAXUSA Partnership and developed a comprehensive and integrated approach to the organization’s place marketing to reach a variety of target audiences. The approach includes tactics such as: content marketing, public relations, digital advertising, website, target industry marketing and outreach to site consultants.

The place marketing plan includes communicating the region’s strengths as an ideal business location across multiple communications channels, including email newsletters to stakeholders and site consultants, social media posts, sponsored content on social media and podcasts.

The digital advertising plan utilizes four ad networks that drive traffic to the website. Digital banner ads and native advertisements are strategically used to capture the target audience’s attention and encourage them to find out more about the region.

JAXUSA Partnership uses two websites for marketing. The primary site is JAXUSA.org, which serves as the organization’s main communications channel and provides businesses and site consultants with every type of information/data they need to know about the region. It includes highlights of each county, success stories, tools and resources, available real estate, and so much more.

The second site, FindYourJax.com, provides local companies a tool to help recruit talent to the area. The site features a number of different residents that have moved to the area from other parts of the country who share how they found their JAX in different neighborhoods and activities in the region.

The target industry-marketing plan focuses on digital and collateral pieces that creatively tell the region’s competitive story. This includes advertising new corporate locations to the local business community, creating business case studies, and advertising regional statistics to other areas of the country.

The outreach to site consultants delivers targeted, consistent communications about the market, development opportunities and economic development wins to keep the region top of mind for key site consultants. This is done primarily through email marketing newsletters.

Each piece of the integrated marketing plan ensures that all target audiences are spoken to effectively conveying the region’s place marketing story. There are many stakeholders and audiences in economic development and it is important to address all of them to successfully drive new businesses and investment into your community.