Thursday, March 19, 2009

Start Living Campaign Relying on Old Media

The province of Manitoba has announced their newest campaign to try and attract relocation of Canadians to Winnipeg and other cities and towns in Manitoba. The Start Living campaign is a reworking of the provincial government's previous $3-million Spirited Energy promotion which was riddled with criticism for its limited results and community support.

$2-million dollars is being invested into television ads to run nationally promoting all the reasons to consider Manitoba as a place for people and businesses to relocate, along with newspaper ads targeting Southern Ontario created by Destination Winnipeg. What has yet to be mentioned is any investment towards marketing online.

Though I still feel traditional media can be of successful in creating interest in a product, service or destination - ultimately their shelf-life is limited. Once people see an ad and express interest, they look to the internet for further due diligence. A website is required to deliver the information, but there is more than just setting up a site to support traditional media. When marketed properly, it is your 24/7 salesperson driving interest and locating audiences, globally, who may not have seen or have access to the newspaper ads or t.v. spots.

Consider that every week the press is reporting the declining ad revenues in traditional media because of the change in habits in how people spend their leisure time. Marketing online carries two major advantages over traditional mass media:

1) it is measurable as you can physically see what people are typing in when they search to find things online and you can see how many people have visited a website - both keys to any marketing campaign and;

2) your message is more targeted, in that the person searching is already pre-qualified as interested in what they are searching for (ex. if you type in "great places to raise a family" its because you are looking to move); this also makes it more cost-efficient as opposed to mass media which sends a general message hoping people will be in the market when they come across it

All and all, the province is right when they say now is the time to be capitalizing on our economic stability to attract people and business to relocate. I would just hate to see the $2-million already invested yield the same poor results as Spirited Energy.

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