November 9, 2019, by Erik Larson

3 Ways To Use Data To Market Your Community

Putting a place in the best light

A client recently said to us that data can work for or against you, when it comes to communicating about your community. We couldn't agree more.

We are living in an age of transparency and access, at least directionally, so the growing expectation is to be able to quickly glean key facts and information necessary for a decision-making process.

But how do you balance transparency with a favorable narrative? What if the two things necessarily contradict one another?

The most common fear we hear about using data in a more front-and-center manner is that the population or workforce will be quickly dismissed as too small to support a business's needs. If it's new residents you seek, the same fear comes into the picture for many communities.

We agree that these are difficult things to balance, but with the right solution and dataset, that you can actually use this tension to your advantage. Many people are looking for communities to relocate to that are off the beaten path, with a better quality of life.

The following are a few ideas we've seen be succcessful in using data to market a community.

3 Proven Data Narrative Strategies

1. We Know Our Workforce

There are only 36 cities with populations over 500k, so most communities find themselves squarely in the 99% of the roughly 19k total across the U.S. (see the chart here).

Where a community lacks in size, they can compensate in granularity. Accessing and analyzing data for smaller places presents its own challenges, but with the right data access and technology those obstacles can be overcome.

Here's a great snapshot of one market's manufacturing talent, despite being a very rural area of the country:

2. We Are More Than [Insert Stereotype]

We recently engaged with an EDO who was grappling with the commonly held belief that the area only had a recreation-based economy. In fact, they had been successful in landing a number of different advanced manufacturing and high tech firms, and was now struggling to fill seats in these companies.

Here' a few data snippets from their marketing site:

3. Behold, The Future!

Pushing the boundary on data access, consider data forecasting as part of your story. Not only that, what does the picture look like in multiple future scenarios, including the downside of a potential recession?

We like this client example showing 4 different scenarios including baseline, high growth, interest rate shock and recession. An added benefit is they can track their own progress against the forecast to measure how their programs are moving the needle.

With eIMPACT, you own the data and the narrative in a cohesive package. We have lots of other examples, too many to post here, and we'd love to connect and share stories.
If you'd like to explore this futher, click button below to set up a live conversation: