Differentiation and Sea Salt Caramels:
How the sweet treat has helped bring jobs to Jacksonville, FL
How does JAXUSA generate conversations and more than double the number of new jobs in a year? The old fashioned way. By building and maintaining relationships with Site Selectors over the years their experienced and seasoned staff has been able to generate some astonishing results in the last twelve months.
This past year, each project manager increased their contact to their assigned group of site selectors, via familiarization tours, industry conferences, or just personal outreach with handwritten notes and gifts of Jacksonville’s own sea salt caramels. In fact, one site selector even commented to a JAXUSA project manager that he has been “trying to find a job” in their market to bring business their way -- a sure sign of appreciation.
Additionally, JAXUSA believes that differentiating your community from competitors is key to success. Says Cathy Chambers, “Jacksonville is a fairly young market – very up-and-coming. We knew we had an opportunity to build a new brand for our city, rather than try to overcome an old brand, and take this time to focus on our main sub-cluster industries.”
JAXUSA also took a different approach with their marketing tactics. Rather than relying on print ads of the past, JAXUSA completely transitioned to the Bizo ad network and saw an increase of 169% in online impressions – in half the time. Additionally, they saw a 163% increase in website visits per day, as well as 43 clicks per day in 2013 vs. 26 clicks per day in 2012.
Finally, JAXUSA made concerted public relations efforts this past year and realized more than 600,000 impressions with a media ROI of almost 300%. The difference was the shift from promoting what the organization does, to a more targeted focus on their key industries in trade publications.
It paid off in jobs and capital investment as well.
JAXUSA saw more jobs come to the Jacksonville area these last 12 months than the previous year, and more than tripled their capital investment:
4,333 new jobs with 33 different companies and $545 million in capital investment, vs. 2,183 jobs with 18 companies and $145 million in capital investment
Conversations converting to jobs and capital investment, all while measuring their results.
High Performance Economic Development at its best.