Brand Development and Awareness for Local Economic Development Group
As supporters of economic development in and around Medina County, Proximity Marketing was asked to be a founding partner of Made in Medina County – a local advocacy initiative dedicated to promoting awareness and emphasizing the economic impact of manufacturers in the county.
Made in Medina County was first formed in 2015 by a group of local organizations including representatives from local cities – Brunswick, Wadsworth and Medina –Medina County Economic Development Corporation, Leadership Medina County, the three Chambers of Commerce – Wadsworth, Medina and Northern Medina County – and a handful of local companies. “Representatives from all groups felt they had a shared interest in promoting economic development, specifically in manufacturing in the county,” said MiMC committee member Bethany Dentler.
Supporting the Goals of Made in Medina County
In order to support their goals, MiMC holds an Expo every other year to showcase local manufacturers. During opposite years, there is a Made in Medina County Day when local manufacturers open their doors to offer manufacturing tours and elected officials go to “work” in the plants.
Being a newly formed group in the area, it is important that MiMC build and maintain a presence throughout the county. In order to achieve this, Proximity applied its marketing expertise and developed a website, monthly newsletter and active social media accounts.
Challenges of Building Awareness from the Ground Up
According to Mark Priebe – President of Proximity Marketing and MiMC committee member – one of the biggest challenges in developing Made in Medina County is, “How do we differentiate Medina County and answer the question many have of, ‘What does manufacturing have to do with me?’” By creating a user-friendly, informational website, MiMC is able to maintain their position as a primary point of information between events, in addition to serving as a resource for all manufacturers in the county and others who support those manufacturers.
Priebe said the newsletter and social media channels were a natural progression: “By developing an email newsletter and writing profiles on local manufacturers, we are able to share their stories, which is a great way to keep the brand alive, keep the momentum going and build some brand equity between events.”
Creating Success through Collaboration, Unified Goals & Cleveland Digital Marketing
Through a collaborative initiative, a consortium of organizations throughout Medina County has successfully developed and launched not just a brand, but major events that have become increasingly popular in the area.
During its first year in 2015, the Made in Medina County Expo generated approximately 700 visitors. This number grew to 1,000 people in 2017 and this year, nearly 1,500 people are expected to attend. And, as awareness surrounding the event has grown, so has the initiative to educate and include students in the conversation, as evidenced by the growing number of student attendees throughout the years.
The Made in Medina County Day tours have also been particularly successful in involving people that are an integral part of helping to grow the industry – banks, insurance companies and Cleveland digital marketing agencies such as Proximity. “It’s imperative that our message reach those who are vital to supporting manufacturing in the area because then they also receive that perpetual communication about why manufacturing matters,” said Priebe.
The efforts of Made in Medina County continue to be a community initiative and the Proximity team is proud to take part by conveying the group’s brand and messaging. “There are a lot of other people that make this activity happen – and we are here to share those stories,” said Priebe.