Situation: City branding is important
Famous for its trailblazing history, Fort Worth still embraces its reputation as a “City of Opportunity.” Quickly becoming an epicenter of growth and innovation, Fort Worth offers an inviting community, talented workforce, and incredibly low cost of living, attracting people and corporations from all over the world looking to move or expand into one of the nation’s fastest-growing cities.
The goal of every city on the rise is to attract new business and talent while strengthening the industries already established. To accomplish that, the City of Fort Worth Economic Development team selected Schaefer as the agency of record for a three-year partnership to create the city’s first-ever economic development and business attraction initiative. The partnership is part of the city’s five-year strategic plan and plays a key role in positioning Fort Worth as a place of purpose where businesses and people can leverage the city’s incredible potential to create the future they want to see.
- Establish a story that connects Fort Worth’s heritage with its future
- Develop a multi-phase, multi-year campaign to drive awareness and attract new business
- Highlight Fort Worth’s economic incentives and competitive edge in business, culture and community
- Reach key business decision-makers to advance economic development
- Elevate Fort Worth on a national and international stage
- Foster collaborative conversations between key stakeholders in the public and private sector
We started with a question: what makes Fort Worth and its people so unique? The answer was simple. A pioneering spirit that dated back to the 1800s and still stood strong today. As the first-ever economic development campaign for the city, Schaefer was in a unique position to lead strategy from inception.
We recognized the importance of storytelling in establishing the city’s position in the eyes of our target audiences. A good story would amplify the message, build credibility, create a strong sense of community and offer nuggets of authenticity and purpose that truly make Fort Worth stand out.
Known as the point where the west begins, Fort Worth has always promised possibility, innovation and prosperity. Unlike some of the larger, competitive cities, opportunity isn’t a new promise, it’s woven into the very fabric of Fort Worth. To communicate that, we built messaging around the idea that no matter what you’re looking for — relocation, expansion, opportunity – it can successfully begin in Fort Worth.
Building equity through identity
In order to build equity, Fort Worth Economic Development first needed an identity. We leveraged their voice, tone and values to create an independent identity that was flexible enough to work alongside the city’s existing branding, and strong enough to communicate the impact of their initiatives.
Schaefer then crafted a multi-faceted campaign that unified strategy, creative and media to promote Fort Worth’s business advantages among corporate decision-makers, site selection consultants and local business owners. The campaign further cemented Fort Worth as a city of growth and opportunity, while highlighting its competitive edge as a leader in innovation who works hard to meet the needs of the businesses who chose Fort Worth.
Solution: Fueling growth and connections online
Revamping the website to reflect the new brand campaign was vital to communicate key messaging. As the central platform that business leaders, stakeholders and prospective residents visit to find relevant information about the city, the website confirmed Fort Worth’s proven economic landscape with tangible proof points our audience would find attractive.
With this in mind, we included demographics, workforce statistics and other data points that leverage Fort Worth’s resources against competitor cities. A strategic mix of traditional and digital media, including paid search targeted prospects helped drive traffic back to the website. Knowing our target audience sets and strategically placing ads in places they frequented (in person and online) expanded Fort Worth’s presence on the list of key business destinations in the US.
After 8 months in market, our team identified a list of top engaged companies. The insights we gathered included a list of prospects from target industry sectors with the potential to increase the size of the labor force and generate millions in economic output for the city of Fort Worth. These key insights have helped us to strengthen our marketing approach in more specifically targeting like prospects.
During the first 8 months of the campaign, we created an anchor site that served multiple economic development organizations with one source.
- 88% of total site traffic driven by paid media
- 44% derived from prospecting emails delivered to corporate decision-makers, site selection consultants and other key decision makers in select target outer markets
- 98% increase in new site traffic from key markets and industries
- 55K new visitors
- Significant engagement achieved in Los Angeles, Chicago and Raleigh-Durham markets, which were key target markets within the initiative
- As a result of this increase in traffic to our website, Fort Worth continues to receive organic recognition as a top place in the U.S. to start a business. This is a direct result of the growth in widespread awareness for Fort Worth as a great place to live, work and do business.
- According to Bisnow, Fort Worth has more than $2 billion in projects under development marking a huge milestone in the economic development of the city.
By the end of Year 1, we developed strategic partnerships with key economic development influencers in the region and positively impacted corporate relocation and expansion for the city of Fort Worth, drawing business from two key industries — Aerospace and Defense, and Mobility Innovation.