BCA will launch new marketing planPosted February 11, 2013 at 3:45 PM, Filed Under: BCA News, Front Page, Village Mill
By Wendy Parker
Following a February 4 presentation by A Touch of Technology President and CEO Sara Johnston, the BCA Board voted unanimously to appropriate $22,500 to fund a portion of the initial phase of a three-year marketing strategy to entice homebuyers to first visit Brandermill when deciding to relocate in the Richmond area.
A Touch of Technology, a Suffolk, Va. firm, was awarded a contract last year and was paid $15,000 to develop a marketing plan to promote Brandermill as a resort-like community with world-class amenities while increasing residential and commercial property values. After interviews with stakeholders of the community, A Touch of Technology prepared a 120-page marketing action plan that is available for viewing at the BCA office and will be posted on the BCA website.
Results of a community survey conducted by A Touch of Technology indicated that The Village Mill newspaper (80.5%) is the top method by which association members receive information from the BCA, followed by email (66.1%) and the BCA website (47.9%). To that end, A Touch of Technology plans to redesign the public face of the BCA website, which currently consists of 4,000 pages, to attract a broader audience of potential homebuyers by launching the marketing campaign, “Show Me Brandermill First.” Johnston says while information on the BCA website is good, it is geared toward residents in the community, but doesn’t promote Brandermill as a resort-like community with superb amenities.
Actions in the plan include: optimizing website content; easing navigation; achieving higher search engine rankings; using social media to increase targeted traffic to brandermill.com; and utilizing consistent branding for electronic and print marketing, and in the future, for radio and television advertising. Proposed facets of content development of the website include: providing environmental content to promote the reservoir and events associated with it; informational articles; videos and image galleries; and directory listings of businesses. The BCA website currently offers an online business directory paid for by advertisers, and Johnston recommends expanding advertising for real estate sales.
Johnston said that the BCA should host a Facebook page and start a blog to provide a mechanism for positive feedback about the community. In addition, the plan proposes implementing mobile development and utilizing Google AdWords to drive traffic to the website, and utilizing Google Maps and Google Places so potential homebuyers can find Brandermill.
“The biggest challenge Brandermill faces is to overcome the perception of an aging community,” Johnston said in her presentation to the board. The community survey indicated that 69 percent of the Brandermill population is over the age of 45. Johnston suggested that one way to overcome the perception is to engage the public in activities that allow for a glimpse of life in Brandermill such as the Brandermill Green Market, yard sales and concerts in Sunday Park. She said such activities promote positive awareness that Brandermill is family friendly to the outside community. And she believes the perception is not limited to the population, but includes homes and architecture. She recommends that featuring some of the remodels and updates of homes will help minimize the perception.
The marketing plan acknowledges that there are many beautiful homes in Brandermill, but there are many that have not been updated and lack great curb appeal. The plan recommends that the BCA invest in the infrastructure of facilities to keep Brandermill competitive with surrounding neighborhoods.
Following Johnston’s presentation, the board discussed a number of topics. Director Jack Bettin summarized that the first three line items of the 2013 marketing schedule amounting to $22,500 “gets us a website, and a marketplace that could promote commercial partners and derive revenue, and a platform to in the future ‘electronify’ The Village Mill.”
Director Joan O’Hanley asked Johnston if she disagreed with another media consultant’s opinion that website advertising revenue would produce only 5 to 15 percent of current print (The Village Mill) revenue. Johnston said that one of her clients generates enough online revenue to support the cost of the website.
Launching of the new face of the website is expected to take place in July 2013. View A Touch of Technology’s Marketing Action Plan.