WEDC launched a new website in December that touts the many economic and lifestyle attributes that make Wisconsin attractive both to business decision makers and to people seeking the best location to pursue career and personal success.
The website, InWisconsin.com, builds upon the Think-Make-Happen In Wisconsin brand platform that has been embraced and deployed by economic development partners throughout the state to expand perceptions among residents and nonresidents alike about the opportunities available here for career and personal fulfillment.
“Our research tells us that perceptions of Wisconsin are limited in ways that affect both talent retention and attraction,” says WEDC Deputy Secretary and Chief Operating Officer Tricia Braun. “Our success in maintaining and growing Wisconsin’s highly capable workforce will require a concerted effort among business leaders, educators and economic stakeholders across the state, all of whom have encouraged us to expand our marketing efforts to promote Wisconsin’s many benefits to targeted audiences outside Wisconsin.”
Those audiences include millennials throughout the Midwest who are seeking to maximize their career opportunities while maintaining a healthy work-life balance; alumni of Wisconsin colleges and universities who left the state after graduation; and veterans and their families transitioning from active duty to a civilian lifestyle that aligns with their career and personal goals.
In conjunction with the website launch, WEDC is unveiling a paid media campaign focused on the Chicago area. “We’re focusing on Chicago in this initial phase of our talent attraction campaign due to the large concentration of mobile millennials, who also happen to be accustomed to living in the Midwest,” says WEDC Vice President of Marketing and Brand Strategy Kelly Lietz. “We want to make sure that anyone who is looking for the best location to maximize their potential know what opportunities await them here in Wisconsin.”
Social media and out-of-home advertising in Chicago promote Wisconsin’s low cost of living, short commute times and outstanding quality of life.
WEDC’s $1 million paid media campaign launched on Jan. 8 and will run through June. The strategy includes dynamic social media ads that highlight Wisconsin’s low cost of living, short commute times and plentiful recreational activities. Commuters will also experience positive Wisconsin messages on train platforms as well as in an on trains themselves. “We’re also connecting with young professionals in social settings, with posters and videos in health clubs and creative messaging on drink coasters in bars and restaurants,” says Lietz.
WEDC has also met with the alumni directors of colleges and universities across the state to explore ways to leverage existing communication channels to share information and resources with out-of-state alumni considering a move back to Wisconsin.
While WEDC’s ad campaign is designed to change perceptions of Wisconsin, it ultimately aims to spur action. All ads drive to the new website, where visitors are greeted with stunning videos, beautiful photography, compelling data and powerful testimonials that underscore how good life is in Wisconsin. Each region of the state has its own information-rich page built in collaboration with local and regional economic development partners. The site is built to convert “shoppers” into “buyers,” with home search options and job search functionality powered by the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development’s Job Center of Wisconsin.
As more and more businesses choose to Grow in Wisconsin, it has increased the pressure on our state’s workforce and created a new opportunity to market our state as both a business and a career destination. Enthusiasm for expanding the state’s marketing reach has resulted in proposed legislation to significantly increase funds available to reach audiences in additional markets, with special attention paid to veterans nationwide. WEDC looks forward to working with its partner state agencies, specifically the Wisconsin Department of Tourism, the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs and the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development to maximize the state’s talent attraction investment.