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Omaha Magazine

Greater Omaha Chamber: How We Do That

Oct 01, 2021 02:57PM ● By David Brown
David Brown, president and CEO, Greater Omaha Chamber

"How do you do that?” I have the pleasure and privilege to speak in front of many groups throughout the year. At virtually every one of these events, someone asks the question, “How does the chamber do that?” That question always reminds me that what we do is very successful, and sometimes we’re the only organization in this region doing many of the things that we do. So, I shouldn’t be surprised when there is curiosity about how we go about our work.

As an example: just how do we market the community for economic development? We measure our outcomes much like many businesses probably do…how much business did we get from the effort? For us, business is measured in two ways. The first is how many actual prospects have responded to our marketing effort. The second is how many impressions have we generated among people that might be able to influence a project in Omaha. So far this year, our economic development marketing has resulted in 148 prospects across four target industries. And this year, our targeted advertising has generated more than 700,000 impressions with audiences. In addition, through earned media (stories written about this market) we generated impressions with a potential reach of more than 176
million people.

The stories we catalyze are about successful client announcements and big happenings in the community. Think talent attraction, transportation, and policy. We pay close attention to the geography of coverage and pickups so we can target messages in our most important markets. In the good old days, the marketing would be carried primarily in print media. Today, we use digital platforms very aggressively. When we are traveling to conferences or trade shows, we can precede our participation with advertising in the region we will be visiting. That enables us to schedule visits with interested companies when we are in town. For the past year, we have not been traveling, for obvious reasons, but our marketing has generated visits by companies to this region, many of which will become the successes
of tomorrow.

In the end, we probably use strategies similar to many chambers when we are marketing and building image. But these strategies, combined with all of the other elements of Omaha’s placemaking and economic development, are what lead to results that make people say, “How’d you do that?”

This article originally appeared in the October issue of B2B Magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.