In early 2016, we set out to help local leaders develop the platform for Marion, Ohio’s future economic development marketing and community communications.

Our goal was to develop a compelling claim that would distinguish Marion from other midwestern cities, set the stage for attracting new development and instill pride among residents.  

Grounded in Research

We began our discovery process by reviewing secondary research conducted on the local area, as well as the larger Columbus 2020 region. Our team also gathered input from community leaders through in-person interviews, phone calls and an online survey. This research yielded a number of themes that inspired and grounded the marketing and communications platform development.

Guided by critical success factors and an analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, our work took two different, yet complementary paths. We developed an economic development-oriented platform designed to appeal to current and prospective area employers, site selectors and other business professionals, as well as a consumer-facing community pride platform.

A Compelling Claim

Backed by extensive research and data, our point of view identified Marion’s compelling claim that tied the area’s storied and impressive history to the present day. Like any compelling claim, Marion’s needed to be:

  •  Unique
  •  Believable
  •  Relevant
  • Lasting

Positioning Marion as America’s Workforce Development Capital™ was strongly influenced by global employment needs and local educational assets. Workforce concerns are the most critical issue facing today’s employers, especially those making site selection or expansion decisions.

Marion’s education and training resources like Marion Technical College, The Ohio State University at Marion, and Tri-Rivers Robotics & Advanced Manufacturing Technology Education Collaborative (RAMTEC) make it the perfect match for the next wave of manufacturing.  

This compelling claim provided the springboard for a community pride platform, MarionMade! Paying homage to the area’s history of manufacturing and notable past residents, we designed this campaign with potential for limitless applications.

Beyond the compelling claim, we provided strategic communications recommendations in the areas of community and economic development marketing. With these tools, community leaders can create positive energy, attract business, meet employers’ needs and instill community pride by fully leveraging Marion’s assets.

Need help developing your own compelling claim? Let us know — we’d love to lend a hand.

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