Brewton officials have launched a new marketing campaign in the hopes it will draw both business and tourism to the city and surrounding areas.
Mayor Yank Lovelace made the announcement Monday of the project called explorebrewton.com.
Designed by Mobile-based marketing firm Strateco LLC, the billboard, internet-based campaign is designed to answer “What would it take to get a tourist to make a stop in Brewton? How about an industrial site scout?”
Strateco CEO Chad Tucker presented the program Monday at the regular meeting of the Rotary Club.
“The project was to define what the city wants to say, package that message, distribute it to targeted audience members, invite tourists and industry site scouts and welcome visitors here to see what the city has to offer,” Tucker said. “He said the city has two identified national draws for tourists in hometown author the late Michael McDowell’s “Beetlejuice” tie-in, and the E.O. Wilson Nature Adventure attraction. Working with a broad-based marketing plan, both those can reach a large market very quickly, he said.
“Marketing to lure industry is the ultimate goal, and with infrastructure work ongoing to make the city an ideal location, the next focus must be on quality of life issues,” Tucker said.
“When everything else is equal, people want to bring their companies to places with great education and great quality of life. They want a place that is attractive to their workers,” he said.
The Explore Brewton site is mobile-friendly and showcases the city’s history, culture, shopping and dining, outdoors attractions and industrial sites. In just a few days of operation, the promotional ads have racked up thousands of impressions and hundreds of clicks on the city’s new pages. And those numbers should improve as the campaign builds momentum, Tucker said.
Billboards are now up along Interstate 65 and on U.S. Highway 31. The cost is approximately $50,000 for the campaign. The project also includes new directional signage for the city to help visitors find their way – an action that focus groups repeatedly recommended to improve the city’s appeal for visitors, Tucker said.
Plans are in the works to add a historic avenue sign at the foot of Belleville Avenue so people passing through can enjoy the view of the area’s lovely homes.
Tucker said work on the site will continue and asked the public for help finding problems and adding interesting elements to the pages. A suggested place to add anecdotes about the city will soon be an added feature.
Tucker invited businesses to join the site by contributing links to business websites and by including the Explore Brewton link on their own pages. Anyone with suggestions can email email@example.com.
“It’s all part of our plan to improve our city, and make it attractive both as a place to raise a family, and a place to build a successful business,” said Mayor Yank Lovelace. “This campaign will help us stake our claim in the region and beyond. We already have people looking, and this will broaden our reach. We are in the top 10 in the state in recent polls for best places to raise a family, top 10 in outdoor musical events in the Southeast, we have one of the top schools in the state, available workforce and available industrial sites with rail access, airport access, and available retail space. Now, the world will soon know all that and more and hopefully we will have more people join us through Explore Brewton.”