“We hope the new site will be a terrific resource for our investors as well as our clients,” says Stephanie Frohman, EDCUtah’s director of global strategy and outreach.
She and Nick Dall, manager of global strategy and outreach, led the development effort, spending a year reviewing hundreds of other sites, researching and benchmarking, storyboarding, receiving input from EDCUtah’s marketing committee and then engaging two Utah businesses to write the code and tailor the design. The site’s launch was official July 1.
Frohman says the site was designed for three specific audiences: EDCUtah investors, site selectors and corporate executives. The goal was to make it a welcoming, easy-to-use portal to all of the information people need regarding EDCUtah and Utah economic development.
“Kudos to Stephanie and Nick. They did a phenomenal job,” says Chief Marketing Officer Michael Flynn. “The old site was outdated and unresponsive, so rather than trying to build over the top of the old platform, they essentially threw it away and started from scratch to rebuild it utilizing Utah businesses, staying under budget and completing the project on time.”
Frohman explains that there are several companies that market themselves to economic development organizations for their web development needs, but they are all located out-of-state and EDCUtah wanted to keep the business local. What’s more, EDCUtah wanted to own the code and have the ability to manage and update the site internally, without relying on third parties. This gives the organization flexibility and lowers the cost – key elements they didn’t have with the old site.
EDCUtah President and CEO Jeff Edwards says the organization feels an intense need to maximize its investors’ dollars, and Stephanie and Nick did exactly that – taking on the new website project and executing it flawlessly while also managing their workload.
“I love marketing,” he continues, “and our new site is the first step in a big marketing effort. The new website creates an open front door into our organization and the state as a great place to do businesses. We see the website as a one-stop shop that is easy to navigate and full of content.”
Frohman says she wanted the website to provide a single point of contact that makes it easy for people to find the exact information they need about doing business in Utah and also the related EDCUtah contact information. “For example, we’ve put the names and contact information for our business development managers on each industry page, which will make it easier for someone to contact them if they have a project,” she continues. “We also published the name and contact information for our research manager, Matt Hilburn.”
Flynn says the new website is the first layer in a new communication strategy that the Global Strategy and Outreach team will launch during this fiscal year. In fact, the website, which will continue to be expanded, will serve as the vehicle to launch a variety of new communication strategies. It will also provide high-value analytics in the future as data is collected on site visits, click-throughs, bounces and response rates. Frohman adds that the team will collect analytics over the next six months to establish a baseline upon which to build campaigns and additional marketing efforts.
Although Frohman and Dall led the site development effort, Flynn is quick to note that the entire EDCUtah team was involved in the project. “Everyone here helped create content and we are really proud of the product and the process,” he says.
Looking back, Flynn says one of the first meetings he had when he took on his role as chief marketing officer was with the marketing committee, an investor-led organization that provides highly-valued guidance and input regarding EDCUtah’s marketing efforts. “These are busy executives that take time to help us navigate our marketing effort,” he explains. “And one of the first things they said to me was that improving our website should be one of our highest priorities. I think this new site accomplishes that directive and it will make us all better in our jobs.”