Community Futures is an organization that operates in communities across Canada and has been around for 25 years providing business loans, training, and personal advice for entrepreneurs operating in rural areas that banks typically would avoid or turn down. The Saskatchewan region wanted to “modernize” their marketing since they were getting diminishing returns on their traditional efforts. Deep Dish Digital partnered with Meshy Communications to interview nearly 13 offices and analyse their marketing efforts.
The findings revealed that provincial awareness building campaigns (billboards, print, television) were ineffective and costly. In addition, we found many offices were re-creating marketing resources that already existed elsewhere and that most business was earned through word-of-mouth referrals. As a result, the recommendations provided to Community Futures emphasized a consolidation of their efforts and a shift towards more digital channels for marketing that could be better tracked. Initiatives as a result of the recommendations involve the collapsing of 13 separate websites into a single website, centralized social media presence, common marketing tools/processes utilized across all 13 offices, and the utilization of online pay-per-click advertising for lead generation. http://cfsask.ca/