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Elevate ECI is an initiative of the East Central Indiana Regional Partnership • Issue 3

The Elevate ECI Team met to tackle the important question of “What?”
What makes this region special? What do we tell people to show ECI as an ideal place to live, work, and play?

Emotion versus Fact

It’s a well-known concept in the marketing world: people make choices based on gut reactions or emotional responses and then defend their decision with facts later. It’s good news for us. After all, no matter how many breweries we have in East Central Indiana, we’ll never be able to compete with Colorado. The same goes for many of the physical attributes we have: they just aren’t that exclusive to our part of the country. We have a lot of competition. That’s why we’re building a strategy that connects with our audience on an emotional level. We want them to fall in love with ECI and then use all the great facts about this region to justify their move here. 

Resonating with Our Target Audience

Each segment of our audience needs an individualized approach to ensure our marketing strategy speaks to them personally - like a match made in heaven. Think of something in your memory that triggers that feeling of home or opportunity. It’s a powerful feeling. You may not even be able to put words to it – it’s almost instinctive. We want each segment to get that “meant-to-be” feeling when they think of ECI. 

At this meeting of Elevate ECI, our team worked to answer the question, “What will we tell them?” Since we identified our target audience segments, it was now time to start developing a message tailored to each group. 

Persona 1:  People Who Left The Region 
  • Goal: Relocate back to the region.
  • ECI Assets: Midwest values, access to what’s new in town, small but thriving communities
  • Topics to Explore: reconnection with family, community development, vibrancy, revitalization, being part of something
  • Emotions to Trigger: fear of missing out, significance, nostalgia, warmth, comfort
  • Potential Taglines: “Rediscover Home: Rediscover You,” “You’ve Changed – We Have, Too” 
       Persona 2:  Current Resident
  • Goal: Retain current resident population.
  • ECI Assets: family ties, creative endeavors, options for any demographic, business start ups
  • Topics to Explore: connecting across generations, belonging here – even if you didn’t choose to be here, creating the future you want
  • Emotions to Trigger: creativity, belonging, family connections, making a difference
  • Potential Taglines: “Design the Life You Want,” “Play Out Your Passions”

Persona 3:  Visitor Considering Relocating

  • Goal: Attract new people to region.
  • ECI Assets: opportunities to contribute, welcoming nature, hobby- and recreation-focused, volunteerism
  • Topics to Explore: getting involved, more to the picture than what you see, build the community you want to live in
  • Emotions to Trigger: making an impact, leaving your mark, you’re relevant here, we’re just like you
  • Potential Taglines: “You Matter in ECI,” “Find Your Tribe”

Our next task is to refine these potential campaigns and focus on connecting to our groups in an emotional way – not by using buzzwords, like other places trying to do the same thing.  We’ll also begin working on how we’ll reach these target audience groups, which will be the theme of our November Elevate ECI meeting. 


Rushville’s Princess Theater & City Center

After the meeting, the Elevate ECI group took the opportunity to walk through the City Center, a 104-year-old, formerly derelict building that Rushville transformed into a modern, thriving community center. It also houses the Princess Theater and Rushville’s branch of Ivy Tech Community College. The group learned about this impressive undertaking and how the city now serves as a standard for other communities.

Elevate ECI Recap with Courtney Thomas

Help us market East Central Indiana!

We want to know why you choose ECI. It's simple: we just need one word from you. Follow this link to reply with your answer. It can be as simple as "career" or "affordability."


The next Elevate ECI meeting will be held on November 22, 2019

We’ll be meeting in the Star Conference Room, at 315 S. Adams St., Marion IN 46952. After the meeting, we’ll be touring some other important buildings in downtown Marion.

The Ultimate Playlist

The right tune can make all the difference when you're trying to be productive. We built a playlist of each member's favorite motivational music. You can check out our playlist here: Elevate ECI Power Playlist


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