Marketing Initiative continuing

MANCHESTER - With a surge of local involvement regarding the future of the business sector in Manchester, spearheaded by the Community Visit, a town marketing initiative created last year is still working to provide the town with marketing information that the town can hopefully utilize in the future.

Back on June 14 a committee was formed to launch this marketing initiative.

The committee is made up of a handful of local business owners and is strictly functioning on a volunteer basis.

In November, the committee went in front of the Select Board to present a SWOT analysis of an internal study done on local business in Manchester. A SWOT analysis is a structured planning method that looks into the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of a given project or business venture.

"There are three projects that we are working on right now," said Ron Mancini, committee member and owner of Mother Myrick's. "One is a customer survey that looks at where people come from, why they come here, how long they stay, and what they like and don't like."

Mancini said that the committee will be doing a summer and winter survey and use that data for a baseline and continue to gather data for the next four years to develop trends.

"The other thing we will be doing is starting a marketing test, working with the rest of the business community to come up with a test media campaign. That will be going on concurrently with the survey."

The third part of the process, said Mancini, is tying all of that information together into a report for the community and Select Board.

The Marketing Initiative is not the only way Manchester is looking towards as a way to learn more about how to bring and conduct business in our area. Executive Director of the Manchester and the Mountains Chamber of Commerce, Berta Maginniss, recently took a trip to China with 27 other chamber executives to more or less learn how they do business.

"I went with 27 chambers executives from through New England, South Carolina, Iowa, Texas, just to have a look at China from a business perspective as well as seeing the beauty of China. China is obviously a country in the past 25 to 30 years that has realized that the American market is really important to them," she said.

From this trip, where Maginniss visited places like Beijing, Shanghai and the Great Wall, she is hoping to have the Chamber sponsor a trip next year to get even more involved in how China runs businesses.

"My whole reason for going was to see if this is something that next year our chamber may sponsor a trip so that we might take a group from here. Not just members of the chamber but anyone who subscribes for the trip. It is very affordable. For say, $2,300 that includes air, hotel, meals, and everything really," she said.

Maginniss said that there is plenty of things to learn from the Chinese and that they are willing to interact with Americans. With a large contingency of Chinese youth at Long Trail School and Burr and Burton being educated in the United States, she believes a working relationship might be possible in the near future.

"I don't know if this will affect how we do business here - they are very willing to do business with Americans and they want to please Americans. They are very facilitating in terms of how they like to do business with our country," she said.


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