OVERVIEW & PURPOSE
Updating and improving a city’s infrastructure will continue to be a key factor in realizing a smart city vision. Although an important necessity, it can take a real toll on residents, and on local businesses.
In April 2018, The City of Mount Pearl conducted one of the largest infrastructure projects in the City’s history. The replacement of underground water, sanitary, and storm sewer mains on Commonwealth Avenue, one of Mount Pearl’s major thoroughfares, was absolutely necessary.
The City acknowledged the impact that construction of this scope had on its business community. So, it developed a promotional campaign, ‘Commonwealth Avenue City Bucks’ to support businesses affected by construction and bring people back to the business district.
To celebrate the completion of construction, the City mailed out a $5.00 ‘City Bucks’ coupon to every residence in Mount Pearl to redeem at any participating business on Commonwealth Avenue. After the three-week promotion running from 19 November 2018 to 09 December 2018, the City reimbursed the participating businesses for their collected ‘City Bucks’. The City also promoted the completion of construction through supporting radio ads, street signage, and social media to bring customers back to the area.
The target audience was the entire community, its residents, and its businesses.
CHALLENGES & CHANGES
As the Commonwealth Avenue construction project impacted the business community, the biggest challenge was finding a way to support organizations during the lengthy project. Not all organizations on Commonwealth Avenue are retail operations, so it was challenging to come up with an effective and inclusive campaign. Bringing traffic back to the area was the overall goal.
Engaging the entire community with an incentive and providing compensation to participating organizations, accompanied by radio ads and social media, proved to overcome this challenge. It assured residents and businesses alike that Commonwealth Avenue was in fact, open for business.
RESULTS & EFFECTIVENESS
The ‘Commonwealth City Bucks’ campaign proved to be very effective. Coupons were sent to all 10,075 residences in Mount Pearl and 1,774 coupons were redeemed during the promotion.
That’s a 17.6% redemption rate.
There are 83 businesses on Commonwealth Avenue. Of the 46 businesses that chose to participate, 27 businesses redeemed their coupons for a total compensation value of $10,150.00.
And residents were happy:
The entire community came together to support the local business community during a difficult time.
It goes to show, a little treat can go a long way.