Purpose: Home to three post-secondary schools that offer industry-responsive programming, Durham Region is a talent-filled geography. Enrollment across the institutions reaches over 30,000 students annually. Durham College, Ontario Tech University, and Trent University Durham GTA (“the tri-institutions”) graduate top-tier talent, have students that complete placements and capstones while studying, offer business supports such as research and development, and offer reskilling and upskilling programs for employers.
The vision for this project was for Invest Durham and the tri-institutions to work jointly to market Durham’s talent advantage. Built upon a shared vision, the goal was to communicate to business audiences and increase awareness that Durham Region is a place where businesses can access top talent, research and development assets, and other business supports.
Target Audience: The “Tap into Talent” campaign was fully digital. Since it was directed at business owners, entrepreneurs, and senior executives, audiences were targeted using digital targeting strategies, which include: using geography and demographic profile; internet user interests such as business websites; and audience alignment to home values, automotive brands, and purchasing behavior.
Challenges: The project had two challenges. The first challenge was timing. Two of the three institutions faced or had threat of staff strikes during the project. We collectively monitored this risk, delaying launch of the campaign. Thankfully, these issues resolved quickly, and we were able to deploy the campaign effectively. Secondly, the creation of the campaign was during the COVID-19 pandemic and gathering new footage was difficult. We overcame this by using existing footage and re-editing the content to create a dynamic new video.
Campaign: The campaign included the creation of a promotional video, digital banner and web-based advertisements, social media graphics and content materials, an advertorial placement in the Toronto Star digital edition. These assets pointed to a single landing page at www.investdurham.ca/TapIntoTalent which contains information about the tri-institutions various offerings.
Reach was strong. Key metrics are:
Organic (unpaid) and external reach continues to climb for this campaign. Through partnerships,
additional social shares of the campaign came from Toronto Global, Durham Workforce Authority, Spark Centre, 1855 Accelerator, Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce, Town of Whitby, and others.
Outcomes: The Tri-institutions reported an increase in interest for business services, with Durham College specifically noting 3 strong leads resulting from the campaign. (The other schools have not yet reported)
Sustainability: Costs associated with the campaign total $11,800. This provides a cost per impression of .02. The content developed for this program lives on beyond the campaign and has been used in events, on our website, and with investment leads.