Tillsonburg targets GTA for new residents

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Visitors to the International Fall Home Show in Toronto, Nov. 7-10, were able to learn about more than just the latest in home and interior design trends. They also had a chance to learn about the Town of Tillsonburg from Mayor John Lessif.

“Discover Tillsonburg. You’ll like the experience – I did,” said a smiling Lessif as he greeted visitors and handed out Discover Tillsonburg postcards.

Joining him in the promotional effort was Dominic Bradley, Director of Marketing for Baldwin Place, Will Hayhoe of Hayhoe Homes, and Debbie Van der Schans of Fusion Homes. Deputy Mayor Mark Renaud, CAO David Calder and Development Committee member Kirby Heckford also took shifts during the four-day show.

“Basically, we’re letting people know that there’s life outside Toronto,” said Bradley in media release Friday. “There are a lot of people who are looking to make a lifestyle change and we want Tillsonburg to be on their radar. It’s all about raising awareness.”

Colleen Pepper, Marketing and Partnerships Officer for the Town of Tillsonburg, says she’s pleased with how the show went, noting there was plenty of traffic by the Discover Tillsonburg booth throughout the weekend and interest from visitors.

“We had some really promising conversations with people so I think it will only be a matter of time before these bear fruit,” she said.

Already this year, Tillsonburg has seen a 15 per cent increase in the number of single detached homes built compared with the same period last year.

“We’ve been working with the builders on a co-operative marketing program for about 18 months now,” said Lessif, “and the numbers are starting to reflect that effort.”

Initiatives completed to date include installing three electronic visitor information kiosks, developing mobile billboards in partnership with Verspeeten Cartage, and running bi-weekly full-page ads in New Home and Condo Magazine. Over the summer months, the group also ran a series of radio ads.

“All our marketing material points to the www.DiscoverTillsonburg.ca website,” said Pepper. “It’s at the heart of our strategy. We’ve had nearly 10,000 unique visitors already this year, and almost 70,000 page views.”

With the recent addition of promotional postcards and folders, Pepper expects the upward momentum will continue.

“A lot of our time this year has been spent on creating tools that we can use over the next several years. We started 2013 without much in our marketing arsenal. Thanks to the combined contributions of the Town and our builder partners, we now have a beautiful new booth, signs, banners, and the consistent messaging we need to be successful in a competitive marketplace.”

“We’re definitely on the right track,” said Bradley. “The more successful we can be promoting the lifestyle opportunities available in Tillsonburg, the more successful every builder here will be.”

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