Darryl Stewart
By Darryl Stewart
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Why not Medicine Hat? – 2 Week Update

By Darryl Stewart, Head of the Herd

It started a few weeks ago with a simple thought “Why don’t we try focusing most of our marketing efforts on one place for a while?”

We settled on Medicine Hat Alberta.  Not too big, not too small, maybe somewhere that would not be turned off that we don’t have a big corporate head office in Toronto or Vancouver.  A place where people might be more likely to look beyond fancy corporate talk and consider real value for the dollar.

We started by doing some basic research.  We looked at population, politics, number of businesses and non-profits and anything else we could get our hands on.  From this point of view, the Hat looked like a vibrant place, one that would be well worth our efforts.

Then we researched individual businesses and non-profits.  To date we have identified 317 organizations in the Hat and added them to our database.

In the past two weeks we have been busy.

Free cookbook giveaways were a bust.  See  How to get Medicine Hat people to unsubscribe in record time.

Phone calls by our Pasture Development team (sales team) were greeted with skepticism.   It seems Hatters hate this approach as much as the rest of us!

Phone calls to local professionals, business and community leaders seeking to understand the Hat better were greeted with much more enthusiasm.

We found out about some great organizations like the Community Foundation of Medicine Hat and Southeastern Alberta and we came to know a few local business leaders, accounting professionals and a really cool local bookkeeper.

We decided we did not know enough about how local groups were getting payroll done, so we created a simple survey and offered to donate $10 to the Community Foundation of Medicine Hat and Southeastern Alberta for each response we received.

Response to this campaign has been much better than a certain cookbook campaign!

Turns out the Payroll scene in the Hat is much like anywhere else.  About half the organizations who responded do payroll in house, with the other half using outsourced providers.  We received responses from groups ranging in size from 1 employee to 135 employees.

So far not much business has materialized from the Hat.  Well okay – none actually!  But something powerful is happening.  We are getting to know and be known by real people in Medicine Hat.  People are very interested in our value proposition that will keep more money in their businesses and organizations and therefore in the community, they just need to know that the company from Winnipeg is for real.

The IBEX herd has many more plans for the Hat – stay tuned!