A local business has come out with a nice victory in a marketing contest that had a twist this year.
Bashaw Farm and Building Supplies walked away with $1,250 in the annual Community Futures East Parkland (CFEP) Marketing Challenge that wrapped up at the end of May. The total included a weekly prize of $250 for being the most influential and $1,000 for being the most dynamic overall.
“Community Futures is one of our lenders and they really support us. So, given the pandemic, I reached out to talk about some things and the market challenge in May was mentioned,” said Cindy Orom, who co-owns and operates the business with her husband Shaun.
“What could be better than an opportunity to win some money during a time of such uncertainty.”
Aside from them, two other Bashaw businesses took part — Meeting Place Coffee Roasters and Fresh Start Studio — and took away $250 each for their respective weekly wins as most influential and most improved. The other overall winners included Just B Diversity & Inclusion Consulting from Stettler as most influential ($2,500), S & R Larose Trucking of Stettler as most improved ($1,500) and the Old Bank Bakery in Delburne as the fan favourite ($1,000).
CFEP economic development officer Kate Gislason explained that, due to the pandemic and the closure of non-essential businesses, there would need to be some change in their approach.
“The idea had come to light during a previous brain storming sessions with our team. We always hear from our clients that they struggle with social media and finding content to post,” she said.
“When the announcement came down from the government, almost overnight all events had been canceled and projects put on hold. We understood we had to respond quickly. The Marketing Challenge Social Media allowed us to run a challenge virtually with a focus on staying engaged regardless the status of their business.”
The challenge featured businesses having to follow a calendar of daily specific topics for which to make a post about.
Gislason added the feedback was extremely positive about the uniqueness of the challenge this year.
“Many of the participants shared with us how it allowed them to be vulnerable and share their story, some for the first time, some in a new way,” she said.
“And for some, they said it reignited their passion and reminded them why they are doing what they do.”
Orom was one of that never really imagined going on social media like she did during the challenge.
“The one thing I said was that I don’t think I would have been this vulnerable as far as sharing our story if not for the challenge,” Orom said.
“I haven’t gone this in depth on my personal social media, so it was certainly a challenge to step outside what I am accustomed to.
“I did find it a lot of fun. We have owned this business for three years and kind of told everyone where we are at and about our background.”
Meanwhile, the success of a new way of doing things already has Gislason and her team looking toward the future.
“We will always keep evolving our challenges and pivot as needed. Our team is already brainstorming ideas for a Marketing Challenge Social Media 2.0, so I encourage any business who is located in the Community Futures East Parkland region to get in touch with our office or follow us on Facebook,” she said.