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Columbia Avenue BID Proposal August 9, 2011

Prepared by BluFish Consulting, LLC 106 E. Michigan Ave. Marshall, MI 49068 269.781.5849

our intro - how we work for you

BluFish Consulting, LLC BluFish Consulting is pleased to present this proposal for promoting the Columbia Avenue Business Improvement District (BID). As you may be aware, we pride ourselves on thinking outside the bowl, no matter what the marketing challenge. Over the past decade, we have completed a wide-range of projects and have overcome countless brand challenges. In fact, we have worked on various tourism projects within Calhoun County, including: Marshall Chamber of Commerce, Marshall Downtown Development Authority, Marshall Historical Society, Marshall District Library, Marshall Economic Development, Calhoun County Fair, National Historic Landmark District, and Calhoun County Visitors Bureau. Although each marketing project presented its own unique challenge, each were successfully completed using the same disciplined marketing approach. We are very confident in our ability to assist the Columbia Avenue BID in building awareness and cohesiveness with store owners as well as encouraging the general public to shop/dine/enjoy everything that Columbia Avenue has to offer. We believe we are equipped to reach and exceed the outlined goals of the project. Creatively yours,



umbrella of services

What Services Do We Provide? Strategy Strategy is the most important aspect that directs all other marketing activities. Many clients begin with our strategic marketing plan that is based on extensive external and internal research. Since you are not asking for a complete strategic marketing plan, a scaled down approach to audience and competitive research will suit. Creative Better ads work better. Everybody wants more impact for their money, and that’s exactly the mission of our creative product. For each new concept our creative team puts together, we provide three viable options for our clients to review. Your BluFish team will always make a recommendation based on research, experience, your competition, and what we believe will make the biggest impact. Advertising Planning and Research BluFish adheres to a disciplined planning process, which involves your input up front and throughout. The result is advertising that demands attention, increases audience involvement and, most importantly, effectively sells the client’s company and its product. This process is critical and BluFish will be sure it’s done efficiently because no client has budget to burn. Media Planning and Buying Our seasoned media specialist is responsible for strategy development, planning, media research, negotiating, buying and placement of all advertising. Media Post-Analysis and Auditing The critical elements of monitoring and analyzing audience delivery, ad positioning and rotation, reproduction quality and reader inquiries are provided for every media plan (if appropriate). Cost depends on extent of measurments client desires. Public Relations Our Public Relations specialists are well-versed in crafting and implementing a wide range of tactics that serve as an integral ingredient in any marketing mix. We draw on expertise in media relations, internal marketing activities, internal or external newsletters that relay corporate news, and communications audits that help define public relations challenges, goals and objectives.


blufish team

Your BluFish Team You will primarily work and communicate with Ryan Traver of the BluFish team. He will be your main point of contact throughout the working relationship and will be available on a daily basis to answer questions, communicate progress of the campaign and meet for presentations as needed. Others listed will serve as support and will also be available as needed. Ryan Traver, Brand Manager/Partner, has been with BluFish since January of 2003. Ryan is a graduate of Western Michigan University with degrees in Marketing, General Business, and Textile/Apparel Studies. His experience includes working with such companies as Cequent Performance Products, BDS Suspensions, Gerstacker Institute of Albion College, Starr Commonwealth, Arundale, Marshall Economic Development, The Medalist Golf Club, Eastman Outdoors, University of Michigan Gymnastics, Michigan Kitchen Distributors, Diekema l Hamann Architecture + Engineering, Arts & Industry Council of Calhoun County, The Mike Furrey Foundation, Muhammad Ali Enterprises, and Kellogg’s. John Thompson, Principle Associate, is currently in his sixth year with BluFish. John is a graduate of Michigan State University with a bachelor’s degree in advertising. Before starting with BluFish, John worked in Scottsdale, Arizona, where he was an account representative for a national health care organization. His experience includes working with Osprey Recreational, Marshall Chamber of Commerce, Calhoun County Visitors Bureau, Marshall Community Credit Union, Calhoun County Fair, Oaklawn Hospital, Monarch Community Bank, Kellogg’s, Century Bank & Trust, and others. Bill Traver, Founder and President of BluFish. This marks his 41st year in the advertising business. Bill’s background includes hands-on experience in every aspect of the business. After founding Traver and Associates, Inc. in 1980 and building financial equity, a loyal client base and a reputation for fair and responsible business practices, he purchased the Kalamazoo office of Earle Palmer Brown, and formed TraverRohrback in 1993. His agency achieved capitalized billings of $26 million. In November 2000, Bill Traver sold majority interest in Traver-Rohrback, retired as CEO Emeritus, and has since formed BluFish Consulting, LLC.


blufish team cont.

Brenden Jones, Web Developer, works with clients to create persuasive and original solutions that help businesses stand out within their marketplace. He designs and provides creative direction for compelling print & web solutions. Brenden is a graduate of Judson University with a degree in Visual Communication. His experience includes working with such companies as Motorola, Osprey Recreational Properties, Crossway Publishing and Judson University. Karl Bastian, Co-Director, Creative Services, Runner, Writer, Thinker. When he’s not running, Karl is writing. Or thinking about writing. Or thinking about running. In any case, Karl is responsible for much of the creative product. Karl has been in the advertising business for over 20 years and has gained a wide range of consumer and business-to-business experience. He has produced everything from award-winning print and broadcast work to marketing support and interactive materials. Karl started his career in Detroit at Campbell-Mithun-Esty as a copywriter on the Chrysler Jeep Eagle account. Since then, he has worked at agencies in the Midwest and Texas and has developed a portfolio of strong creative work. And while he’s proud of the award-winning work he’s produced, Karl is most proud of founding the annual Run For Shelter a 5K Run/Walk that benefits the Goodwill Inn. Whitney Thompson, Brand Manager, has over 8 years in the industry. Whitney is a graduate of Michigan State University with a bachelor’s degree in Advertising. Her experience includes working with companies including Star Commonwealth, Oaklawn Hospital, Osprey Recreational Properties, Johnson System, NeoMatrix, PacfiCare Health Insurance, Greater Baltimore Medical Center, Clarian Health Partners, Community Cancer Care of Indiana, Haworth and others. Your BluFish Support Team As needed, we will bring in additional support to make sure we are tapping into all of our resources when it comes to your marketing strategy, creative, photography and more. BluFish Fees BluFish Consulting agrees to work within the defined budget parameters set forth in the strategy document. Additional requests above and beyond will be billed at the rate of $100 per hour.


estimate of services

Situation Analysis The Columbia Avenue BID board has asked BluFish for help. They are at a crossroads with promoting Columbia Avenue and are seeking help with creating ideas to really help give them more value internally with members and externally with the public. Many property owners are on the fence about the BID or even against it and remain uninvolved. We have been asked to brainstorm new ways to involve all of the businesses and create a positive buzz about the BID around Battle Creek. The following items are a list of possible recommendations for the BID to consider:

Marketing Plan N/C If selected, the first step will be to develop a 2-year Marketing Plan for the BID. This plan would dig deep into the BID with a SWOT analysis and a list of tactics to be carried out over 2 years to meet the pre-determined goals set forth in this marketing plan. This plan will be the road map to guide the board and give direction and something to follow so everyone is on the same page. This cost is included in the umbrella contract if BluFish is awarded the entire project. Below are possible tactics. Please keep in mind, however, that once a Marketing Plan is created, different tactics/directions may be recommended based on research, etc. Extreme Business Makeover - Curb Appeal Edition $10,000/yr Hold a contest for all of the business owners located in the district. Details of the contest TBD. Example contest could be “submit your story� about why your business should be awarded the Curb Appeal Makeover. Winner would receive an external makeover which would also benefit Columbia Avenue as a whole. This could include painting, signage, landscaping, paving, etc, all at the discretion of the board. If a business in a strip mall wins, the project would benefit the entire strip mall, and not one store. The transformation should encourage other businesses to get involved and make improvements to their locations as well. One Makeover awarded per year. Open House held at completion to encourage patronage. Whenever possible, labor and materials will be purchased through businesses in the BID district. Cost includes all improvements and labor. Press release about the contest and another recognizing the winner will be submitted to the press. Local news stations will be encouraged to do feature stories as well.


estimate of services

Promoting the Extreme Business Makeover $4,000/yr Details will be flushed out in the Marketing Plan. Costs could include direct mail, e-blasts and guerilla tactics to encourage businesses to apply for a chance to win. Updates and marketing efforts would also be showcased on the BID facebook page. BID Coupon/Ad Book Year 1 design $7,000 Year 2 design $2,500 A small coupon/ad book, roughly 100-pages in total, 5.5�x8.5� when folded. Each page would be dedicated to 1 business (front & back because of coupons). A template will be created for each business to have up to 4 coupons. If the business chooses not to have any coupons then the entire page would be an ad for their service/business. Businesses that do not respond to the BID with their preference will be given a generic ad with their general contact information. The book will be divided up into colored categories (such as restaurants, clothing stores, financial institutions, etc.) to simplify the search process. A full map of Columbia Avenue will also be included. The books will be distributed amongst businesses in the BID as well as other targeted locations nearby such as Meijer. The price of development for year 2 is much less as most of the time/cost was done in year 1. Only updates to coupons, expiration dates and additon of new businesses, etc will be created in Year 2. Printing of 5,000/yr $6,050/yr Media Campaign $4,000/yr Campaign to public encouraging them to consider Columbia Avenue for their everyday needs. This would include creating a campaign look and running occasional ads to promote the BID. Social Media Campaign $1,200/yr Facebook - Keep people aprised of the Extreme Business Makeover promotion, winners, and progress of the work being done with before and after photos, etc. Businesses that are friends with the BID page could post their current sales/promos on the BID page for other people to see. Info can be directed at BluFish to handle updates and page maintenance.



Please feel free to contact the references below who can comment on our relevant work and answer any questions. Professional References: Heather Luciani Chief Executing Officer Marshall Community Credit Union 269.781.9885 Keith Crowell Director of Development Oaklawn Hospital 269.789.3942 Marty Mitchell CEO/President Starr Commonwealth 800.837.5591 Bill Biebuyck Vice President for Institutional Advancement Clarke University 888.825.2753 ext. 8147 Monica Anderson President/CEO Marshall Chamber of Commerce 269.781.5163 Mike Hindenach Manager Marshall Economic Development 269.781.3835


cost of services

Cost of all services offered in this estimate Marketing Plan N/C Extreme Business Makeover - Curb Appeal Edition


Promoting the Extreme Business Makeover $4,000/yr BID Coupon/Ad Book Year 1 $7,000 Year 2 $2,500 Printing of 5,000 $6,050/yr Media Campaign $4,000/yr Social Media Campaign $1,200/yr

Total Cost for Year 1: Total Cost for Year 2:

$32,250. $27,750.

Overall Total: $60,000.


Columbia Avenue BID Proposal  

BluFish proposal.