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Marketing board looking at tourism efforts for Newton

Published: Friday, May 19, 2017 10:05 a.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, May 19, 2017 10:48 a.m. CDT

The Newton Community Marketing Board met for its regular monthly meeting to discuss the continued marketing efforts for the city.

Community Marketing Manager Danielle Rogers led the discussion on topics including marketing opportunities at Iowa Speedway, a community guide and a cooperative partnership with Travel Iowa.

Rogers started with an offer from Iowa Speedway to host a booth during race weekends. Booths are typically placed inside of the speedway along the walkway among other vendors and food services.

Board member Ken Barthelman shared his experience of running a booth during the race weekends and suggested efforts could be better spent on other marketing avenues.

“We were out there for a couple of races and there wasn’t much traffic,” Barthelman said. “I didn’t see that it did much, in my opinion.”

How to man a booth was also brought up as a challenge since it is expected by the Speedway to have someone at the booth hours prior to the race starting and during part of the race. Rogers said she would be unavailable to work the booth with other board members chiming in prior commitments making them unavailable.

Ultimately, the board decided against having a booth at the Speedway but does want to look into future marketing possibilities to attract the raceway crowd. 

The board moved on to the idea of a community guide to address tourism advertising needs along with visitors and residents already in the Newton. The guide would consist of a development guide, residents guide and visitors guide packaged as one document to be viewed and used by multiple audiences.

Rogers said she would talk with the city’s stakeholders including the Newton Development Corporation, Newton Housing Development Corporation, Chamber of Commerce and Newton Main Street to see what documents they have developed and their interest in partnering in contributing to the guide.

“I think the city should put one together but if they have some buy in and want to have it too, maybe it is putting together a working group to get content,” Rogers said.

Finally, Rogers presented a cooperative partnership opportunity with Travel Iowa for marketing exposure in statewide publications digital mediums. After reviewing the wide range of offers the board recommended pursuing advertising in Iowa Outdoors and Iowa Sportsman magazines, a Vacation Iowa publication, a remarketing opportunity on traveliowa.com and advertising on the Travel Iowa Facebook page.

“What I like about the digital, generally, is those are the people that are seeking that information,” board member Mike Farley said. “If you are on the Facebook page or you like and we have the opportunity to be associated with that we could get people that are looking to do traveling, that is why they are online searching and we could get a little of their attention.”

Rogers said a reservation period for the advertising begins in June but no final decisions have to be made until September.

Contact Jamee A. Pierson at 641-792-3121 ext. 6534 or jpierson@newtondailynews.com

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