Earlier this month, the village put out a call to consultants to help Riverside develop a marketing plan to boost its economic development efforts and “differentiate Riverside from other suburban communities in the area and market the village to prospective businesses, residents and visitors.”
“It’s essential for us to make ourselves more attractive and visible to businesses,” said Village Manager Jessica Frances in a phone interview last week.
The village’s Economic Development Commission has been leading the marketing plan discussion and will be closely involved in reviewing and recommending a firm to complete a marketing plan for the village in 2016.
Since the request for proposals went out on Sept. 11, the village has received interest from seven marketing consultants, said Sonya Abt, the village’s community development director.
Proposals are due back to the village on Oct. 16, and Abt said she hoped the village would be able to award a contract for the marketing plan development by the end of 2015. Riverside’s village board earmarked $30,000 in its 2015 budget for the development of a marketing plan. That money will be rolled into the 2016 budget.
Once the contract is awarded, said Abt, officials hope to get a draft marketing plan within six months.
The marketing plan will help the village create its “brand,” including standardized graphics that can be used across marketing materials, an updated village website and signage.
“Having a brand and marketing strategy developed by the chosen firm should equip the village with vital tools to help us accomplish our economic development goals, such as increasing our residential and commercial property values, increasing sales tax revenue and raising our profile as a great place to live, work and do business,” the village’s request for proposals states.
The village wants its chosen firm to create a steering committee comprising village staff, members of the Economic Development Commission, Chamber of Commerce members and a village trustee to lead the process.
It also calls for the marketing firm to interview key stakeholders and test the “feasibility of brand identities” with the stakeholders.
The marketing firm will conduct at least one public meeting to gather input from, and engage with, residents. There will also be a village-wide survey to gather information.