From the blog

On-line doesn’t mean not in town

3rd July 2014

A research report from Experion was published last week. Its identified what the future of town centres might be and how customer habits are changing.

It revealed a new ‘convenience culture’ emerging, ailment with the urban economy strengthening compared to on-line and out-of-town opposition. Customers are now able to multi-task whereas, historically, browsing diverted them away from town centres and onto the internet via computers in offices and homes. Today, mobile technology, like smartphones and tablets, allows us to socialise whilst out and about.

We are more likely to now go to a place to browse than doing so at home. Browsing is now identifying a product whilst in one shop, say a jacket, and deciding what shirt or blouse may be bought elsewhere to match it. We may still order goods on-line, but we prefer to collect from store than rely on home delivery. Once our purchase is complete we browse again to find the best local restaurant or bar in which to celebrate our new purchases.

Experience in town centres is the new imperative; and part of that is the ability to interact with that place on-line both before and after our visit but, crucially, during it.

Last week saw the launch of the new-look website. Designed around the pre-promotion of ‘we know a place’ it presents Ipswich from an entirely new perspective – a town that is changing and is confident in its future. New video content and photography position it in an entirely new way.

In the weeks before launch the hidden campaign of a place ‘yet to be revealed’ went global and we watched as thousands of people engaged with this unknown destination, all of them guessing where in the world it might be.

The roll-out will also include further, dynamic elements aimed at new inward investment markets – from visitors to students, from businesses to residents. We are going to start to sell our place like never before.

Ipswich is leading the way in combining on-line with in-place marketing – log on and take a look.