04 March 2021

Innovative new town centre marketing project launched

An innovative new digital marketing project aimed at promoting Aberdeenshire town centres, supporting businesses and encouraging communities to love local has been launched.

The initiative is being led by Aberdeenshire Council and funded through an £80,000 investment from the Scottish Government’s Scotland Loves Local Fund which is managed by Scotland’s Towns Partnership.

Monies will support businesses and town centres with digital marketing and will see VisitAberdeenshire deliver a high level region-wide town centre marketing campaign to encourage residents to stay local, recognise the importance of their local areas and discover the secrets Aberdeenshire towns have to offer.

The project will be split into two parts to support the businesses and town centre organisations to buy into this campaign and to maximise their ability to market their businesses.

Station House Media Unit (shmu) has already begun undertaking an online audit within each town and its business community to quantify the current level of activity which will help shape a delivery plan to ensure the relevant level of support and training is made available.

The survey for businesses to complete is available at: https://lovelocalaberdeenshire.org.uk/

Digital support, training and business-to-business packages will also be available to assist any firms looking to gain insight on how to use digital marketing platforms.

The project will showcase local suppliers including website design agencies, marketing agencies, graphic designers and printers which towns and businesses can work with to deliver their future marketing activities.

The second element of the project will see the delivery of a high-level digital marketing campaign, led by VisitAberdeenshire which will highlight our town centres and encourage residents from Aberdeenshire and neighbouring regions to explore the area. 

A key element of this will be to encourage walking and cycling to help towards Scotland’s Net Zero Target ambition and the 20-minute neighbourhood principle.

A dedicated section on the VisitAberdeenshire website will be created to provide local information, showcase local stories on the secrets of Aberdeenshire’s towns and provide an interactive online map to encourage residents of Aberdeenshire, Aberdeen, and Moray to visit for day trips and over-night stays.

Cllr Peter Argyle, Chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee, said: “The ways in which so many of our businesses have innovated digitally both prior to and during the pandemic is remarkable, including launching online ordering and supporting delivery services.

“There are tremendous local businesses across Aberdeenshire who are making a very positive difference to people's lives and there have never been more ways in which you can support these local companies. It's vital that everyone backs them so that they can continue to be there, protecting jobs and making their communities stronger and I look forward to this project playing a key role in supporting them.”

Phil Prentice, chief officer with Scotland’s Towns Partnership, added: “These two projects will make a tremendous difference to towns across Aberdeenshire and we are delighted to have been able to work with the Scottish Government to provide this financial support. It is vital that people across the region safely get behind their local businesses and always think local first, whether it be in person - when restrictions allow - or online.”

VisitAberdeenshire CEO Chris Foy commented: “Aberdeenshire’s towns and villages share common themes, fascinating history, stories and engaging people behind the businesses. We’ll be promoting the region to those living in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire and people living in neighbouring areas with a vibrant and engaging marketing and communications campaign.”

Murray Dawson, chief executive of shmu, said: “We are delighted to be involved in this project which will serve to consolidate a great deal of our recent work undertaken in creative and digital media, but also facilitate on-going work with Aberdeenshire-based employability partners in terms of providing support to businesses across the region.”