Marketing committee unsure of BILT’s purpose

by Kelly Corbett
Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The purpose behind the Brand Identity Leadership Team still leaves Wrightsville Beach Marketing Advisory Committee members perplexed, wondering what the outcome of the initiative will be.

The BILT study results were released by University of North Carolina Wilmington students the same day as the Tuesday, Jan. 14 committee meeting.

Following hesitation, the marketing advisory committee sent Member Nicholas Montoya, general manager of the Blockade Runner Beach Resort, as a representative to the BILT meetings.

Committee members again asked whether the BILT initiative coincided with the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners 2013 Economic Development Planning Initiative.

“They have different agendas,” Montoya said. “I don’t know if there’s a consensus.”

Shawn Braden, vice president of marketing of the Wilmington and Beaches Convention and Visitors Bureau, said the BILT survey focused on how local people view themselves.

“We have to be talking to the customer, but nobody is telling us if that’s actually going to happen,” Braden said. “… They’re kind of unveiling things meeting by meeting.” 

Montoya said it is not a waste of time to attend, because they do not know what will happen. 

“The end game is they want everybody to adopt it, use it,” Braden said.

During new business items, the committee heard from Mark Schmidt, one of four organizers for the Carolina Cup.

Schmidt shared results of an economic impact report and asked if the committee could help the event draw more contestants, many of whom stay overnight or for an extended stay to compete, using techniques beyond the guerrilla marketing organizers have already employed.

“Over the past years, we have been getting the majority of all of the pros,” Schmidt said. “We have all of the ingredients here for this event to explode even more.”

Within the report, trip expenditures are estimated as growing from $75,000 to more than $343,000 from 2011 to 2013, with participants increasing from 172 to 499 during that same time period.

Braden told Schmidt what they are already doing to promote the Carolina Cup, and said what really helps are human interest stories. 

Member Sue Bulluck said, as part of the Wrightsville Beach Chamber of Commerce, she can reach out to businesses to help provide paid accommodations for national publication writers. 

The committee recessed its Jan. 14 meeting until Jan. 28, so newly appointed committee members can be brought up to speed before the February strategic planning meeting.


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