Freo's View

NEW MARKETING MANAGER SHOULD HAVE SAY ON NEW FREO STRATEGY

Posted in bid, city of fremantle, hospitality, local government, retail, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on April 16, 2018

 

I have been thinking a bit about the push for Destination Marketing Fremantle, which would likely mean the end of Fremantle BID, and why there is a sense of urgency when we hear that Tom Griffiths, the present Manager Economic Development and Marketing, will be leaving the City of Fremantle.

There is no doubt that the new marketing manager will have her/his own thoughts about retail versus destination marketing, or a combination of both, so would it not make more sense for Fremantle Council to wait with its decision until a new marketing manager has been appointed and our elected members can find out from that new officer which direction (s)he wants to go with a new marketing strategy?

I agree with critics that BID has not worked as well as it could have. It connected Freo’s traders well but failed to have a big picture approach, but let’s also be clear that BID specifically was created for the CBD retailers and hospitality traders. But I also believe that the City’s Fremantle Story is not a great marketing campaign because it too did a lot of small things and there is far too much and hard to find information on that website.

Destination marketing will attract people to Fremantle, but an essential part of it needs to be to communicate with visitors what they can do in Fremantle every day, but also on the specific day(s) they are here. That has been lacking forever and it needs to change, so that people will linger longer in Fremantle. Getting back to basics with a What’s On In Freo Today might just be the start.

Starting a new marketing strategy just months before a new marketing manager will be appointed makes no sense, so Council should be very careful not to rush a decision about Destination Marketing Fremantle prematurely.

Roel Loopers

CAN BID SURVIVE FREMANTLE DESTINATION MARKETING?

 

The future of the Fremantle Business District-BID is in doubt after the FPOL Committee of Fremantle last night approved the Destination Marketing Fremantle concept, which will see the additional differential rates CBD businesses pay go to the marketing department budget and no longer to BID.

It is very doubtful BID will be able to continue without funding from the City of Fremantle, although several councillors mentioned that there was a need for something like BID and that is had done grassroots work well.

There were public speakers in support of continuing BID and others supporting the new destination marketing strategy, but the consensus of the elected members was that a new marketing approach is needed and that BID was not the way forward.

Supporters for BID said BID was a lifeline and a voice for small retailers and that BID had businesses working together for the first time. That is true and nothing stops traders from continuing to work together in a kind of precinct format, I believe, so not all is lost and the good momentum BID created could continue.

BID wanted another 12 months extension and believed it could become self funding, but they had already been granted the extension and could not show they were raising enough money to be able to continue without council giving them the differential rates.

Councillors said this was not a debate about BID versus the destination marketing strategy but if Council wanted a new marketing approach for the city. It is not either or, Councillor Andrew Sullivan said. He also said the City needed to support the concept of BID and offer more support for retailers.

Councillor Rachel Pemberton said that we needed to acknowledge the incredible work BID had done and that BID was always about collaboration and grassroots level liaising with businesses, and that can continue.

Councillors agreed the City needed to try something different as the present marketing is not working and businesses are not happy with it.

Councillor Doug Thompson wanted to know before the item goes to full council next week who the marketing experts would be the marketing department wants on a panel of experts.

Councillor and FPOL chair Hannah Fitzhardinge said clarity had been lacking about what BID does and what the marketing department does.

I want to make one point that gets ignored at the Freo City marketing department and that is the lack of information the City sends out to tourist destinations in the city. More often than not the tourist guides at the Roundhouse are not informed about festivals and events, so they can’t send tourists to them. We have never had a poster or leaflets for example to promote the Winter Festival and other events that happen on the Esplanade. We have begged for info about the Hidden Treasures music festival, Street Arts Festival, etc.etc. We can’t even tell tourists what’s on at the Fremantle Arts Centre.

There is also no communication between the tourist destinations, so Roundhouse volunteers don’t know about special exhibitions or events at the Maritime Museum, Fremantle Prison, etc. That needs to be coordinated by the City’s marketing department and could be as easy as emailing a short list of what is on next week. It’s very good to get more people visiting Fremantle, but we need to be able to keep them here longer and tell them what else they can do.

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE BID FUTURE IN DOUBT

Posted in advertising, bid, city of fremantle, economy, local government, retail, Uncategorized by freoview on April 11, 2018

 

The FPOL Committee of Fremantle Council will consider tonight the City’s future role in delivering destination marketing also known as the ‘place marketing’ service. Some of the reasons for it are :

The service aims to support the viability of the Fremantle business community by improving awareness of the overall Fremantle offering to visitors, improving perception of the overall Fremantle offering to visitors, and ultimately increasing visitation to Fremantle to provide opportunities for local businesses to capture expenditure.

The service encompasses the marketing of all business-to-customer or population-driven industries including (but not limited to) retail, hospitality, professional services and traditional tourism attractions.

Combining the City’s destination marketing budget with the use of the central area differential rate to enable a greater investment in destination marketing, and

Establishing an ‘arm’s length’ group comprised of a marketing professional as chairperson and key representatives from the business community with appropriate skills or experience in marketing to set the plan for:

the overall strategic marketing approach, including different stages over next four years

how to achieve ongoing business community engagement in marketing activities

appointment of a marketing agency and/or marketing contractors (via a normal City procurement process) to deliver destination marketing services, and

sponsorship of existing and new private events and grass roots business activation projects.

It is recommended that the destination marketing advisory group will operate for a four year period (2018/19 – 2021/22) with agreed terms of reference, and process for nomination and appointment by council. The group would make recommendations to council on matters related to destination marketing. In many ways, comparisons can be made to the way the Design Advisory Committee operates.

The Group will consider the ‘brand values’ and ‘unique selling points’ of Fremantle within the context of increasing competition from competing Perth metropolitan centres, global customer trends, disruptions to major industries such as retail, and the economic development aspirations of Fremantle.

Following organisations that have submitted letters of support: Experience Perth, Tourism Council of Western Australia, Fremantle Chamber of Commerce, Fremantle Prison, Fremantle Tourism Association, Fremantle Accommodation Association, Fremantle Markets, MANY 2.0 and Sirona Capital.

The current recipients of the differential rate, the Fremantle BID and some of its supporters, have submitted letters opposing the proposal. This is an expected and logical position for the BID to take as the recommended model requires discontinuing the BID’s funding after this financial year.

This report does not comprehensively evaluate the performance of the Fremantle BID but does assume that the recommendations in the report will deliver a more effective use of the differential rate money. That assumption is made by comparing the expected outcomes of the officer’s recommendation and the level of business support for it, against the level of support for the Fremantle BID and the outcomes delivered for the approximate $2.2 million in funding provided to the BID since 2012/13 FY.

One of the issues that is not addressed is that the additional differential rates are only paid by businesses who operate in the CBD, while the new destination marketing strategy will be for all of Fremantle, so how will the City make this fair for inner city traders that are paying the extra rates?

Roel Loopers

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TIMING TO SCRAP BID ALL WRONG

Posted in bid, city of fremantle, hospitality, local government, retail, Uncategorized by freoview on March 28, 2018

 

Fremantle Council is considering scrapping the BID but the timing for it appears to be all wrong. Why do it now when there is major development going on and much more starting soon, that impacts negatively for the next years on CBD traders. They need nurturing, and at least that is what the Business Improvement District is good at.

Jenny Marslen of BID is a great nurturer. She connects regularly with our traders with positivity and great energy and that reassures them. BID is good at doing small things right but I don’t know that they get the big picture yet.

The scrapping of BID is probably driven by the Economic Development and Marketing department director, who expressed from the moment he started his position in Fremantle that he was not a fan of BID. I probably agree with him that BID in its present form does not work as well as it could, so it needs to reinvent itself, step up and change, or falter.

But is handing over $ 300,000 to the ED&M department a better idea? I can’t see much evidence that the Fremantle Story marketing is making a tangible difference, and while it gets a lot of hits on its website it is a hard to navigate the clutter of hundreds of small promo windows.

I also wonder why the officers suggest to council to create a group of marketing experts to guide them, and even to engage a marketing company. Why do we pay marketing officers  high wages when they need outside help to do their job? It happens all the time in all forms of governments and should be strongly scrutinised.

A marketing, PR or advertising consultant will want at least $ 200-300 per hour to sit around a table for a chat, without any guarantee of improvement, and the plan to also have a member of the Chamber of Commerce on the expert marketing panel is baffling, unless the FCC does have a professional marketing person on their board.

I agree that BID needs to improve or go, but why do it now when the inner city looks like it has been bombed, and it won’t get any better soon with the development of the Manning building, and two developments in Henderson Street due to start, and it will get a lot worse once the massive Woolstores shopping centre development starts.

The scrapping of BID is not a priority as it makes little sense to start a new major marketing campaign for Fremantle before the Kings Square Project is finished. What the city should do instead is to start working on creating a marketing and festivities campaign that will be implemented in the last quarter of next year when Kings Square will become a great attraction for shoppers.

I suggest to leave the nurturing of the CBD traders to BID for the time being but put them on notice that if they do not change BID will be abandoned at the start of the 2019-20 financial year in July next year. But if Fremantle Council scraps BID make sure to offer a job to BID’s Jenny Marslen who is a great asset to the group and Fremantle.

Roel Loopers

TO BID OR NOT TO BID IS THE FREO QUESTION

Posted in bid, city of fremantle, hospitality, local government, retail, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on March 20, 2018

 

The City of Fremantle is seeking the community’s views on the best way to promote Fremantle as an attractive destination to shop and enjoy.

The City of Fremantle’s current marketing activities include the Fremantle Story website, magazine and social media platforms, school holiday activities and other promotions and also the Fremantle Business Improvement District (BID).

Fremantle BID is funded through the City Centre Differential Rate levied by the City of Fremantle on commercial properties with the Fremantle CBD.

Local businesses are being asked if they support continuing the existing model, or would prefer to see the City’s destination marketing budget combined with the differential rate funds to expand the overall program.

The one-year funding agreement with the BID due to expire at the end of June.

The City worked with the business community to set up Fremantle BID in 2012 to address the economic impact of many years of decline in daily visitor numbers to Fremantle’s CBD.

It was a five-year program to support local businesses, with funding extended for a further year in 2017. In that time, the City has contributed around $2.2 million to the BID in differential rate funds.

 

The alternative model would establish a group of marketing professionals and business representatives to advise the council on how to get the best value from marketing activities and the biggest benefit for local business.

Under this proposal, the City’s funding of Fremantle BID would cease at the end of the current financial year.

People can find more information and provide their views on the proposal on the My Say Freo website.

 

PEOPLE COUNTERS MEASURE FREMANTLE FOOT TRAFFIC

Posted in bid, city of fremantle, fishing boat harbour, Uncategorized by freoview on December 12, 2017

 

 

The Fremantle BID-Business Improvement District has ordered three more electronic people counters in the CBD, bringing the total to seven.

One of them, installed by Fremantle based A Beautiful City, was put up yesterday above the boardwalk of the Fishing Boat Harbour.

People counters inform the business communities, local councils, shopping centres, etc. about foot traffic around the city.

Roel Loopers

FREO SHOWS WHAT CHRISTMAS IS ABOUT

Posted in bid, christmas, city of fremantle, Uncategorized by freoview on November 30, 2017

 

 

Not many people who enjoyed themselves tonight at the Fremantle Long Table Dinner in historic High Street would understand the logistics of making the stunning event work.

To feed 800 people is a huge challenge at any given time, but doing it on the street, from different kitchens and with many volunteers, now that is amazing!

Karl Bullers of the National Hotel, the BID team, all the volunteers, and God knows who else was involved in organising this outstanding evening, all should receive the Fremantle Citizen of the Year award. You guys are truly amazing and deserve so much gratitude from the community!!

To do all this to support St Pats and the homeless and needy people is what Christmas should be all about and you all made it a reality. Thank you so much!!

Freo leading the way yet again!

 

Roel Loopers

 

FREO BID LOOKING FOR CEO

Posted in bid, city of fremantle, Uncategorized by freoview on August 16, 2017

 

Fremantle BID is currently seeking to fill the position of Chief Executive Officer. Full details are below:

Fremantle BID
Chief Executive Officer

(Part-time position 22.5 hours per week contracted to 30 June 2018)

POSITION DESCRIPTION

The Fremantle Business Improvement District (BID) was established in 2013 and was the first BID in Western Australia.

As an independent, not-for-profit company, the Fremantle BID operates on behalf of its members – the Fremantle CBD businesses and property owners – to improve the business environment. The BID takes a collaborative leadership approach to activation to build the economic wellbeing of the CBD.

CEO Role:

The CEO role is fundamental to the success of the Fremantle BID.  This position is a key strategic role within a small organisation and requires a high level of skills in relationship building, management and governance, setting and implementing strategies and business plans and working to a budget within limited time frames.

The ideal candidate will have the ability to lead and manage proactively, be self-motivated and able to formulate and drive ideas with a ‘can-do’ attitude. The candidate will preferably be well connected, respected and influential in the Fremantle community.

This position reports to a Board of Directors.

Salary range: $50,000 – $55,000 (to be negotiated)

Essential requirements:

  • Strong oral communication and relationship building skills
  • Ability to manage and work within a small team – including Board members.
  • Governance and budget/finance management skills
  • Report and written communication skills
  • Ability to work under pressure and with a range of different stakeholders including contractors, retailers, business owners, developers and government organisations and agencies

 Preferred requirements:

  • Relevant degree
  • Financial knowledge
  • Retail background
  • Marketing and customer service skills and experience
  • Broad knowledge and experience in the Fremantle community/business
  • Experience reporting to a Board
  • Fund raising and grant experience

To apply:

  • To apply, please send your application to bid.fremantle@gmail.com by 5pm, Friday, 1 September 2017
  • The detailed position description is available HERE
  • Applications close at 5pm, Friday, 1 September 2017

FREO BID APPOINTS INTERIM CEO

Posted in bid, city of fremantle, retail, Uncategorized by freoview on May 31, 2017

 

Fremantle BID-Business Improvement District has appointed Nicci Workum as the interim CEO of the retail support organisation after the shock resignation of Tim Milsom, who quit after only three months.

Workum will work part-time only from Monday to Wednesday.

She has been working with BID for two and a half years and has been a board member of several NGOs, including the Conservation Council of WA.

Roel Loopers

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MILSOM RESIGNS AS FREO BID CEO

Posted in bid, city of fremantle, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on May 21, 2017

It comes as a shock to me that Tim Milsom, the energetic CEO of Fremantle BID, has suddenly resigned after only three months in the job, giving personal issues as the reason for his resignation.

It is very disappointing that the well-liked Milsom has gone because the City of Fremantle has just prolonged the life of BID, that was deemed not to have performed satisfactory in its first four years.

I have no doubt the appointment of Milsom as the new BID CEO was one of the reasons Council agreed to extend the Business Improvement District model.

I hope you are well Tim!!!!

Roel Loopers

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