Pillar 4: Market Montana
In Montana, we know “the last best place” is more than a slogan. It is simply a fact that Montana is one of the best places to live, work, and raise a family.
It is abundantly clear that business leaders and the many other Montanans who participated in the Main Street Montana Project see our quality of life as our greatest strength. Quality of life means different things to different people. To some, quality of life lies in the sun-soaked plains in the east and the snowcapped peaks of the west. To others, it’s our strong work ethic and small town character, diverse recreational opportunities, or our safe streets and great schools.
It’s clear we have to capitalize on our strengths. We have to position ourselves so our greatest strengths are evident and become our greatest assets as we attract new businesses, new employees and new customers.
We have to market Montana. In doing so, we certainly need to continue to attract visitors to come and enjoy the beauty, recreation, and amenities our state offers. More importantly, however, we need to develop a strategic plan to demonstrate to prospective businesses that Montana is where they should set up shop.
Main Street Montana participants considered tourism as a top strength within every region in the state. The programs in place promoting Montana as a tourist destination are very successful at increasing visitors. These programs can be strengthened and expanded. New markets can be explored and developed. We can take the lessons learned from past success in tourism and transfer that knowledge to other marketing efforts across state agencies. Montanans want an effective government, and this a perfect example of how coordination and sharing ideas can benefit our whole economy.
Capitalizing upon the opportunity to expand the markets for Montana-made and grown products (“Made in Montana”) will help Montana business grow. Creating an online directory of Made in Montana products can increase exposure for businesses. International outreach and trade missions can incorporate the Montana brand into messaging.