Editor's Note: This story is part of a monthlong series that highlights 31 ideas included in the "Mansfield Rising" plan. The 67-page document was created by 15 local leaders after attending the South by Southwest Conference last March in Austin, Texas.
Idea 16: Create the position of Chief Digital Officer
MANSFIELD -- When it comes to the vast amounts of technology in the world, how is Mansfield using it to the best advantage?
It's not enough to just create a brand - the city must leverage the message broadly and frequently across its communication channels, which will be primarily digital. A well-educated and connected Chief Digital Officer operating within a framework but having autonomy could create a resounding impact for downtown.
This position should be housed within Destination Mansfield, Richland Area Chamber of Commerce or City of Mansfield, with the mission of ensuring the city's digital strategy is comprehensively driven forward across the right channels and consistently maintained.
Tasks of the Chief Digital Officer (CDO) will include proactively managing downtown’s digital presence and marketing campaign, dedicated website, social media strategy and coordination across civic organizations and third parties.
A CDO would build a sophisticated web presence to ensure Mansfield’s brand and message is seen and heard. This would ideally drive tourism growth above the state average of 3.5 percent, increase foot traffic, and act as a tailwind to business creation and population growth.
The CDO would be most impactful if paired with a professional downtown branding effort. In addition to positive and cohesive messaging, the CDO can also engage in economic development and entrepreneurship messaging.
A CDO could lead a campaign similar to one developed by Richland Community Development Group several years ago: “I Choose Richland.” It highlighted local residents who chose to live and work in Richland County. It was a nice campaign that was widespread but short-lived.
With a CDO and cultivated digital assets, Mansfield could amplify its message. In the field of marketing it is known to take seven impressions to generate action.
Like the RCDG campaign, it will be important to show positive messaging which reflects the city's diverse community as well as to attract a diverse audience to Downtown Mansfield.