WEST BEND — Representatives from
the Downtown West Bend Association and the Diva Group will receive
the funding allocation they have requested to the continue with
their advertising and promotions initiatives for the coming year.
During Tuesday’s meeting, members of the Downtown West Bend Business
Improvement District voted to approve their request for almost
$13,000 that will fund a range of activities, from advertisements in
different publications to the sponsorship of Diva Group events.
As part of approving the funding, board members requested shifting
the funding from several items to pay for television exposure on the
Morning Blend segments they had done in prior years.
Anna Jensen from the Downtown West Bend Association, along with
Jeanne Renick of the Diva Group proposed the plan to district
“Mixed-use buildings downtown create more tax revenue for a city
than the box-box retailers, and more of the money stays within our
community,” Renick said. “The experience that people have is what
drives them to keep coming back downtown. Anyone can buy anything at
any time of the day or night on the internet nowadays. The personal
experiences they are having are what keeps them coming back and
establishes the relationships with the business owner.”
She provided an overview of the marketing strategy throughout the
years, starting with Morning Blend segments highlighting the
downtown and Diva events in 2016. For 2017, they paid for
commercials that focused on the city and what West Bend had to
offer. At the beginning of 2018, they isolated the campaign to local
For 2019, they will remain local but expand to other locations
within Washington County as well as Ozaukee County.
According to their proposal, they recommended investing $2,000 to
create a walking map of the downtown to guide visitors to various
retailers along Main Street and other areas. There is another $2,000
allocated to sponsorships for Diva Group events, as well as another
$2,000 for downtown events and promotions.
They also plan to purchase advertisements in plays and music
programs for $1,000, similar to what they had done in 2018.
“The plays and programs, these are two ads we ran this year, the
Kettle Moraine Symphony, the Schauer Arts Center, the Slinger High
School and continue the ads in the Park and Rec.”
They also planning promotions at the Washington County Fair,
boosting posts on Facebook, continuing with signage at the Kettle
Moraine Ice Center, along with placing advertisements in various
magazines such as Biz Times and the Biz Journal for the remaining
In total, about 69 percent of the allocation will market the
downtown and the remainder would be shared between the Diva Group
and Downtown events and promotions.
Board members offered several suggestions for improving the
proposal, which include shifting money in the plan to other
“I would like to see more advertising in magazine or television and
eliminate the walking map,” board president Mike Husar said. “Last
year you did 3,000, now you are going down to 2,000. I think we
could do more to advertise or even put some of that money into
Facebook advertising, Instagram advertising or social media, as
opposed to a paper copy of something.”
He suggested an app on the phone, but others preferred allowing for
“I think reallocating $2,000 within that budget somehow and getting
exposure to the Morning Blend may not be a bad idea,” board member
Brian Culligan said.