A Case Study: Make it. In the Mountains.

Synopsis of the Project

InnerAction Media was tasked by the State of Maryland Department of Commerce to create a marketing campaign with the goal of attracting outdoor recreation and lifestyle manufacturing companies to locate, expand, and grow in Western Maryland. Ultimately transforming the area into an outdoor recreation and lifestyle manufacturing hub, creating jobs, leveraging private investment and using the region’s access to natural resources as the main attraction.

Make It. In the Mountains. Logo

The Problem

Both Allegheny and Garrett counties in Western Maryland are poised for growth in outdoor recreation manufacturing. The problem was that we needed to attract the individuals who could align with that vision and see it through. We partnered with a team of environmental and economic development consulting experts at Downstream Strategies to identify and focus on the specific attributes of Western Maryland that we could market towards prospective business owners and employees.

The Solution

InnerAction Media created makeitinthemountains.com as well as several supporting videos, photography, digital ads, print ads, campaign language, and design elements.  An important aspect of this campaign was to utilize several testimonials (both written and videos) of current Western Maryland business owners and employees that could explain from their own perspective what attracted them to the area and how they see the futures of Allegany and Garrett county appearing.  This content gave the campaign an authenticity, further solidifying the reality of the potential in Western Maryland.


Research & Studies

Downstream Strategies oversaw the production of three linked reports that comprise a marketing plan to retain and recruit outdoor recreation and lifestyle manufacturing businesses and employees to Western Maryland.

Our first report, the Manufacturing Business Attraction Analysis, combined a quantitative analysis with qualitative interviews with business owners, economic development and tourism professionals, and civic leaders. We focused on four industry clusters that have great potential in the region—apparel; outdoor vehicles, boats, parts, and accessories; timber/wood; and specialty foods—and developed a compatibility matrix with metrics to identify the most promising industries within each cluster.

Our second report, the Tourism Business Expansion Analysis, broadened the analysis beyond manufacturing businesses to include lodging, dining, and retail establishments that cater to Western Maryland’s increasing number of visitors. This report focused on the benefits from visitors to Western Maryland who take advantage of its variety of outdoor recreation assets. It provided a scenario of increased tourism and estimated the potential growth in businesses that would provide goods and services to these additional visitors. It also contemplated how certain small communities could share in the increased prosperity of Western Maryland by increasing the number of establishments that cater to visitors.

Our final report, the Regional Strategic Plan for Business Attraction, set the stage for implementation. It documented seven broad segments of visitors, presented a messaging strategy, documented the advertising assets developed for the project, and outlined a marketing and advertising campaign.

InnerAction Media played such an important role in the development of a regional business attraction campaign for our region. They thoughtfully listened and engaged with our stakeholders and our workgroup and were able to produce a campaign that really drove home our messaging strategies. Their work is beautiful, emotionally driven, and something we are all very proud of.

Ashli Workman
Director of Tourism
Allegany County Government

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