Marketing HIstory of Muncie, Indiana
Muncie, Indiana was officially established in 1845 after decades as trading town. After about seven years Muncie was connected by railroad to larger markets via the Indianapolis and Bellefontaine Railroad, kickstarting some of the earliest marketing activity in the town as a result. Muncie quickly grew as a frontier town and eventually a central point in Indiana after that railroad connection was put in place, and its communication reach began to affect multiple other nearby towns as well economically.
Like many early towns, much of what Muncie communicated in terms of life, business, politics and news happened in regular town halls and meetings among Muncie’s establishment. These initial forums exchanged not just conversation and municipal ideas, they were how business was brokered through relationships and early networking as well. Many business interests did not get their official start until they had an introduction into Muncie’s establishment through a known connection acting as a sponsor. That in turn would then position the business and its placement in Muncie, and from their business owner would need to leverage additional relationships to grow further. Some of the most famous forums in Muncie included the Ball State University campus, the Muncie Carnegie Library, the Jo Davis House (no longer standing), the First Baptist Church in Muncie, the First Universalist Church, and the Delaware County Courthouse to name a few.
Business owners were also lobbying before there were lobbyists in Muncie. Working with a local political leader or politician was a key strategy in protecting one’s business interests. By aligning with a given party in power, the business often realized benefits and access to partnerships not possible otherwise. Today, such relationships would have been considered illegal, but in early Muncie years this was a common practice as it was in the rest of the country. Notable Muncie politicians who were skilled at leveraging business relationships included Samuel Watson, ironically a Universalist church leader and not a business leader per se, as well as the Ball family. Both exerted significant influence on a number of the population and had the ability to sway Muncie development as a result. The Ball Family alone went onto found Ball University as well as number of other institutions in the city’s early development, funded through their own business interests.
Collective economic markets occurred in Muncie’s early years like they did in any other town with farmers markets and city business meetings. Agriculture early on was a prime player through these events, enabling numerous farmers to operate as small businesses or to join together as collectives selling goods locally or shipping them in bulk via railroad lines, but eventually Muncie developed its own manufacturing industries and opened forums into other markets as well. In fact, Muncie’s move towards development was so notable, the town was secretly portrayed as America’s Middletown in a famous social study published in 1929.
Early on in its history, Muncie became a connection point for the towns around it and nearby. This geographic positioning was enhanced further by the connection to the greater part of the nation via the railroad. As a result, the roads in and out of Muncie became significant traffic channel not just for routing transportation of people and goods, but also for advertising. So, when the billboard came into existence, the greater Muncie region was no exception to the trend. Some of the earliest billboards were really just extended signs from the immediate business properties they advertised for. Then Muncie began projecting its presence with larger direction signs pointing to town and welcoming guests. Eventually, main routes became dotted with the traditional billboards near town after the automobile became a commonplace institution in daily life. Today the key routes through Muncie are state routes 35 and 67. The Interstate 69 bypass to the west moved significant traffic away from Muncie as a direct route between Indianapolis and Fort Wayne, but the regional traffic still heavily uses the state routes locally. That said, both billboards in the Interstate and state routes are used heavily to guide consumers to Muncie’s business community.
Radio in Muncie
Early Muncie radio markets were limited to very localized broadcasts or experiments in electronics and radio signal reception at Ball University in the first half of the 20th century. There were, however, FM development well under way, and WLBC-FM was broadcasting with a license on the FM frequency as early as 1947 out of Muncie.
However, WBST began its first commercial operations in Muncie in 1951 at the University. By 1961 the station had replaced its tiny tower with a much more powerful one running a 10-watt signal. Interestingly enough, one of the earliest broadcasters at WBST in the 1960s was David Letterman, who also was famously fired from the team as well for his acidic humor regarding classical music. By the late 1970s WBST was the main station for Muncie and boosted its signal with a 3,000-watt signal. However, even that had challenges as the tower was hit by lightning before it was turned on. By 1980 WBST was receiving support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting as well as the University, and the institution was preparing to expand its network into Indiana Public Radio.
WBCL started access in Muncie when the Fort Wayne station established a tower in town in 1997. This brought a specific religious-oriented radio station to town representing Bible-oriented programming with a professional platform delivery.
Today, however, the 11 current radio stations and 23 total serving the Muncie area are all dealing with change and the adoption of podcasting as well as digital delivery of radio-style programming content. All of this is also influencing how marketing and advertising perceive which channel is better for reaching audiences and where advertising dollars will be spent on development. Many have tried a hybrid approach, providing both on-demand regular radio transmission as well as live and delayed podcasting files of the same programs, serving multiple consumer tastes in the process. Those that have adopted to the dual format seem to be maintaining their territory and audience, while those stations who are not adjusting are seeing a generational shift away from traditional radio alone.
School Marketing Opportunities
Clearly, the largest market in Muncie for school advertising and marketing is Ball State University. Aside from the town itself, which is home to 62,500 residents, Ball State provides a captive market of at least 16,600 fulltime enrolled students walking the campus almost daily. No surprise, it provides a sizable market of consumer interest for marketers, particularly those with goods or service geared for young adults.
In addition to Ball State University, Muncie is home to at least 11 public grade schools and 4 high schools in the public school system. In addition, there are a handful of private school institutions as well. Each of these provide an opportunity for partnership through fundraising matching, goodwill programs, school program support and community giveback, and similar programs that can boost community awareness of a marketing presence. Muncie Central High School and Delta High School both command a majority of the high school students and their families in Muncie, providing a marketing partnership a direct connection to just about every family household in town with a teenager.
Networking Still Matters
Ironically, despite all our technology today, personal networking still provides businesses viable connections and support formal communication channels don’t reach. And the fact is, people tend to like to do business with people they know. So networking, just like the old town hall forums in Muncie’s early history, is just as important today as it was 170 years ago. Common meeting places in Muncie, however, are not as stuffy as the Carnegie Library. Instead, folk can connect, discuss business and get a good cup of coffee at the local Starbucks, cafes like The Cup or the Sunshine Café or the Caffeinery, and they can make the personal bridge with partners and interested customers in relaxed settings. Ball State University also puts on a regular number of announced networking events, both to help their students start careers as well as to bring business interests together for additional synergies and new idea development.
Again, regardless of how much digital marketing Muncie growth and things have changed, the community is still very much a local market. So, finding a business and consumer support in town is very much about using the right search tool and Muncie SEO services to find what you need to fill a want or solve a problem. In the old days that was the phonebook and yellow pages or a reference from whom you knew. Today, both interactive marketing elements are strongly provided by both social media as well as search engine optimization (SEO) for local providers and their locations. When someone is stuck in Muncie and they need car help, the first thing that driver is going to do involves pulling out a smartphone and looking for the nearest mechanics. When someone wants to set up a meeting hall event, the same things will happen to see which venue have listed possible facilities for event planning. When a couple wants to get married in Muncie and they need a photographer, they will go on social media and search engines to see who provides the best service in town as well. Muncie SEO drives business in town, far more so because of its local nature.
So, if your company is not already developing a solid Muncie SEO program, you’re very likely losing out on an already developed market stream and losing more each day of hesitating. Interactive marketing is very much about search and providing on-demand information as consumers start to look electronically. So SEO services in Muncie are not really a frivolous business expense; instead, they are core to your awareness building in the community about what your business provides, when and where.
Fortunately, SEO services in Muncie are easy to get in town. You can obtain a digital marketing Muncie plan in a short time and be up and running with an Internet position in a matter of days if not hours. It really depends on how much you want your business to engage with digital marketing today. Remember, consumers aren’t looking for phone books anymore (in fact, you would have a better chance finding a pot of gold at a rainbow end than a public phonebooth these days). Get your SEO marketing Muncie Naptown plan into operation now and start being relevant again to your modern customer base. You can’t really afford not to adjust to SEO services muncie demands when your customers expect to find you digitally.
Muncie SEO Company
Given the fact that there are lot of colleges and universities in the greater part of Indiana, a number of Muncie SEO expert services are going to pop up when searched for online, but that doesn’t mean they know what they are doing. However, a solid performing Muncie SEO company is going to be experienced in lots of hands-on cases and real-time challenges versus something done in a college dorm room for a class. The Muncie SEO firm you pick will have a direct influence on the success of your online marketing success. So choosing the right SEO company in Muncie matters a lot. DemandWell stands out among marketing companies Muncie options. The work they deliver is top-notch and back up by multiple referrals, especially from creative companies Muncie owners who depend on DemandWell to design their online e-commerce platform right the first time.
Muncie SEO Agency
Partnering with a Muncie SEO agency is a big step for a company, but it can pay huge dividends. SEO agency Muncie help can allow the building and professional development of an online e-commerce platform be handled by an expert team while the company continues to focus on what it does best. Too often folks try to emulate the professional work of advertising agencies Muncie websites and fail because they don’t know the tricks of the trade. The learning curve is high and most companies trying to manage SEO in-house just don’t have the expertise it takes. That’s not to say digital marketing agency Muncie skills can’t be learned over time. But in the meantime, your company can benefit from expert marketing agencies Muncie help right up front and then adjust to in-house maintenance down the road if desired. Your lead generation depends on professional work up front. Don’t bodge it up with a rookie effort. Bring in DemandWell to help from the start.
The best SEO services provided more often than not have been delivered in Muncie by DemandWell. Their professional SEO approach has delivered websites, e-commerce platforms, social media presence and marketing and analytics research to multiple clients. No surprise, DemandWell has been picked repeatedly as the top SEO provider to work with for businesses in town. So even if you need a public relations firms Muncie partner, DemandWell has an answer for you. Stop fretting about your conversion rate optimization online and instead focus on making sales and doing what your business does best.