The results are in...

Lee's Summit JournalMay 14, 2014 

“Congratulations to Lee’s Summit. Your latest research scores are the highest scores we’ve ever recorded. In fact, Lee’s Summit is now a benchmark community for marketing implementation and success across the nation. Your marketing implementation and success represents a sustainable model of continuous improvement, innovation and progress.”

– North Star Strategies (North Star represents 200 cities in 40 states).

Yet, some individuals are still tempted to raid the marketing budget as if it were a “cookie jar” whenever they need cash for other projects. Even though the body of evidence strongly suggests that such action would jeopardize the (research) results which have been described as nothing short of stunning.

Let’s not forget that in Missouri alone, there are 961 cities and 115 counties competing for the same tourism and investment dollars. That’s why 15 months ago it was determined that it would be imperative that the City of Lee’s Summit adopt the same marketing investment principals as private sector businesses in order to allow us to differentiate ourselves and therefore stand apart from the competition.

So how did we do? Let’s take a look at some of the results…..

1. 75 percent of survey respondents said, “The marketing and advertising campaign makes me feel proud of Lee’s Summit.”

2. 70 percent of survey respondents recall having seen or heard an advertisement promoting the City of Lee’s Summit. (National average is 54 percent).

3. Lee’s Summit city tax revenue is up while “cities across the country are reporting declining tax revenues.” ( Source: 2014 National League of Cities Report).

4. When asked “when you first think of Lee’s Summit, what’s the first thing that comes to mind”? (Unaided responses include; family, community, welcoming, vibrant downtown, great schools, great place to live, safe, great to place to raise kids, friendly and progressive.

5. Rating as a “Place To Live” is 7.5 times higher than the National Average.

6. Rating as a “Place To Visit” is 7.2 times higher than the National Average.

7. Rating as a “Place To Conduct Business” is 12.9 times higher than the National Average.

8. 51 percent of survey respondents report “having already visited or experienced a product or service” featured in our advertising.

9. When asked “what does ‘Yours Truly’ mean to you? Unaided responses include; small-town charm, only place to live and raise a family, hometown pride, a real community, unified city, friendly, safe and comfortable.

10. Perception of the Lee’s Summit brand; a friendly, caring community that is safe, a great place to live and raise a family, and a place that is growing and full of potential.”

It is easy to see that “marketing” is not just a single function, it is the sum total of everything Lee’s Summit stands for in the minds and hearts of residents, visitors and investors. Maybe that’s why our public/private collaborative marketing return on investment now exceeds 300 percent

There is quote which I heard years ago from an unknown source that seems appropriate for today: The man who stops advertising to save money is like the man who stops the clock to save time.”

Yours Truly,


James McKenna is the branding manager for the City of Lee’s Summit. Reach him at JMcKenna@lschamber.c om.

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