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GOED Producing Lots of Impressions and Meaningful Interactions

Joint Appropriations has asked the Governor’s Office of Economic Development to update legislators today on its initiative to, in GOED’s words, “promote both why South Dakota is an exception place to live and work.” Just as GOED couldn’t properly structure that phrase, it doesn’t properly explain in its October 31 response to Joint Appropriations what concrete results all that marketing is delivering.

GOED tells appropriators a lot about the noise its making and the noise it gets in response. At the big gun show in Las Vegas last January, GOED says it “had conversations with 11 out-of-state companies” and “made nearly 5.1 million impressions” with its ads which “resulted in more than 8,500 meaningful interactions with our audiences.”

Conversations, impressions, meaningful interactions… but no mention of actual recruitments, relocations, or revenue.

Likewise the Kristi for VP Freedom Works Here campaign. Governor Noem has floated various numbers to claim her bad-plumber ads are bringing people to the state. But the Governor’s Office of Economic Development puts no such numbers on the record with Joint Appropriations; it just talks again about “over 18.3 million impressions” and “over 188,000 relevant interactions”.

Impressions and interactions don’t fill empty jobs and pay taxes. The only reason impressions and interactions matter are in proportion to actual recruits.

But such is the resultless tenor of GOED’s report. Jaunts to two September trade shows in Dallas and Orlando get this marketer-speak summary:

At both tradeshows South Dakota had a magnified presence with an exhibition space and booth designed to promote South Dakota’s brand. We also embraced speaking and seminar opportunities that put us front and center with attendees, including high level executives and decision makers from large corporate brands [Governor’s Office of Economic Development, report to Joint Appropriations on GOED Marketing Initiative, 2023.10.31].

Translation: . (That’s one big ellipsis, standing for “real results omitted”.)

Elsewhere in the report, GOED speaks of efforts to “showcase cooperative efforts in South Dakota as well as our phenomenal business environment” that allowed them to “build relationships” with six different site selector firms “and ensure they understood the opportunities and incentives present in South Dakota.”

GOED summarizes its Impressions and Interactions but charts no tangible results:

GOED to Joint Approps, 2023.10.31.
GOED to Joint Approps, 2023.10.31.

Legislators reading GOED’s report may get the impression that GOED has a lot of interactions but has trouble explaining the actual results of its taxpayer-funded efforts. Maybe GOED will more effectively impress upon appropriators what the state is getting for its marketing dollars when GOED interacts with Joint Appropriations today at 9 a.m. at the Capitol.


  1. Richard Schriever 2023-11-13 07:13

    There are people who can pitch an idea, and there are people who can close deals. These are typically not the same people. GOED appears to be heavy on the former type of employee and light on the latter type. Tangentially to what was said by Mr. Jankord of the SDDC, people tend to hire folks who are “like themselves”. This includes “alike” in every way – such as communications style, educational background, experience, biases and prejudices, approaches to decision-making, as well as the demographic “look-like” stuff.

  2. Mark B 2023-11-13 07:15

    Since her other half of the ticket is now openly plotting and planning to deport..democrats?.. if he wins, not sure he gets the swing vote, just saying. So maybe Kristi’s France trip is no accident.. looking for paths to continue the Right Wing Road Show? Maybe a company in France saw her ads and is looking to relocate…

  3. sx123 2023-11-13 07:54

    She should have put on nerd glasses and pretended to write code in front of a computer screen to promote the awesome fiber optic network we have in much of South Dakota for remote workers and high tech businesses. I am not joking.

  4. DaveFN 2023-11-13 09:56

    “…South Dakota had a magnified presence…”

  5. DaveFN 2023-11-13 10:10

    “O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together.” —Psalm 34:3

  6. O 2023-11-13 11:20

    Given the tight labor market and low unemployment in SD, doesn’t any new business need to poach talent from other businesses to survive? With all the focus is on attracting new business, do current businesses ever feel put upon? Is there enough prosperity to go around? Is there a top-end limit to SD’s capacity for business — especially new business?

  7. bearcreekbat 2023-11-13 11:54

    I wonder if the GOED “impression” and “interaction” calculations might be underrepresenting how the GOED efforts affected the population. After all, everyone with even the slightest awareness of the GOED efforts was, by definition, left with an “impression,” whether annoyed, irritated, depressed, unimpressed, etc. And as for “interaction,” I would think that would include simply ignoring the pitch, just as a parent interacts with his child by ignoring the child’s whining or tantrums, definitely a “meaningful interaction” aimed at modifying the child’s behavior. Unless there is some special definition that GOED is using for these terms not mentioned in Cory’s report, it would seem that virtually everyone necessarily must have been left with some sort of “impression” and in some way “interacted” with the GOED propaganda.

  8. Donald Pay 2023-11-13 13:32

    I’ll give GOED a pass on this thing. If you’ve ever attended an art fair, or sold art at one, you know a lot of people gather lots of impressions of the art before anyone decides to buy anything. I’m sure that’s true for selling businesses on a state. I would suspect the people at the booth are giving away a lot of free trinkets with an embossed agency name and phone number, some pamphlets and stuff, etc. I’m not sure how effective that is. If you get a call a few months later, I suppose that’s something, but it’s a lot of time and expense for very little return. I just don’t think a state acting like an artist is the right fit. I prefer building businesses from the bottom up right in your own bailiwick. Find the next little thing, and help it grow into the next medium thing.

  9. O 2023-11-13 15:24

    Donald, you comment makes me ask if GOED’s success is only measured if they “land a whale” to make headlines.

  10. Arlo Blundt 2023-11-13 18:21

    Busywork….expensive Busywork.

  11. scott 2023-11-13 19:15

    The effectiveness of the campaign is one thing. More important is doing research to understand how long people stay in South Dakota. GOED should know what job skills are interesting in moving to SD. GOED should know where people come from that are most likely to stay long term in SD. From my experience, the people who have moved to South Dakota and stay here long term come from nearby states. If a person cannot easily return home in 8 to 10 hours of drive time, then those people typically leave and move closer to their family home.

    To just target the entire nation with the freedom campaign is not smart and honestly if these ad agencies were doing their job, they would tell that to their customer. In this instance, we know this is not a campaign to bring people to South Dakota, but a campaign to get Noem more attention that is disguised as a way to get people to move to SD.

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