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Five years in, results show Maine lobster marketing efforts succeeding, as program nears vote for continued funding

A progress report from the executive director of the Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative

by Matt Jacobson

PORTLAND, ME – As many of you know, in 2012, the Maine legislature took action creating the Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative.

In the authorizing statue, the legislature gave the following direction, “the collaborative is created to promote and market Maine lobster” and to “identify market areas that will provide the greatest return on investments.”

We started on this journey of trying to increase demand and awareness for Maine lobster and do it in a way that made the most of our budget.

The authorizing statute also included a “sundown clause” where funding could be eliminated on Oct. 1 of this year if the legislature does not act to continue the effort.

At the outset, our challenge was to build a strategy that was effective and fit our budget.

Our research led us to focus on markets primarily within the US.  We believed (and still believe) that our dollars would go further here at home, that our story would have more resonance, and that we would be able to reach more people for the money spent.

As we defined our mission – driving up awareness and demand for Maine lobster – we also needed to understand the people we were trying to reach, and where we could find them.

We focused on three groups to try to influence with our message:

Chefs.  Chefs have become trend setters in the food world.  Media and consumers are influened by chefs via the Food Channel, Taste Made, and other online, broadcast, and print channels.  A chef that touts Maine lobster can have a significant effect…

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