East Falls Business Association offers business owners a chance to connect, learn and brainstorm over breakfast

The East Falls Business Association is using a new method to reach its members: breakfast.

On Monday morning, members of the East Falls Business Association gathered at Java Ink in East Falls to network and learn about the latest and greatest in marketing techniques. A new initiative of the twenty-plus member EFBA, the breakfast meeting was conceived in August as a means to strengthen the association by attracting new members and solidifying the services of its present membership.

“We wanted to give a little momentum to those businesses which are in existence in the community and really need help,” said Julie Camburn, president of the EFBA and editor of The Fallser.

EFBA meetings, typically held on the second Monday of the month, will now alternate between morning and evening gatherings.

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“We’d really like to reenergize the business association with a new crew of people who have ideas more suitable to the day,” said Camburn.

The sacrifices and strategies of marketing

Camburn noted that marketing was the number one concern of most EFBA members. To address these concerns and outline broader goals was East Falls resident member Greg O’Loughlin, principal and founder of Swell, a year-old marketing strategy and implementation company now based in University City.

“We’re marketing quarterbacks,” said O’Loughlin of his organization. O’Loughlin, who moved to East Falls with his wife in 2006, worked at ad agencies in New York and Philadelphia for ten-years prior to the start of his company.

During this period, he observed that advertising budgets shrank and web and digital technologies became the mainstays of the marketing industry. He subsequently developed a list of ten “guides” – a rubric for businesses to keep in mind while conceiving of a marketing strategy.

“They’re things I believe in terms of where I think the industry is heading,” he said, “and consistencies in what you should be thinking about in terms of marketing.”

Of them “Getting Down on the Ground,” is the one that O’Loughlin feels resonates best with clients.

“It recommends that you connect with people in real ways,” he said, but as he noted, “sometimes that requires sacrifice.”

Connecting and promoting ‘from within’

Sean Murray, owner of Java Ink, said in conversation afterwards that he’s become interested in the possibilities of social networking, but keeps his ear attuned to what customers are saying inside his Midvale Avenue shop.

Praising the inviting atmosphere of East Falls residents and the businesses, Murray observed that “there’s a feeling that this area is just about to ‘pop’ – it’s just not there yet.”

In the meantime, he sees business owners as neighborhood leaders.

“The people in the neighborhood are going to see our faces, and they’re going to come to us with their issues,” said Murray. “We have to be there to provide whatever resources they might need.”

“That’s what we need to do – connect each other with each other and promote from within,” surmised Camburn.

For more information about the EFBA, contact editor@fallser.com

Disclosure: The Fallser is a NewsWorks partner.

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