While Willcox begins the work to determine its identity, Cochise County and the private sector have come forward to say, “Perhaps the identity is wine.”

Energy company Kinder Morgan recently granted $5,000 to the county, which, in turn, used those funds to make signs directing travelers to area wineries and tasting rooms.

Signs may not seem like much, but if people don’t know where they’re going, they won’t get there. It’s much the same principle with advertising — people won’t shop if they don’t know the store exists.

Despite the misguided belief that all one needs to do is make a post on Facebook or Twitter and the world will come running through the door, the tried and true methods of notifying people about what’s being offered continue to generate the most return on investment. And signs certainly fit that criteria.

Facebook was down for a day a few weeks ago, and home-based businesses that don’t understand marketing lost their collective minds. “How can I sell if I don’t have Facebook?” we heard from more than a few small business owners.

Well, if you advertised with traditional media, and used social media only as a supplement, you wouldn’t have lost any sales, we responded. Whether any took that advice to heart remains to be seen, as well as how many are still in business come June.

The local vineyards don’t have that problem because winemakers understand that marketing is a basic cost of doing business — no different than ensuring there is electric coming to the facility.

Cochise County officials are equally smart, understanding that signs are the surest way to drive traffic to the local winemakers. Yes, all our phones have GPS, but we can’t be the only ones who have ended up someplace completely unrelated to where we wanted to go thanks to our GPS experiencing a “hiccup,” especially in rural, desolate areas.

Signs don’t have that problem. A sign will always point a traveler down the proper road, each and every time.

Kudos to the county for making the right call to support our local wine industry with proper signage, as well as begin the process of improving roads to the vineyards. Each will do more to bolster the local economy than a thousand Facebook posts or Twitter hashtags.


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