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Census Data Shows Slow Growth for NM, But New Campaign to Attract Residents to ABQ Working to Change Trend

‘Home for Life’ expands to 11 cities, metrics reveal significant engagement among target audience of young workers

May 25, 2021

The ABQ Home for Life recruitment campaign is working to bring back former Albuquerque residents and attract more. The marketing initiative, now in 11 cities, is aimed at attracting remote workers and former New Mexico residents and initially focused on Houston, Portland, and Los Angeles when it launched early this year. The City’s Economic Development Department (EDD), which manages the program, added New York, Dallas, Seattle, Phoenix, Denver, San Francisco, Boston, and Washington, D.C., to the research-driven geographic mix in April, and the results indicate remarkable early success.

A dashboard that measures program performance shows interest and engagement to be well above national averages for advertising metrics. In just six weeks, through May 19, the campaign’s digital ads received more than 20 million impressions and resulted in nearly 90,000 visitors to an associated website,, which was displayed on the ads. Total impressions since the campaign launch total more than 26 million.

Strong early metrics from the recruitment campaign and major announcements from Intel, Netflix, Orion, and Amazon, among others, are an indication that the City’s efforts to bring jobs and workers to Albuquerque are yielding positive results. National Census data released last month showed only 2.8% population growth across New Mexico since 2010 and underscored the need to attract younger residents.

“In Albuquerque, we are set to add thousands of jobs with national companies and our local businesses – that’s the starting point for growth. With Home for Life, we’re working to show people across the nation what we already know to be true—Albuquerque has the amenities and opportunities that bigger cities have, without the hassles,” said Mayor Tim Keller. “The data shows that the message is resonating, and people are eyeing the Duke City.”

The program capitalizes on lifestyle and migration trends that have been accelerated by the pandemic – namely, moves away from large cities, to more relaxed mid-sized cities. Messaging focuses on Albuquerque’s clean air, abundant sunshine, vast number of parks and hike/bike trails, affordability, low traffic, and diverse culture, as well as job opportunities in thriving industries such as film, directed energy, and aerospace.

Campaign objectives are to boost Albuquerque’s working-age population and expand the tax base; attract workers who will bring in money from outside the state; garner the attention of the businesses that employ them; and diversify our economy.

“This recruitment effort is a much bigger vision than just attracting a few newcomers to the city; it’s a holistic endeavor to make Albuquerque more competitive,” said EDD director Synthia R. Jaramillo.

Albuquerque-based Esparza Digital + Advertising is contracted to create and deploy the campaign, which includes a robust combination of targeted landing pages, digital advertising, social media, and strategic festival placements. The agency also is conducting ongoing research to determine which cities will be the optimal targets of the material. Types of industry, a population’s participation in remote work, and lifestyle interests are some of the factors studied across cities to locate audiences that would most likely be drawn to Albuquerque. As metrics evolve, revealing which cities show more engagement, the campaign will pivot accordingly.