Community Marketing: A Necessity For Investment Attraction

Community Marketing: A Necessity For Investment Attraction

February 6th, 2019

by Ian Smith

Vying for investment attraction dollars is a taunting task for any economic development agency.   The most successful agencies are able to utilize the right tools and approaches to reach their objectives.   From cold calls to networking at trade shows, investment attraction professionals are always seeking to raise the awareness of their regions amongst site selectors and investors.

Enter Community marketing!!!

Community marketing is a promotional approach that if used correctly can be a powerful and efficient tool.

1 — Selecting the right community members

For any community marketing initiative to work properly, the right individuals must be in place.  This entails selecting members in the business community who can best sell the city, province/state or country to investors.  In an ideal world, investors that are currently operating in the region should be in the forefront of promoting the benefits to take advantage of in the future.   Strong testimonials will go a long when targeting and engaging potential investors.

2 — Stating clear objectives

In order for a community marketing program to work efficiently, participants must be aware of its objectives.  Since the aim is to attract foreign investment dollars, the select individuals must be prepared to target the right prospects with the right messaging.  Having unclear objectives will led to confusing messaging, misleading potential investors and damaging a brand of the city/province or state/country for economic development initiatives.

3 — Using the right communication tools

Keeping in mind that the objective of the initiative is to attract investment, participants must utilize the most effective communication tools at the disposal.  Be it a business cocktail or via a social media channel, participants seek out a platform that they have the most influence on potential investors.   For example, local business owners may want to use their Twitter and LinkedIn account to spread the word about their respective regions as a prime location for investment dollars.  For owners who prefer not to be on social media, economic development agencies can provide promotional material to use at business conferences outside their respective regions.

4 — Setting the key performance indicators

This particular element is often overlooked when the community marketing initiative is implemented.  Key performance indicators will allow all individuals involved in the initiative to measure efforts in terms of reaching objectives.  Some of key performance indicators that maybe up for consideration could include:

  • Number of inquiries received by the economic development agency
  • Number of interactions between participants and potential investors
  • Number of leads generated by local business events organized by participant

5 — Making the necessary adjustments

There is no such thing as a perfect community marketing plan.   As a result, agencies must be prepared to adapt their respective strategies if the results are not evident.  Possible adjustments could be in the form of:

  • Modifying the messaging regarding investment attraction in their respective region
  • Selecting additional and well-qualified participants to execute specific components of the initiative
  • Increasing the operational budget for initiative depending on which goals can be obtained in the short and medium term
  • Utilizing different social media channels to engage potential investors

Competing for investment dollars in a global environment is fierce.  Economic development agencies which are seeking innovative and cost-effective strategies to sell their territory to foreign investors must consider using their citizens as communication assets.   Citizens with a mastery of networking and social network platforms can play a big role in getting the word out about investment opportunities that may go unnoticed without the proper marketing.

Need help attracting foreign direct investment dollars to your region?  Contact us TODAY.  

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