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The Four Ps To Gaining A Marketing Edge Versus Big Cities For Investment Attraction

The Four Ps To Gaining A Marketing Edge Versus Big Cities For Investment Attraction

November 18th, 2019

by Ian Smith

One of the most difficult aspects of investment attraction is going head-to-head with competing cities especially; big metropolitan center cities.   While it is not impossible for smaller towns to be on a short list for potential Investment projects, the challenge is to remain a consistent contender in the future.  In order for towns to do so, a strategic framework must be in place to assess and plan any marketing initiatives.

One possible framework is the apply the Four Ps marketing mix concept.  To be more precise, the four Ps are:

  • Product
  • Price
  • Promotion
  • Potential
(Please note:  The fourth P, “Potential” has being included for the purposed of this post and does not appear in the original 4 Ps marketing mix framework).

Below are a series of questions for decision makers to consider for each element of the mix which will assist in building a better plan for investment attraction.

1 – Product

In the context of investment attraction, the product can encompass everything that pertains to making a city a possible destination to do business.  It can range from the existing talent pool to incentives to build facility within city boarders.
  • Do we have enough space in our industrial parks?
  • What services or infrastructure are available to tenants in the parks?
  • Are our financial incentives on par with neighbouring towns?
  • Does the city solve a key problem for investors in terms of logistics?
  • How does the city compare to other cities in terms of work – live  play balance?
  • Does the potential investor(s) fit into our strategic plan for our town?   
2 – Price

When it comes to “Price”, cities need to evaluate all elements that will impact the costs for potential investors to operate in town.  In particularly, a city should reflect upon:
  • Whether the existing financial programs are still relevant to potential investors?
  • What is the right pricing strategy in terms of making available industrial land more attractive versus other locations in neighbouring jurisdictions?
  • Is there a way to bring down the cost of the initial capital investment for the investor?

3 – Promotion

Promotion is the most important element in the mix in terms of communicating with investors and site selectors.   With this in mind, there can be a multitude of questions that should be asked such as: 
  • Do we have the right website with enough information online?
  • Does our region’s brand distinguish us from other competing regions?
  • How are we promoting available industrial space?
  • What type of investor or sector are we trying to attract?
  • Should we use social media channels to sell our region?
  • What is our budget for our promotional efforts?
4 – Potential

Potential is a variable that is often overlooked when attracting investors.  When communicating with investors, a city is not only selling land in order to manufacturer a product, it is selling potential to achieve their company’s objectives.   
  • Can the city offer an existing value chain framework for a specific sector?
  • Does the city have enough raw industrial land to build a plant according to the investor’s specifications for their future needs specifically for expansion purposes?
  • Can the city supply a sufficient amount of talent to meet the company’s workforce needs for the long term?
  • Are they any plans to have a sector-specific industrial park in the near future?
Due to the high prices and lack of space in industrial parks in metropolitan cities, small municipalities must be more strategic in terms of how to attract investors while standing out from competing towns.  In order to do, a proper diagnostic by asking the right questions regarding the municipality’s approach to attracting investment dollars.


Need help applying the value chain analysis for economic development initiatives?  Contact us TODAY.  

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