Posts Tagged ‘Economic Development Organizations’
All economic developers understand how important it is to publish data on their websites that will attract and inform site selectors. There are many examples of Economic Development organizations that have excellent websites: visually engaging, interactive, full of relevant information and providing viewers with all kinds of useful data.
Great websites theoretically drive great traffic and great results. But which Economic Development organization knows who actually views their engaging visuals, interacts with their website, reads their information and scours their data? Not many.
While many EDOs have come to understand the value – in fact, the necessity – of using the web to display data and seek out interested audiences, many have not yet realized that the role of websites has evolved (once again) to a new advanced level.
This newest evolution means that investment attraction sites are no longer just conduits for broadcasting or answering questions. Website analytics now make it possible to turn the same excellent websites into generators of investment leads – Now, isn’t that good news!
2012 was a great year for Yfactor! Some of our highlights included:
- We launched our new analytics tool, Prospect ID, which can turn blind web traffic into identified investment leads
- We helped dozens of communities across North America to launch economic development, municipal, tourism, and immigration attraction projects including websites, social media, apps, branding, marketing strategies and design
- We’ve built relationships with 26 new clients representing communities across the United States and Canada, completing over 100 projects
2013 is shaping up to be an even bigger year than last and we are looking forward to sharing more great articles, as well as stories about Yfactor, our staff and some of our client successes.
The concepts of economic gardening are becoming more influential and pervasive in the economic development field. A large number of economic gardening projects have sprung up in municipalities all over North America in the past year or so. Beyond municipal boundaries, initiatives are being announced at regional, state/province and even federal levels that have the stamp of economic gardening on them. What we’re seeing, in fact, is economic gardening sprawl.
You can see it in Michigan. The state has become a leading proponent of economic gardening, with Governor Rick Snyder enthusiastically cheerleading. The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) has an active economic gardening program and has been pursuing initiatives that, while not carrying the economic gardening label, are closely related to it.
A competitive regional economy needs a strong community of talent, not merely a group of strong companies with talented employees within their walls. Speed and efficiency are of utmost importance to product development, so today’s companies need resources beyond the limits of their employee base.
That’s why the quality of talent in your community is vitally important. And talented people communicate and connect, first and foremost, via the web. By building an online community, economic developers and their private sector partners can nurture an on-the-ground community of talent for future growth.
The hub of such an online community is the talent attraction portal. Its goals should be twofold: to deliver compelling messages to the target groups of talented people you want to attract to your community, and to reinforce the commitment of your talented residents to their home.
What’s the secret? Driving traffic to the portal. The portal needs energy and it needs action, particularly the kind of action that connects people and jobs.
One of the key elements of an effective creative economy strategy is the identification of target markets and marketing goals. Social media has become an important tool to help economic developers accomplish this. In fact, it’s hard to see how any such strategy could work without employing social media as a communications vehicle.
It’s worth repeating that the difference between a traditional economic development investment attraction marketing strategy and the new creative economy attraction marketing strategy is that the target audience is not businesses, it is people. And these days you can’t communicate with people more reliably or cost effectively than through social media.
Perhaps “communicate” is the wrong word, though. The word should probably be “connect.” If social media is regarded primarily as a communications vehicle that might imply that it is just another channel for pushing out a general message. That is how many economic development organizations in North America seem to regard social media. They are just getting on board this new mass communications bandwagon.