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Posts Tagged ‘Target Industries’

Introduction to Website Analytics for Economic Development

 

Is your economic development website successful?

You could answer that question from many points of view – design, content, ease of use, visitor response – but the real answer depends on whether the site helps your department find new sources of economic growth for your community.

To determine your site’s success on that basis, and to improve your lead generation success rate, you need tools to help you understand your website’s traffic patterns.

If you can’t track your website interactions, you can’t determine if your website is working. You have no idea if it’s performing to capacity (or not) and whether the money you have spent is producing any results that matter.
Your website, by its very nature, can be a bottomless source of data about existing and potential economic drivers in your community and the effectiveness of your organization in meeting their needs.  Mining this data, however, can be very challenging for EDOs with constrained budgets and staff.  Various software options exist and it’s useful to understand the functionality and limitations as they apply to the economic development function.

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How Can Your Website Stand Out?

Research continues to underscore the primary role of the web in economic development. In a national US survey conducted in 2008 by the University of California at Berkeley, both economic developers and site selectors agreed that an organization’s website provides the most effective economic-development strategy. It is the first point of contact that site selectors have with a potential site community.

By the third stage of the site-selection process – evaluation of a long list of potential locations – site selectors are almost one and half times as likely to have visited investment-attraction websites as to have personally contacted the community’s economic-development organization. If an organization does not communicate effectively through its website, a significant amount of possible direct contact by site selectors is lost.

The lesson learned from such research is that economic development organizations simply must get the web right if they are to succeed in attracting target industries to consider their communities for potential location. Here are four principles to follow:

Search-Engine Optimization

Previous Tech Trends articles have defined and discussed search-engine optimization, the importance of which cannot be overstressed. Your target industries will be searching on the web for communities with certain characteristics, using certain keywords. Do you know what (more…)

How Can Your Website Stand Out to Target Prospects?

Research continues to underscore the primary role of the web in economic development. In a national US survey conducted in 2008 by the University of California at Berkeley, both economic developers and site selectors agreed that an organization’s website provides the most effective economic-development strategy. It is the first point of contact that site selectors have with a potential site community.

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What Social Collaboration Means to Economic Development

Communities everywhere are trying to build their local economies based on attracting young professionals and the innovative companies of tomorrow. How can economic-development practitioners play an integral part in this mission?

In addition to their traditional tasks, such as marketing available properties and lobbying for incentives, today’s economic development practitioners should see themselves as catalysts for economic growth through social collaboration.

For innovation to thrive, there needs to be strong collaboration among stakeholder groups, open lines of communication, links between the public and private sector, and an understanding of the role that government must play. These are areas in which the economic development practitioner is typically the expert. The practitioner understands the needs of the business community and the capabilities and resources of the public sector, and therefore can provide a communications bridge.

Since the Internet has become the number one tool for businesses and site selectors in their location search, it has to be the foundation for your communications strategy in two ways:

  • Providing a primary vehicle for the dissemination of facts, stories and anecdotes about your community and its entrepreneurs, so as to inspire and attract others to locate their businesses there;
  • Establishing a shared vision for the future of a community and involving local stakeholders (more…)

Investment Attraction Marketing in a Changed Environment

There is no doubt that the worldwide economic recession is increasing the challenges for Canadian economic developers. Businesses are downsizing, not expanding. Many firms are delaying the decision to relocate to avoid the immediate costs of moving a business. Tourism is down as people stay home to preserve their savings.

This, plus the advent of Web 2.0 and new Internet-based technologies, creates a need to re-examine traditional marketing strategies. Messages must address business leaders’ concerns and reflect the types of communities that site selection professionals are sourcing. Strategies and tactics must be designed to reach out to prospects using new marketing channels.

In tough times the principles of investment attraction marketing come down to distillation – a process of finding the essence of what makes a community attractive, what kinds of business investment it wants and what characteristics are being sought by its target industries – then promoting key messages in a way that brings that community to the fore.

It is essential today for municipalities to recognize that different industry sectors often require a (more…)