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Marketing Alberta Communities Regional Economic Development Workshops March 14 to 18, 2005 Module 2 – Responding to an Investment Inquiry. Presented by:. Community Databases. Information is the “Product” of your economic development program. Community Profile

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Marketing Alberta CommunitiesRegional Economic Development WorkshopsMarch 14 to 18, 2005Module 2 – Responding to an Investment Inquiry

Presented by:

community databases
Community Databases

Information is the “Product” of your economic development program.

  • Community Profile
    • Demographic & Statistical Data on the community
    • Labour Force Data
  • Industrial/Business Directory
    • Comprehensive listing of manufacturing and ‘exportable’ services businesses
  • Real Estate Database
    • Inventory Existing Buildings and Available Sites
  • Comparative Cost Information
    • Utility Rates, Taxes, Labour Costs, Rents, etc.
more information faster
More Information - Faster
  • 1980 –
  • 1985 –
  • 1990 –
  • 1995 –
new age for economic development
New Age for Economic Development
  • In less than a decade the Internet has fundamentally transformed the practice of economic development.
      • It has also fundamentally altered the relationship between an economic development officer and his/her client (and their advisors).
        • Client already has access to most of the information the EDO is used to providing
        • First contact is now a really serious inquiry involving “high level” data.
          • “Like skipping the 1st and 2nd dates completely and going directly to the 3rd date.”
new age for economic development1
New Age for Economic Development
  • Corporate Use of the Internet
    • As early as 2002 Dean Whittaker of Whittaker & Associates reported that 84% of U.S. companies routinely go to the Internet to gather information & short list communities in their site searches.
  • Today that would be in excess of 95%
new age for economic development2
New Age for Economic Development
  • Realtor/Consultant Use of the Internet
    • Philip O’Keefe reported in 2003
      • 94% of realtors & consultants use the Internet as their primary source of information during site selection.
        • Companies value the privacy of the Internet for site selection.
      • 75% of those surveyed called for economic development agencies to upgrade their sites for this purpose.
new age for economic development3
New Age for Economic Development
  • Community Web-Sites
    • In a 2001 study my firm found that 92% of communities in Ontario had web-sites with dedicated sections for economic development
      • What’s more each community in the survey had plans to expand their site with more information and new features.
award winning web sites
Award Winning Web-Sites
  • IEDC Award -
    • Other US Sites referenced by Don Schjeldahl - Austin Company in presentation at EDAC 04 -
  • EDAC Marketing Awards
      • 200K-600K -
      • 601K> -
  • EDCO Marketing Awards
      • Large Community -
      • Small Community -
what companies need from your web site
What Companies Need from Your Web-Site
  • Most Important
    • Buildings and/or Sites
    • Local info they can’t get anywhere else
  • Also important – but available elsewhere
    • Workforce Information
    • Cost of Doing Business
    • Demographics/Statistics
iedc template for community profile
IEDC Template for Community Profile
  • Originally developed by a working group of American and Canadian economic developers and site selectors and introduced in May 2000 as a North American standard.
    • 1200 elements organized into 25 tables (Excel)
      • Adopted by “Invest in Canada” – “Alberta First” – “Invest BC” plus a number of communities.
      • (Ontario Investment Service provides similar data in their own format – as well as real-estate listings.)
  • Many find it too complex and cumbersome.
review of iedc template
Review of IEDC Template
  • Prepared by MMK Consulting for Federal Gov’t
    • Conclusions
      • Community profile data is most used when preparing initial lists of possible sites.
        • Relationship-based approach to marketing is critical so ensure your web-site development is integrated into your overall strategy.
      • Locally generated data (land & buildings, labour, taxation, competitive environment) is most important.
      • Don’t break your back converting to US formats – resources are better directed to broadening the scope of your data.
minimum requirements
Minimum Requirements
  • Make sure your data is current and comparable
    • With citations from recognized sources
      • YOU aren’t a recognized source
  • Make sure companies can “Google” your web-site.
  • Make sure your profile on Alberta First is complete and up-to-date.
best practices in web sites
Best Practices in Web-Sites
  • Observations from MMK Report
    • Intuitive & Easy to Find
        • Data clearly labeled and easy to find
    • One Stop Shopping
        • All data in one location
    • External Links
        • Links to relevant sources allows client to validate data and obtain expanded information
    • Currency & Relevance
        • Site selectors say data more than 1 year old is grounds for elimination
    • Real Estate Data
        • Industrial & commercial real estate data
        • GIS systems now becoming the norm
        • Need for Economic Development Office to supplement
new age in economic development
New Age in Economic Development
  • “Overnight is no longer good enough”
          • Richard Sheehy, Industrial Design Corp.
      • Communities must become more sophisticated in:
        • gathering/organizing community data
        • responding immediately to specific questions
    • New Gold Standard in Investor Servicing
      • To be able to email a response to a client’s question - while still on the phone with them.
importance of investor servicing
Importance of Investor Servicing
  • Reputation is a Priceless Asset
    • Ingredients
      • Speed, Responsiveness, Relevance
      • Dedicated Officer handling all aspects of project
      • Make it painless for the Investor
        • identify and remove barriers
    • Investor Servicing doesn’t stop on arrival
real live examples
Real Live Examples
  • From the Files of AED
For further information contact us at :

182 Willow Ridge Road, RR #3

Ilderton, ON N0M 2A0

Tel: (519) 666-3668 Fax: (519) 666-3670

Email: [email protected]