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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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Presented by

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.

Ontario municipal web sites contents current planned additions may 2001
Ontario Municipal Web-SitesContents - Current & Planned Additions - May 2001

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

    Presented by