In light of Amazon’s recent announcements regarding HQ2 and the firestorm of publicity on incentives, it’s important to bring the focus back to reality. Business location decisions are made based on assets that support operations to fulfill a business’ growth strategy. In Amazon’s case, having the access and ability to attract talent was the most important factor.
For communities to effectively market for business attraction (and for that matter, win existing business expansions), you must know your assets. What do you have that supports successful business operations? What are your strengths and how do they compare to competitive communities? Which of your assets are unique or different from what competitors offer? How can you illustrate the value of these assets to businesses with stories? Some assets will be based in your community, others will be leveraged from the broader region. For example, where do the employees in your community live? Likely they come from a labor shed that extends beyond your city boundaries. What assets can you inventory from beyond your city limits, yet are still readily accessed in your community?
“Don’t leave regional marketing to your regional partner alone. That’s a mistake; be a partner in regional marketing by sharing quality content. ”
Recently I wrote a blog about regionalism in economic development and noted, “Communities must be strong components of the region and offer competitive assets to reap the rewards of regional marketing. And, for that matter, vice versa, regions are only as strong as the local assets they have available to market.” Do you want to know how to compete with larger markets or win deals as significant for your area as winning Amazon was for Virginia and New York? The answer is clear— strengthen local assets and regional partnerships.
So, how is your city helping tell the region’s story? Don’t leave regional marketing to your regional partner alone. That’s a mistake; be a partner in regional marketing by sharing quality content. Are you prepared with a comprehensive inventory of assets? And, most importantly, do you have researched and written stories (case studies) to back up the claims of value you make about your community’s assets? With this information prepared, organized and readily available, your community will gain more marketing exposure on every level and you will be a stronger partner for your region. Everyone wins when you partner and leverage quality content for marketing.