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What is Economic Development Marketing?

May 11, 2016


Economic development marketing, a specialised discipline that focuses on how cities, regions, states and countries attract investment and build wealth.


There are currently 565 local councils in Australia, the competition to attract investment, talent and tourists are intense. But most places fail to differentiate their offerings, choosing instead to tout their “quality of life,” “exceptional workforce” or “pro-business attitude.” All healthy economic development marketing programs start by answering two fundamental questions:


What makes our community different?


Why should our target audience care?


Adelaide, South Australia markets itself as the Australia's Best Boutique City. Northern Territory, Wildlife, Wildland, Do the Top End.  Western Australia's, Goldern Outback, Vast clear skies and theatrical landscapes have true outback adventures, history, and wildflowers. These are all tangible examples of differentiation.


Councils and smart communities are reaching out to third parties to present their success stories. 


The most effective projects work in collaboration with local government, private enterprise, and communities, which promote and showcase them as digital ambassadors. 


Active Ambassador, Adelaide, Blacktown, Griffith and Brand Tasmania are leading the innovation in this space.


What you say about yourself is not as important as what your community say about you, this should be the primary focus and most useful marketing approach.


In economic development marketing efforts across the globe, far too many resources are being expended on the development of logos and taglines. 


Don’t get me wrong –the development of a powerful brandmark is not unimportant, but it is only one element of a successful campaign. How the brand is communicated to the outside world is what matters.


Corporate executives rate a community’s website as the single most powerful marketing vehicle. 


A survey of 300+ corporate executives found “internet/website” to be the most effective marketing technique for economic development organizations (Source: “Winning Strategies in Economic Development Marketing 2014).”


The benefits of building strong relationships with corporate leaders in your community, along with investors offer expansion opportunities and referrals to their suppliers. 


Which is the fastest and most trusted way to build product knowledge, and is the heart of all active marketing programs.


Smart economic development marketers look for every opportunity to connect with corporations within their community via one-on-one meetings, LinkedIn connections, and community events.


That's what we do at A Baker Project, contact us today!


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