Monday, September 30, 2013

Chicago, St. Louis face off over ADM decision

AP) — At opposite ends of Illinois, St. Louis and Chicago have famously parried for more than a century: St. Louis snatched the 1904 Olympics even after Chicago had been named the host city, and the disdain between St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs fans fuels one of baseball's biggest rivalries.

Now the competitors are facing off on a new field of play in trying to woo the new global headquarters of Archer Daniels Midland Co., an agricultural giant that has been based for decades in the central Illinois city of Decatur, roughly halfway between the two cities. The multibillion-dollar company announced last week it needed better access to its global customers, including an international airport.

But it isn't just about the 200 executive and information technology jobs that are part of the deal. It's also about prestige and bragging rights — and no doubt tax revenue from the high-paying boardroom jobs— that come with landing a company that's among the world's biggest players in agricultural processing, ranked No. 27 on the Fortune 500 list.

Houston, Minneapolis and Indianapolis also have been mentioned as contenders, though ADM is staying mum about its selection process. Chicago has been floated as a favorite by experts, largely because it's home to the nation's second busiest international airport and behemoth businesses including McDonald's, Sears and aircraft-maker Boeing Co. More here.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Customer Loyalty and Engagement as a Business Retention Tool

Can communities use customer loyalty strategies as a business retention tool? 

Marketing theory suggests that the way to keep customers coming back (or staying in the case of economic developers) is to keep the lines of communication open.  Loyalty requires not only building customer satisfaction but also building customer engagement.

Communities can initiate customer loyalty initiatives through collaboration and coordination between stakeholders.  There are many touch points that a community can have with one of its businesses, from its experience with governmental authorities, assistance provided by intermediary organizations or involvement with civic and social organizations. Providing a seamless message and experience is a major advantage of community branding efforts. 

Building loyalty also means listening to the business and acting on what you hear.  Business retention visits are a good way to survey businesses and learn about their engagement in the community.  If the owner or management of the organization doesn't live or engage in the community, then they may be less loyal and thus a higher risk for leaving when an expansion opportunity occurs. Encouraging them to live in the community, to get involved in local school or service club or other community activities will strengthen their interest and commitment.

The loyalty a business may have to a community is often determined by the strength of the relationships and interactions they have.  Cities, chambers of commerce, EDOs and others can work together to create a pro business environment that is consistently positive, supportive and effective. Each touch point is an opportunity to leave an impression with existing businesses and strengthen the relationship.

By adopting a customer loyalty and engagement marketing strategy, place marketers can retain more jobs, investment and wealth in their community. More importantly, it presents an opportunity to turn existing businesses into a true advocate and promoter of your area.   


Saturday, September 14, 2013

How Shakopee netted Shutterfly: people, people, people

Senior reporter- Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal

Shutterfly Inc.
broke ground on its new Minnesota factory Tuesday, about a year after the company first weighed Shakopee against other sites nationwide. But the deal for the site itself came together quickly — a pace that government and Shutterfly officials credit to strong relationships.
Ryan Cos. US Inc. developer Casey Hankinson described the process of landing the San Francisco-based company's expansion in the Midwest, which will include 330 full-time jobs and a new 217,000-square-foot facility. There's room on the north side of the building for an 89,000-square-foot addition.

About a year ago, Shutterfly was considering other sites in the Twin Cities and surrounding states. Hankinson sat down with officials from Shutterfly and its commercial real estate brokers from Jones Lang LaSalle to talk about Ryan's site. By this summer, the negotiations centered on Shakopee. Only 30 days later, a lease was signed. More here.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

How to make cities great

From: McKinsey & Company Monthly Highlights | September 2013

How to make cities greatGreat cities are great for the people who live and work there, great for business, and great for the environment. Unsuccessful ones breed economic, environmental, and social decay. How can we get urbanization right? In a report and accompanying video, McKinsey experts investigate the lessons that business and government leaders can learn from successful cities around the world. A related slideshow offers examples from six of them.

Sunday, September 08, 2013

A bargain or a bust, Indiana all aglitter at Times Square

Indiana's self-promotion has made it all the way to the bright lights of Broadway.

Or, more precisely: Times Square.

The marketing campaign, "A State that Works," was designed by the Indiana Economic Development Corp. to lure businesses to relocate to the Hoosier state.

The 15-second spots – two each hour – began running on the digital billboard in Times Square in mid-August, the state announced Thursday. The crowd that passes the CBS Super Screen on 42nd Street between Seventh and Eighth avenues is estimated at 1.5 million daily.

Like everything in New York City, the exposure is expensive. The question is: Is it worth it? More here.

New Reno marketing campaign wants to replace racy ads on taxicabs

RENO, Nevada — The Reno-area economic development agency wants the world to know the Biggest Little City has more to offer than strip joints and nearby brothels.

A new marketing campaign seeks to replace racy ads on taxicabs and billboards with a more wholesome message.

The goal of the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada is to promote the region as a great place to live and do business, the Reno Gazette-Journal ( reported Monday. More here.

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Local consortium plans to woo global manufacturer, jobs

A new coalition is starting marketing efforts to attract European-based aerospace supplier companies to Northwest Florida.

Economic development leaders in Bay, Escambia, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, and Walton counties have formed the Gulf Coast Aerospace Coalition partially in response to the Airbus manufacturing plant under construction in Mobile, Ala.

The facility is scheduled to start assembling aircraft in 2015, according to Airbus.

The regional coalition hopes to bring in businesses that supply Airbus and other aviation companies with the materials to build their aircrafts. More here.

Boynton sets its sights on worldwide market

Ukrainian city turns to Regina for help remaking its image

The Globe and Mail

There is no direct translation for the word “branding” in Ukrainian.

When representatives for Kryvyi Rih, Ukraine, speak through a translator about branding their city, they simply say “brand,” with a slightly rolled R.

“One of the reasons is nobody has been doing it until recently,” said Andriy Nahornyi, director of Kryvyi Rih’s City Development Institute. When the city of roughly 660,000 needed help with their approach to branding, they turned to an unlikely partner: Regina.

Last week, the city’s economic development team met with representatives from Regina and its Winnipeg-based ad agency, McKim Cringan George, for feedback on the new brand being unveiled. Regina rebranded with McKim’s help in 2008. Like Saskatchewan’s capital, Kryvyi Rih is looking to boost its economy by encouraging investment. More here.

Dallas Regional Chamber launches economic development campaign


The Dallas Regional Chamber hopes to generate a buzz about the area in a new economic development campaign that features recruiting trips to other states, innovative marketing methods and interactive online tools.

Launched this week, the plan is to encourage companies “in places like California and Illinois not typically known for being business-friendly to ‘move to their future,’ ” chamber spokeswoman Amy Ramos said. The campaign’s tag line is “Business works better here.”

“It’s a ‘why Dallas’ pitch,” said Jessica Heer, vice president of economic development for the chamber. The chamber is focusing on the area’s business environment, accessibility and a large workforce, she said.

Dallas’ low business costs, affordable land and a major airport have served as relocation magnets for years. More recently, the city has garnered attention for bouncing back from the recession faster and adding more jobs than many other areas of the country. More here.

Marketing Campaign Draws Attention to the Numerous Reasons Indiana Works for Business

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) announced today that New York's Times Square features A State That Works, a marketing campaign designed to draw attention to the numerous reasons Indiana is a state that works for business.

"Indiana's business climate already shined brighter than any Broadway marquee," said Victor Smith, Indiana Secretary of Commerce. "Now, visitors to Times Square will see our message--a beacon, a larger than life invitation to learn more about Indiana as a state that works for business. In Indiana, we have built a low-tax environment that glows vividly with America's best skilled workforce, a triple-A credit rating and all the ingredients needed to grow a world-class business. From Times Square to town squares across the state, Indiana is taking center stage." More here.

New Marketing Group Starts in N.C.

By Victoria A. Rocha | ECT Staff Writer Published: August 30th, 2013

A North Carolina electric cooperative and local economic development leaders are joining forces on a new marketing alliance to attract jobs and businesses to an up-and-coming area near Charlotte.

“We have this great area with incredible infrastructure and a great quality of life,” said Tim Holder, vice president of economic development at EnergyUnited, based in Statesville.

However, the region, located less than an hour north of Charlotte, has yet to reach its full potential, said Holder. So the co-op and five regional development agencies have formed the Lake Norman Region partnership, with a goal of promoting development surrounding the state’s largest manmade lake with 520 miles of shoreline.

By combining resources on programs and promotions, partners will seek to work with developers, site consultants and brokers to showcase the lake area and create a brand identity for it. Projects so far include a website, and a dinner cruise, “get-to-know-you event” for developers in mid-September. More here.

New economic plan calls for Memphis to secure brand while diversifying businesses


MEMPHIS, Tennessee — Strategies in a new economic plan call for Memphis to diversity its business growth while securing its logistics brand.

The proposals in the Memphis & Shelby County Regional Economic Development Plan were made public last week when community and economic development leaders met with The Commercial Appeal's ( editorial board.

The plan is being developed by a Washington-based think tank called the Brookings Institution, which has finished analyzing the region's strengths.

"(Logistics) has been our strength for a long time," said Reid Dulberger, president of the Memphis and Shelby County Economic Development Growth Engine. "We need to own logistics. We need to own that turf and we need to build on it." More here.

Regional economic development group refocuses mission

By WES WOLFE - Kinston Free Press 

KINSTON — As the state government moves funding from regional economic development groups and puts that responsibility under the Department of Commerce, North Carolina ’s Eastern Region moves forward to becoming a private nonprofit.
The organization, currently covering 13 Eastern North Carolina counties, is refocusing its mission as it makes those changes.
In a meeting with the media last week, NCER President and CEO John Chaffee said there had been some “mission creep” with NCER as it sought different methods for attracting commerce to the area.
In a meeting with state legislators, NCER was asked to promote filmmaking in the region, in the hopes it would lead to higher tourism. That’s one of the jobs the new private entity will not be pursuing. One of the main goals, Chaffee said, is to increase the work skills of the region’s residents and bring that knowledge base to prospective companies. More here.

AEgis Technologies powering upgrade for Alabama economic development database

By Lucy Berry

The state of Alabama's most visited economic development website, which receives more than 2.4 million hits annually, is getting an upgrade with the help of AEgis Technologies of Huntsville.

AEgis Technologies, a privately-held small business headquartered in Huntsville that provides advanced technology and expert consulting across the world, is in the process of redesigning the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama's primary marketing tool to attract industrial and other sites statewide.

The upgrade, to be called "Alabama Interactive," will provide detailed state information for industries or site consultants considering coming to Alabama. EDPA Vice President Greg Knighton said the buildings, sites and communities database is the EDPA website's most frequently visited section. More here.

LVEDC commissions $100,000 study by site-selection consultants


As part of the overall Envision Lehigh Valley project, the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corp. has hired Garner Economics LLC of Atlanta, Ga., to conduct a review of the region's economic development and marketing strategies.

Don Cunningham, president and CEO of LVEDC, said the company is a site selection and economic development company that usually works with large corporations to help them determine which markets they want to locate facilities in.

With this study, Cunningham said Garner will be helping the LVEDC, and other regional leaders, determine what the valley's strengths and weaknesses are from a site selection standpoint so that they can make the region more attractive to the sort of businesses they want to attract.

"There was a time when every community wanted to be the next Silicone Valley," said Cunningham. "But every region has its own assets and needs. We need to develop these and see what we could achieve realistically. A smart strategy doesn't just try to replicate what someone else has done." More here.

Wichita economic development leaders still wrangling with certifying industrial sites

By Dan Voorhis 
The Wichita Eagle

A year ago, economic development leaders in Wichita were talking about how “certifying” industrial sites was crucial to boosting the area’s competitiveness for landing new manufacturing plants and other facilities.

More than half of all states, Oklahoma and Missouri among them, have certified site programs, although Kansas does not.

“It’s almost a baseline that if you don’t have a certified site (site selection consultants) won’t even look at you,” said David Bossemeyer, managing director for the Greater Wichita Economic Development Coalition.

Today, some work has been done on developing a certification program, but there is not yet a program and no sites have been certified.

More here.

Read more here:

Create the Right Content for Different Marketing Platforms

A nice summary from Vocus/PR Web:
Content marketing is not a “one size fits all” scenario. Your Twitter audience is different from your Facebook audience, which is different from your blog audience, and so on.

They all have different needs and expectations when it comes to content. To reach them all successfully, you must tailor content to each channel.
Let’s take a look at four widely used content platforms in the B2B
space (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and company blogs) and how to
create content for each:

1 Facebook
The Facebook News Feed is designed to showcase photos, videos
and other visual content. Be sure to include an accompanying visual
with your posts as often as possible. This helps grab a user’s
attention from the get-go.

Another best practice is to conclude Facebook posts with a question.
The comments below each post can be great for fostering feedback and
conversation among followers. Just remember that the most common
reason people stop following brands is because they feel bombarded by
too many posts. Make each post count by providing valuable content
to your fans.
2 Twitter
The 140-character limit demands you be concise on Twitter.
However, the brevity of tweets allows you to share content more
frequently than on other social networks. This makes Twitter ideal
for real-time conversations – remember Oreo’s Super Bowl
blackout tweet? The hashtag feature is also an effective way to
engage followers in chats, contests or at events, such as a users’
conference or tradeshow.
3 LinkedIn
As a professional network, LinkedIn is a hub for thought
leadership content and can be especially effective in reaching
prospective partners and customers. Take advantage of
LinkedIn’s unique audience segmentation to reach your
audiences with exactly the type of content they’re after.
For example, if your business caters to different verticals,
create industry-specific content to drive engagement in
each vertical.
4 Company Blogging
Given that your blog is hosted on your company website, it
should be the first social channel on which you post all
original content – white papers, videos, tutorials, press
releases, company announcements, survey results,
thought leadership pieces and the like.

You can also use blog posts to give prospective and
current customers a more in-depth look at company culture
and the people behind your brand –  an important part of
building relationships that can’t always be accomplished in
the bite-sized nature of content on other networks.
Every social network has its own nuances and unique features.
Understand and leverage these differences to reach more of the
right people and increase your social ROI.