As the pandemic continues to disrupt every aspect of commerce, senior staff within Economic Development Organisations face challenges and opportunities as they come to terms with this new reality.
As leaders, you will be only too aware of how frustrating the FDI sales cycle can be. As we sell into functions rather than industry sectors, identifying where to deploy marketing resources is difficult. And when projects are identified, the multinational nature of these investments makes relationship building difficult and expensive. However, the sobering truth is that even before the pandemic, over 60% of B2B decisions are taken before they even contact a sales person. You need to grab their attention and build contact much earlier in the sales cycle. This is where a strong digital program can really make a difference.
The digital experience has matured rapidly within the B2C space, where companies use a sophisticated mixture of social media, web and mobile to make personal connections at scale. However, an FDI decision can be just as emotional, and in some cases more emotional, than making the decision about buying a sweater.
The decision makers for FDI are actually making a career bet when they decide to locate a new facility. Not only do they need to confirm that the investment criteria have been met, they need to have confidence that the regional agency can deliver. Also, for a large-scale investment, you can absolutely guarantee that there’ll be multiple decision makers. Each of the stakeholders has to connect with you emotionally and/or functionally, which means the value proposition has to be a little more robust. They all need something different. Defining a value proposition and mapping it to industries, to verticals, to functions within companies, and really getting sharp on the relevance of your regional offering to that customer, is critical.
Thankfully there are any number of digital products that can transform your marketing efforts, helping to get tailored messages to target audiences at scale with minimal cost. Advances in data analytics allow you to track investor intentions and only begin direct sales activity when the prospect has been properly qualified.
Key steps in this journey are:
Update your website, improve the investor experience and invest in analytical capabilities to measure engagement. Above all, it must focus on customer needs, not location features
Create relevant content and distribute across a range of channels
Develop your social media presence, particularly on Linkedin. Ensure that your whole team is involved
Invest in a simple CRM system (Hubspot would be our recommendation) and manage your pipeline.
Partnerships with professional organisations to co-host webinars and other touch points for investors.
Digital transformation is not easy, and its success is less about the technology, and more about implementation and staff training. This is an area where HMC has gained considerable experience, taking best practice from the B2B world and delivering solutions which incorporate the best technology, agile work practices and leveraging the best that gig-economy and outsourcing can offer.
We have successfully implemented our inFront platform with development agencies across the US and Europe.
For more information, and demonstration of capacity, please contact us using the form below.