How the Inward Investment Marketing Funnel can help you to target your Inward Investment Marketing Content

Thursday 3 April 2014
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A common feature of Inward Investment Marketing, both online and 'off line', but most noticeably on websites and in internet marketing campaigns, is a lack of effective content planning and prioritisation.

Most agencies understand that investors want to hear about how your location addresses the Key Drivers of their location decisions - property, people, costs etc - as well as the various 'investor support' services you can provide. But in practice there's often no real structure to how these messages are presented, prioritised or distributed.

So which messages should investment promotion agencies be communicating to prospective investors, where, and when?

The Inward Investment Marketing Funnel

The well known model of the Marketing Funnel, representing (in our case) the various stages of the inward investment marketing process, can help us to target our messages more accurately towards investing businesses at the various stages in that process, as follows:

  • Attraction of Inward Investment Leads (both 'end users' and 'intermediaries')
  • Engagement of Leads, as a basis for identifying Inward Investment Prospects (i.e. companies with investment projects that could potentially come to your location)
  • Conversion of Prospects to 'Landed' Inward Investments
At a basic level, it's a funnel because there are more investment leads entering at the top than 'landed' inward investments exiting at the bottom. But what are the various stages in between? And how should these stages influence our content targeting strategy? Here's a summary:

1. Attraction ('Top of the Funnel' activities)

Activities at the 'top of the funnel' are all about attracting inward investors (either directly or via intermediaries) that we don't yet know. At this stage, marketing messages must address the Key Drivers  of investor location choices in target sectors, but will inevitably be generic (because we don't yet who these companies are, or their specific requirements).

'Top of the Funnel' content might include highly optimised messages on the website home page, 'static' website page titles and content, blog/news posts, or e-mailings to unsegmented lists of intermediaries and potential 'end user' investors.

2. Engagement ('Middle of the Funnel' activities)

Activities in the 'middle of the funnel' are all about engaging identified Inward Investment Leads (companies with projects), as a basis for converting them to real Investment Prospects for your location (i.e. getting on their location shortlist).

At this 'lead nurturing' stage, marketing messages should be targeted at the specific needs of these known companies (e.g. engineering skills solutions for engineering companies, or lab solutions for biotech businesses). Additionally, companies at this more advanced stage in the inward investment process are likely to be moving on from considerations of the Key Drivers that drove their initial location and site search. They may be starting to consider Secondary Drivers that kick in once specific locations are under consideration, such as planning assistance, recruitment, where to live, or how effective you're going to be as an investor support agency.

'Middle of the Funnel' activities might include targeted blog posts, downloadable content, e-mailings to segmented lists (e.g. specific industry sector contacts), or internal website pages.

3. Conversion ('Bottom of the Funnel' activities)

This is where the 'sales team' comes in - i.e. your Inward Investment Managers. Prospective investors have been attracted with content that appeals to their Key Drivers, and nurtured with content that addresses their specific needs and their Secondary Drivers. Now it's time to make contact, submit tailored proposals, influence decisionmakers and 'land' inward investments.

So, next time you're thinking about creating and distributing Inward Investment Marketing content, think about who you're targeting, where they are in the Inward Investment Marketing Funnel, and how that should influence what you say, where you say it, and when.

Contact Clarity today to develop your winning Inward Investment Marketing Strategy.

Nick Smillie
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