Inward Investment Agencies at MIPIM UK (Oct, 2015): Have You Identified Your Target Audience?

Wednesday 14 October 2015
It's MIPIM time again (UK, this time) and the event's popularity with UK local authorities and regional inward investment agencies appears to be as strong as ever. At last count, almost 100 councils and agencies we're lined up to attend in London next week.

But have these investment promotion agencies successfully identified the 'investor' audiences they're targeting at MIPIM UK? And will they successfully present regional value propositions that align with the identified needs of those target audiences? Past evidence suggests that a few councils and investment agencies will be able to answer both these questions with a resounding 'yes!' But many won't, and here's why...

The right messages for the right 'investor' audience...

MIPIM UK is, of course, a property sector event - a place where you'll find property investors, developers, agents and service providers. It may therefore be the ideal event for regional agencies seeking to attract more property investment and development. And, if so, the required approach will be to highlight regional property opportunities, and the regional benefits that are likely to ensure a strong return on investment for property investors and developers (e.g. evidence of property demand and rents, funding assistance for site development, etc.)

Talking to the wrong people...

The problem is that inward investment agencies are typically focused on targeting 'end user' companies (potential 'inward investors') in priority sectors such as financial and professional services, advanced manufacturing or the creative industries. These companies have their own drivers of location choice and, one thing's for sure, they're not the same as those of property investors and developers.

'End user' companies are likely to want to know about (e.g.) your sector workforce and skills profile, or about the regional industry cluster that could provide them with supply chain partners. Even if property investors do want information about your priority sectors (because it provides evidence of potential property demand), much of this end user-focused information and data will be of little interest to them.

To put it simply, many investment promotion agencies turn up at property sector events like MIPIM UK with the wrong sales pitches - 'end user' industry sector offers that really belong at industry sector events.

Segmentation, segmentation, segmentation...

In marketing speak, this is all about audience segmentation - identifying your distinct target audiences (e.g. property investors and 'end user' investors) and targeting distinct marketing messages accordingly.

So, hats off to the inward investment agencies and local authorities that have identified their property sector target audience segment, and are planning to focus their MIPIM UK marketing messages accordingly. To the rest, I hope this is a friendly, timely reminder that not all 'investors' are alike!

Meet the Clarity team at MIPIM UK to talk about your winning Inward Investment Marketing Strategy

Nick Smillie
MD, Clarity, Inward Investment Marketing

Inward Investment Marketing Blog