Post-Brexit UK Inward Investment: Key Strategies for Challenging Times

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

I had an interesting conversation a couple of weeks ago with a contact at a UK marketing data company. Comparing 'post Brexit-vote' notes, it transpired that we'd both seen an increase in enquiries for economic and demographic data from UK organisations seeking to influence business location and site selection - and attract inward investment.

We also agreed on the reason why:
Following the shock of the referendum vote, investing companies are demanding additional reassurances regarding potential business locations - especially with regard to a labour market that could be disrupted significantly if barriers are raised to immigration from the EU.

In other words, in these uncertain times, many investing businesses are taking their location evaluations to the next level of scrutiny. And they're expecting marketers to support them - with better location information and data.

For me, this is just one example of how inward investment marketers can, and must, go the extra mile in response to the Brexit challenge. Starting with a bit more on data, here are a couple more:

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(1) Use location data to add value for investing businesses (and you)

High-quality location data - about your labour market, property solutions, connectivity etc - must now be at the heart of your inward investment marketing. These are just a couple of ways you can use it:
  • Data sheets and 'white papers' can add value for businesses by providing detailed data and analysis about your location offer (and how it compares with the competition). They can be offered as online downloads (in return for contact details - i.e. to generate leads) or supplied directly, at the 'sales' stage of the process (to aid location evaluations and, hopefully, help to close deals).
  • Data-focused content marketing can attract and engage businesses online, through articles that provide genuine, valuable location insights
(2)  Start local (then work outwards)

Now, perhaps more than ever, speculative marketing efforts at far-flung (and high-cost) exhibitions are unlikely to reap rewards. Meanwhile, back at home, foreign-owned local companies will be fighting to make the case for re-investment in UK operations. What's more, and as always, locally based businesses and (e.g.) research organisations can provide access to related companies - in their supply chains or industry networks - for which your location solutions may also be highly relevant. So, start local, with both your marketing and sales activities - to retain the businesses you've got, and to target others for which you're likely to have an attractive location offer.

Download Clarity's E-Book, The Inward Investment Marketing System: build your targeted Inward Investment Marketing Strategy

(3) Start with your Strategy (not your Expenditure!) 

An effective inward investment marketing strategy sets out your distinctive value proposition, your target audiences, and the means you intend to employ to make then aware of your offer, engage their interest, and land their inward investments. When times are tough, business investment projects are scarce, and (more than likely) marketing budgets are constrained, it's more important than ever to develop a clear, targeted strategy - to ensure maximum returns on your marketing investment.

In other words, don't start spending your money - on brochures, exhibitions, videos, online and the rest - until your strategy's firmly in place!


Author:
Nick Smillie
Managing Director
Clarity Business Strategies Ltd.





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