Data-Driven Inward Investment Marketing (1): Using Labour Market Data to Land Inward Investments

Wednesday 7 February 2018
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As every inward investment professional knows, an effective value proposition - for your location, sector or site - is key to attracting expanding businesses. In turn, that proposition must be supported by high-quality location data, addressing all the factors that influence business location choices - from taxation rates to property costs.

The primary importance of labour market data

But none of those factors is more important that labour, which makes robust labour market data an essential tool for inward investment marketers.

Here's why, and how labour market data can be used effectively to attract and engage investing businesses...

Business models vary, but people are always key.

Some businesses gain competitive edge by minimsing their labour costs - many distribution companies, for example. Others gain that edge through innovation - for example research facilities employing highly paid scientists. Either way, the availability of the right kind of labour is key to making the business model work, and hence a key driver of location choice.

The importance of labour is further highlighted when we consider its cost. In the case of office operations, labour costs typically exceed property costs by a multiple of 5 or more, even when office running costs (in addition to rent) are taken into account.

Labour's a huge cost factor, and businesses simply can't afford to make location decisions without high-quality labour market data.

So what labour market data do investing businesses need?  

At a basic level, businesses need reassurances about labour supply and demand in your location - that there's sufficient supply of the specific types of workers they need, and that demand for labour from other companies in the area isn't excessively high. They'll need to know that labour in your area is cost-competitive. And they'll need to know that your location compares favourably with credible competitor locations based on a range of availability and cost metrics.

For investing businesses, labour market data can show the scale of a location's workforce in key categories, labour capacity to support employment growth, labour demand metrics, commuter flows (showing where the workforce originates) and population projections (indicating capacity to support future business expansions).

Using labour market data to attract and engage investing businesses

High-quality labour market data can be used throughout your inward investment marketing and sales activities. Headline statistics can be used to attract new businesses into your marketing funnel (e.g. via online Content Marketing campaigns or in printed brochures). More detailed data sheets can be used to engage businesses at the location evaluation stage (e.g. as downloads) or at the decision-making stage, as part of customised sales proposal, to help land inward investments. 

But that's only possible if you start the process by arming yourself with in-depth, high-quality labour market data, for your location and its competitors.

The Clarity team includes experts in data research and evaluation, inward investment promotion and 'B2B' marketing. Our clients for Labour Market Studies include leading developers and Investment Promotion Agencies. Contact us to talk about a detailed Labour Market Study for your location or site.

Nick Smillie
MD, Clarity Business Strategies Ltd.

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