Community Connection: Marketing Developable Sites
Site marketing is no doubt a difficult task. With hundreds of companies aiming to effectively market thousands of sites, it may feel impossible to rise up and stand out among the clutter.
We have completed certification of nearly 30 industrial, food & beverage, and data center sites across our service territory. That, coupled with the fact that several state served by AEP also have certification programs, has led us to want to share with our community economic development allies two great ways to help you stand out and escape the sea of site marketing sameness.
Create Community Profiles
You’re not just selling the land or a building; you are selling the experience. Companies need to feel assured that the site in which they are investing is in an area that best suits their business and employees. By creating a community profile, you are painting a picture of what living and working there may be like. Ultimately it assists companies in determining if the area is the right fit for them.
The community profile should include information such as facts about the area’s population, tax structure, education systems, climate, transportation networks, or any other useful facts that can provide an indication of what living and working in the area is like.
Hype Your Certified Sites
Certified sites are gold mines in the world of site marketing. Sites that are qualified or certified by an outside expert or third-party are often where companies begin their search. These “shovel-ready” sites ensure a speedy development schedule, which can be a big incentive for companies looking to get their facilities up and running in a short time period.
According to McCallum Sweeney Consulting, one of the consultants we utilize for site certification services, “Companies are looking for sites that are ready to develop and relatively “risk free.” Therefore, the location decision process demands available sites that are ready for development.”
If you can’t complete a full certification, consider conducting some of the most time-intensive parts of a certification such as, phase one environmental site assessment, wetlands delineation and historical and archeological analysis. This due diligence will allow you to understand any preparedness issues, increase the site’s marketability, and, most importantly, will significantly reduce time and risk for your prospect.
From there, focus on promotion. Research the potential target industries for your sites. Create targeted lists of companies within those industries who are growing or expanding. Learn the industry events they attend and the media they read. Develop campaigns and outreach efforts to effectively communicate the value of your community and site to those businesses. Consider a multi-channel approach of print, digital, and earned media, as well as face-to-face interaction.
If you need assistance with marketing a certified site, let us know. You can use our Research Services Guide as a reference for community, site and lead generation research assistance and other services we can provide.