Over the years, we at Prowse have enjoyed the challenges of marketing business and tourism locations across the globe. We’ve worked with representatives from the private and public sectors as they have sought to attract new business investment, tourists or skilled migrants to their communities.
And, as we’ve adapted our approach to take account of the many fascinating cultural and political differences between the various locations, it has become clear that one element is essential for success - a cohesive marketing strategy and stakeholder buy-in.
Managing the brand for a location is a complicated task and it’s quite common to see several economic development organisations from the same location, managing their brands in isolation. Each develops its own approach, messages, marketing materials and campaigns to achieve specific objectives, regardless of each other.
However, things are changing, not least due to budget constraints. Organisations are reacting to the growing need to work more closely together and overcome traditional boundaries with the common purpose of maximising efficiencies.
Here in the UK, it will be interesting to see the impact of further regional devolution. Will it lead to greater co-operation between locations or increased competition? Maybe it will be a mixture of both! One thing is for sure – the climate of continued government cuts and potential interest rate rises further down the line is demanding progressive regional responses.
We all want to see our communities and businesses thrive but failure to secure buy-in has lasting consequences. It is essential to engage stakeholders in the process, and to do it often as they must feel that their input is taken into account. It is also vital that leaders come together to share a common vision and strategy, otherwise a confusing mix of messages and images take hold and impact is lost.
Simple communication is key. After all, if we don’t know why our own town, city or business is special and what it offers, then how can we expect anyone else to?
Prowse & Co. combines strategic counsel with practical support to help you effectively communicate with your stakeholders. If you would like to find out more about how we can help, just give us a call on 01372 363386.