Digital Readiness and What it Really Means

From the Thought Leadership Team at USDM

Digital Readiness and What it Really Means

Corporate site selection is the methodical process of deselection—taking a prospect’s broad geographic targets and then compiling data on those markets to determine which make the shortlist. The process does not select as much as it rejects.

The internet has made the availability of data endless, but most site selectors start their site deselection search at an economic development organization’s website. In a Site Selection Group article titled “15 Mistakes to Avoid During the Site Selection Process,” one key recommendation is avoiding “bad site selection data.” Executives are becoming advanced in the specific data they require and how they are going to consume this data. But, wouldn’t it be great if you knew who is looking at your information, where they are, what content they are interested in, and how to engage them further—even before they contact you?

The starting point for selection, or deselection, has become your EDC digital presence, including, but not limited to, your website. In a Site Selection magazine survey, an overwhelming majority of site selectors were most satisfied with the ease of finding economic development websites. But, the website is only one small part of Digital Readiness.

We refer to “Digital Readiness Standards” as the digital strategy and implementation plan for an EDC, which includes: Branding, Marketing, Content, Technology, Data and Performance Measurement. Digital Readiness focuses your strategy on creating a dynamic, connected digital marketing presence that presents the right information to the right prospect at the right time to engage them. Digital Readiness also means that your program provides valuable market intelligence to your EDC, such as digital profiles on prospects that have not yet contacted you, but are in the process of evaluating or deselecting you.

Ask Yourself These 7 Digital Readiness Questions:

  1. Is our EDC digital program created around real-time data that informs branding, marketing and trade mission sales and marketing decisions?
  2. Is our program measured by Key Performance Indicators, and if so, how does our ad agency or marketing partner score? How do we score?
  3. Have we identified the gaps in our digital marketing and advertising program?
  4. Have we “tested our promotional message online” to verify that we are compelling to the prospects and sectors we target?
  5. Have we built digital footprints on prospects and are we following their engagement to lead-score those prospects, even before they contact us?
  6. Do we know, definitively, which marketing and advertising tactics produce the highest return on investment?
  7. Do we share valuable marketing intelligence, based on real time data, with stakeholders and co-op partners, positioning us as the authority for development marketing?

Since site selectors and prospects begin their site deselection process with your digital presence, ask yourself if you are confident that you completely meet their online research needs?

If you have been discussing challenges with your digital presence, USDM can help you develop a program around the Digital Readiness Standards your EDC can adopt to become competitive in a digital site deselection process. USDM’s Digital Readiness Standards will help connect the numerous platforms used in deselection (website, search, mobile, social, sales technology, etc.) into one strategy and plan that gives your EDC the best opportunity to be considered.

Adopting the Digital Readiness Standards can move your market from broad geographic search to shortlisted community by meeting your client’s needs before they have a chance to deselect you from their search. Site selectors and corporate users want their experience to be engaging, interactive, and efficient. Applying these Standards to your EDC’s digital strategy could be the first step to your next big win.

Want to know more?

For More Information on gauging your digital readiness contact us at headquarters@usdm.net.

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