About

Strategy & Goals

Blount County Economic Development Board Marketing Plan

Executive Summary

The Blount County Economic Development Board is the economic development agency which represents the Cities of Alcoa, Maryville, and Blount County for developing its industrial, corporate headquarter, technology oriented business, and commercial (limited) development. The agency is funded by a combined effort from the three participating government entities. The focus of the BCEDB efforts is in three areas: (1) Promoting the local and regional assets of the Innovation Valley to business decision-makers, (2) creating awareness of Regional, National, and International issues that could potentially impact the local economy, (3) continue to expand the presence of Blount County and its regional partners through the establishment of foreign representation within countries that show promise of foreign investment and/or technology development and (4) provide support to our existing business to help ensure their viability in Blount County. 

Program Objectives

The work plan is designed to convey Blount County’s and the region’s assets to effectively improve the local economy. This is achieved by creating interest, awareness, and action from decision makers within targeted industry clusters. The board will:

  • Pursue target industry clusters.
  • Collaborate with regional partners to devise a regional market strategy that complements the local community's assets.
  • Collaborate with International partners through the BCEDB’s foreign offices to promote the assets of the local community and the region.
  • Enhance the existing industry program through the Blount Partnership to ensure the needs of the company are met by the community.

Pursue Target Industry Clusters

Blount County’s Industry Clusters have been developed through a local and regional evaluation process that looks at location quotient, environmental impact, labor cost, industry trends, community accessibility, and regulatory issues. During the evaluation process the regional partners identified the Area as the Innovation Valley and have begun to brand the region using this name. More about these target industries can be found on our Key Industries page. 

The BCEDB work plan is designed to:

  • Refine and prioritize the local and regional target industry clusters
  • Effectively utilize a multi-channel marketing approach
  • Enhance a robust follow-up and fulfillment strategy
  • Strengthen the collaboration with East Tennessee Economic Development Agency, State of Tennessee Economic

Development Agency, the Tennessee Valley Authority, and the Knoxville Oak Ridge Innovation Valley Initiative.

The BCEDB will communicate the local and regional business advantages to both targeted industries and individual companies through:

  • Website-data base that serves a world wide audience conveying the local and regional advantages
  • Electronic advertising, mailers, web based communications, and trade publications to promote local and regional assets 
  • Direct contact with site selectors and corporate decision makers

 

 
The BCEDB will communicate with these areas by Internet, Media, Direct mail, and direct contact.

1. Internet

  • Decision makers are now evaluating communities’ assets by the information on their website.
  • 70% of all site selectors utilize the internet during the site selection process
  • The internet allows us the ability to reach a large audience with reduced cost
  • Developing a data base that allows the researcher to publish information they have gathered into a professional format will encourage the researcher to continue coming back to the site.

The BCEDB will develop a website that will serve the needs of all site selectors, existing industry, corporate officials, and researchers.

Action Items:

  • Develop a new website that has the ability to accumulate pertaining cluster information in the area and allow the user through an integrated publishing system make reports to fit their needs.
  • Allow more data points for researchers to access
  • Allow the user to search for specific cluster assets
  • Provide mapping system that allows user access to demographic information that pertains to their business.
  • Provide translation into 5 different languages
  • Provide media room that allows user to download local news, reports and maps in a quality PDF format.
  • Provide links to local and regional partners to promote a seamless transition of information


2. Direct Mail/E-mail

  • Drive prospects to the website by e-mail and direct mail campaign
  • Engage ETEDA and Innovation Valley as the regional representative and jointly promote the region through our media contacts
  • Reach larger audiences by advertising in higher end publications


Action Items:

  • Utilize existing Site Selector contact information and send e-mails driving them to the website
  • Develop small mailer that drives the decision maker to our website
  • Advertise upon Technology focused websites


3. Media

  • Reinforce a positive image of Blount County and the business climate in the minds of the decision makers
  • 45% of decision makers cite news articles as key information source.


Action Items:

  • Establish and/or enhance relationship with trade writers, editors, and producers.
  • Utilize when needed contract writers through the Communications Office within the Blount Partnership
  • Utilize Innovation Valley to convey stories that have national appeal.
  • Utilize our foreign office staff to write case stories about the areas in which the operate and the impact on the region
  • Partner with our regional contacts to host writer's visits our area.
  • Identify and engage writers that work for publications that target our clusters and begin feeding success stories.

4. Direct Contact

  • Direct contact with decision makers yields the best results for successful site location and/or collaboration
  • Over 50% of Site consultants and researchers stated that the community’s local economic developer is their leading source for information.

Action Items

  • Initiate a sustainable direct contact campaign that fosters collaboration with site consultants and researchers.
  • Engage regional partners on recruiting trips on a national and international scale. Sell the region first then begin to discuss the assets of Blount County
  • Utilize our contract marketing consultants to open doors with site selectors that are hard to open. 
  • Develop prospect lists of vendors our existing industries would like to see move into region.
  • Conduct at least 1 International recruiting trip per year, 1 National Blount County trip per year, and 1 ETEDA marketing trip per year.
  • For over 20 years our visits to UK, Europe, Japan and China have built bridges and forged strong bonds. We need to continue that commitment to expand our message globally.

 

Target Areas of Communication


Breaking Ground
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