09 Jun 2014

Economic development: Are you are doing it wrong?

Alissa Sklar is the director of marketing for GIS Planning. She has extensive experience as a consultant, writer and educator in the fields of technology and communications. Dr. Sklar has a Ph.D. in Communications from the University of Massachusetts of Amherst, and has as worked closely with B2Bs and economic development agencies to assess, develop and implement social media strategies for business development.

If you've been spending time online this past year, you may noticed the Internet keeps informing everyone they are doing stuff wrong. Thanks to this Internet meme, I've discovered that I have been slicing my cherry tomatoes wrong, tying my shoelaces wrong, peeling my bananas wrongYou're doing it wrong

The way I've been eating chicken wings? You guessed it: totally wrong.

While I haven't yet seen anyone show us how it's possible to do economic development wrong, I did learn about the many things we may be doing wrong in the bathroom, the kitchen or with our kids. Actually some of these so-called life hacks turn out to be incredible useful, like this one about how we use everyday products wrong (c'mon, you didn't know that about the aluminum foil boxes or takeout Chinese food containers, did you?). There are entire Pinterest boards devoted to archiving these useful and often funny sites. 

You are doing it wrong facepalm gifI was astonished to learn that, despite all my years of education, I am getting SO MANY things wrong. Thank goodness the Internet is there to offer so many useful solutions. You can now literally crowdsource answers to all of your biggest (and smallest) problems, learning solutions to issues you may not even know you have.

Actually, it turns out this is also true of economic development. There are many, many folks out there doing it completely wrong. How can you do economic development wrong, you may wonder? Actually, you'd be surprised to learn there are many ways - here's a quick sampler:

  • Failing to offer an online tool for site selectors and businesses to search for important data about your community.
  • Confusing a mere sites and buildings database with a true location analysis application.
  • Sending website visitors off your website to static demographic or business reports.
  • Offering potential investors outdated information.
  • Burying your location analysis tool several clicks down in your website, so that it's difficult - or impossible to find.
  • Being misled into paying for free Google Analytics website traffic information.
  • Putting up with constant error messages or website bugs.
  • Not offering a fully mobile-optimized version of your location analysis application to the rapidly growing percentage of site selectors and businesses using their smartphones and tablets for online research.

Don't feel bad if you've got this wrong. We know it can appear difficult. Fortunately, we have one easy solution for you - you might even call it an "economic development lifehack" if you were feeling particularly trendy. The answer is
ZoomProspector Enterprise, which quickly addresses all of these all-too-common problems (and many others besides). Want to see some of the many folks doing economic development right? Check out Business Oregon, Choose NJ, City of Scottsdale Economic Development, Miami-Dade County and the BeaYippeecon Council, and Downtown St. Louis.

Contact us today, and we'll make sure you can rest easy knowing you've got it right.


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