MidAmerica Site Selector Survey

Thursday, December 01, 2016


Contact: Tracey Hogan
Mid-America Economic Development Council
(Mid-America EDC)

December 1, 2016

Strategic Economic Development and Marketing Firm, Ady Advantage, Broadens Scope of Research in Fifth Year of Site Selector Analysis

Participants included 10x more site selectors to create more valuable data.

Columbus, OH – December 1, 2016 - Ady Advantage, in coordination with the Mid-America Economic Development Council (Mid-America EDC), has completed its 2016 survey of site selectors. Findings from this year’s survey will be presented by Janet Ady, president and CEO of Ady Advantage, at the Mid- America EDC’s annual Competitiveness Conference & Site Selector Forum on Tuesday, December 6 at the InterContinental Hotel in Chicago.

Over the past five years, Ady Advantage has surveyed the site selectors participating in the Site Selector Panel held at this important annual economic development conference, to better define issues and trends being faced by site selectors. In addition, Mid-America EDC member attendees are also surveyed as a way to determine if site selector expectations of economic development organizations are in sync with what these organizations believed to be important to the site selection process.

To better uncover best practices of top performing regions and communities, this year’s survey had the following notable changes:

  1. It was sent to all site selectors in the Mid-America EDC database (about 1,200), not just those participating in the panel.
  2. It was sent to all Mid-America EDC members, not just those attending the conference.

With over 10x as many site selectors participating this year than last year, these changes have allowed for a more comprehensive and meaningful analysis of the survey responses.

 “With this year’s survey, we wanted to expand our base of participants to include more site selectors and economic development organizations across the Midwest,” said Janet Ady. “I’ve always been a market researcher at heart and believe one of our roles as advisors is to share and educate which is what we hope to do with these findings.”

“For example, when it comes to a region or community’s online presence, there can sometimes be a disconnect between what a site selector expects to find and what they do find. Often, the information is not up-to-date, the user experience is poor, or the site selector can’t easily find the key data they need. At that point, they move on, and the economic development organization may not even know they were considered so early in the process.”

Findings from the 2016 research provide a fresh look at economic development perspectives of the site selection industry versus what site selectors actually think. Data surrounding how site selectors are making location decisions and how economic development organizations are winning business are just a few of the useful takeaways.

When site selectors were asked about what advice they would give to communities, regions, and/or states, they suggested:

  1. Be prepared for a quick turn-around on RFPs.
  2. Emphasize what is most unique about your location.
  3. Initiate and maintain ongoing communication.
  4. Be sure communication is relevant.

“Consistent communication and sharing relevant information makes sense but sometimes that’s easy to forget,” continued Ady. “In fact, survey data suggests that in-person meetings and familiarization tours are preferred by site selectors compared with “paid” strategies such as advertising and gift giving. It’s often the personal touch that can help create an advantage.”

The Mid-America EDC’s annual Competitiveness Conference & Site Selector Forum runs from December 4-6, 2016. More information about sessions and speakers can be found here: http://www.midamericaedc.org/midamericaedc/events-and-programs/competitiveness-conference

About Mid-America EDC

The Mid-America Economic Development Council is a multi-state association dedicated to being the leading resource for education, making connections, and sharing best practices for economic development professionals.

 For more information about the Mid-America Economic Development Council, including the Competitiveness Conference & Site Selector Forum, please visit www.midamericaedc.org.

About Ady Advantage

Ady Advantage is a comprehensive and integrated economic development, site selection, and marketing consulting firm helping over 300 economic development organizations, manufacturers, utilities, and other sectors grow and diversify. For economic development organizations, we offer an integrated solution set that includes economic strategy, market differentiation, and go-to-market strategies. For our corporate clients, like manufacturers, we focus on research, competitive positioning, marketing strategy, integrated communications, and facility expansion, contraction, and relocation. Learn more about Ady Advantage at to www.adyadvantage.com.

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