National Study Informs What Drives Company Location Decisions
NEW YORK, Sept. 18, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — A new survey of U.S. business executives and their location advisors concludes that websites, industry relationships with executives and publicity are the top marketing tactics that influence perceptions about a location’s business climate during the site selection process, which includes company relocations, expansions or consolidations.
Released today at the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) Annual Conference in Dallas, the 10th edition of “Winning Strategies in Economic Development” reveals that economic development organizations (EDOs) should prioritize their “digital front doors.” Corporate executives’ perceived value of an EDO’s Internet and website presence is at an all-time high (76%) since the study’s inception in 1996, when just 18% rated it as a valuable tactic.
More than 50% of the corporate executives surveyed will make a location decision, such as a relocation, expansion or consolidation, in the next two years. More than 65% of these decision makers plan to outsource a portion of the site selection process to a consultant or real estate broker, a 64% increase from 2020. More than half of respondents said workforce statistics are the most useful feature of an EDO’s website, followed by incentive information.
Conducted by Development Counsellors International (DCI) every three years, the “Winning Strategies in Economic Development Marketing” survey has tracked trends in economic development.
“One of the most decisive findings from this year’s Winning Strategies study is that communities shouldn’t underestimate the significance of their website strategy and digital media presence,” said Julie Curtin, president of DCI’s economic development practice. “When it comes down to a community’s key differentiators, perceptions about a place are deeply rooted in relationships, trust and accurate data in the form of tailored, two-way communication with decision makers.”
Additional findings from the 2023 survey, which is based on a random sample of 306 corporate executives with site selection responsibilities, include:
States with the Best Business Climates: Texas ranks No. 1 with 54% of respondents citing the state as having a favorable tax climate, followed by Florida at No. 2 with 33%, Georgia at 30%, North Carolina at 29% and South Carolina at 20%.
States with the Worst Business Climates: For the eighth consecutive year of this survey, California has the least favorable business climate. New York, Illinois and New Jersey retained their distinction of ranking as one of the top five worst business climates. For the second consecutive year, Florida is cited in the top five for its political climate.
Workforce Data Overtakes Incentive Information: For the first time since 2008, more than half of corporate executives (55%) ranked workforce statistics as the most useful feature of an economic development website, followed by available buildings and sites (43%). Historically, corporate executives sought incentive information first.
About DCI Development Counsellors International (DCI) is the leader in travel, economic development and talent attraction marketing. Since 1960, DCI has worked with more than 500 cities, regions, states and countries, helping them attract business investors, visitors and workers. DCI has offices in New York and Denver. For more information, visit aboutdci.com.