Web 2.0 And Business Attraction – Canadian Cities Online Marketing Index : Update

In September 2009, Intelegia published “Web 2.0 And Business Attraction: Canadian Cities Online Marketing Index“, a study that measured how well Canadian cities economic development agencies are marketing their regions to potential investors via the web.  Specifically, the use of social media marketing tools and the availability of relevant information for site selection purposes were assessed.  The top four ranked cities were:

  • Halifax
  • London
  • Hamilton
  • Ottawa

To see if any of the top Canadian Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Areas (CMSA) has adopted additional Web 2.0 applications as apart of their marketing strategy for investment attraction, Intelegia visited the websites of the economic development agencies of the CMSAs on December 3rd, 2009.

The following agencies have integrated some social media marketing tools over the past few months:

  • Vancouver Economic Development Commission
  • Hamilton Economic Development
  • Montreal International
  • Greater Victoria Economic Development Agency

Vancouver Economic Development Commission

Since October 23rd, 2009, the Vancouver Economic Development Commission has been micro-blogging via its Twitter page, vaneconomic. Figure 1 presents a look at the vaneconomic page.

Figure 1: vaneconomic Twitter page

This page provides information in the form of announcements regarding award winners to the latest news about the upcoming Winter Olympics.

Hamilton Economic Development

Hamilton Economic Development offers videocasts via investinhamilton TV.

Figure 2: investinhamilton TV on The Hamilton Development Website

The videocast offers news regarding companies that are investing in the city of Hamilton.

Montreal International

Montreal International recently revamped their website to include a videocast on the front page.  Figure 3 shows what the index page of the website.

Figure 3: Index Page Of Montreal International’s Website

Besides the content of the videocast that promotes Montreal as the best place to invest, the website has four navigational tabs that enable individuals to locate information easier.  By clicking on the “INVEST” tab, individuals can now access contact information for the person who is responsible for fielding inquiries about investment opportunities in the Greater Montreal area.  This piece of information was not available on past versions of the website.

Greater Victoria Economic Development Agency

The Greater Victoria Economic Development Agency has an online presence on LinkedIn and Facebook.

The LinkedIn group page was created in October 2009.  Figure 4 is a screen shot of the LinkedIn page.

Figure 4: Greater Victoria Development Agency LinkedIn Group Page

As of December 3rd, 2009, there has not been any activity on the page.   The agency’s Facebook group, started September 26th, 2009, offers the following elements to members:

  • Wall posts
  • Photos
  • Videos
  • Links

Figure 5 is an image of the Greater Victoria Development Agency’s Facebook group.

Figure 5: The Greater Victoria Development Agency’s Facebook Group

According, Economic Development Marketing in Canada (2009), a survey commissioned by the Economic Developer Association of Canada (EDAC), 70% of respondents identified that social media or blogging will be new marketing initiatives in 2010 for their organizations.  Based on the benchmark conducted in September 2009 and visits to the four sites listed above, it seems that some cities are slowly realizing the power of using Web 2.0 applications.

Has your organization started to use social media marketing tools for economic development 2.0 initiatives? If so, tell us and we will happy to make it the subject of a future blog post.