Investment Promotion Agencies Need to Think Differently when Luring BPOs

Peter Ryan explains why investment promotion agencies should be more creative than ever before, and take a much broader approach to attracting BPOs.

Investment promotion agencies

When it comes to attracting investment, generic formulas used in the past will not cut it in today’s business climate, so in order to secure new BPO interest, investment promotion agencies need to be more creative than ever before.

In the current BPO market, both outsourcer and enterprise executives are hard-pressed to find the right offshore location from which to deliver front-line services to consumers. With more scrutiny placed on site selection decisions than ever before, the pressure on investment promotion agencies to win new capacity should not be understated.

Frankly speaking, providers, their clients and industry advisers need to see differentiation on the part of investment promotion agencies. All too often, presentations from these bodies are centered around easy access to demand markets, high levels of end-user language fluency, and promises of cultural empathy with the consumers being serviced. However, in 2017 and beyond, this simply is not enough.

Understanding Perception and Advantageous Differences

Investment promotion agencies first need to determine not only the extent to which their jurisdictions are known in targeted demand markets, but also the existing perceptions that decision-makers may have of their location. This will provide essential intelligence needed to combat negative or untrue views that could inhibit investment promotion efforts. Swiftly countering falsehoods needs to be a priority for investment bodies.

Equally, one of the most important things that any investment promotion organization can do is to focus on what differentiates them from the other jurisdictions with which they are competing for business. This can be as straightforward as investigating what outsourcing investors specifically need from an offshore or nearshore delivery point, then determining where their location best ticks these boxes.

Agencies should also identify their own unique advantages (such as multiple urban centers, wide-scale specific vertical knowledge among the local labor pool or exceptionally-good transport infrastructure). The key point is to stand out from the crowd to build enough intrigue that would warrant a visit by decision-makers.

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Showcasing the Location in the Right Way

In many cases, efforts to showcase the location focus around conferences where investors and influencers are invited to learn more about the jurisdiction in question. Promotion agencies need to ensure that these events act not as blatant sales pitches, but as the opportunity for existing providers to candidly share their own outsourcing delivery experiences.

Spending time getting to know the location is also important during these conferences. Visiting executives need to get an on-the-ground sense for both commercial amenities and leisure activities, if they are to be spending any length of time in an outsourcing delivery capacity following a decision to invest.

A final counsel for investment promotion professionals is to not simply place their entire focus on the outsourcing community when looking to develop awareness. More frequently, providers are basing their site selection decisions on the desires of clients, meaning that selling enterprise executives on a jurisdiction is fast becoming an important facet of the investment promotion game.

Taking a broader approach is likely to pay dividends over the long term in the form of new outsourcing investment.

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