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Strategy-Based Lead Generation

At Hickey Global, we always advocate a strategic approach to economic development. This quick read demonstrates yet another way a business development strategy can help grow your local economy.


For many years, I worked for economic development organizations where landing big projects equated to success. As the person responsible for orchestrating how to score those big wins, I wanted to use every tool at my disposal to automate and fail-proof my efforts. Enter lead generation services. For a fee, I could contract a third-party company, have a debrief meeting to download my community’s details, share some talking points, provide a marketing calendar, and sit back to wait for the projects to roll in. Over time, I realized that the better the information I shared at the beginning of each contract, the better the results on the backend with identified leads, and a new strategy-based lead generation approach to attracting companies was born.


What is Strategy-Based Lead Generation?


Strategy-based lead generation shifts the focus from chasing companies or passively accepting what comes your way to company attraction based on community strengths. You become a magnet for potential clients already interested in your offering by providing valuable content, insightful advice, and genuine engagement.


Looking back on those efforts, I know that the strategy behind my relationships with lead generation firms added value to the investment in their services. It was simple. I shared information tied to internal metrics connected to short-, medium-, and long-term goals that highlighted my community strengths, making it easier for all parties to interact objectively. I included marketing materials with solid value propositions, provided details about my location, and highlighted the cost of doing business in my market – whatever it took to make storytelling about my community objective and easy. I also ALWAYS included information about the existing business base to help demonstrate the industry ecosystem. Even better, since my internal focus areas (target clusters, global markets of interest already included on my travel calendar, etc.) and community characteristics weren’t dramatically changing every year, strategically setting up my lead generation became easier and more refined each time we started a new contract.


In the vast landscape of companies considering relocation or expansion, I found that focusing my interactions on those I was confident could thrive in my community (based on carefully matching their needs with my community’s strengths) was a game-changer. This targeted approach saved me time and maximized the value of the third-party support I invested in, empowering my EDO to make the most of every opportunity.


Here are just a few examples of how strategy-based lead generation can impact your work:


Higher Quality Leads: Using a strategy helps you focus on leads interested in what your community offers and engaging with you to learn more. That level of interest means the company is more likely to be serious about your location and may be quicker to make a final decision.

Relationship-Building Opportunities: By providing value upfront, you build trust and establish a relationship with your leads before you ask them to commit to your market. Starting the relationship with this kind of trust allows you to focus on the other ways to make your pitch more focused on the company's needs, not proving that you “get it.”

Long-Term Growth: Attraction-based lead generation is a sustainable approach that matches your community's strengths with corporate growth needs, ensuring a lasting synergy and growth-oriented pairing.


Where to Start…


Hickey Global has helped communities validate target clusters, define value propositions, and build domestic and international attraction strategies. Proximity to our global site selection sister company, Hickey & Associates, provides us with unique insights regarding what a wide variety of companies and varying industries want and need from the corporate locations they choose and the economic development partners who represent them.


In short, using lead generation as a strategic arm of your attraction efforts creates a win-win, but only if you’ve done the groundwork of building a strategy that will guide that lead generation work in advance.  If you're ready to ditch the chase and start recruiting your target companies, connect with Hickey Global so we can help you solidify your strategic approach.

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