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A View from the Lower 48…

EXECUTIVES’ PERCEPTIONS
OF
CANADA’S BUSINESS CLIMATE
September 23, 2013
Andrew Levine, President/Chief Creative Officer &
Erin Bodine, Account Director, DCI
About DCI
DCI
About
1. The Leader in Marketing Places: Served 400+
cities, states, provinces, regions and countries since
1960.
2. In-depth Knowledge of Canadian Landscape:
Recent/current clients include
Calgary, Winnipeg, Saskatchewan, Toronto and Montreal.
3. Broad Range of Economic Development Marketing
Services: Media relations, lead generation, digital/social
media, talent attraction and research.
Winning Strategies in
Economic Development Marketing
Sixth Edition of Survey in 2011
(previous studies in
‘96, ‘99, ‘02, ‘05, ‘08)
Survey Audience: U.S.
1. Corporate executives with
site selection
responsibilities
2. Location advisors
Methodology
• Online survey with 10 questions conducted in
August, 2013
• Sent to 621 SSCs, corporate executives in U.S.
• 105 responses received for response rate of 17%

• Even split of responses (54 executives, 51 SSCs)
• Respondents offered $10 Starbucks/iTunes gift
card
Geographic Distribution of
Respondents
Can you guess
what the respondents said?*
What are the first 3 words or phrases that
come to mind when you think of Canada?
1. _______________________
2. _______________________
3. _______________________
* Whoever gets closest wins $25 gift card to Tim Hortons for a double-double
List of Top 10 Words/Phrases
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

Cold
Hockey
High quality workforce
Natural resources
Friendly

6.
7.
8.
9.
10.

Socialized Medicine
Expensive
Clean
Diverse
French
Top 3 Words or Phrases
“Please describe your perception of
Canada's advantages (or value proposition)
for U.S. companies
looking to relocate or expand?”
Sample Responses for Canada’s Value
Proposition for Businesses
“Western Canada
(British Columbia) is an
Asian gateway.”

“Businessfriendly, R&D tax
advantages, reasonabl
y priced real estate.”
“Very strong base for
educated technical
employees.”

“Canada has always
maintained a neutral
stance on most
political and economic
issues.”

“Good access to
many US major
markets.”

“Ability to recruit
overseas talent
without red tape
of U.S.
Immigration
Policy.”

“Well educated
labor force and a
good business
climate.”

“Proximity to oil and gas.”

“Tax reform has made
Canada much more
competitive for North
American projects.”
“No health care cost to
employer.”

“Cost –competitiveness”
Top 5 Themes of Value Proposition
1. Stable, neutral and business-friendly government

2. Well-educated and quality workforce
3. Potential for lower business costs (labor, taxes)
4. Access to new markets
5. 15% of respondents indicated “none or don’t
know”
“Have you considered Canada for
a project in the last two years,
or
are you currently considering Canada
for an upcoming project?”
Executives Regularly
Consider Canada for Projects
Overall, a majority of decision makers (53.3%) had considered Canada
for a project in the last two years or were currently considering Canada
Site Selection Consultants

Corporate Executives
Ontario Leads Overwhelmingly for
Project Location Consideration
Types of Projects for which
Canada is Most Often Considered
“From your perspective,
has Canada's business climate improved,
declined or stayed the same
in the past five years?”
Decision Makers Believe
Business Climate has Improved
Most executives surveyed believe Canada’s business climate has
improved in the past five years.
“Let's compare Canada and the United States.
For each of the following factors, which country
has a more favorable business environment.”
Canada Compared to United States
100.0%
80.0%
United States
More Favorable

60.0%
40.0%

Canada More
Favorable

20.0%
0.0%
“Please rate the business climates of the
following Canadian provinces
on a scale of 1 (Poor) to 5 (Excellent).”
Ontario Leads Pack for Favorable
Perception of Its Business Climate
High Number of “No Opinion”
Responses Among Provinces
Toronto Edges Out Other Cities for
Best Business Climate
High Number of “No Opinion”
Responses Among Cities
“What are the top three marketing tactics
Canadian cities/regions should use
to promote their business advantages
to corporate executives?”
Face-to-Face Reigns as
Best Marketing Tactic
Executives' Perceptions of Canada's Business Climate
Marketing Preferences Vary
Among SSCs and Executives
Top 5 Tactics for SSCs

Top 5 Tactics for Executives

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

Familiarization Tours
One-on-one Meetings
Special Events
Internet/Website
Media Relations/Publicity

Trade Shows/Conferences
Media Relations/Publicity
Internet/Website
One-on-one Meetings
Special Events
“In your opinion, which of these
economic development organizations
market their region effectively to
corporate executives and location advisors?”
Site Selection Consultants Consider
the Country’s Best EDOs
100.0%

80.0%

55.8%
60.0%

40.0%

32.7%

30.8%

28.8%

26.9%

25.0%

21.2%

20.0%

0.0%

Invest Toronto Development Winnipeg
Economic
Vancouver Economic Commission Calgary Economic Development Partnership Triangle (Waterloo Reg
Montreal International
Greater Halifax Technology
Canada's
5 Key Findings
1. Executives Associate Canada with a
“High Quality Workforce”
• Among top words or phrases associated
with Canada
• Common theme for Canada’s perceived
value proposition
• Key asset as talent increasingly drives
location decisions
2. Canada Regularly Considered
as a Project Location But…
• Ontario overwhelmingly leads the
consideration set (80.4%)
• Followed by British Colombia
(30.4%), Quebec (28.6%) and Alberta
(19.6%)
• All other provinces at 5% or less
3. Much of Canada is a “Blank Slate”
to U.S. Executives
• Ontario/Toronto are well known
• Quebec/Montreal and British Colombia/
Vancouver have mid-level recognition
• For the remainder of regions/cities, a large
number of executives had “no opinion” of
individual business climates
4. Perceptions of Canada’s Business
Climate Improving
• 44.8% of the respondents perceive an
improvement in the country’s business
climate vs. 6.7% that saw a decline
5. Different Marketing Tactics to
Reach Different Audiences
• Best tactics for reaching corporate executives:
1) trade shows/conferences, 2) media relations/
publicity, 3) internet/website
• Site selection consultants are best reached via:
1) familiarization tours, 2) one-on-one
meetings, 3) special events
Questions…
Comments…
Discussion…
Thank You!

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Executives' Perceptions of Canada's Business Climate

  • 1. A View from the Lower 48… EXECUTIVES’ PERCEPTIONS OF CANADA’S BUSINESS CLIMATE September 23, 2013 Andrew Levine, President/Chief Creative Officer & Erin Bodine, Account Director, DCI
  • 2. About DCI DCI About 1. The Leader in Marketing Places: Served 400+ cities, states, provinces, regions and countries since 1960. 2. In-depth Knowledge of Canadian Landscape: Recent/current clients include Calgary, Winnipeg, Saskatchewan, Toronto and Montreal. 3. Broad Range of Economic Development Marketing Services: Media relations, lead generation, digital/social media, talent attraction and research.
  • 3. Winning Strategies in Economic Development Marketing Sixth Edition of Survey in 2011 (previous studies in ‘96, ‘99, ‘02, ‘05, ‘08) Survey Audience: U.S. 1. Corporate executives with site selection responsibilities 2. Location advisors
  • 4. Methodology • Online survey with 10 questions conducted in August, 2013 • Sent to 621 SSCs, corporate executives in U.S. • 105 responses received for response rate of 17% • Even split of responses (54 executives, 51 SSCs) • Respondents offered $10 Starbucks/iTunes gift card
  • 6. Can you guess what the respondents said?* What are the first 3 words or phrases that come to mind when you think of Canada? 1. _______________________ 2. _______________________ 3. _______________________ * Whoever gets closest wins $25 gift card to Tim Hortons for a double-double
  • 7. List of Top 10 Words/Phrases 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Cold Hockey High quality workforce Natural resources Friendly 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Socialized Medicine Expensive Clean Diverse French
  • 8. Top 3 Words or Phrases
  • 9. “Please describe your perception of Canada's advantages (or value proposition) for U.S. companies looking to relocate or expand?”
  • 10. Sample Responses for Canada’s Value Proposition for Businesses “Western Canada (British Columbia) is an Asian gateway.” “Businessfriendly, R&D tax advantages, reasonabl y priced real estate.” “Very strong base for educated technical employees.” “Canada has always maintained a neutral stance on most political and economic issues.” “Good access to many US major markets.” “Ability to recruit overseas talent without red tape of U.S. Immigration Policy.” “Well educated labor force and a good business climate.” “Proximity to oil and gas.” “Tax reform has made Canada much more competitive for North American projects.” “No health care cost to employer.” “Cost –competitiveness”
  • 11. Top 5 Themes of Value Proposition 1. Stable, neutral and business-friendly government 2. Well-educated and quality workforce 3. Potential for lower business costs (labor, taxes) 4. Access to new markets 5. 15% of respondents indicated “none or don’t know”
  • 12. “Have you considered Canada for a project in the last two years, or are you currently considering Canada for an upcoming project?”
  • 13. Executives Regularly Consider Canada for Projects Overall, a majority of decision makers (53.3%) had considered Canada for a project in the last two years or were currently considering Canada Site Selection Consultants Corporate Executives
  • 14. Ontario Leads Overwhelmingly for Project Location Consideration
  • 15. Types of Projects for which Canada is Most Often Considered
  • 16. “From your perspective, has Canada's business climate improved, declined or stayed the same in the past five years?”
  • 17. Decision Makers Believe Business Climate has Improved Most executives surveyed believe Canada’s business climate has improved in the past five years.
  • 18. “Let's compare Canada and the United States. For each of the following factors, which country has a more favorable business environment.”
  • 19. Canada Compared to United States 100.0% 80.0% United States More Favorable 60.0% 40.0% Canada More Favorable 20.0% 0.0%
  • 20. “Please rate the business climates of the following Canadian provinces on a scale of 1 (Poor) to 5 (Excellent).”
  • 21. Ontario Leads Pack for Favorable Perception of Its Business Climate
  • 22. High Number of “No Opinion” Responses Among Provinces
  • 23. Toronto Edges Out Other Cities for Best Business Climate
  • 24. High Number of “No Opinion” Responses Among Cities
  • 25. “What are the top three marketing tactics Canadian cities/regions should use to promote their business advantages to corporate executives?”
  • 26. Face-to-Face Reigns as Best Marketing Tactic
  • 28. Marketing Preferences Vary Among SSCs and Executives Top 5 Tactics for SSCs Top 5 Tactics for Executives 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Familiarization Tours One-on-one Meetings Special Events Internet/Website Media Relations/Publicity Trade Shows/Conferences Media Relations/Publicity Internet/Website One-on-one Meetings Special Events
  • 29. “In your opinion, which of these economic development organizations market their region effectively to corporate executives and location advisors?”
  • 30. Site Selection Consultants Consider the Country’s Best EDOs 100.0% 80.0% 55.8% 60.0% 40.0% 32.7% 30.8% 28.8% 26.9% 25.0% 21.2% 20.0% 0.0% Invest Toronto Development Winnipeg Economic Vancouver Economic Commission Calgary Economic Development Partnership Triangle (Waterloo Reg Montreal International Greater Halifax Technology Canada's
  • 32. 1. Executives Associate Canada with a “High Quality Workforce” • Among top words or phrases associated with Canada • Common theme for Canada’s perceived value proposition • Key asset as talent increasingly drives location decisions
  • 33. 2. Canada Regularly Considered as a Project Location But… • Ontario overwhelmingly leads the consideration set (80.4%) • Followed by British Colombia (30.4%), Quebec (28.6%) and Alberta (19.6%) • All other provinces at 5% or less
  • 34. 3. Much of Canada is a “Blank Slate” to U.S. Executives • Ontario/Toronto are well known • Quebec/Montreal and British Colombia/ Vancouver have mid-level recognition • For the remainder of regions/cities, a large number of executives had “no opinion” of individual business climates
  • 35. 4. Perceptions of Canada’s Business Climate Improving • 44.8% of the respondents perceive an improvement in the country’s business climate vs. 6.7% that saw a decline
  • 36. 5. Different Marketing Tactics to Reach Different Audiences • Best tactics for reaching corporate executives: 1) trade shows/conferences, 2) media relations/ publicity, 3) internet/website • Site selection consultants are best reached via: 1) familiarization tours, 2) one-on-one meetings, 3) special events

Editor's Notes

  1. List Canadian places for which we have worked
  2. Need to fix graph/get from Robyn
  3. Overall, site selectors more familiar and rate country better