How fDi Atlas works for business site selection research

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The design of fDi Atlas reflects research by the Financial Times group professionals at fDi magazine about how top executives look for information online about potential business locations. It was developed in consultation with site selection consultants and many economic development professionals.

fDi Atlas makes it very easy to find the basic information which is frequently of interest at the exploratory "long list" stage of capital investment project planning. This executive summary can link out to the relevant local website pages for additional details.

These concise presentations are globally consistent in structure, but are unique in their content. Each is easily updated by the local sponsors to keep their presentations timely and reliable.

fDi Atlas

Examples Cost

Search back issues of fDi.

The succinct fDi Atlas presentations highlight what differentiates a location as a place to do business. Their role is to provide a very high-level overview of the key benefits of an area, including industry clusters, while local websites provide more comprehensive details.

For more information, please contact:

USA - TEL 847-304-4655 Chicago

Other regions: Oliver Wheatley at fDi in London +44 207 775 6324

North American Cities of the Future - list of 2007 winners

2009 nomination process

fDi magazine is published by the Financial Times group

How fDi Atlas works

Executives and professional advisors can easily find comparable presentations by sponsors about potential business locations by:

bullet Any part of the sponsor organization name
bullet Map navigation links to zoom in on the location
bullet Selection from a list of regions
bullet Industry sector
bullet Alphabetical list of sponsors

There are also links to highlight new listings and relevant articles in fDi magazine or the Financial Times ( Advertising banners, skyscrapers, or buttons are also available to call the attention of visitors to a location or professional service.

The fDi Atlas presentation structure

Each presentation consists of six tabs on topics of common interest so that a visitor can navigate quickly to such topics.

bullet Why Us?
This is the default tab as a succinct overview of what differentiates the area as a place to do business, including a summary of key benefits.
bullet Fact File
This tab provides basic facts for benchmarking or comparisons of locations, with room for explanatory notes to call attention to the most important facts.
bullet Sector Strengths
Each area can specify up to 8 business sectors as the focus of investment attraction efforts, and summarize the attractions for those sectors.
bullet Lifestyle
Quality of life issues are often of interest and may differentiate between otherwise similar locations.
bullet Media Centre
Highlight success stories, new developments, or other news of likely interest to executives - or to business journalists who may refer to fDi Atlas too.
bullet Contact Us
Economic development organizations are sometimes large, or are part of larger government offices or chambers of commerce with many staff and roles unrelated to new business attraction. This simple tab makes it easy to reach the right initial contact person designated by the sponsor.
Map navigation or direct links

It is intuitively easy for users to zoom in from the global map to any geographic region of interest.

Alternatively, as shown above, the user can select a continent and country or region from the map navigation tool at the bottom of the map to go directly to the specific place of interest.

This example shows how the user zooms through Europe and Germany to reach the presentation about the Bavaria region.

This can link further, such as to a local presentation for a major city like Munich or elsewhere within Bavaria.

A small map with each presentation also provides geographic context for the visitor - to see at a glance where it is relative to other regions which may also be of interest for comparison.

Flexibility in fDi Atlas presentation content

Presentation sponsors can easily set up and edit the content about their areas at any time.

Typically, the sponsors already have prepared other content for marketing purposes which can be readily adapted into the fDi Atlas presentation structure as above.

This means that new presentations can be set up within a day or two, and then refined over time to improve their effectiveness. The fDi Atlas was designed to be very easy for sponsors to update.

As demonstrated by many of the existing fDi Atlas presentations, it is also easy to include graphic images - photos, graphs, tables, etc. as appropriate.

These can make the presentation design more appealing, but with the caveat that the intended audience of C-level executives and professional advisors should be kept in mind. They may not want to spend their time scrolling through presentation images which don't add significant value to the content.

A good way to think about the fDi Atlas presentation design, in that regard, is to envision having something like a placemat on the desktop of an executive to highlight the key points about the area at a fairly quick glance. It isn't intended to tell them everything which they might want to know. The purpose is to arouse enough interest to take a closer look at the local website links, or to simply get in touch directly to discuss their current interests.

Examples of fDi Atlas presentations

The list at right includes some of the initial fDi Atlas presentations to visualize the flexibility of this tool as an easy way to highlight the benefits of business locations anywhere. This shows the diversity of local content within the consistent global framework.

Flanders Wallonia Netherlands Utrecht West Holland

Scotland Dundee Wales Northern Ireland

Southeast England East Midlands

Germany Bavaria Berlin Ukraine Slovenia

Valencia Andalucia Lazio Bologna ESBAS Turkey Tunisia

Gunsan Gwangyang Colombia

Nevada Toronto

Sector Search

This is a simple but valuable tool. As sponsor areas identify the sectors which they are targeting, this becomes a path for users to find those areas which are relevant to their own business sectors in any region of the world. This makes it very easy to consider potentially relevant locations which might otherwise be overlooked.

Benchmarking the facts and other content

Some economic development organizations have already discovered the value of easily benchmarking their own presentations against competing areas. The tools for factual comparisons between locations are designed for executives, but can also help to refine and differentiate the presentations.

Media Centre

The Media Centre tab is also valuable as a globally consistent way to quickly find significant stories about the sponsor areas.

Most economic development organizations have some sort of newsroom feature on their website, but these are often full of minor press releases aimed at other audiences (upcoming local meetings, staff promotions, etc.) of primarily local interest.

The idea behind the Media Centre is to focus on topics which are most likely to be of interest to executives elsewhere who want to see at a glance why this area merits their closer consideration.

Suggestions for the Media Centre

The Media Centre is designed to be very flexible, with links available to various sources. Some effective ideas for use of the Media Centre include links to:

bullet major press releases - big success stories or other news
bullet significant business media coverage about the area
bullet independent research reports about the area
bullet testimonials by top executives in the area on key issues
bullet special tools - property search, GIS data tools, etc.
bullet unique services, explanations of special incentives, etc.
bullet additional information resources about the region (local business news media, professionals, or partner organizations)
fDi Atlas - Sponsor Cost and Setup Process

The cost of a sponsor presentation is $6600 per year in 2008. Multiple years can also be purchased in advance at a discount to avoid any future rate increases during that period. for details.

A simple login process is used to enable sponsors to set up and edit their own content, including any images and links.

Promotion of fDi Atlas in 2008

The fDi Atlas tool is heavily advertised through fDi magazine and the Financial Times newspaper, as well as online, to attract the attention of executives and professional advisors who may need to research business locations.

The 2008 ad campaign planned for fDi Atlas is estimated to have a value in excess of $4 million, and will repeatedly reach the roughly 500,000 Financial Times readers worldwide through many prominent ads during the year.

A similar FT ad campaign in 2007 accompanied the fDi Atlas launch in Europe.

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Last modified: 12/20/10