In uncertain economic times, the Government wants to increase investment and is tasking local authorities with delivering in their own areas. Surrey is competing with every county in Britain and with international regions, which are in fierce contention for businesses locating, relocating or starting up in Europe. Recognising that it needed to up its game, Surrey County Council approached The Creative Engine for help to raise its profile.
“For a long time, its investment team had leaflets and a promotional website, which was desperately wanting modernisation,” says The Creative Engine’s Matthew Sims. “These were packed with information, but were barely engaging, lacking any ability to be used as a campaign tool, and were not representative of the huge tech brands based in and the innovation taking place in Surrey and the surrounding area.”
For such a high-tech region, this was an issue. It hosts the national space agency, Britain’s best video game companies, the 5G innovation centre, and international brands including McLaren, BAE and LG, yet the content for the county’s hi-tech audience did not reflect this.
Bringing brand tools to the public sector
The Creative Engine demonstrated what it does for its hi-tech clients and showed Surrey County Council that this would also work in the public sector – in this case selling the benefits not of a product, but of a well-connected, forward-thinking place to invest.
Matthew says: “We previously delivered a tablet-based information portal that the team at Surrey County Council is using to guide potential investors. It highlights the sectors that are already thriving, outlines the benefits of moving to the county, and explores what the location has to offer future employees, in terms of quality of life and leisure opportunities.”
While some of the content already existed on Surrey’s investment website, the rest is original, and the overall production has been given The Creative Engine’s treatment to bring it up to date. Following the success of the portal, the company has also won a tender for the redevelopment of the Invest in Surrey Website.
“A lot of government websites and apps are just information points that users are left to explore on their own,” Matthew explains. “That doesn’t really cut it any more. They need to be designed with a clearer engagement path and user experience, which is why we’ve been so successful in applying what we do in technology to the public sector.”
The road ahead
Matthew accepts that measuring the ROI on a public service website or tablet app is not as easy as it is in retail but, he says, there are ways. “The key is defining metrics like how many SMEs relocate to Surrey, how many businesses stay in Surrey during difficult times, and dividing down investment by the number of people living in the county. Either way, it’s a long-term measurement, which is why we’re also monitoring various metrics behind the scenes.”
The initial results have so greatly impressed the council that it has already referred The Creative Engine to smaller bodies within its region.
Matthew adds: “Retail brands and the public sector aren’t really all that different – it’s all about engagement. No matter whether a shop is asking consumers to buy; or a public sector body wants a business to make a larger investment, The Creative Engine facilitates the connection with the people that really matter and improves the content and communication flow, making it easy for everyone to share and access relevant information.”
To find out more about how The Creative Engine can help increase engagement with creative content, call us today on 01483 799 200 or email [email protected]o.uk