Development of a Marketing Strategy for a High-Tech Industrial Park in Panagyurishte
Development of a Marketing Strategy for a High-Tech Industrial Park in Panagyurishte Summary
The municipality of Panagyurishte and the city of West Carrollton , Ohio , developed and implemented a marketing strategy for the Opticoelectron High-Tech Industrial Park as part of the Local Economic Development and Marketing of Bulgarian Municipalities Project under Phase IV of the Bulgarian Resource Cities Program. The purpose of the marketing strategy was to promote Panagyurishte as the best place for high-technology industry development, and then to market the existing high-tech compound to potential recruits. Problem Statement
Panagyurishte is a traditional center for precision machining. The municipality boasts traditions and experience in optics, optical mechanics, and optical electronics products and technologies. The economic development strategy for the precision machining industry (an environ mentally friendly, high-tech industry with growth potential) includes stabilization, restoration, and increase of its relative share of the municipal economy.
Despite the trends toward stabilization and restoration of the industry, a number of buildings and lots (with the infrastructure needed for high-tech manufacturing in place) remain unused. The unemployment rate is above the national average. Many of those unemployed were laid off during the restructuring of a large former defense contractor that used to manufacture precision devices. Later, the company was privatized. Its facilities, including available build ings, have been transformed into an industrial park.
The only technical high school in the country for the education and training of specialists in optics, optical mechanics, and optical electronics devices is located in the municipality. The availability of specialists for this industry far exceeds demand, which results in a serious imbalance in the labor market. Project Description
The project was implemented by a newly formed workgroup. The workgroup was comprised of Sergey Blagov, the municipal expert in local economic development; employees of the high-tech park owner, Opticoelectron Group Corp.; and Mr. David Humphreys, Planning and Economic Development Director, City of West Carrollton , Ohio . The mission adopted by the workgroup was to promote Panagyurishte as the best place for high-tech industry develop ment, and then to market the existing high-tech compound to potential recruits.
The project involved an inventory and analysis of available lots and buildings. The infra structure of the technology park, and the technical and organizational opportunities it provides, were also inventoried.
The workgroup paid special attention to selecting a name, logo, and tag line for the park in order to underline its unique technological features. As a result, the park is being marketed as a place where high technology exists and can develop further.
The partners developed and produced a marketing package comprised of a promo tional folder, brochures, and an electronic presentation of the park on CD-ROM. The partners then developed a dedicated Web site to promote the unique opportunities provided by the park.
The workgroup also developed a marketing program for the Opticoelectron High-Tech Indus trial Park . The program identifies marketing goals and dissemination strategies for promo tional materials: participation at trade shows and fairs; dissemination through Bulgarian trade offices abroad; national and public organizations; real estate agents; specialized Web sites; and organization of media events. Implementation Timeline
The project was implemented from December 2003 to May 2004. In six months, the partners developed a complete marketing package for the high-tech industrial park, as well as a market ing program. Solutions Overview
The results from the project include:
Publication of a marketing package comprised of a promotional folder, brochures, and an electronic presentation on CD-ROM.
Development of a Web site promoting the unique opportunities provided by the park ( www.inpark-oe.com).
Development of a marketing program for the Opticoelectron High-Tech Industrial Park .
Signing of a preliminary contract with an external investor that plans to relocate a $2.8 million high-tech business. Benefits
Project implementation has produced many benefits. The marketing program, which repre sents an aggressive recruitment effort, is helping the municipality promote Panagyurishte as the best place for high-tech industry development and market the existing high-tech compound. The municipality is achieving other goals as well; namely:
More jobs will be created (the first contract alone would generate 67 new jobs within 18 months).
The presence of high-tech companies will provide better career opportunities to trained specialists in the local workforce.
The public-private partnerships will help retain high-tech businesses in the municipality, thus improving citizens quality of life. Conclusion
The project is an example of a successful public-private partnership. The municipality and Opticoelectron Group Corp. have combined their efforts to spur economic development in the municipality. The project has demonstrated that Panagyurishte can use public-private partnerships to influence the development of priority industries that boost the local economy.