golden shovel agency, economic community development, websites, marketing

The first question economic developers ask is “How much does Opportunity Zone marketing cost?” The answer varies on the goals of the project and the experience of the marketing company. In this article, I will detail the process and the factors contributing to the price of creating an Opportunity Zone marketing campaign and the collateral. 

Marketing your community’s opportunity zone requires research, strategy, and execution. Successful Opportunity Zone marketing initiatives can target prospects from local, state, regional, and national levels. Ongoing interactions with various local stakeholders, potential investors, potential developers, financial consultants, and legal consultants will be critical to a project's success. Opportunity zones are investment vehicles as well as community site development tools. 

The biggest contributor to cost is the amount of time involved. A typical opportunity zone marketing project involves at least seven planning and development phases and can easily exceed 40 hours of work over eight-twelve weeks. 

When considering your opportunity zone plan, it is important to understand the process involves different phases of planning and execution. For example, the beginning of the project will be research-focused. As the research is concluded the project will move into a content and design phase to create the prospectus. This phase, if not properly managed, can slow a project down.  Experience matters. Constant revisions and missed deadlines during this phase will create frustrations and ultimately drive the cost of the project much higher with "scope creep". 

Download our free Step-By-Step Guide to Opportunity Zones.

Creating a prospectus is just one component of a complex process to successfully market your opportunity zone. A prospectus should not be a community brochure.  This document must be research-based and primarily designed to familiarize investors and developers with the opportunity zone. Companies with national economic development experience will be able to guide you through the process efficiently and will be able to offer strategic solutions. 

A successful opportunity zone marketing plan will need to last for at least the next 18-36 months. This plan and the prospectus will be used to inform and attract investors and developers to your community.

The best advice I can provide is to be thoughtful about the whole process and consider each phase.  To simply create a community brochure that never gets downloaded or shared is not the recipe to successfully bring investors to your community.

To help you understand each phase, we have broken down each phase with details and a step-by-step guide.

Phase I: Organize a membership group

Phase II: Research

  • Identify Opportunity Zone matrix mix
  • Identify community goals and targeted industries
  • Gather studies: housing, labor, transportation, education, and other data
  • Identify any supporting community plans
  • Identify impact investors
  • Determine the lead team
  • Identify available incentives & public programs

Phase III: Build a prospectus

  • Identify the sections
  • Write the content
  • Design layout, choose photos and create infographics

Phase IV: Identify opportunity zone fund(s)

Phase V: Build an Opportunity Zone Marketing Plan

Phase VI: Publish prospectus and launch marketing campaigns

Phase VII: Set up opportunity zone fund

  • Legal structure (compliance)
  • Financial structure (compliance)
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