Helping businesses in Brabant grow: that’s the essence of the new strategy of the Brabant Development Agency (BOM). To better reach this target group, BOM needed to develop an entirely new content and communication strategy. N2P played a key role throughout this change process. Bram van den Hoogen, marketing and communication manager at BOM: “It’s extraordinary how effortlessly Marcel moves from strategic planning to hands-on implementation, creating content that we can be proud of.”
What does BOM do?
“BOM is an economic development agency that is committed to helping ambitious companies in the Brabant region of the Netherlands realize their growth potential. We do that by providing access to expertise, capital, talent, markets and facilities, thus contributing to the sustainable economic development of Brabant.”
What kinds of communication challenges did BOM face?
“Talks with stakeholders revealed that they didn’t have a clear understanding of what BOM actually does. They were aware that BOM does ‘something related to economic development,’ but most of them had no idea what kinds of services we provide and to whom. Over the past two years, we have worked to redefine our organization and the services we offer to focus more on helping businesses here in Brabant grow and achieve their ambitions.
To ensure we reach this target audience, we needed to revamp our communication strategy. We decided to put entrepreneurs at the heart of all our stories, providing a clearer picture of what we at BOM have to offer. To do that, we needed a communication partner that excels in storytelling and has the confidence and expertise to guide us. Sometimes you need someone who will say, ‘No, not like that. Let’s do it this way, so we connect with our target audience more effectively.’ One of our media contacts recommended Marcel at N2P, and we haven’t looked back since.”
How has N2P helped BOM?
“After close consultation, we decided to abandon our old annual report format and start over in a completely new style. The result was a clear, compelling annual report – written by Marcel and his team – that meets all legal requirements. Thanks to the new format, we no longer need to create a separate report for our funding providers, thus saving us a great deal of time and money. We also introduced an online Annual Review geared toward businesses in Brabant. It uses text and images to explain how BOM helps regional businesses in a way that’s accessible and easy to understand.
During our numerous brainstorming sessions, Marcel helped us address key questions: What do we stand for? What kinds of stories do we want to tell? What’s the best tone of voice? We’ve now adopted a ‘business journalism’ style for our written texts. Each and every one of the businesses we support really has a great story to tell. All our stories focus on the following questions: what are their goals? How can we help them grow? Marcel helps us reflect on our own methods and be critical.
N2P is also responsible for writing our press releases: high-quality, ready-to-publish content, which clearly demonstrates Marcel's extensive experience in journalism. As a result, more of our stories are picked up, with a minimum of effort on our part.”
What sets N2P apart?
“Marcel isn’t the kind of partner who blindly follows instructions. He asks critical questions and brainstorms along with us, providing valuable advice and input. It’s extraordinary how effortlessly he moves from strategic planning to hands-on implementation, creating content that we can be proud of. N2P also does a great job of managing expectations. If something can’t be done, Marcel clearly explains why not and offers alternative solutions. His proposals are rock solid, and based on past experience, we’re very confident that he will get the job done.”
What has been the impact of your partnership with N2P?
“Thanks to our targeted communication, businesses have a better understanding of the services we provide, allowing us to have more impact. We communicate more strategically now. And thanks to the brainstorming sessions with Marcel, everyone at BOM is now more focused on our target audience.
We’re also pleased to note that both businesses and our employees are proud of the stories that we publish and are increasingly sharing them on social media. In a sense, they’ve become our ambassadors, allowing us to reach an even greater audience. Together with N2P, we’re pulling back the curtain on the wonderful things that we do here at BOM and we are committed to expanding on that approach as we move forward.”
This case dates back to 2017, when I was still operating under the name N2P. Starting in 2015, I produced six annual reports for the Brabant Development Agency. The last four are available through their website. I also supported BOM in the transition to continuous reporting. Bram van den Hoogen, Marketing Communications Manager at the BOM, reflected on this journey in this blog.