Given the proliferation of smart phones and tablets, it was only a matter of time before inward investment teams started to access foreign target audiences through the power of Apps.
As you’d expect, from the biggest and best funded inward investment agency in the world, UKTI is one of the first to launch an App for iPad and iPhone users.
The App is free to download and according to the press release, is ‘the work of many months of collaboration between UKTI and all local partners’, so how does it perform?
The target audience is two-fold: UKTI staff around the world and potential inward investors. I think that in terms of language, it could prove to be a useful tool for the former more than the latter. Navigating your way through UKTI, LEPs and Enterprise Zones is difficult enough for insiders, so foreign investors must be quite baffled. Using terms like ‘Devolved Administrations’ as a heading doesn’t help (especially when London is included as a DA).
This is where the App fails. As a basic level of accuracy, you’d expect the national government agency to have all LEPs included. It doesn’t. It omits several key LEPs completely (Black Country, Heart of the South West, Humber, North Yorkshire, West of England, Thames Valley Bucks, Solent and Coventry & Warwickshire). It also lists two which are not even LEPs (East Sussex and Kent). There is a section for ‘UK Cities’ which strangely lists just Birmingham, Manchester, Sheffield, Nottingham and Leeds… you just know that this isn’t going to play very well in Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh etc! The Enterprise Zone list is also incomplete with six missing EZs.
Design and Functionality?
The look and feel of the App is ok and is simple enough to navigate which is a positive. The integration with Google maps works well and is probably the most useful feature.
UKTI should be congratulated for being one of the first to market and for using new technologies and tools; however, launching an App that is factually incorrect and incomplete is unlikely to build bridges with local partners. Let’s hope version two is not too far off.
Download the App