I recently judged marketing materials – print and digital — in a Michigan Economic Developers Association competition. They encouraged the panel of judges to provide constructive comments. Following are my most frequent suggestions for print publications:
- Spend money on a good graphic designer
- Focus; be strategic. A document that strives to be all things to all people is frequently nothing to anyone.
- Have a professional edit your copy. (There are rules about capitalization. Obey them.)
- Use testimonials
- Use a couple of strong photos instead of a lot of little ones and use pictures of people.
- Show your character. Don’t be afraid to be colorful or quirky.
Two economic development websites caught my eye. The top-level navigation on the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation’s site is designed to speak to their likeliest or most desirable customers. On each of those main pages, the right-hand navigation is customized to that subject.
I know that the Eastpointe DDA didn’t go through an extensive or expensive branding process, yet its website looks like what Eastpointe IS. The site is rich in social media, even Foursquare and Gowalla, and makes clever use of free web technologies, like a customized Google map.