Macomb unveils new city marketing campaign
MACOMB — In an effort to project a more cohesive image of Macomb, the city has unveiled a new marketing initiative designed to drive local retail business and foster community pride.
Nearly 50 new brightly colored banners promoting local retail businesses and community pride have been mounted to street light poles on the East and West Jackson Business corridor in the city. In addition to the banner project, the city has also updated the city website with four new community video tours of the city.
Mayor Mike Inman and Downtown Development Director Kristin Terry spoke about the development process of the new marketing initiative.
Inman said he attended a U.S. Mayor’s Conference in 2012 where he met with staff members from New York-based CGI Communications, which had a community marketing program being used in municipalities across the country. A follow-up meeting was setup later that same year to develop a community marketing program for Macomb.
He said the banner and video projects are a partnership between CGI Communications, local businesses and the city. “What (CGI) provide(s), in the case of the videos, is editing and production (expertise) and they do request some input from the city as a point of focus, such as contacts within the community,” he said.
“The way the videos are produced and underwritten is that CGI comes into the community with a letter of introduction that the mayor has provided indicating that first and foremost there is a legitimate agreement between the city and CGI to engage in this type of activity. Then, CGI solicits local businesses for participation,” Inman said, “and the participation is in the form of sponsorships.”
Inman said local businesses are asked to sign a commitment underwriting the production of the videos, and then once the production and editing of the videos are completed, the videos are given to the municipality for them to post on their city website.
Visit https://cityofmacomb.com/city-video-tour/ to view the tour.
Inman said that production for the banners and the videos come at no cost to the city but are paid for through sponsorships from local retailers who have signed a letter of commitment to underwrite the projects.
Although Inman was initially hesitant about developing a community marketing project using both banners and videos to promote local retailers and community pride, he said, “During my succeeding years in office, I saw that banners were quite prolific in many communities, and it did add a significant positive touch to the communities.” He also said the banners expressed community pride and underscored the economic vitality that was occurring in those communities.
Terry said the city in its partnership with CGI Communications wanted to focus on local talent to develop the banner and video projects. The banners were designed by local designer Tim Rice of TJR Designs and installed by AMP Electric through an agreement with Ameren, which owns the light and electrical poles in the city. Michael Thompson from TNT Services was hired to record video for the project.
There are no electrical connections at the poles; AMP Electric happens to have the type of boom truck that would allow workers to install the banners along East and West Jackson, Terry said.
CGI Communications solicited the city for a list of local businesses to help coordinate the production of the banners and videos, and then to perform the task of installing the banners on the light poles once development was finished.
There is a two-year contract between CGI Communications and the local retailers who participated in the development of the community marketing project. However, the city is not privy to the conditions of the contract, Terry said.
“The banners will stay up for two years until we either take them down or we replace them, depending on whether we do another contract with CGI,” she said.
Reach Christopher Ginn by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.