The purpose of this RFP is to obtain proposals for the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) from advertising agencies to continue supporting the design and implementation of integrated marketing and communications activities to attract, retain and grow target industries that deliver economic benefit to the people of the state. The MEDC, under the authority of the Michigan Strategic Fund, anticipates executing a multi-year contract with the selected vendor and expects to add supplemental funding, if approved, each year of the contract term to continue implementation and enhancement of the campaigns.

The MEDC is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. The organization desires to extend its fully integrated business marketing campaigns, which seek to attract, retain and grow businesses that deliver economic benefit and opportunity to the people of Michigan. Within MEDC, the Marketing and Communications department markets the state to its selected audiences and serves as lead on paid and field marketing, public relations, event planning and protocol events related to the business development programs, travel and tourism, mobility initiatives and other placemaking initiatives within the organization.

Scope of Work:

Marketing Objectives:

The MEDC is requesting agency proposals for services that support campaign development, deployment and enhancement. Proposed strategies and activities must:

• Promote Michigan as a world-class business location. 

• Generate new business prospects for the state. 

• Increase awareness of the full suite of services MEDC offers to Michigan businesses and communities.

• Improve the perception of Michigan as a desirable place to live, work and play. These objectives meet the strategic focus of the MEDC to market the state and promote Michigan’s image as a world-class business and leisure travel destination.

Business Objectives & Strategy 

The MEDC’s mission is to achieve long-term economic prosperity for Michiganders by investing in communities, enabling the growth of good jobs and promoting Michigan’s strong image worldwide. MEDC business marketing activities support the organization’s mission by marketing the state and MEDC’s services to attract, retain and grow target industries that deliver economic benefit to the people of the state.

Target Audiences 

1. National Business Leaders and advisors in targeted industries where the MEDC has opportunities to influence executives and decision-makers to choose Michigan for new business investment and job creation or retention of current investment and workforce. 

• Global Markets: Includes initiatives focused on foreign direct investment by target countries/regions. International targets may change based on market trends, changes to trade policy, technologies that create new opportunities and other external variables.

• National Markets: Includes initiatives focused on U.S. direct investment by target industries or markets. National targets may change based on market trends, changes to federal and state economic development policy, technologies that create new opportunities and other external variables. 

• State Markets: Includes initiatives focused on retention and growth investment and building vibrant communities across the state of Michigan. State priorities may change based on market trends, input from industry stakeholders and regional economic development partners, technologies that create new opportunities and other external variables.

2. Site Selection Influencers who partner with industry decision makers considering future business attraction, investment, expansion and growth opportunities. Site influencers may include organizations formally hired to provide site selection services as well as other influencing advisors that may work with industry decision makers. Focus Industries Target industries may evolve based on market trends, input from industry stakeholders and regional economic development partners, technologies that create new opportunities and other external variables. While it is not assumed that all MEDC industry targets will require dedicated paid media promotion, current target industries include:

• Mobility and Automotive Manufacturing

o Building upon our uncontested automotive leadership to stay at the forefront of the mobility revolution.

• Professional and Corporate Services 

o Using the purchasing power of Michigan companies to attract corporate and professional service providers to the state.

• Medical Device Technology 

o Leveraging our existing medical device anchor companies and research assets to enable growth of the medical device industry.

• Engineering, Design and Development 

o Harnessing our talent base to become the research & development and industrial design capital of the world.

• Advanced Manufacturing 

o Positioning Michigan as a leader in Industry 4.0 and leveraging our talent to capture a larger share of growth in the defense and advanced materials industries.

• High Tech 

o Capitalizing on our existing mobility, software, manufacturing, engineering and design capabilities to grow Michigan’s tech footprint.

4 MEDC Core Programs & Services While it is not assumed that all MEDC programs, services and initiatives will require dedicated paid media promotion, proposals may include content on:

1. Market the State: Focus on promoting positive perceptions of Michigan business nationally to identify and attract new business development opportunities to Michigan.

• Attraction of U.S. and foreign direct investment

• Retention and growth of Michigan business 

2. Market MEDC’s suite of services: Programs and resources designed to support retaining, expanding and growing existing Michigan businesses.

• Pure Michigan Business Connect: Business-to-Business Buyer/Supplier network

• International Export Services: Financial and support services to assist Michigan companies entering the export market or expanding export activities into new markets.

• Entrepreneurship and Innovation: Financial and support services to assist stakeholders in technology commercialization and making connections to venture capital and other funding resources.

• Access to Capital: Increase the availability of capital for Michigan businesses at every stage of development.

• Mobility Industry: Programs and services that strengthen Michigan’s mobility ecosystem.

• Community Development: Programs and services that serve municipalities and developers with the goal of creating vibrant, thriving communities.


• Expertise and proven success, within the agency’s current client roster, in brand management.

• Develop, deploy and maintain annual integrated paid media campaigns that include print, digital display, SEM, social, direct marketing and more. Services and expertise included in campaign creation and maintenance should include:

• Market segmentation and background 

• Design strategy and creative development 

• Custom content strategy and development 

• Campaign analytics and key performance indicator strategies

• Media buying and planning, including ongoing optimization of campaign elements and analysis. Providing regular media and creative performance.

• Campaign extensions for web platform use 

• Search engine optimization competency 

• Website audits 

• Natural search evaluation and reporting 

• Keyword strategy 

• Web content consultation and optimization support 

• Creation or management of industry trade events 

• Creation or management of custom content

• Manage contracts and communication with campaign talent, media partners and vendors

• Participate in regular strategy and status meetings with MEDC staff, as well as MEDC’s other agencies of record

• Collaborate with MEDC’s design, public relations, website teams

• Conduct regularly scheduled creative and media performance reporting

• Integrate and maintain media performance reporting into MEDC’s Marketing and Communications interactive dashboard

• Sub-contract specialized marketing services as needed and in coordination with MEDC marketing team

• Proven capability to partner with additional agencies, including MEDC’s selected vendors for earned media and Pure Michigan advertising services

• Commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion in policy, practice and creative work

• Demonstrated passion for and commitment to Michigan

Due Date:

May 19, 2021, at 3:00 p.m


Contract Services Michigan Strategic Fund 300 North Washington Square, 3rd Floor Lansing, Michigan 48913 contractsandgrants@michigan.org

Relevant agencies to consider include Finn Partners and MWWPR.

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