Detroit Regional Chamber > Chamber > Michigan Amps up Marketing Push in Battle to Attract Talent

Michigan Amps up Marketing Push in Battle to Attract Talent

October 26, 2022

Crain’s Detroit Business
Oct. 26, 2022
David Eggert

LANSING — Michigan will spend $10 million on a new marketing campaign focused on attracting and retaining talent to fill in-demand and high-growth jobs.

The Michigan Strategic Fund board approved the allocation Tuesday. It will go to the companies with which the Michigan Economic Development Corp. contracts for business marketing — Grand Rapids-based communications and marketing firm Lambert & Co. and its joint-venture partner 9th Wonder Agency, which is headquartered in Houston and has an office in Detroit.

Lambert/9th Wonder, which is in year two of a three-year contract, will get an additional $10 million for the talent campaign on top of nearly $5.8 million previously authorized for business marketing.

The MEDC said target audiences are still to be determined, but the campaign will eventually be focused in and out of the state.

We view talent marketing as both critical to our ability to do business attraction, but it is also something that we need to do to be supporting the Michigan businesses here in our state,” said Michelle Grinnell, the MEDC’s senior vice president of marketing and communications. “Every state candidly is working to try to solve the talent question. The states that win that battle are going to have a really strong competitive advantage moving forward.”

The goals, she said, are to help in-state businesses struggling to fill key positions and to build the foundation for growing the population long term.

“Our hope is that this will become a long-term permanent part of the marketing portfolio at MEDC along with business and leisure campaigns,” Grinnell said.

To start, the campaign will focus heavily on in-state retention and recruitment. It also will target some key out-of-state markets before transitioning to a national campaign down the line.

She said other states are mobilizing, too.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has called for $50 million in talent marketing. Nebraska is spending about $10 million. Wisconsin is looking to spend $3 million largely in the Chicago market, “which is going to be a key market for us as well,” Grinnell said.

“We’re going to leverage the data-driven, strategic approach to marketing that’s driven our successful Pure Opportunity and Pure Michigan campaigns and go on offense to keep our talent here in the state and start to move the needle to bring more outside talent back to Michigan,” she said.

The $10 million will come from $115.6 million that was allocated to the MEDC for business attraction and community revitalization and entrepreneurship programs.