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Selling a Region with Innovative Tools

The Greater Chattanooga Economic Partnership (GCEP) is a regional economic development partnership focused on building awareness of the 16-counties surrounding Chattanooga, Tenn. as a place to do business. GCEP’s goals include accelerating job creation, generating capital investment and strengthening the region’s economic base.
 

Overview

Greater Chattanooga Economic Partnership

When companies are looking to expand or relocate their operations, the Greater Chattanooga Economic Partnership wants them to know the Chattanooga area’s story. The new website they hired Papercut to build was meant to communicate that story and help the area stand out in the southeastern U.S.

Through the website, business owners and executives can find potential real estate, dig into regional data, and compile a well-designed report with the key takeaways from their research. It’s a full-service destination that makes it easy for businesses to get everything they need to make the case for the Chattanooga area as the perfect location.
 

Image of Greater Chattanooga Economic Partnership's website on a Macbook Pro
A branded image of manufacturing.

Challenges

Finding Properties

Site selection consultants are a major piece of the target audience pie. And real estate is the most critical component of the site selection process. So, we needed to ensure it was easy to search for commercial sites on the website. With the help of the Greater Chattanooga Association of REALTORS, we incorporated a searchable database of industrial buildings, office buildings and greenfield sites in the region.  

Stats & Demographics

Site selection consultants use massive amounts of data to narrow their searches. GCEP tracks economic indicators for the region. To make site selectors’ jobs easier and the region more accessible, the Partnership wanted to share a boatload of statistics on their site. This includes data on the area’s real estate market, building permits, unemployment rates, announced business investment, and higher education. 

Papercut’s goal was for the new site to communicate this significant amount of data cleanly. Dynamic generation of charts and graphics allows GCEP to display all the year-over-year numbers in an easily digestible way. Graphics scale appropriately based on screen size and give users quick access to the important statistics they need. And GCEP’s staff is able to alter that data through the content management system in seconds. 

My Report Functionality

GCEP staff wanted site users to be able to download information about the region in a nicely formatted report. This report could be used to pitch the area, so it had to look sharp. To accomplish this, we built a sticky function that allows any page on the site to be turned into a PDF and compiled into a single report with cover page. The report design matches the site design, keeping the Partnership’s brand cohesive. The feature is cookie driven, keeping up with every page a user wants to add to their report, and gives users a familiar shopping-cart-like experience. The compiled report is available to download, email, or print on the My Report section of the site. 
 

Cumulative Announced Projects 2010-2016

Amount of Investment
$7,928,140,276

Maps

Visually identifying the greater Chattanooga region that encompasses northeast Alabama, northwest Georgia and southeast Tennessee when site visitors first land on the homepage was a high priority. The Greater Chattanooga Economic Partnership knew their audience would often be international, so we needed to quickly and clearly communicate the Chattanooga area’s location within the U.S. To this end, we featured a large, brightly colored regional map as one of the highest impact visuals on the homepage. 

Maps continued to play an important role on the site past the homepage. A grid-style map center accommodates the many maps GCEP requires. The layout makes it simple for users to browse the information and for the GCEP staff to upload as many maps as necessary without cluttering the design. 


Results

74.1%
new visitors
25.6%
visitors from organic search
15.4%
visitors on mobile devices

26,552: Number of Jobs added to the Region between 2010-2016

“Papercut are at the top of their game. Their attention to detail and careful planning mean that, not only are they easy to work with, but the finished product is attractive, simple and intuitive. Papercut helped us with both the complete re-design of the Chattanooga Chamber website and the development, from scratch, of the new Greater Chattanooga Economic Partnership site. The results speak for themselves.”

– Jeremy Henderson, Creative Project Manager, Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce
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