As a brand manager or CMO, you know all the key points to sell your product or service. You know how to phrase the benefits, whether it’s “time-saving,” “faster response,” “best in class,” “energy efficient” or other descriptive terms. You know how to find the benefits and separate them from the features. Marketing 101.
While you focus on the key selling points and your creative may look incredible and the product looks sexy in just the right lighting and background, you may be missing an important ingredient in the marketing mix. We see it all the time: ad copy, press releases, social posts and videos that don’t reflect important changes happening in their industry.
I recently purchased a new HVAC system and was astonished to find that none of the contractor websites or the contractors I met with talked about the two things I care most about: energy efficiency and indoor air quality (IAQ for short). Instead, they focused on price, how fast they could get the system installed, product warranties, and a broad term many use: “indoor comfort.”
All those things are important, but many in the contracting industry are not addressing a consumer audience that is increasingly concerned about climate change and looking for eco-friendly systems. The public is also more aware than ever of health issues that arise due to viruses, bacteria, and allergens that circulate in their homes through the HVAC system. They want a system that delivers cleaner, healthier indoor air.
Get to know your audience
It’s incumbent on marketing professionals to deeply know and understand their audience and how global issues of today impact the buying decision. Otherwise, like with the HVAC example, they’ll miss the mark in addressing what the customer really cares about.
The major HVAC and appliance manufacturers do seem to understand this. They’re offering high efficiency units and moving to the electrification of water heaters, dryers and stoves. Their pulse is on the industry and on what consumers want – and they leverage it in their communications.
In our client work, we know we can’t write about irrigation equipment without mentioning the water crisis in Western states, because that’s what keeps farmers and municipal water folks up at night.
We can’t write about products and equipment targeted to HVAC engineers without mentioning IAQ (indoor air quality), Department of Energy regulations, “decarbonization” (moving away from gas-fired equipment and replacing with electric) and new, eco-friendly refrigerants.
For these engineering audiences, we weave key phrases into press releases, and for bylined articles we dive deep into energy regulations. These tactics illustrate the client’s deep investment in and knowledge of a changing industry, positioning them as experts and a trusted source of information.
Know the Trends
Architectural and construction firms are well aware of industry trends like remote work, the need for safer school facilities, an increasing desire for connection to nature, and building decarbonization. It’s important that their marketing reflect what they’re doing or how they’re thinking about these trending issues.
We also have a mental health crisis in our country. If your organization is doing anything to address this for their clients or themselves, such as facility renovations or interior design that prioritizes employee mental health – this could be a key talking point in your communications as it illustrates your company is invested in solutions to an important societal issue.
We could go on with more examples, but hopefully this article will spark some ideas on how your marketing/PR team can position your organization to stay relevant.
If you want to better understand your target audiences and how to uncover their key concerns as it relates to trending issues in your industry, give us a shout. We can help you find your relevant marketing voice!