Steve Jobs, the king of digital, taught us that “Traditional Media” is not dead.
It seems everyday in the building product industry, we are being told traditional marketing methods are dead and digital only is the way. With continued sluggish sales and knowing the building product industry is going to stay compressed for the foreseeable future, we are all pressured to prove the return on every marketing dollar spent. As a result, traditional advertising has been analyzed more than ever.
Michael Learmonth, digital editor for AdAge, recently wrote an interesting article of how Steve Jobs embraced traditional advertising and branding strategies throughout the evolution of Apple. Here is my summary of some points that I think are worth sharing and remembering for the building industry.
It’s hard to believe that an icon in the marketing industry with a brand that enticed us to move into the mobile and digital world was a traditional marketer at heart. At a time when marketers obsess over the virtues of targeting, “likes,” dashboards, platforms of all kinds for social-media-monitoring schemes, Mr. Jobs kept it simple: tell the story of how an amazing product can change your life in the best environment possible.
According to published reports, Apple’s media spend was estimated at $1.8 billion in 2020, dominated by network TV, newspapers, magazines, circulars, and billboards. Less than 10% of total spend went to anything digital. A bit ironic that the one company that made us “go digital” didn’t only use digital for their branding initiatives.
“Even a great brand needs investment and caring if it is going to retain its relevance and vitality,” Mr. Jobs said to staff in 1997. He believed advertising was a core part of building a brand, selling products and creating an entire customer experience. He also saw the advertising as inextricable from the product. That’s because the product wasn’t an iMac, iPod or iPhone, it was the brand itself and how a well-designed product—any product—can make life better.
As marketers serving the building product industry trying to re-invent itself after the worse decline in decades, we are overwhelmed with all the different marketing/communication options available to us. But in the end, the brand stories we deliver are the most important part of the equation, not the latest technology or metric we are intrigued with.
Embracing New Strategies and Technologies for Success!
In the ever-evolving landscape of building product marketing, the digital realm has become an indispensable arena for reaching and engaging with customers. While traditional methods still hold their ground, the power of social media marketing, immersive video experiences, and cutting-edge technologies like AR, VR, and AI are reshaping the industry’s future.
The Power of Social Media Marketing in the Building Product Industry
In today’s fast-paced digital landscape, social media has become a powerful tool for building product companies to connect with their target audience and drive brand awareness. With platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter, companies can showcase their products, engage with customers, and build lasting relationships.
To harness the power of social media marketing, building product companies should first identify their target audience and choose the platforms where their potential customers are most active. Visual platforms like Instagram can be excellent for showcasing aesthetically pleasing products, while LinkedIn may cater more to B2B interactions with architects, contractors, and developers.
Building product companies can create compelling content, such as high-quality images and videos showcasing product features, installations, and customer testimonials. Content should be authentic, informative, and aligned with the brand’s identity and values. Encouraging user-generated content through contests or hashtag campaigns can also help generate buzz and engagement around products.
Engagement and responsiveness are crucial on social media platforms. Responding to customer inquiries, comments, and direct messages promptly shows that the company values its audience and cares about their needs. On top of that, leveraging social media advertising allows companies to target specific demographics and reach a wider audience effectively.
Video Marketing and Virtual Tours: Enhancing Product Visualization
In the building product industry, the ability to visualize products is a key factor in the decision-making process for customers. Video marketing and virtual tours can significantly enhance product visualization and provide potential buyers with immersive experiences.
Video marketing can include product demonstrations, customer testimonials, behind-the-scenes footage, and creative storytelling. By leveraging video content on websites and social media, building product companies can effectively communicate product features, benefits, and use cases.
Virtual tours take product visualization to the next level, allowing customers to explore properties and spaces virtually. Whether it’s a virtual walk-through of a home showcasing various building products or a 360-degree view of a commercial space, virtual tours create a memorable experience that can influence purchase decisions.
Building product companies can collaborate with professional videographers and virtual reality experts to create high-quality, engaging content. Incorporating interactive elements within virtual tours, such as clickable product information or “contact us” buttons, can also encourage direct customer engagement and lead generation.
Embracing New Technologies: AR, VR, and AI in Building Product Marketing
As technology continues to advance, building product companies have exciting opportunities to integrate emerging technologies like augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and artificial intelligence (AI) into their marketing strategies.
AR and VR can transform the way customers interact with building products. For instance, using AR applications, customers can visualize how furniture or decor items would look in their homes before making a purchase. VR can simulate immersive experiences, such as walking through a construction project before it’s even built, helping customers make informed decisions.
AI-powered chatbots can enhance customer service by providing instant responses to frequently asked questions and guiding customers through their buying journey. Additionally, AI analytics tools can provide valuable insights into customer behavior and preferences, helping companies refine their marketing strategies for better results.
Embracing these new technologies not only sets building product companies apart from competitors but also showcases their innovative and customer-centric approach. It’s essential for companies to educate their audience about these technologies’ benefits and usability to drive adoption and create a memorable brand experience.
Sources and Additional Articles
- Source: Steve Jobs Was Digital Maverick but Marketing Traditionalist
- Photo Credit: Photo by DryFish on Flickr
- 6 Lessons from Steve Jobs for Building Product Marketing
- The Tablet Revolution of the Building Products Industry
- QR Code Examples in the Building Products Industry
- Measurement is key to Building Product Marketing Strategy
Yes, traditional marketing methods can still be effective in the building product industry, especially when combined with digital strategies to create a comprehensive marketing plan.
Social media marketing allows building product companies to connect with their target audience, showcase products, and build brand awareness. It enables engagement and fosters lasting relationships with customers.
Building product companies should focus on creating authentic and informative content, including high-quality images, product feature videos, customer testimonials, and user-generated content to generate engagement.
Building product companies can embrace technologies like augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and artificial intelligence (AI) to create interactive and innovative marketing experiences for customers.
AI-powered chatbots improve customer service by providing instant responses to inquiries. AI analytics tools offer valuable insights into customer behavior and preferences, aiding companies in refining their marketing strategies.
Companies can use informative content, demonstrations, and case studies to educate their audience about the benefits and usability of these technologies, encouraging customer adoption.