More effective construction CPD marketing – five EASY wins
You’ve invested your budget and (more painfully) time in creating CPD marketing materials. Now you’re under pressure to have them perform. But are you sure you’re giving them the best chance to succeed? Bear in mind that before you can even present them you first have to convince specifiers that they’re worth listening to. There’s no point in having a great presentation if no-one wants to access it.
Here are five simple – low or no cost – steps you should take to ensure that your CPD marketing materials are noticed and acted upon. A five-star review if you’re already doing them all. A self-inflicted roasting if you miss two or more.
1. Get to the point, fast
Does the first line of your material description succinctly summarise what your target audience will learn? Does your company description include a USP in the first sentence? Because that’s how much time you have to grab your reader’s attention and convince them to read on.
Your material and company descriptions are your shop window. Invest in them accordingly. The important stuff should always be most prominent. As far as your audience is concerned the two most important issues are ‘How will I benefit from this?’ and ‘Why should I take your advice?’ Ensure the answer to both questions is compelling. And don’t assume that what you consider a top priority matches what others consider essential. It’s worth getting a second, third and fourth opinion.
Does your company description include a USP in the first sentence? Because that’s how much time you have to grab your reader’s attention.
2. Don’t include the kitchen sink
Still on those company and material descriptions: superior customer service should be a given; expressions such as ‘cutting edge technology’ and ‘innovative design’ are cliché. And your earnest proclamations on sustainability will be echoed by every construction industry CPD provider on the planet. These are so-called ‘hygiene’ phrases and will not convince anyone to choose your CPD over another. Include them by all means, but insert them near the end.
Nor is it necessary to include a laundry list of every product in your portfolio. If you’re best known for the Whizz Bang Construction Widget, mention that – and your years of experience manufacturing other construction accessories. They’ll get the picture.
3. Monitor your enquiry emails
A pretty basic one – you’d think… but I can bear witness to this being a surprisingly common issue. People change jobs or move on, addresses are pruned, domains are changed. Sometimes the address is correct but there’s confusion as to whose responsibility it is to check the in-box. Believe me, it happens!
Nor is it just emails. I once spent a week pursuing the CPD contact for a well-known, multinational construction product manufacturer (that really should have known better), being passed from pillar to post before finally being directed back to the number I’d originally called!
So, while I’m sure your company is too smart to ever misstep on such an obvious banana skin it might not be a such a bad idea to conduct a regular audit of all campaign email addresses, telephone numbers etc. A ‘mystery shopper’ call or message to them might also help winkle out the kinks in your organisation!
4. Repurpose your CPD materials
Did you know that if you have a face-to-face PowerPoint presentation approved by the RIBA you can ask for it also to be approved as a standalone, non-interactive CPD presentation* at no additional cost and without it being counted as a second assessment? Some manufacturers object to this on the grounds that they’re trying to encourage personal interaction. But that rather ignores the needs of the specifier in a hurry, who wishes to avoid the faff of setting up an appointment for a sit-down meeting. It also overlooks the fact that to access materials from the RIBA CPD platform the specifier must first register and agree to opt in. That information is then passed on to the CPD provider. So there is ample opportunity to follow up with an email, offering to provide answers specific to a project being worked on, for example.
5. Keep it up to date
Nothing shrieks, ‘Ignore me’ faster than reference to an outdated standard or building regulation. Specifiers turn to construction product CPD because they want the most up to date information and advice, not a rehash of something they could have picked up from a brochure years ago. Although it inevitably means a little extra work – reviewing, updating and resubmitting materials on a routine basis – ensuring that your CPD materials reflect current best practice and legislation is a must. After all, if you were approached directly you’d never give an outdated answer.
Andy Sivell is a director of the content marketing agency Working Titles. For more than ten years he has compiled and edited every issue of CPD Showcase on behalf of the RIBA. He has also written, edited and/or project managed the creation of CPD materials on behalf of numerous construction industry clients. Follow or contact him via Linked In.