In this guest post, Jachin Cush (pictured below), a senior account manager at WPP’s B2B marketing firm IMA, takes a look at the oft forgotten tradie and how to leverage their often incredible marketing power…
The current state of things
Navigating an increasingly volatile, complex and uncertain environment is a daily challenge for residential construction and manufacturing marketers. At the core of it is some deep reflection around the reduced growth projection in the residential construction forecast. If brands are to grow or even defend their patch during this period, then they need to make a shift in how they engage with their core audience – tradies!
The Q3 HIA Trades Report flags demand for trades easing across the market. This coupled with the fastest falls in the industry in six years means some tradespeople are now having to compete for less work. There’s now potential for some serious price pressure where there’s been none for some time.
So, what does this mean for brands?
With pressure on some trades to secure pipeline work, they’ll be looking for greater value. Value in price and experience, with the likelihood of more diligent cost control in these less favourable market conditions.
Brands now need to fully understand the intricacies of the trade channel and provide something of distinct value right across the experience.
Getting it right
A simple guide for how to approach this is: relevant + timely + valuable.
- Be relevant: get inside their heads. Find out what really makes them tick.
- Be timely: are they likely to be interested in and in the right mindset to hear what you have to say?
- Be valuable: what’s the most effective means of connecting with them in that moment that delivers value and influences behaviour? How do you get them what they need?
Example #1: Bunnings
Dominating 40 per cent of the homemaker market, retail god Bunnings is now looking to the trades to fuel the next stage of its growth. They’ve got the range and reach and will continue to leverage their core strengths as a total market capability: stores, trade centres, in-field and digital.
And as a tradie it’s just so easy to drive in store to pick-up everything you need. A seamless and frictionless experience. Bunnings is absolutely disrupting the market and the retail experience being offered to tradies. And they’re just getting started.
Example #2: Milwaukee Tools
These guys just ‘get’ tradies and they say it how it is. They’re authentic. Fuelling engagement with the trade audience has been a key pillar to their success. And often it’s driven by the distribution of lower cost higher frequency digital content: competitions and giveaways, still photography, short product video demonstrations and practical how-to videos. They provide distinct content with the right tone of voice that adds value.
With Bunnings and other pockets of increased competition from new players like Amazon, the traditional reseller channel and trade brands are under serious structural pressures to stay focused on the tradie as decision maker and ensure that they get the experience right for them. If anything, shifting market conditions can be a helpful prompt to reflect on the authenticity and relevance of the brand experience.
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