Quick to respond

Nathan Bushell
Nathan Bushell

Lasco director Nathan Bushell believes that speed of response is important in a changing marketing landscape.

When I began trade journalism 25 years ago, marketing channels were limited, and those that existed were slow and laborious.

Editors would receive press releases by post along with professionally taken photos that had been developed and reprinted enough times to cover the trade press outlets.

By the time the news desk had received these stories, they had gone through numerous iterations and corrections, often carried out by post (later by fax), and reflected events that had taken place weeks beforehand.

But that was the speed of the trade press news cycle, and it was a model that suited everyone involved because marketing messages were timed to coincide with product launches and key events.

Since the late 1990s, things have changed. The trade press landscape has evolved, along with the rest of marketing and communications. Today, if you were to operate a business model that was similar in structure and urgency than what existed at the start of the century, then you wouldn’t last very long.

For a start, we expect events to be reported on immediately, via social media, and we should be prepared for – or even encourage – a conversation with our target audience in real time and in the public space.

The trade press, for their part, have risen to this challenge, and have created a hybrid model where they have created an online platform alongside traditional printed magazines – which still have an important role to play.

But it’s not just the speed of delivery, but the way it changes, and how one way of communicating with customers may suit one company, but may be irrelevant for others.

Ultimately, it comes down to flexibility and the ability to react quickly. And it is this agility that allows you to capitalise on that shifting landscape .

Video, for example, is part of our content gathering process, we film interviews and take b-roll footage (the bits we cut away to, to help tell the story) to create a series of short videos that can be used across multiple platforms.

We offer this as part of our core retainer, because we believe this is a fundamental expectation you should have of your marketing agency. Not being able to offer a video service is like sending out press releases without photos.

If you were to subcontract out this element of your marketing strategy, you risk losing control of the overall message. Plus, creating videos isn’t a one-off. You should be meeting your clients – or their customers – every couple of months to create more video content. Employing a third party to do this will become expensive if nothing else.

And without video, you are missing out on huge opportunities. Chief among these is the great engagement you get on LinkedIn, e-shots, and the trade press. And by writing complementary editorial that can also be shared across multiple channels, you can build and reinforce those marketing messages that help you build brand authority.

The way we communicate is constantly changing. Together with the industry media, we can stay one step ahead of these changes – like we have in recent years – to develop successful marketing strategies.