Admittedly, the North American hardwood lumber industry has a great story to tell when it comes to environmental responsibility. We have excellent forest management practices and resource sustainability. It is no surprise we have been speaking to that point for decades.
The point of globalization is also not new to us. We have been exporting lumber to customers and dealing with competition from foreign suppliers on similar products for years. European beech and white oak are just a few examples of that. However, there is an argument that can be made today that information is moving more quickly and decisions have to be made in a more expeditious manner than ever before to be successful.
But when it comes to technology we both agreed that was an area which has significantly changed the marketing environment we operate in, (and continues to do so).
Content creation, website management, search engine optimization, the nurturing of social media communities, and the utilization of marketing automation programs is where the majority of a marketer’s time is spent these days. And to complicate it more, the use, mix and tone of message can be vastly different depending on the audience you are trying to make an impression on.
The other area that we agreed was impacting the marketing environment we work in is the changing demographic of our target market. For the past several decades the hardwood lumber industry has been led by members of the silent generation and baby boomers. We all know that is changing. Representatives of the silent generation have almost all exited the workforce. Baby boomers continue to retire at an increasing rate and a vast majority of people in the workplace are now representatives of the Gen X and Millennial generation.
From a marketer’s perspective this is important because they consume information differently, gain product knowledge differently and make decisions differently than the people we used to market to just a few years ago. Which means what worked in the past is not necessarily what is going to work in the future making the realities of the marketing environment as challenging as ever. And possibly the skills your marketing team needs to be successful today are different than what they are or used to be.
So what can you expect? From my perspective I would say expect more change. The impact of technology on marketing tactics and programs will continue to evolve quickly. (Just take a look at what devices people are using to access your website. You might be surprised). Watch for more “big data analytics” opportunities to emerge. Embrace technology, be a user of it, and find a way to leverage it to make your marketing more effective.
Do you have another marketing reality you are dealing with? Chime in and let us know.