CPDs are undoubtedly one of the best ways to reach specifiers. They allow product manufacturers to engage with specifiers on a personal level and provide the opportunity for industry professionals to keep up with the latest trends. A good CPD should strike an acute balance between informative technical content, thought leadership and sales generation; so why do so many specifiers misconceive these presentations as blunt sales tools that offer little in terms of practical advice?
Marketers and audiences alike often perceive the CPD medium as a top-down process that adopts the “hard sell” as a primary approach; unfortunately, this perception isn’t entirely untrue. With many organisations conducting CPDs that position sales over quality information, target audiences often feel that their needs aren’t met.
Despite these preconceptions, we know architects and specifiers still want and need effective CPDs. Acting upon extensive research from within the construction industry, we take a more pragmatic approach.
Agency Spring knows that putting audiences at the heart of a presentation, through an astute understanding of their industry pain points, enables CPDs to engage with their viewers on a more human level. It is imperative to understand what motivates specifiers to create CPDs that offer relevant solutions to their problems. Once you provide material that helps solve their problems, the likelihood of engaging specifiers with your brand and products is vastly increased.
As an agency that has over 30 years of experience in the architecture and construction industry, we have been able to apply the insights of an extensive network of architects, contractors and project managers to our work. As a result, we have been able to understand what makes a CPD effective, engaging and efficient as both an educational and sales tool.
Here are our four simple steps to revolutionise your CPD presentations:
The first step towards disarming your audience’s preconceptions is to pique their curiosity.
The opening gambit of any CPD should be to discuss a concept that is highly relevant to the viewer’s industry. In doing this you are evidencing an understanding of your audience’s needs, and therefore your brand can be perceived as an insightful thought leader who has the potential to help.
2. Inform, Educate, Entertain
Once a CPD has gained the attention of its audience, the next step is to provide information that informs, educates and entertains. Sustaining a flow of relevant knowledge that helps specifiers better understand their problem enables your brand to become a trusted source. It is important to recognise that the product you are trying to sell to your target market has yet to be revealed. Exploring your audience’s industry and pain points is far more effective in generating engagement at this point.
3. The Big Idea
Now that you have outlined the problems your audience face, you should introduce the big idea behind your product. Specifiers are always looking for innovative, inspiring ideas that they can relate to, and it is essential that the product you are trying to sell is positioned as an effective, real-world answer to the problems you have outlined. Show your audience how it works for them.
At this point, your audience should have accepted the benefits of your product through insightful, informative material and examples. Now you must differentiate your brand from the rest of the market.
Focus the CPD on your company’s originality and how your product is specifically designed to overcome industry’s pain points. If possible, utilising a model or demonstration can be particularly helpful at this point. Giving your audience a tactile understanding of your product provides a sense of uniqueness and professionalism.
By following these steps, your CPD audience should leave the session informed, engaged and receptive to your brand and product. By positioning your brand as a thought leader whose objective is to help and not sell, your product automatically becomes more appealing to the target audience because it has been contextualised as a solution, not a commodity.
Agency Spring has a long history of writing engaging and effective CPD programmes.
With our content overseen by an experienced architect and former practice owner, we can assist you in creating CPDs that are acutely aligned with the needs of the specifier market.
To see a case study of our latest CPD programme for VELUX, please click here.
For more information regarding CPD services, please contact Agency Spring at email@example.com.