Written by our Summer 2016 intern, Cara Kingsley.
Red brake lights illuminate highways, and cars come to a halt in the middle of morning commutes. Rush-hour becomes unbearable with large sums of people packed into public transportation. If commuting feels long now, just wait 15 years…
Cities globally are experiencing the painful impact of population increase. Our growing population has far-reaching implications for cities trying to maintain sustainable living. According to a report from the business group A Better City, in the Boston area alone “another 80,000 cars and trucks will crowd the roads every work day by 2030, a nearly 5 percent increase from 2010 levels.”
Not only will the increase in commuters increase travel time, but it will also cause rapid decay for a city’s roads, transit, air quality and quality of living.
“There are many areas that will need some substantive attention if our infrastructure is going to keep pace with our economy,” said Richard Dimino, CEO of A Better City.
The growing population will need improved:
- Waste Management
- Sustainability (especially regarding air pollution)
Who’s going to fix these problems?
Thankfully there are companies that are working hard to resolve these issues and promote sustainability. But getting news of these solutions, technologies and research to intended audiences is difficult. While it’s easy to rail at the challenges urban centers face, there seems to be less acceptance of solutions, especially information from start-ups and smaller companies seeking momentum and adoption. So how do these companies reach their audiences?
B2B marketing is complex. The suggestions below can help communicate solutions the burdens a growing population create for urban infrastructure, and can help the companies providing the solution reach influential audiences.
- Public Affairs: Public affairs as a platform to achieve strategic goals is a must for organizations activating change. Raising challenges and presenting solutions to the general public may drive goodwill and awareness, but does it motivate influencers who can make a difference at a corporate or governmental level? A public affairs initiative can elevate a corporate story from news to cause-related, or uncover opportunities to speak to government leaders influential in specific industries.
Pro Tip: “Keep this fact top-of-mind: Behind any public policy challenge, are real people. When policymakers are your target audience, it’s all about the ‘show’ and less about the ‘tell.’ Provide tangible demonstrations of the strong support for a given policy solution and your issue will gain traction within the halls of power. A robust, nimble public engagement program can accomplish this by educating and, more importantly, activating constituencies relevant to policymakers.” – Saleem Cheeks, Counselor, Public Affairs
- Digital: How well does your website perform when searching for keys words related to your product or service? How accessible is your site across devices? Taking a critical look at your website and SEO efforts, and improving both where warranted, can increase your awareness as potential clients search businesses in your industry. The more convenient and efficient it is to find your business, the more brand recognition and credibility you will receive. For example, there are many companies that help builders and architects comply with the myriad codes and regulations for the sustainable housing market. A strong digital presence helps a business rise to the top of what can be a cluttered environment.
Pro Tip: “In this world where the number of devices are multiplying like rabbits, everything needs to be fully responsive. Today, more than half of internet traffic is from a mobile device. If your site isn’t conducive to this environment, then you’re going to lose a huge number of visitors.” –Erin Mooney, front end developer, digital
- Advertising: Brand your solution with clarity, and in a way that drives affection relevance and trust. A strong brand voice and image drives brand loyalty, and helps prospective customers understand the offerings and values of a company. Sustainability is a popular subject and there is a lot of competition among companies that provide solutions.
Pro Tip: “Big ideas rule the landscape. Public art captures attention. Create your own “advertising” channels by owning content when you create, promote, insert and measure… then repeat.” – Kevin Hart, Partner, Creative Director
- Public Relations: Driving brand awareness is best done through strategic public relations. Create two-way conversations between you and your public. Ensure your communication is dynamic. Use social media, blogs and other content to stimulate an audience’s interest in your business. PR helps inform consumers and businesses through digital media, media, special events, experiential marketing, content marketing, community relations and more.
Pro Tip: Forming the right story – one with resonance and repeatability – and surrounding target audiences with it helps raise awareness and condition the market for solutions to sustainability challenges. -Mark O’Toole, managing director, PR
News and information can travel fast in today’s world. As urban density increases and human travel slows down even more, how will your story rise above the congestion?