Monday, 16 July 2018
FSC Construction Demand Campaign Review
July 16, 2018
Earlier this year, FSC US deployed a targeted marketing campaign to increase uptake of FSC-certified building materials by builders, focusing initially on the Pacific Northwest (PNW) region. Here’s a brief overview of that campaign, the results we generated, and our planned next steps.
While the campaign assets we created were accessible by anyone online, our paid media campaign targeted property owners, architects, and contractors in the Pacific Northwest.
Our objective was to change the behavior of these audiences, motivating more frequent specification of FSC-certified building materials in construction projects.
To make this happen, we strove to:
- Communicate the benefits of specifying and using FSC-certified building materials
- Mitigate barriers to specifying and using FSC materials
- Capture contact information for further direct engagement
Because our objective was impractical to measure directly, performance was assessed using these metrics:
- FSC Awareness, measured as the number of ad impressions among members of the target audience.
- FSC Understanding, measured as the number of people who acted on the ads and clicked through to the website, which exposed them to the FSC story.
- Demonstrated Intent to use FSC, measured as the number of people who registered to gain access to the FSC Construction Guide and Supplier List.
Campaign Strategy & Components
For a three-month period, we used PNW-targeted online advertising (funded through a grant from the Bullitt Foundation) to drive target audiences to a new FSC Construction microsite.
The microsite sells the benefits of FSC and seeks to overcome barriers to using FSC, taking into consideration how these benefits and barriers differ across our target audience groups. The site also makes the case for FSC-certified wood products as the most sustainable building material, with support to make it easier to source and use in construction projects.
Campaign components included the microsite, a downloadable PDF Construction Guide (inclusive of all the microsite’s content), and an Excel-based Supplier list, with the latter two items provided in exchange for email registration.
Additionally, to drive traffic to the site, we used targeted Facebook ads and Google AdWords funded through our Google for Non-Profits grant.
As a result of the three-month campaign we achieved the following results:
- Awareness: 2 million ad impressions reached 66,700 PNW-based architects, developers, and contractors, resulting in increased awareness of the FSC label in this region.
- Understanding: 9,300 visits to the microsite were triggered by 5,900 individual visitors (many visited multiple times) resulting in significantly increased understanding of FSC with this group.
- Intent: 171 visitors PNW-based architects, developers, and contractors registered to get the PDF version of the Construction Guide and Supplier List, demonstrating clear intent to use FSC.
Microsite registrants included a range of organizations that we will update as new suppliers, information, and website functionality are added. This list represents a start at building a direct line of communication between the PNW construction market and FSC.
Our Next Steps
The current microsite is being updated by the FSC US and Canada teams so it will be appropriate for both US and Canadian markets, including:
- Changing the root domain name to reflect a North American (rather than US-only) audience;
- Updating content to reflect forest regions, standards, etc. across US and Canada;
- Updating the Supplier List to include Canadian suppliers.
Additionally, a separate initiative funded by the Northwest Natural Resource Group will soon allow FSC US to deploy the Supplier List as a searchable web-based experience rather than a downloadable spreadsheet; the web-based display will be built so it can be deployed on websites of other organizations, (e.g., Living Building Challenge, LEED, AIA, etc.). This will eliminate email registration as a barrier to access and provide a more-convenient experience for visitors.
While these steps will enable us to engage target audiences across the US and Canada through our Google Grant and organic traffic generation, full capitalization will require outside investment to support a longer-term paid media campaign.
- Extend campaign in Pacific Northwest: While the initial campaign created a solid marketing ROI, engagement represented only about 7% of the addressable audience in the region. This can be increased progressively by making additional and ongoing investment in promoting to PNW target audiences, using the initial results to optimize, and adding other tactics to improve outcomes.
- Expand campaign to include all of the US and Canada: This campaign’s relevance and utility clearly extends beyond the Pacific Northwest, so to fully capitalize on its potential, we are looking for additional and ongoing investment to promote the destination to US and Canadian target audiences, using our initial results to optimize current tactics and make additions.
- We noted that the marketing cost for this campaign establishes a value benchmark we will seek to meet or exceed in future campaigns.
We’re looking forward to continuing to devise and deploy more potent and comprehensive marketing that can deliver real, tangible results for our certificate holders. We are encouraged at the results of this initial campaign and look forward to working with you to build on it in the months and years to come.