Marketing of OHS
By the late George Robotham
Sometimes skills from other disciplines can be applied successfully to OHS, one such skill set is marketing. I have attended some marketing training but admittedly the focus was on marketing consultancy services. What I have tried to do with the following is provide are a few marketing tips I think can be applied to the work of an OHS professional in a normal employer employee relationship.
Marketing is putting the right product in the right place, at the right time, at the right place. You have to create a product people want.
In an employer employee OHS relationship monetary cost may not be regarded as a factor but there will be a cost in time and effort. In the situation where corporate OHS people are internal OHS consultants there may well be costs of running the corporate OHS department allocated to business units.
Like a lot of things in life the 7 P rule applies to marketing – Prior Preparation and Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance.
Have an OHS marketing plan with ideal customers specified, a vision, a customer mission statement, goals and objectives.
Marketing people talk about the 4 P marketing mix – Product, Place, Price, Promotion. It pays to put a lot of work into defining these. People buy products not services and carefully defining your products is vital.
Once you have defined you marketing approach get feedback from your customers to ensure it is really what they want.
- Increased product use through creating an interest in my products.
- Get more repeat customers.
- Raise my professional profile.
- Launch new products.
- Increase client recommendations.
- Improve relationships with customers.
- Educate relevant professionals and business operators in Safety.
- Be a credible source of best practice information for Safety professionals.
- Focus communications on the C.E.O. and senior management when applicable.
- Formula for advertisements – Attention, Interest, Desire, Attention.
- Have a Unique Selling Proposition that clearly differentiates you from others doing similar things, put a lot of work into defining this.
- Say thank you to customers.
- Give customers What’s In It For Me from their perspective.
- Give them an offer they cannot refuse.
- Show the customer how the product will benefit them.
- Keep in contact with old customers much easier to sell to than getting new customers.
- Have a call to action.
- Always treat the customer like a King or Queen – If you do not your competitors will.
- People buy benefits but want to know features.
- Word of mouth from satisfied customers is the best advertising, if they are happy they may tell one person, if they are not they will tell 20.
- Write papers for safety journals and Linkedin OHS forums, internal publications, present papers at conferences.
- Put safety materials on the company web site.
- Record customer details and what they buy.
- Get customer feedback, always make a call after a sale.
- Customer discussion group, sandwich lunch, with incentives to attend, to discuss my latest ideas.
- Send regular e-mail updates.
- Ask for referrals and put on web site, reward customers for referrals.
- Have a regular newsletter to clients and make available through subscription on the web site.
Marketing skills can improve the impact of OHS initiatives. A basic search on Google will reveal a number of good, relevant ideas. As I said before – Always treat the customer like a King or Queen-If you do not your competitors will.