My role at Aquatherm as a member of a small marketing team fell between two areas: Art direction and content creation. I helped guide the website design and collateral and catalog production. The fun part of working in a small team is the collaboration while wearing multiple hats. I thrive in that situation.
The challenge of working with Aquatherm was the product. No other way to say it but, pipe. A commodity that, in most minds, hasn’t innovated in 100 years. The lesson in this for me was to realize that while the common consumer cares little, there is someone who does care about pipe and they are the ones who hold the purse strings or counsel with the purchasing department. My first job was to understand who that person was and help them get what they needed. They cared about pipe and I needed to know why.
I didn’t really change my relationship with the elements of water and gray-material flow, although I did appreciate the potential dangers involved. However, I did learn to care about the people who cared about pipe. That was the key.
Initially, I began working with Aquatherm as a freelance content creator specifically producing video to help educate their customers and potential customers. I created case studies, how-tos, and a series of instructional videos. In fact, we created an app that trade workers could reference for learning how to use a tools in the field.
Video is a powerful tool for reducing man-hour tasks into specific content to address customer needs. The library of content we generated was deep and targeted.
Rockin’ videos in the USA. It’s what Americans do!
Photography is such a key element in a company’s brand. This was one of the areas I saw that we could differentiate Aquatherm from the competition by showing how much care we took in these areas – from products to people – it all mattered.
One of the standard components of the industrial world is a product catalog. It’s the first thing they ask for (No saving trees in this world). I provided art direction and photography to the marketing designer to make the dense information more accessible and give it a polished feel. The catalog took on the look of a coffee table book with heroic photography and functional design.
Everyone likes good reading material to go along with their pipes. Why fight it?
In association with the various case study videos, we created industry-specific collateral that illustrated the application of Aquatherm’s solution to particular needs. These were used by the dealer network and sales engineers in the field and at trade shows to help bridge the gap of entrenched competition.
More paper in the pipeline with the option of downloadable PDFs. We couldn’t quite flush the old ways.
I loved the scrappy nature of my time at Aquatherm. I celebrated the successes and gritted my teeth alongside the others when we needed to buckle down. Our efforts to enhance the clarity of the product to the people who would value it paid dividends in market share growth and expansion. We cared about the industry and showed our customers the dignity they deserved by providing the tools they needed to succeed.