PPG Refinish Case Study – Content Marketing

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PPG Refinish Case Study – Content Marketing


WANTED: Digitally Driven Content Marketing Plan
REWARD: Internal Alignment, Engaging Outreach

AKHIA has partnered with PPG Refinish, a provider of vehicle coating products, for roughly nine years—a period during which we’ve helped to convey engaging messages to PPG Refinish’s audiences. In 2015, PPG Refinish decided to take that mission even further as we embarked on a mission to develop a comprehensive digital content marketing strategy that would promote greater message alignment and audience engagement.

“Our business generates a lot of traditional content for all of our brands and services,” said Steve Martinez, Interactive Marketing Supervisor for PPG. “Over the years, we’ve worked to adapt that content for online use. It’s worked, but we definitely felt it could be done a lot better. We wanted to focus on a digital marketing content strategy to take things to the next level, coordinate our traditional communications, and provide a digital content plan that helps our customers become the best at what they do.”

We started where all great content strategies should—by defining an editorial mission statement. For a little background, PPG sells paint, primers and other coating products that go on vehicles, and those coatings are purchased or applied by a wide variety of professionals. With this in mind, PPG Refinish committed to becoming an industry-leading source of relevant content as part of a mission to drive the success of painters, shop owners and car enthusiasts by providing colorful content that educates, inspires and supports achievement of their business goals.

Once the team aligned around this rally cry, we sought to better understand the audiences we’d be addressing. After a few in-depth meetings with long-time industry experts from PPG, we had created detailed audience personas, and we were ready to ensure whatever we created would position PPG Refinish as a brand its audience members know, like and trust.

“At first, creating personas seemed pointless. We felt like we already knew who our customers and product users were—after all, we have several decades of experience in our industry,” Martinez said. “But after creating personas for the various types of people that interact with us—it really helped us think about everyone we want to communicate with. It’s easy to think your content is good for everyone, but when you really put it down on paper, you can see where you might be missing an opportunity to help certain customers with their needs.”

The team then tackled topics, delving into the most important stories that internal PPG Refinish stakeholders felt needed to be shared throughout the year. We balanced those messages with insights on what audience members care about, and ultimately emerged with a detailed content calendar shaped not by guesswork, but by audience needs, expert insights and a proven strategy for driving brand affinity.

“We are now in a great place organizationally, with a clear understanding of what messages are being shared by different departments, when they are being shared, and how they are performing digitally. Martinez noted “We are also thinking more clearly about audience interests and pain points, as well as how we’re informing audience members at different stages in the buyer journey. Content marketing is nothing crazy—as always, we are still providing our audiences with important messages. But with this new strategic approach, we’re firing on all cylinders. By organizing our messaging, we can provide value not only to our own teams, but contribute to our own customers’ success.”

Want to know more? Contact us to learn more about the PPG Refinish/AKHIA relationship, our content marketing approach and how we might be able to help you create a similar strategy to better resonate with your audiences.

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