Case Study: North Central Terrazzo Association (NCTA)

Written by:

Filed under: Web Design

Case Study: North Central Terrazzo Association (NCTA)

Terrazzo is a centuries-old material that is often used as a flooring surface in large, high-traffic sites such as schools, airports, and stadiums. In 1965, the North Central Terrazzo Association (NCTA) was founded to promote the usage of terrazzo on behalf of its member contractors in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

Canright Communications just began its third year of promoting terrazzo to the architects and designers who specify it for building flooring. Our multimedia campaign is designed to promote awareness and consists of web, email, trade show, and print elements.

The first improvement we made to the NCTA’s marketing strategy was a branding redesign, starting with the website. As the home base of the NCTA’s Internet presence, the website needed to impress visitors with a strong brand message. We cleaned up the design, improved the site architecture, and wrote new website copy. The result has been higher site traffic, improved user experience, and the clear communication of the NCTA’s mission.

Once we had established a look, feel, and voice of the NCTA, our next initiative was drastically improving upon their email newsletter. We needed to produce something that interior designers and architects would not only open, but also share with their colleagues.

We are responsible for the writing, design, and distribution of the monthly NCTA email newsletter. We gave the emails a slick, uncluttered design that synced perfectly with the branding on their new website. Every email features a new terrazzo project by one of the NCTA’s member contractors. Because architects and designers are visual people, the email recipients can now see large, high-resolution photos of the project; learn which architects, designers, and suppliers worked on it; and read a few paragraphs for even more detail.

As we worked on the e-newsletter, we noticed two things. First, it became apparent that some terrazzo projects were so impressive that they needed a different medium to really shine. Second, we began to see trends in uses for terrazzo that deserved greater communication than the case-study format of the emails permitted.

The NCTA also had two annual publications that were in need of an overhaul. One, Project Spotlight, gives outstanding projects a larger medium through which to show off. This is a print piece distributed twice a year to the NCTA’s mailing list. We noticed that the design was not making the most of the beautiful picture of terrazzo. We expanded the photos and improved the copy, often focusing on the inspiration of the designers as well as the practical uses for terrazzo: It’s durable, low-maintenance, and environmentally friendly.

The NCTA’s other publication, Hard Facts, presents new trends, applications, and design themes that are emerging in terrazzo. We make sure that as many projects as possible are represented in these features. The images speak for themselves, but our writing connects them to larger themes that directly apply to the concerns of architects and designers. In the interest of cost-saving, we moved this publication to ebook form, from print. An example of the Hard Facts delivery email and the “Hard Facts Longevity eBook” are attached.

Both of these annual features have gained popularity and distribution since we took over. We distribute them as PDFs via email and direct-download from the NCTA website. We also print a large number of copies to hand out at trade shows.

Our involvement in each of the NCTA’s six trade shows per year doesn’t stop there. In addition to the marketing booklets, we produce banner stands and interactive slide-show presentations for the NCTA booth.

Our role in the NCTA’s administrative marketing coordination is equally important. We arrange print advertising placements for NCTA contractors; write, design, and manage internal member updates.

For reporting, NCTA received quarterly activity reports and email updates to the Promotions Committee as needed to approve topics and work. We base each year’s activity on a detail budget, which accompanies the activity report.

From the digital world to the real world, our work has polished the image of the NCTA.