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JEC World 2024 round-up: Stepping into a universe of endless opportunities  

JEC World – the epicentre of innovation and ingenuity in the B2B composites world. From automotive breakthroughs to aerospace marvels, it’s the place where the future of materials – quite literally in some cases – takes shape. And with it came a treasure trove of insights and inspiration to inform our advanced materials customers’ marketing strategies and propel their brands to new heights. Here are just a few of our key takeaways!  

Sustainability: A non-negotiable  

The growing emphasis on sustainability in the composites industry reflects the broader societal shift towards eco-consciousness. But it’s the realisation of ground-breaking eco-friendly technologies and manufacturing processes that are truly propelling it forward, as demonstrated by this year’s Startup Booster. From low carbon construction materials and nano electronics to breakthrough delamination technology – the solutions and technologies on offer from these emerging companies were truly remarkable. 

As stewards of change in the composites industry, brands must not only embrace sustainability as a business priority but also creatively showcase their dedication to it through compelling marketing and communications efforts. Only then can they truly leverage sustainability as a cornerstone of their competitive advantage and industry leadership.  

This means that sustainability marketing is no longer just a trendy buzzword – it’s a strategic imperative driving the future of the industry. And while not entirely absent, there was a distinct lack of ingenuity when it came to the conveyance of sustainability messages.  In an era where consumers and businesses alike are actively seeking eco-conscious solutions, this seems like a missed opportunity. Furthermore, failing to communicate a commitment to sustainability entirely risks undermining brand credibility and relevance.   

The age of employer branding  

Another significant theme throughout the show was recruitment and talent acquisition, with a newly dedicated space for training and education. A packed schedule of sessions offered insights on the state of recruitment in the composites industry, making it clear that it is one characterised by both opportunities and challenges. With growth from sectors such as aerospace, automotive, renewable energy and construction, there is a distinct need for skilled professionals across various disciplines, including materials science, engineering, manufacturing and design. But there is equally a prominent shortage of such specialised skills and expertise, particularly in emerging areas, such as advanced manufacturing technologies and composite materials development. So why should marketers care?  

This is where employer branding becomes crucial. Referring to the reputation and perception of a company as an employer, it encompasses factors like workplace culture, values, career development, opportunities and overall employee experience. In a competitive labour market, a strong employer brand could be the difference in differentiating from its competitors and attracting high-quality candidates. Afterall, the future success of a company lies in its ability to bring in the next generation of the very best talent, right? The time to invest is now.   

No one-size-fits-all approach  

It’s no secret that the composites industry serves a wide range of sectors, each with its own set of requirements, challenges and applications – from aerospace and marine to sports and leisure, healthcare, and everything in between. Attempting to apply a one-size-fits-all approach to collateral or marketing campaign in such a multifaceted landscape just won’t cut it. However, it’s evident from conversations with marketers at the event that there’s often a significant lack of resources, time and/or budget dedicated to developing tailored messages or customised campaigns. This discrepancy is concerning given the disparity between the target audiences and their respective needs.   

To truly resonate with stakeholders across the various sectors, marketers should prioritise the allocation of resources towards crafting messaging and campaigns that speak directly to the unique challenges and preferences of each market segment. Failure to do so risks diluting the effectiveness of marketing efforts and missing out on valuable opportunities for engagement and connection.  

Final thoughts  

JEC World is more than just a trade show – it’s a catalyst for industry advancement, a nexus of collaboration and a springboard for businesses to seize the vast opportunities that lie in the ever-evolving world of composites. For marketers, it’s a clearcut opportunity to up the ante and stand out in what is effectively a blue and white industry.  

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