Interview With The Truma Marketing Coordinator

We catch up with Holly Clarke of Truma

By William Coleman

I am sure everyone has come face to face with Truma products, either in a van or at a show, probably both. They are more than just a heating and air con company, they are very much on the forefront new innovative tech within the industry.

When it comes to the marketing side of a caravan or motorhome you have so many tools at your disposal; the life style, freedom, layout and even different media packages. But what about the tech that goes into the van? How do you market that? And how do you make sure you stand out to the masses?

A lot of people buy a caravan based off of what technology is inside, we are very much in a tech driven age now. I wanted to find out more so I had a catch with Holly Clarke to ask how does one go about making a tech product so popular in the world of caravanning.

So Holly, you’re the Marketing Coordinator at Truma. How long have you been with the company?

Yes I am and loving it, I was offered the role in February 2016 where I had a one-day taster at the Feb NEC show where we launched the iNet. I was thrown in the deep end where I quickly realised what a close knit team they were which I think is so important. I started the role in March 2016.

During your time at Truma how much have things changed in regard to the rise of social media, and how the caravan world is slowly starting come around to the idea of using social media as a tool for advertising?

We’ve always tried to be friendly and engaging because we believe this is vital. Businesses’ like ours have used Social media for the last 10 years with a goal of increasing Likes and Followers.

We use it as a way of showing our friendly and engaging side putting a face to the company. Now social media is our most appealing channel for advertising and tapping into a wider more diverse audience who have the potential/means to buy a motorhome or caravan.

We make our content engaging and educational by posting inspirational messages, how they would benefit from our products to solve a problem they might have and to show them the lifestyle they can achieve all via this simple platform.

We now use social media as a tool for our customer service and technical too, we regularly receive technical questions via Facebook/Twitter as well as email, so we are able demonstrate a personal one-on-one level of communication and quickly too.

Facebook and Twitter has become a forum for caravanners to share their stories about “Life in their van” but to also transfer knowledge about the best products to buy and offer reviews to help each other make that all important decision.which in this industry is never on a whim, it’s not a cheap investment to buy a caravan!

Truma seem to have a very strong presence at all the shows you attend. We’ve seen you in both Germany and the UK and have been impressed with how interactive your stands are. What kind of work goes into putting Truma front and centre at the shows?

We start preparing for the shows around 3 months in advance, our head office and Marketing team in Putzbrunn plan the concept to run initially at the Caravan Salon, Dusseldorf in August and this is replicated at all shows around the globe for that particular year.adapting to suit each market of course.

Here in the UK, I customise the stand by using contractors and colleagues to meet our global standards. We use a digital agency to create the technical displays and have a very close relationship with them using them year on year and so trust them to set the displays up for us on build up, stay at the show for back up support and then break down on the last day.

We make sure that our displays are interactive to reflect the digitalisation of Truma and the connectivity we’ve made by our products working in unison, our Combi heating and Air con unit work together with clever automatic climate control to create a personalised climate.

Then there is our iNet system which acts as a central unit to remotely control the heating and air con and more recently to check the level of gas left in your cylinder! We are there to support our Dealers and Manufacturers too by placing members of our technical team and product displays on their stand so we’re on hand for their customers when making a purchase.

Not only do we attend the big shows such as NEC, Manchester and the Scottish show, we attend and support the Clubs at their Summer rallies too. These are less informal so we get time to chat with the customers and help out with any technical queries they might have but also to join in the activities run by the clubs.

In the past we have hosted Oktoberfest on the Saturday evening at the CAMC National where we provided entertainment, a Bavarian feast and personalised steins for guest to take home. It adds a sense of fun into the mix so we don’t come across as too technical. We are a family run company and like to show this whenever we can!

Marketing on board air-con and heating systems must take a very different approach to say caravans or motorhomes. How do you keep things fresh and different so as to stand out?

We design our products with the customer in mind and all the scenarios that a person may come across on their caravan or motorhome holidays. We put ourselves in their shoes and create a product that fits their personal journey.

Our lifestyle imagery creates an emotion that everyone can relate to and hopefully inspires them to “want to be that person”. For a real-life experience at the shows we bought a caravan and turned it into a demonstration space that could truly be their own. We take our time with customers showing them the roof-mounted and under compartment air con; feel it in operation, hear how quiet it is and to use the automatic climate control to set their own comfortable temperature.

The February show at the NEC in Birmingham is just around the corner. Does Truma have anything special planned you can share with us here at CaravanTimes?

We recently launched our brand new roof-mounted Aventa compact air conditioning system to add to our portfolio. Smaller in size to fit on roofs with limited space in between any solar panels, satellite dishes, skylights, roof racks etc you might have but still with the same cooling output for medium to large leisure vehicles. This show we will be introducing our Aventa compact plus which is the same size and style as its “Little sister” the compact but with an even higher cooling output.

You guys featured on Amazing Spaces on Channel for a couple of weeks back. That must have been a great experience and exposure for you guys?

Hmmmm we didn’t get a mention but we were filmed throughout the whole install of the Air con on the Silver Streak named “Priscilla” as well as our friend George Clarke carried out an interview with the couple going through all the benefits of the air con and iNet system (George sometimes attends the NEC show so I will be having words if I see him!).

He loved the product and tech aspect of automatic climate control and linking it to our iNet system but unfortunately, we didn’t make the cut. You can see the air con in the background though!

One last question, I promise. What can our readers expect from the Truma team in 2019?

Moving forward we are connecting even more with our retailers giving them value added services. We’ve seen a huge rise in demand for aftermarket fits such as our air conditioning systems, Solar and particularly our iNet system. To make sure we are offering a speedy reaction to these market demands we are setting up a team of Mobile Support engineers to provide our network of Dealers a fitting service and carrying out repairs as and when they need.

For anyone who has Truma products or want to find out more can visit them directly via their website, or contact them directly of Facebook or Twitter, and do not be shy as they are here to help.