As a construction product manufacturer it is often hard to know where to start when trying to market your product, or offers such as CPD, to specifiers. It has always been a challenge how best to reach, inform and influence specifiers, engineers, contractors, housebuilders and merchants. The construction marketer has to understand a number of target personas and their preferred methods of staying informed. This blog has been written referencing our Construction Media Index research into traditional and digital communication channels used by construction industry decision makers.

How do specifiers source construction product information?

The internet is often the starting point for specifiers looking for product information; search engines, publications, social media, product directories and manufacturer websites all provide data. Despite an increased choice of online information sources, the Construction Media Index research shows that construction manufacturers’ websites are still a key point of engagement. Construction decision makers also value direct contact, with the option to email, call and talk with manufacturers.

Construction manufacturer’s’ website is the most regularly used source for product info… Click To Tweet

Use of search engines

Are construction product directories still of value when marketing construction products?

The Construction Media Index research shows that on average product directories are used by just over half of construction decision makers, although this does vary across professions. Perhaps this figure is a reflection of the growing number of ways to source product information?

Architects use product directories significantly more than contractors. The construction marketer needs to consider a strategy that takes this into account. With an approach that engages architects but also another that encourages contractors to stay with the specification and not switch.

use of product directories

How do construction professionals use social media? Is it a relevant tool for the construction marketer?

Just over a half of construction decision makers use social networks for work. In general Twitter and LinkedIn are the most popular networks. The Construction Media Index reveals that most construction industry decision makers use more than one social network for work and the social media channels used vary with profession. Those aged 36 – 55 are more active on social media for work than other age groups. Possibly the under 36s use social media less for work because their roles involve less decision making.

Social media is now established and needs to be considered in your marketing mix. It is important to choose the social networks that your key personas are active on. It is also important to listen and engage, not just broadcast.

Over 1/2 of #construction professionals use social for work. Twitter & LinkedIn is most… Click To Tweet

Use of social

Are construction trade publications still read? Should I be spending my marketing budget on advertising?

Construction publications in recent years have made a shift from hardcopy to digital. On average a 1/3rd of decision makers in the construction industry are reading journals only online. With just under a 1/3rd of construction decision makers expecting their online readership to increase in the coming year. Construction Media Index research demonstrates that respondents use hardcopy journals to browse information and online journals as reference. In general all age groups have similar reading habits, but there are variations across the professions. The popularity of titles also varies across professions.

With many different channels to reach your target market there are more options than old style advertising. Online magazines allow greater transparency on ROI, particularly with advertorials, with statistics such as page views and clicks. With online there is opportunity for interactive media. It is down to the marketer to determine value and if levels of advertising spend seen in past budgets is continuing to provide ROI.

A 1/3rd of decision makers in the construction industry are reading journals ONLY online Click To Tweet

magazine readership

How can I use construction CPD in my marketing plan?

CPD is an invaluable tool for engaging with specifiers. A third of decision makers participate in CPD, this is much higher for architects and engineers. Although Online CPD is being widely used the majority of respondents prefer to have CPD delivered in their office.

CPD is a great opportunity to get face to face with the specifier and it should be treated as a marketing tool. Just because CPD is technical does not mean that your seminar should not be well written and presented. And remember that delivering the seminar is not the end of the process but the start. You need to define a series of follow-up actions to ensure that you get the maximum return from the visit.

use of cpd

Further thoughts on communicating with construction specifiers

Well written specifications make it easy to specify and minimise spec switching. BIM and CAD content is a must when marketing construction products. Another tool is customer service: helplines and support, installation guidance/training, order tracking etc. Make full use of online references like YouTube and Barbour Product Search. And don’t underestimate the power of a well-designed website with product information downloads.

Product manufacturers need to have a strategic presence online to get in front of construction decision makers. Manufacturers’ websites and emailing a manufacturer are the most regularly used sources for product information. Our Construction Media Index also shows key decision makers in construction are more likely to read online publications than hardcopy magazines & journals. This online presence though needs to be complemented by real person support.

 

cta-whitepaper-download

 

Further information:

The Construction Media Index provides insight into what key decision makers in the industry read and where they source information. Each Construction Media Index report takes a comprehensive look at online and hardcopy journal readership, digital readership, usage of social networks for work, sources of product information and ideas, sources of technical information, use of product directories and CPD.

 

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