Picture the millions of products available from building products manufacturers. Now imagine the hundreds of thousands of professional users (e.g. Architects, Engineers, Designers) across the product landscape who use specification sites each month. While finding a way in for your products to be regularly specified may seem daunting, you can gain traction for your product to be noticed and become successful.
To get your products noticed, we have to start by discussing what makes a specification site. We’ll cover how specification sites work, which ones to consider and then show you why this might be the most important investment that you make next year.
What are we defining as “spec sites” and why should you care?
Building Information Modeling (BIM) object libraries, spec writing sites, product sampling sites, integrators and information sites on their own or used in any combination all represent what we call specification sites.
Breaking down the types of sites that offer some form of specification writing, they include:
- CAD drawing
- BIM libraries
- Spec writing tool
- Product listing sites
- LEED information
- Building product catalogs/databases
- Data sheets
- Product sampling
As to why you should care, the easier you make it for specifiers, the better it is for your products to get noticed. Simple as that.
And going a step further, specification is undergoing a digital transformation in the architecture, engineering and construction industries, making it imperative that brands invest in being listed on specification sites.
Deltek wrote about these emerging technologies in an AIA article, saying that, “businesses expect to increase investments in emerging technologies for project management and project execution to enable new ways of working while increasing profitability.” Many BPMs may be unsure where to begin.
Finding the spec sites that are a fit for you
There are a lot of spec sites that you could potentially work with. How do you know which sites are best for your brand and products?
Don’t be intimidated by the number of options. The first thing to do is define what you’re trying to get out of the spec sites. Look from the perspective of your target audience. Knowing this will help align with the spec sites that are the right fit for your products.
(Click image to download chart)
Let’s take a look at a couple of examples of spec sites and cover some of the aspects of what it is you should look for when determining the right fits.
- Generating leads: Consider a site that provides lead data, such as Sweets ir BSD SpecLink
- Generate specs: Look for sites that offer spec writing, such as SpecPoint, MasterSpec, BSD SpecLink or CAD Details
Ultimately, match your goals with the appropriate sites. Keep in mind that some require different content types. Not all sites are the same.
Make it easier for specifiers to find your products
Be respectful of their time. Do everything you can to help them find your products as they research. They need detailed information from you to put your products in their renderings and specifications. Give them the data; LEED, BIM object, data sheets. Research and place keywords in the copy so your products can be more easily found.
For the specifier, it comes down to time and quality and the good news is that you can control the approach to making it easier for them to work with your products.
Maximizing your spec site investments
According to our Building Products Manufacturers marketers study, we learned that 11% of B2B marketing budgets will be going to BIM/spec/product data. This is higher than any other reported channel distribution.
Yes, you have to be willing to make a budgetary commitment to be successful, but there are other aspects that can make or break your investment as well.
Next stop: 4 ways to get more from spec sites
Our goal here was to give you the starter kit to spec sites, so that you can decide which ones work best for discovering, implementing and analyzing your products' performance.
If you have any questions or want to discuss how you can best implement spec sites into your 2022 planning, set up a time below to talk with our VP, Strategy, Jake Kellogg.