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Get Building Products Specified: Avoid These Marketing Mistakes

It’s been said that drama is anticipation mingled with uncertainty. For building products marketers trying to get specified by architects and designers, this couldn’t be more true.

You’re anticipating that your marketing communications and sales efforts will lead to specification results. Meanwhile, architects and designers are uncertain if building products manufacturers will provide them with the proper technical information, inspirational messaging and no-nonsense representation from their sales team. If your messaging and their needs aren’t aligned, you may be making critical marketing mistakes and failing to connect with your audiences.

In my last blog, I examined how building product marketers can better understand the specification path that architects and designers take and lay a foundation for effectively communicating with them. This week, I’ll highlight some of the biggest marketing mistakes brands make when attempting to connect with architects and designers. And more importantly, how to avoid them.

Marketing Mistake Examples Building Products Manufacturers Make:

  1. Insufficient websites. It’s no secret that architectural libraries are a thing of the past and that architecture and design firms conduct product research through online sources. But we find that many manufacturers’ websites often fall short on delivering the right user experience to their specification audiences. In order to influence specification, your website should have a dedicated section for architects, designers and other specifiers and your assets should be easily accessible. Don’t make the marketing mistake of forcing specifiers to search for key specification details.
  2. Self-promotional content. According to a 2016 Demand Gen study, 96% of B2B buyers want content with more input from industry thought leaders. B2B marketers tend to deploy content marketing tactics that connect directly to their products or services, while their audiences seek content to research their own business ideas. There’s clearly a disconnect. Getting specified requires a valued-partner approach, not a typical sales pitch. Remove the drama by educating your specifiers and taking a thought-leadership position that tackles their most pressing challenges.
  3. Break-worthy messaging. The way your messaging is received by architects and designers can make or break you. In one study, an architect indicated that he would never specify a certain product because he disagreed with the way its advertisement described architects and their talents. To avoid this marketing mistake, make sure you connect with architects and designers on their own terms, fully understanding their needs and aligning your messaging to their beliefs. Remove the drama by talking to architects and designers on their terms.
  4. Poor representation. One sure-fire marketing mistake to eliminate your future business with architects and designers is for your salesforce to communicate false information on product lead time or availability. Specifiers value an honest approach, even if that means you can’t deliver on their product requests by their deadline. Ensure transparency by employing sales reps that are knowledgeable, trustworthy and straightforward.
  5. Ignoring SEO. Your digital footprint, from website copy to offsite content, should have a keyword strategy behind it. Make sure what you’re writing about is of interest to the architect and specifier audience by doing keyword research in advance of content creation. Over time, the right keywords can improve your site’s performance dramatically, along with making sure the right audiences are clicking through to your site.
  6. Not diversifying your content. Blogging has taken the spotlight as the preferred approach for B2B marketers to connect with their audiences. According to a 2017 Hubspot survey, 53% of marketers say blog content creation is their top inbound marketing priority. But if you’re not producing content in the formats and mediums that resonate most with architects and specifiers, you’re missing the boat. Along with regular blog posts, product information, and technical guides, consider including videos, sponsored or native content, tools, quarterly magazines, case studies, portfolios and inspirational pieces.
  7. Overlooking social. The architect and specifier audience may not engage professionally on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, but that doesn’t mean they don’t leisurely scroll. Avoid the marketing mistake of simply using your brand’s social media profiles to push stale site content. Start the conversation via social by posting alternative, lighter, and more visual content that entertains, and don’t forget to differentiate the message across platforms.

For more thoughts around creating better experiences with specifiers, watch our video to see how one architect goes about creating specifications, or download our e-book on winning building product specifications. Rest assured, we left the drama out of it.

Topics: Building Products Manufacturing