Challenges Manufacturers Make When Marketing To Contractors

5 unique things about marketing to contractors

  • Many contractors are out on the job site all day long. Once a job is complete, their “office” changes locations. So what does that mean for you? It means your campaigns need to be optimized for mobile devices. Smartphone use among Equipment World’s audience reached 70% in 2013. Set your online campaigns to mobile preferred and make sure your website and emails are optimized for mobile viewing.
  • 88.8% percent of contractors research equipment online prior to purchase.

How important is marketing to Main Contractors when it comes to product specification?

  • For many construction product manufacturers, achieving product specification early on in the complex design and build process is a key sales and marketing objective.
  • For product manufactures, brand and product marketing is not easy as there is such a wide audience to deliver your messages to. If the core marketing objective is to raise product awareness to achieve product specification then the question is, which segment has the most influence over product specification and what do they already think of your brand?
  • A recent survey conducted by Construction News reported that Main Contractors were emerging as a key influencer for products and materials that are used in projects and this trend is likely to accelerate over the next few years. What does this mean for the product manufacturer and where should their marketing efforts be focused?
  • The survey reports, 39% of Main Contractors think they will become more influential over the next 2 years on the make or brand of products used. Main Contractors particularly influence the final choice of products by suggesting an alternative to the one proposed, this being their main influence according to 59% of the top 100 contractors surveyed.
  • The industry has already seen the like of Costain (and their strategy to expand significantly in consultancy and engineering design) to offer clients the ‘full life cycle’ of services and it won’t be long before other Main Contractors follow suit. 43% of the top contractors surveyed said that they employ their own Architects, Engineers and Designers on a permanent basis. This number is likely to grow.
  • So it is clear that brands must work harder. Budgets must also work harder and your audience or market to has to be better segmented. Yes, brands must still look at developing communications to Architects, Engineers and Designers but outside of the Main Contractors where should your marketing strategy be focused? Knowing that product specification influence may be shifting towards the Main Contractor should you apply the 80-20 Pareto rule to your marketing strategy? 80% of your efforts on targeting Main Contractors and 20% to Specifiers not within Main Contractors? Where do the majority of existing opportunities lie?
  • The survey also reported that 88% of the top contactors and medium contractors believe that sustainability credentials of products will become more important going into this year and next. Again, what content can you create to prove such ‘green’ credentials? Every product in the market claims to be ‘green’ but can you prove it? Can you show tangible results and build a strong enough case to put forward to Main Contractors?
  • On a more product level, the results from survey found that 51% of Main Contractors had a significant role in influencing the products used for Partitions and Ceilings whilst only 29% stated they have a minor role. 42% stated they have a significant role in influencing Roofing Materials and 37% believe they have an influential role in the choice of Renewable and Energy Saving products, 37% with a minor role.

Contractors turn to creative marketing to reach customers

  • As federal budgets shrink, contractors are battling it out for the attention of government customers by turning to creative marketing campaigns, according to The Washington Post.
  • Contractors have longed used advertising and marketing, primarily to win favor among those on the Hill that control purse strings.
In tough times, contractors turn to creative marketing campaigns
  • The share of federal workers who didn’t go to a single trade show, conference or industry event has risen every year for the past four years, according to a study by Chantilly-based research firm Market Connections. Fifty-two percent of workers surveyed said they didn’t physically attend any events in 2013, up from 38 percent in 2011.
  • More than half of agencies said they were hosting fewer events in 2013 than the previous year, according to a separate poll conducted by Market Connections and Boscobel, a Silver Spring marketing company. The same poll found that 77 percent of agency respondents and 91 percent of industry respondents thought companies would need to become “more creative” in informing and educating government customers.

Check out our article on how manufacturers can stand out to contractors

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