Posts Tagged ‘marketing to architects’
Well not quite, you cannot say anything and hope that it will be understood by your audience in the way that you want it to be understood. But once you have defined your audience and formulated your message then the language, the vocabulary and the tone and timbre of voice used to deliver your message will affect its success.
There is rarely just one tone of voice, just one language that is right, but there are many that will be wrong. Read more…
But sometimes your written words are all you have to sell your product or concept. When your readers are busy, you have to grab their attention and get your message across quickly. Whether it’s a brochure, letter or website, these ten copywriters’ secrets will help your text stand out.
Dear Mr Smith. The first rule is always – always – understand your audience. Make it personal: imagine one member of your target audience, and write as if to them alone.
Logical flow. What questions would your readers ask, and in what order? The right flow will guide them through your copy – and overcome potential objections – much more smoothly.
A very productive afternoon was spent at the recent CIMCIG event on Marketing to Architects. It was a great opportunity to hear from architects, and associated specialists, about what they needed and expected from potential suppliers. It was also useful to find out what really annoyed them. I imagine that there were some in the audience who felt smug about the fact that they were already listed as key suppliers.
For those in a less privileged position it was probably more interesting to learn how easily that could change. The event was very well attended – on what felt like the last hot day of the year – and it heralded a good start to CIMCIG’s latest season of events.
John Gelder of NBS got the ball rolling by painting a picture of the design process and how suppliers fitted into it. First he reminded us that it wasn’t just the architects that we had to think about and influence. Different parties are involved in building design and each has its own set of parameters and considerations when specifying brands or generic materials. It was interesting to note that whilst contractors can specify brands, architects are expected to stick to generics in the public sector.
In recent times there has been much debate about the role and power of the architect in getting products specified. Construction News, for example, published a report last year which implied that product selection was made by contractors rather than architects in the majority of cases. Contractors, particularly those involved in design and build projects appear to be the all important decision maker on the products chosen to build a building. Often this may involve switching or breaking specs that have been created with much effort by the architect. In many cases the final product or system is chosen on a cost basis rather than design or lifetime criteria.
So does this mean that the manufacturer or supplier of building products should ignore the architect?
The answer to that question is rather dependant on the type of product but generally – No. But you do need to understand what an architect does and at what stage he / she is working so that you can provide the right information at the right time in order to get a specification that will hold through to sales down the line.
Early on in a project the architect will be looking at the clients brief and trying to create a concept design that meets it in terms of impact, look and feel of the building, space and how people are to use it. At this stage the architect will be thinking top level forms of construction: concrete versus steel, glass versus brick, open plan versus partitioned office units and so on. The architect will be interested in building cost, lifetime performance and sustainability as well as what can be achieved aesthetically. Low on the list of issues will be the choice of detailed components such as door fittings, grade of block, plasterboard etc.
CIMCIG’s Rick Osman considers the role of the architect in specification and what they and others in the construction chain need to know to specify your products, and keep them specified throughout the construction process.
Despite the growth of the contractor as a force in specification, canny construction product suppliers know that the architect is still the key player. However when determining specifications specifiers and advisors in the construction chain have different priorities which reflect their different roles and you will need to be sure that they receive the information that is relevant to them.
Architects need comprehensive product information; knowledge of product installation method; knowledgeable supplier personnel; rapid response to site problems; quick and concise solutions to queries.
Building surveyors need comprehensive product information; easy and immediate advice and samples; knowledge of product installation methods; rapid response to site problems.
Quantity surveyors need early indicative pricing; comprehensive product information; easy and immediate advice and samples; knowledge of product installation methods.
Contractors and housebuilders have different needs to professionals.
Contractors are looking for rapid response to site problems; consistency of service; guaranteed delivery standards; access to immediate advice by telephone or email; warranties and guarantees.
Housebuilders need rapid response to site problems; consistency of service; guaranteed delivery standards; access to immediate advice by telephone or email; knowledge of product installation methods.