How Can Architectural Products Manufacturers Market More Effectively To Architects?

how can architectural product manufacturers market more effectively to architects

A while back, a marketing agency approached me and asked if I could help them understand how their clients, mainly manufacturers of architectural products, could be more effective marketing to architects.

Walk A Mile In Their Shoes

I said, “you have to start by putting yourselves in the architects’ shoes.” Here’s the story I told them:

"Imagine you’re an architect. You’re in your office Tuesday morning. You’re working on a deadline. Architects are always working on a deadline. 
Suddenly, a product rep walks through the door unannounced but armed with a box of cookies and a 3 inch binder full of spec sheets and samples.
Good cookies are always appreciated but the interruption isn’t. The price of the cookies is high. That product rep wants to tell you all about their new 80 Mil TPO roof or LEED credits or color palates … and you don’t care. 
All you care about is meeting the deadline you’re on. To top it off, the rep wants to leave their binder in your product library. They want to take up 3 inches of the most valuable real estate in your office. You don’t want that binder."

Whether I tell this story directly to a sales rep or from the stage at a convention, the result is always the same. There are a few nervous chuckles about the cookies and a lot of worried expressions on the audience’s faces.

Are You THE Go-To Resource?

The problem good sales reps have is that they want to be the go-to resource for their customers, but they’re not. Many still think that dropping off the cookies and the binder, maybe putting on an annual lunch-and-learn and leaving a business card behind is being a resource.

I’ve been around long enough to remember when that level of effort did amount to being THE resource. Throw in a free lunch or two, maybe even a tour of your plant in some distant city and you were in the standard specs forever.

It’s A Brave New World

Guess what?! The world has changed! An occasional touch isn’t good enough any more.

Do you know how many people actually keep your business card any more? How many people are likely to pick up the phone or even email you every time they have a question about roofing, or lighting or your software? 

That's not how you stay top of mind any more.

When I have a question, I want an answer … right now. In fact, there’s a company who’s entire business is built around that fact. Maybe you’ve heard of them, they call themselves Google.

The person that answers my questions when I have them becomes my go-to resource.

So why aren’t you answering my questions?

I want answers to my questions, big or small, easy or complicated. I want them now and I want them in easily digestible bits.

Your 10 FAQ’s Aren’t Good Enough

You need to educate me. Your FAQ’s section on your website or in your binder doesn’t cut it.

Ryan Hanley became the go-to resource in the insurance industry by answering 100 insurance questions in a series of 1 minute long video segments. 

Marcus Sheridan became the swimming pool guy buy answering the top 200 swimming pool questions his company got from customers and contractors. 

Eric Bobrow became the ArchiCad resource by creating video tutorials that answered his customers’ questions. 

Be The Go-To Resource

There are lots of platforms available: YouTube, your website, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, your blog, Anchor, Periscope, … the list continues to evolve. 

None of that is as important as the understanding that in order to dominate your market, you have to be the most helpful, even most responsive resource available to your customers.

You can spend hundreds of thousands of dollars every year on advertising, binder design and distribution, sample packs, meals and trades shows. 

I’ll beat you every time armed with just a smart phone and a list of your customers’ questions. 

I won’t even have to choose between chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin. I’ll simply be answering questions and educating customers 24 hours a day.

Question: How are you being a resource for your customers and perspective customers?

Schedule a free call with me by clicking this link. Let's talk about how I can be a resource for you.