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/19.07.2019

What do architects really want from manufacturers? When embarking on a specification journey, specifiers tend to seek out a wide variety of technical and practical information regarding products. Working under immense time pressure, they will need to find and understand complex technical information quickly to ensure the product can meet their brief.

Digital technology has revolutionised specification.

What Architects Want 

Specifiers have never found it easier to discover and research products, preferring to begin their search with online resources – Google and Pinterest are the top two digital resources architects use to find products and inspiration.

Consequently, traditional sales techniques have lost their power within the specifier market. Brochures, catalogs and cold calls are now ranked as the least popular information repositories among architects. This startling shift in the way architects source their product knowledge means manufacturers can find it difficult to communicate their offering at the beginning of a specification journey.

What do architects really want from manufacturers?

When embarking on a specification journey, specifiers tend to seek out a wide variety of technical and practical information regarding products. Working under immense time pressure, they will need to find and understand complex technical information quickly to ensure the product can meet their brief.

In a proprietary survey conducted by Agency Spring, the top 4 strands of information most valued by and useful to architects were:

CPD

90% of specifiers saw CPD as an indispensable source of knowledge, with over 50% doing 2 to 3 times the CPD minimum requirement (35 hours per year, RIBA) – a clear indicator that architects are not seeking CPD points, but genuinely striving to improve their knowledge.

Booking a CPD is one of the most useful ways an architect can gain insight into a product, it enables them to meet a sales representative, ask questions and learn, all in a convenient timeslot.

64% of specifiers saw case studies as very useful or essential resource.

Architects are driven by ideas; they require inspiration from their peers and examples of practical product use to help their design process. With much of their training built on the critique of other professionals’ work, exploring case studies is one of the most familiar and robust sources of information for an architect.

Micro-learning

54% were extremely favorable towards the idea of micro-learning platforms.

Given the sheer volume of professional development an architect is expected to undertake over the course of their career, it is unsurprising that many are looking to micro-learning platforms to future proof their understanding of the industry. By giving architects the luxury of online bite-sized learning, micro-learning platforms are helping them stay relevant with fast and effective knowledge.

“How To” Guides

53% wanted “how to” guides from manufacturers.

Technical information and a holistic understanding of how a product functions is fundamental to the specification process. Using “how to” guide enables architects to gain quick and intuitive insights into the use of any given product, as well as providing specific technical and practical data.

Unprecedented access

With strong ties to the UK’s leading architectural societies and access to thousands of architects and practices across the UK, we are uniquely positioned to engage with them on a grass roots level. This level of access grants us an unprecedented insight into the architect’s mind, facilitating a strong understanding of industry trends, pain points and needs. Furthermore, our extensive experience within the built environment has enabled us to forge robust relationships with the country’s leading architectural voices, such as the RIBA, Foster + Partners, BDP and Hodder + Partners. We have consistently leveraged these prominent industry players to support our engagement with clients, advise on strategic market positions and advocate manufacturer products with great success.

What we offer in a nutshell

Agency Spring has over 30 years’ experience in marketing to architects and specifiers. We offer unprecedented access to the industry’s key players, a deep understanding of building regulations and compliance, and an astute research methodology that enables us to take the guesswork out of the marketing process. Ultimately, we have the ability to engage you directly with your target audience through a range of bespoke marketing services and products, which include:

  • Our own trademarked micro-learning platform – CPDi
  • Social media curated insight and knowledge base – Architect Intelligence
  • CPD creation service
  • Bespoke content creation service (case studies, how to guides, marketing material)
  • Fully integrated marketing strategy and implementation service
  • Market research

Call us on (0)161 834 3935 or e-mail info@agency-spring.co.uk for a consultation.

9 Things to Remember About Your GDPR Compliance

The shadow of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) looms large and is set to change the way personal data is collected, stored and processed by institutions across Europe. GDPR, which comes into force on 25th May 2018, seeks to enforce the safe sharing and use of data across Europe; it is mandatory for all organisations that handle personal data in the EU to comply.

The importance of GDPR cannot be understated, so we are confident that most organisations will already be fully compliant. However, if you are still ironing out the finer details or just need peace of mind that you’ve done everything necessary to conform, then this article seeks to offer a checklist of nine things that will help ensure your organisation is on the right track towards full GDPR compliance.

 

  1. Appoint someone to be responsible for data

The GDPR legislation seeks to make organisations more accountable for the data that they handle. Personal data rights will become much more prevalent, and organisations will have a stringent moral and legal obligation to protect clients, members and subscribers; this calls for a much more considered and responsive control of an individual’s data.

It is essential that organisations are always on top of their data. We recommend that you appoint someone within your organisation to take on the responsibility of dealing with all things related to data requests and GPDR guidelines.

 

  1. Audit your existing systems

Understanding your current systems and data management processes is essential for moving forward towards GPDR compliance. We recommend that organisations take stock of their existing procedures of data controlling and enact a full audit for GPDR fulfilment.

This can be a long process, so we recommend that you start as soon as possible and put a plan in motion that seeks to amend anything that could violate GPDR.

 

  1. Implement an effective CRM system

Many organisations fall into the trap of treating all data the same, however the reality is that not all data is created equal! Data represents a person and you should manage it like you would a human.
We recommend that you implement an effective Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system to ensure that you are able to better understand the data that you hold. By utilising a CRM system, you will be much better equipped to see who wants to receive the content that you deliver.

 

  1. Allow people to control their personal data

GDPR is empowering individuals to take control of their personal data, and organisations must seek to make it as easy as possible for people to control what is done with their information.

To give users the control that is needed both by them and by law, investing in a practical preference centre that allows users to choose the type of communication they wish to receive from your organisation is essential.

Every customer is on their own unique journey, and you must listen to their needs and desires to create unique content and campaigns that suits them.

 

  1. Make your privacy policies clear and appropriate

GDPR includes rules on giving privacy information to data subjects in articles 12, 13 and 14. The emphasis is placed firmly on making privacy policies clear, well defined and user-friendly. ‘Appropriate measures’ must be taken by data controllers to make this happen.

To comply, all organisations should amend their privacy policies to fall in line with the guidelines in the legislation, however, the legalities and wording can be quite complex if you don’t have a law degree. Fear not, there are plenty of solutions out there to help you make sure your privacy policies are GDPR compliant. Once such solution is Iubenda, they are a service that generates solicitor-level privacy policies for your organisation’s website in just a few steps. Find out more about them here.

 

  1. Stop collecting cookies without consent

The use of cookies is mentioned only once in the GDPR legislation, but the article that refers to them is very clear in what it expects. Organisations are no longer allowed to use cookies to identify individual’s via their device because it is considered personal data.

There should be a conscious effort by organisations to stop collecting rogue cookies or find a legal means to collect and process that data, however GDPR’s bolstered regulations mean it will be much more difficult to gain legal consent as users need to opt-in themselves.

 

  1. Design an engaging opt-in process

Now that organisations must legally ask subscribers to opt-in to mailing lists, individuals can afford to be much more discerning about what data they choose to hand over.  Therefore, the need for an engaging strategy that encourages people to opt-in to campaigns has never been more apparent.

You should:

  • Know your audience
  • Adapt your message to engage your target audience
  • Make it relevant to their needs
  • Make your content visually striking

 

  1. Get SLL certification

Given that GDPR has the objective of protecting the personal data rights of individuals, organisations should be seen to be actively promoting the protection of personal data.

One small but highly effective method of giving individuals the confidence to trust organisations is by ensuring they obtain an SSL certificate.

Installing a SLL certificate activates the padlock and the “https” protocol on a web server. Organisations should install an SSL Certificate onto its web server to start a secure session with browsers.

 

  1. Content is king

And finally…CONTENT!

As we have already established, the landscape of engagement will change with the imposition of GDPR, and the need for a more refined content strategy that will appeal to the needs of the individual is essential.

If you want an insightful, engaging and GPDR compliant way of producing content, then drop us a message at info@agency-spring.com.

BPD Store Pay Per Click (PPC) campaign

Objective
To drive traffic to the e-commerce website and improve sales conversions.

Solution
Implement effective PPC campaigns following the recommendations of a detailed research report produced by the Spring team.

We identified a 3-step strategy that would allow us to efficiently provide quick results for BPD.

Research
Analysed current sales figures & webstats in conjunction with Google’s planning tools to provide a report on the predicted, best performing products (based on ROI)
Provided a recommendation/implementation plan that highlights how the budget should be split
Implementation
Set up and launch of a search network campaign – included ad creation and optimisation, keyword selection, bid management
Set up and launch of a shopping campaign – included management and optimisation of the merchant centre (product inventory) and budget/bid management of the campaign
Reporting
We provided live reports on the results as well as delivering CRO (Conversion Rate Optimisation) recommendations & tasks
Recommendations were geared around updating the ad content, working on finding the most relevant and well preforming keywords, optimising the bid management strategy and providing landing page and website improvements/suggestions

another-test

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WL Gore Video

Gore gave Agency Spring the brief of creating a launch video to promote the global introduction of their latest portable electronic vent.

For the video, we had to have a deep understanding of the technical specifications and capabilities of the Gore product to effectively distil the information into an engaging format.

The video took on a very lively and scientific visual style that incorporated a vast range of dynamic animations and footage to highlight the applications of the product. The approach was intended to appeal to busy engineers looking for acoustic solutions.

Agency Spring were able to visualise the Gore process and promote the reasons why Gore is the world leader in acoustic solutions. This enabled us to instil a high level of perceived competence, capability and experience to the target audience.
 
 

   

WL Gore Launch

Gore tasked Agency Spring with creating a series of highly technical case studies – aimed at engineers – that would reveal the high level of skill and practical capabilities the company possesses.

The task was heavily focused on creating visually arresting technical documents that would quickly and efficiently convey key Gore product information to the reader. Gore were acutely aware that most data sheets are synonymous with drab and content heavy documents, therefore the materials sought to strike a fine balance of visual engagement and technical information.

Spring focused on the creation of a key visual for each case study that encapsulated the messaging and key selling points of the Gore solutions. These key visuals were used as the cornerstone of the overarching campaign and were used across a variety of media. The unique visual style and effective delivery of information enabled Agency Spring to add drama and dynamism to the Gore campaign.

Eurosite Video Brochure

EuroSite Power needed to gain the immediate and direct attention of key contacts in the hospitality and leisure sectors to promote the benefits of their On-Site Utility solution. Agency Spring understood that the most immediate method to reach the contacts was through direct mail, however, thanks to spam and oversaturation, the method of delivery is often ignored as a serious promotional tool. The approach had to innovate, and it had to utilise an exceptional piece of content to be distinctive and memorable.

Senior Copywriter

You are a natural storyteller with a strong grasp of content strategy and digital marketing techniques. You’re able to develop brand and marketing stories for use across online and offline media, from websites and other digital platforms to short films, PowerPoint presentations and training materials.
The role leans towards the B2B sector with a range of international blue chip clients in the construction, architectural and technology sectors. However, some of our work is also with B2C (FMCG) clients, so you’ll need be comfortable managing a variety of content briefs. You’ll also be confident in delivering presentations to stakeholders at all levels and ensuring the agency is able to achieve buy-in across marketing and other teams.

You’ll be at home with producing content for the web. Sound general knowledge of the internet and digital technology, along with a curious nature and the drive to explore new digital solutions to marketing problems, will be crucial.
Working closely with a design team and project manager, a key part of your role will also be supporting the Managing Director in developing content and communications to help drive the business.

 

ESSENTIAL SKILLS

  • Strong copywriting, editing and proofreading skills
  • Proficiency with PowerPoint and other Office tools
  • Practical knowledge of the internet, analytics, social media and digital technology
  • Ability to write effectively for SEO
  • Strategic approach to planning and producing content and executing campaigns
  • Pro-active with ability to prioritise and multi-task
  • Self-motivated; able to systematically plan and organise workloads
  • Understanding of audience behaviour and emerging content trends
  • Close attention to detail and quality control
  • Able to take concepts from brief to delivery
  • Good time management and ability to work to tight deadlines

 

DESIRABLE SKILLS

  • Experience with content management and marketing automation systems
  • Experience of social media marketing, paid search and PPC
  • Knowledge and experience of architecture and construction

 

CONTACT
Simon Misra
sm@agency-spring.com
+44(0) 161 834 3935
Please email us your CV and describe how your skills and experience meet our needs.
No recruitment agencies please.

Velux Modular Skylights

VELUX approached Agency Spring to implement an expansive integrated marketing strategy to promote their modular skylight system. The methodology implemented by Agency Spring oversaw the production of a targeted engagement plan that utilised a series of Continued Professional Development resources, video and visual content, a flagship national event series and social media strategy.

The target market needed to be carefully nurtured with a strategy that would generate and maintain sales leads.

The seamless integration of sales and marketing was identified as the key challenge that Agency Spring faced; simultaneously cultivating sales leads and promoting the VELUX Modular Skylight system within the architectural and construction market was a unique and holistic brief.

Agency Spring planned and executed a comprehensive national thought leadership event roadshow, which provided a platform for distinguished speakers to discuss prevalent issues within the industry, and ultimately champion the benefits of VELUX Modular Skylights across the value/supply chain to specifiers and contractors.

The event series kept the brand and product ‘top of mind, tip of tongue’, whilst Agency Spring utilised a variety of content within an online follow-up strategy to ensure potential sales were nurtured through a linear learning journey.