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:
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org for a consultation.