6 steps to getting products specified

Specification.

Did the word evoke wonder or dread – or a bit of both? For most manufacturers, the journey to getting products specified in building projects feels long and perhaps even a little daunting. But it doesn't have to be. Change your mindset and break your pattern with this 10-minute read.

6 critical steps in the specification journey

This blog is a breakout piece from our e-book: 7 cases for the business value of BIM. Featured companies include: VELUX, Riwal, Kanlux, Electrolux, Roca, L35 and Giuseppe Tortato Architetti Studio.

 

How to get specified

Let's start with a confession: There is no magic formula that'll guarantee you a 100% success rate. But it's not dark arts, either. If you want to start beating the competition, understand how to position your product correctly, and jump to the top of the specified product list, start by following the six-step process below.

 

1. Identify and understand audiences

Every journey starts with a bit of direction. You need to understand which types of buildings your products fit into and identify the leading firms that design them. Market to matching segments and talk to specifiers to find out what they need. A thorough understanding of how architects think and work, as well as a deep awareness of what they value, is needed to nudge you into their preferred list.

Building relationships is key, but it’s not just about getting a foot in with architects, engineers, and interior designers. Developing connections with entrepreneurs, planners and sub-contractors are also rising in importance. Even if you convince the architect to use your product, they need to also persuade several people, including the end client, that your product is a perfect fit for the project. Here's why:

 

Psst! Did you know that BIMobject offers manufacturers insights into audience demographics, reach and behavior? Now you do!

 

2. Increase your online visibility

The marketing bowtie, funnel, AIDA: as a marketer, you've come across one – if not all – of these models. Regardless of which one you use or favor, they all start with the most essential essential: awareness. So, first thing’s first: you need to be seen to be considered for their next designs.

Increase your online visibility

By that, we mean that you need to become digitally minded. When specifiers need to find products for their projects, most will explore them online. Sure, 9% of specifiers still search for new products at trade shows, but a whopping 56% of designers use the world wide web as their primary source and medium.

As an effect of the new digital fluency, architects, engineers, and interior designers are flocking to online multi-brand marketplaces such as BIMobject to find what they need – and fast. As Anders Johansen, European Channel Manager at Electrolux highlights in 7 cases for the business value of BIM:

"Manufacturers need to be digitally present. Architects often say ‘If you don’t use BIM, you are irrelevant to us’. The train is already running. So, getting into BIM is not a matter of ‘if’. It’s about ‘when’ you can hop on that train.”

 

3. Provide product clarity to your prospects

Okay – so, you’re online and visible. Now you need to promote a strong, clear message and brand. Showcase what types of projects and use cases your products are used for and don’t forget to highlight how they’ve been successfully used in practice.

When designers hunt for the right product for their projects, they’ll often filter by category, brand or technical product specifics. If your product states and catalogs all required elements and provides all available options, as well as being kept updated, you're at an advantage.

Provide product clarity to your prospects

The Giuseppe Tortato Architetti studio is world-renowned for its work in urban regeneration. Its founder, Giuseppe Tortato, is a strong advocate of the importance of being able to find the right product amongst a sea of available options. He found that, by easily finding and homing in on the perfect product elements, opportunities to work with and build new partnerships with previously unknown manufacturers, vastly increase. Read the full interview today >

 

4. Make it easy for designers to select your products

Architects, interior designers, and engineers are infamously time-poor. So, the race towards specification is all about making the product selection and decision-making processes as smooth as humanly possible. But in the end: the architect, interior designer, and engineer need to meet client directives. If the project scope includes an outstanding BREEAM rating, designers need to select components that fit the bill. Miguel Angel Heras, Head of Marketing and Communications at Roca, adds:

“It’s all about having your products readily available to anyone in the world, downloadable in the formats they want.”

To add fuel to information fire: BIM is moving from a luxury to a must as building projects are getting increasingly complex – L35's design of the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium in Madrid is a testament to this fact.

Indeed, Some architects would even skip out on manufacturers who don't provide BIM objects. Why? Well, today, your product is only as attractive as the available data about it. Ensuring that the product's information is easy to find and accurately describes its main capabilities is key to making it to the finish line.

Make it easy for designers to select your products

 

5. Build and nurture relationships

Establish and nurture relationships early, so specifiers come to you and not the other way around. Key decisions about pricing, technical product descriptions, specification data, and product design aren’t being made at the specification stage – they materialize when projects are in the research and design phases.

Apart from doing your homework and creating your ideal profiles, you need to enrich them with a bit of data-driven truth. Cristina Bosch, Roca's Digital Communications Manager, adds:

"Creating BIM objects and getting on BIMobject allows us to stay close to professionals and align with their needs. But it is unfeasible to manage the data generated from over two million downloads. Streamlining the process will enable us to manage, nurture and qualify leads. This will improve efficiency as well as the overall customer journey.”

Build and nurture relationships

Want to know how we can help elevate your specifier marketing and nurturing? Book a quick chat to ask about our promotion tools >

 

6. Include BIM in your marketing

You knew it was coming, but we couldn’t leave it off the list.

We took a deep dive into BIM marketing in a previous blog and more recently in a webinar with Forbo. But by making a business decision to use BIM and a marketplace such as BIMobject, visibility sharply improves and expands your capacity to stand out amongst your competitors.

We’ve already alluded to the fact that with BIM, the ability to boost your presence to a much wider group of architects and designers across various industries increases. But more importantly, potential customers will also not work with you if you don't have BIM. This is particularly pressing in nations with BIM mandates and a high adoption rate.

Kanlux, a top European lighting company found this out first-hand. Marta Kachniarz, development and marketing director at Kanlux explains:

"One of the components of signing contracts with design offices is the fact that you have files on BIMobject. Without it, such cooperation would not be possible. Of course, it works both ways. We also reach customers who do not use BIMobject but they are then pleasantly surprised with the possibilities and functionality of the platform.”

Kanlux isn't the only one. Martin Let Hansen from VELUX, the global manufacturer of roof windows, also realized that apart from improving brand awareness and expanding reach, BIM simplifies the process and provides opportunities to improve collaboration and ROI on marketing spend:

"Sometimes it’s hard to get strategies into different sales organizations, and if we have to do it over 40 times it would require a lot of resources. Having everything on one single platform enables us to reach more specifiers with less effort.”

Include BIM in your marketing

Getting specified is not always an easy process, but it doesn’t have to be that way. It may involve changing how you’ve always done it. It should involve understanding the full pipeline of the decision-making process. And it may need you to embrace technology to reap the benefits.

Want to dive deeper into the BIM benefits? Jump over to our resources page with e-books, webinars, and more!

Understanding the need for green building design

26 April 2022

What does green design entail? And how does an architect actually work with it? We had a chat with Negar Daneshpour, Lead Architect at Tyréns, to get her perspective on sustainable architecture, climate data, and BIM.

Scroll to top