Data is rising to the top as the new must-have for all players in the building industry. But what does it mean for manufacturers? Let’s decode data in construction and explore why you should place it at the centre of your relationship-building strategy.
How BIM bumps marketing metrics
Marketers in manufacturing want to drive traffic. Reach and convince designers. Generate leads and get those products specified in designs. But how can BIM, building information modelling, fit into your marketing plan and boost your results? Get the answer in this 10-minute read.
You’ve heard about BIM, right? The cool, new(-ish) digital kid on the building block? The word on the street is that BIM, Building Information Modelling, is moving up the ranks. Rerouting purchasing decisions. And forcing manufacturers to rethink their tactics.
BIM is a big deal for AECO (architects, engineers, contractors and owners/operators). But can it lead to more deals for manufacturers? Before we dip our toes into the answer, we need to establish common ground by diving into what BIM is – and what it isn’t.
Not a BIM newbie? Jump straight to 8 reasons why BIM should be in your marketing plan.
What is building information modelling?
BIM is for construction what HTML is for the internet. Or in the context of marketing: what data tracking means for audience insights, personal relevance and creating a collaborative lead nurturing programme. Revolutionary and disruptive.
Building Information Modelling (BIM) is a digital building process built on collaboration. Every BIM project is based on a 3D model populated with information-rich, manufacturer-specific digital replicas of products (BIM content). The data is collated into a common data environment where all project information is kept up to date and shared with stakeholders to ensure the highest level of resource efficiency.
Want to know more? Get the BIM basics in this webinar.
BIM gives AECOs the tools to build smarter, faster and greener. But how can the digital building process be an invaluable marketing gain? Let’s get into it:
1. BIM boosts brand and product awareness
Designers can’t specify your products if they aren’t aware of your brand in the first place. Trade shows are often (rightfully so!) seen as an awareness-boosting medium. But the battle for attention is fierce. And it’s somewhat disheartening that the booths tallying up the most business cards are those closest to the fairground’s food quarters…
We also know that architects, engineers and designers favour digital modes of product exploration. But breaking through that chaotic cacophony of content is not a walk in the park.
It’s easy to assume that the awareness winners are those who can tout the most cash. Those who scream the loudest throughout all corners of the World Wide Web and beyond. But positive attention and awareness can't be bought. It's earned. So, it’s all about finding the right room and talking to those who want to listen.
Pssst! Did you know that there are more than 2 million registered architects, engineers, contractors and owners/operators looking for products on bimobject.com? Now you do. Get top of mind today >
2. BIM and digitisation improve your visibility
Designers are becoming increasingly BIM fluent. As the global population and building stock skyrockets, more and more governments are enforcing BIM mandates to save our skin.
What that means is that we’ll soon notice an influx of architects, engineers and interior designers looking for (and demanding!) a one-stop-shop that serves manufacturer-specific BIM content to populate their models.
“BIMobject makes us and our brands more visible and open to architects, which increases the probability that they will work with us from the very beginning,” says Anders Johansen, Electrolux's European channel manager, in 7 cases for the business value of BIM.
We’re already noticing a steady increase on the BIMobject platform, but the visibility boosting potential will likely intensify in the years to come.
3. Boost brand and product reach with BIM
Reach is undoubtedly one of the most important metrics for understanding your brand and product awareness. As a marketing maven, you’re most likely aware of the tools at your disposal: spray-and-pray tactics such as trade shows and paid ad services like native advertising, social media and search engine marketing.
But how can BIM fit into that marketing matrix? For this answer, we’ll hand over the mic (well, keyboard) to Elena Broncano, Architect and International Specifications Manager at Bandalux:
“With BIMobject, we can reach more architects and interior designers who are looking for inspiration, technical or practical product information and objects for their designs. Having access to our product range and the ability to add the objects into their projects is a great advantage for us."
The BIMobject platform for manufacturers gets you, as a marketer, up to speed with your audience size, current reach and potential reach. Want to target potential customers? Search ads place you at the top of specific product category keyword searches on bimobject.com.
Knowing how many people you’ll reach is sweet, but knowing that you’ll reach the right audience and not flush your ad spend down the drain is even sweeter.
4. Generate engagement and leads with BIM
Hooray! You’ve reached 1,000, 2,000 or maybe 500,000 professionals. You’ve commanded earned their attention. Now, you want to take those googly-eyed views and turn them into brand engagement. And ideally: convert them into leads.
As you know, lead generation marketing is the process of attracting potential customers, using engagement tactics and converting them into buyers. Every organisation has a different level of data proficiency and unique criteria defining what a lead is – and what it isn’t. Some marketing departments have lead magnets and thorough lead gen tactics supported by lead nurturing activities and rigorous scoring. Other organisations might use a single brand interaction (product download) as the primary criterion.
To complicate an already complicated matter: Business in the building industry is built differently. In the scheme of BIM, the first major indicator of genuine product interest is getting your BIM content downloaded. The second hurdle for markets (and sales) is to convince them to integrate your products into the model and make it to specification.
5. Use BIM to capture and nurture all the way to specification
DBEI.org reports that 80% of specifications are based on the design. But how can you place yourself in that golden tier? By supporting and providing specifiers with the necessary information during the early design stage and throughout. BIMobject’s global marketplace and manufacturer platform offer numerous ways to heat things up – and strike while the iron is hot:
- Search ads grant greater visibility and boost downloads. VELUX gave it a try and saw an 870% increase of VELUX Top Hung INTEGRA® GPU downloads the first day.
- Analyse makes it easy for manufacturers to get to grips with brand reach and detailed data about user interactions, including follows, visits and downloads. For Jesper Møllgaard Jensen, Owner of Icons of Denmark, Insights is instrumental for understanding client needs and fueling business growth.
- The new Email Campaigns tool allows manufacturers to activate and follow up on people who interact with their brand and products. How? By crafting, segmenting and sending behaviour-based and relevant marketing pushes straight to the audiences’ inboxes. Forbo flooring was one of the first manufacturers to give it a go:
6. BIM can reduce your cost per lead
Marketers need to calculate cost per lead (CPL) to assess the efficiency of marketing activities. But how can a digital building process like BIM decrease your cost per lead?
To get to the bottom of this, we need to dip our toes into marketing spend. The heftiest of them all? You’ve guessed it: trade shows. We’ve previously drilled down on the economic (and ecologic) cost of trade shows, but it bears repeating: With an average price tag of EUR 875-1316 per square metre of floor space plus lodging plus shipping costs plus show services plus set-up – the fare for fairs take up quite a slice of your budget. And let’s not forget the internal resources spent preparing for the event...
But in this jumble of cost, we encounter yet another cause for concern: getting the right leads. Marketers invest in trade shows to generate product buzz and leads. But architects, engineers, contractors and owners/operators don’t attend trade shows to explore products. Nope, 65% go for education, conferencing or networking.
The journey from the first hello to specification and sales can be painstakingly long. This not only makes it hard to efficiently follow up on your contact, but it also turns cost per lead (not to mention return on investment and customer acquisition cost…) into a guessing game.
OK, so… What’s the alternative? Well, the same mechanism that pivoted BIM into the information age: digitisation. Digital (marketing) tools offer a wide range of benefits: better audience insights, greater KPI measurability and smoother follow-ups – all of that at a fraction of the cost.
Anders Johansen, European Channel Manager at Electrolux, made quite a compelling comparison during our recent webinar on How manufacturers can navigate the new digital landscape:
7. BIM shortens sales cycles by reducing information frustration
Sales cycle length is one of the most triggering metrics for marketers and salespeople alike. Why? Because there’s an insane number of variables and blockers – known and unknown – that might delineate the potential deal.
Designers have deadlines to adhere to and clients to satisfy. Contractors need to ensure that the right building products are ordered and delivered to avoid delays. They need information, and you need to make it readily available and easily accessible.
But how does BIM fit into this sales-cycle scheme? Architects and engineers need to populate their models with manufacturer-specific BIM content: information-rich digital product replicas that contain essential data such as product information, energy consumption and product lifetime. As the product data is defined within every BIM object, you won’t have to consult your product manager about up-to-date product info or send 7435626241 emails and PDFs back and forth.
In other (less techy) words: Digitising your products will give architects and engineers the product information they need to make an informed decision regarding whether or not your product fits the project bill. Not only will this decrease designer indecisiveness, but it will lower the information hurdle and make it easier for architects to specify your products. Win-win!
8. Increase retention and loyalty with BIM
Congratulations, your products made it to specification and the orders are rolling in! Time to wave the fanfare and relax, right? Yes and no. Acquisition is quite an organisational ordeal, so you want to turn the deal into a partnership. But how can BIM be of service to only acquire – but retain – clients?
BIM, building information modelling, is a building process founded on collaboration. But the collaboration isn’t limited to AECOs, clients and investors. A 2020 report by Harvard Business Review states that 74% of architects, engineers and contractors feel that highly collaborative relationships with building product manufacturers will be very or extremely important to project success over the next three years.
But what does this imply for manufacturers? Well…
Ensuring that your products can be specified as components of a BIM project is critical for not only getting business – but establishing frictionless collaboration and flourishing partnerships that make you a top-of-mind household name.
Want a one-stop shop to increase visibility, reach, engagement, audience insights and product downloads? Let’s chat.
How can building information modelling (BIM) break new ground for manufactures? Get inspired by VELUX, Riwal, Kanlux, Electrolux and Roca in this blog post.
Specifications are the golden goose for business in construction. But how can manufacturers increase the likelihood of getting specified? Get 6 tips in this blog!