Marketers in manufacturing want to drive traffic. Reach and convince designers. Generate leads and, ultimately, get those products specified in designs. But how can BIM, building information modeling, 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.
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 program. 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 act as an invaluable marketing gain? Let’s get into it:
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 favor 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 >
Designers are becoming increasingly BIM fluent. As the global population and building stock skyrockets, more and more governments are creating BIM mandates to save our skin. Want more on the subject matter? Get your hands on a FREE copy of Why sustainability is key to getting specified.
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.
“More and more interior designers and decorators use digital tools to present proposals to their clients. They need platforms, such as BIMobject, to populate interior spaces quickly and smoothly,” states Albano Silva, CEO at Zagas, in a recent interview.
We’re already noticing a steady increase on the BIMobject platform, but the visibility boosting potential will likely intensify in the years to come.
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? Promoted Products 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.
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 organization 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 organizations 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.
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:
Want to know more? Explore our power tools for BIM marketers.
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 $300-500 per square foot 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: digitization. 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:
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!
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 organizational 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 modeling, 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.