October 2005 Newsletter

Hot, Warm and Cold Medium

This is the third part of our series on marketing in the future to architects, engineers and specifiers in the future. We say marketing, rather than selling, because the design professional seldom purchases any construction materials directly. Instead they develop the design and specify the materials to be used.

At this stage your goal is to be specified and included in the project design.

Remember the medium is the message? Marshall McLuhan's 1964 book - "Understanding Media" - introduced the concept of hot and cold medium. Here is a good summary:
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My use is somewhat different than McLuhan's, but the concept is similar. I am going to divide marketing to architects and specifiers into three categories:

Hot - well-filled with data that is precise, detailed, having rational arguments:


Cold - with data that has to be interpreted by the specifier before understanding its use in their project:

You need to incorporate all three categories into your marketing planning and budgets. Missing one or two categories reduces the impact of the remaining categories.

Because new product introductions will be more difficult in the future, the question for me is how to introduce new products. I plan to explore this topic with several specifier friends to see how they want to learn about new products.

You may note that there is a category missing - the content aggregator. Just as United Airlines, Delta and US Air are struggling to find a new business model to compete with Southwest and Jet Blue, from my perspective the content aggregators are struggling to find their new business models. Thomas Register announced that the 2006 edition will be the last print version. How will Sweets respond to these new challenges? That is an interesting question that will play out over the next 5 years or so.


Colin Gilboy
Publisher - 4specs
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