January 2021 Newsletter

Do Architects and Specifiers Search Differently?

**** The 4specs Perspective

This newsletter is part 3 of a series reporting the results of the fall 2020 survey run by 4specs. Part 1 was about Does Your Website Design Support Architects and Specifers?
Part 2 was about Which online resources are used to select products

This month I address how architects and specifiers search.

The survey can be split into two groups:

Group A - 109 responding, 77% fulltime specifiers (84) and 12% project architects (14). This group was primarily sourced from an email sent by 4specs to specifiers and non-manufacturers receiving our monthly newsletter. Here the link to the first part of the survey.

Group B - 128 responding, 25% fulltime specifiers (32) and 62% project architects (80). This group was primarily sourced from a posting in LinkedIn. Group B was developed by subtracting Group A from the total survey results. You can see the spreadsheet here as a pdf. Here is the link to the complete survey.

Let's look at how a project architect, design team member and specifier search to answer the question - "How do I build a curved fire-rated wall?" The full-time specifier will be looking at the drawings and his specification master to be used on this project. He already know how to do a curved fire-rated wall and knows the appropriate MasterFormat/CSI number. He know to look in the non-load bearing wall section. The specifier will visit 4specs to quickly find and check the manufacturers' websites to be sure the products are properly identified and specified and look at any manufacturers he does not recognize.

Group A - Full-time Specifiers - 109 responding Usually Sometimes
Google or other search engine 65 (60%) 35 (32%)
4specs 52 (48%) 38 (35%)
Master Spec 28 (26%) 35 (32%)

The architect will go to Google and ask the question. This is supported with the survey results with 128 respondents:

Group B - Project Architects -
128 Responding
Usually Sometimes
Google or other search engine 99 (77%) 24 (19%)
4specs 27 (21%) 17 (13%)
Master Spec 19 (15%) 33 (26%)

Comment - I frequently suggest that specifiers view the manufacturer's specifications as the specifications will probably contain the detailed information needed to evaluate a product for inclusion in the specification or approve as a substitution. A product data sheet will generally contain even more information. Here is a newsletter on product data sheets for additional info.

Compare these numbers to your marketing budget and sales representative focus.

How are you marketing to full-time specifiers?

Questions, comments and suggestions are always appreciated.



Colin Gilboy
Publisher - 4specs
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