December 2021 Newsletter
**** The 4specs Perspective
I recently received a newsletter with the title: The Dark Side of Metric Fixation
This started me thinking about "Specified Product" marketing metrics - what should you be measuring to understand and improve performance from your marketing and sales efforts?
Are you measuring clicks to your website? Phone calls for information? Scheduled lunch and learns?
The ultimate goal of "Specified Product" marketing is the sale of your products.
I propose that the metric that is most important is understand all projects where your products were specified or your competitors were specified and you were not specified. This analysis can be done with a construction marketing service such as Dodge Reports or Construct Connect reporting services.
There is no easy way. I propose you need to develop a sniper-rifle strategy at 1 mile rather than a cannon or blunderbuss strategy at short range. The companies holding the basis of specification and top sales dollars have taken 50 years or more to get there. Think of your efforts as a 5 year strategy to get into specifictions as an equivalent product to the market leaders.
Every manufacturer has a different set of analysis problems and challenges. I will use several examples:
You make pull-out bleachers for school gyms - you sell direct to the general contractor. This is actually fairly simple as the number of projects for new construction with high and junior high school gyps is well defined. Download the list of projects and see where you are specified and not specified. Develop the list of architectural firms and identify which ones specifying your company and those firms not including your products as equivalent to the base specified product.
You make firestopping materials sold through distribution to multiple contractors on each project. Much more difficult as each sale generally cannot be tracked back to the project or the the specification. Again, identify the projects where you are specified and where your company was not included as an alternate and list the architects.
You make epoxy terrazzo flooring - sold to an installing sub-contractor on each job. Identify the architect and the installing contractor and add them to the list.
Use the list of architects you developed. Call the main office and work to discover how their specifications are written. When you call, use caution as to not trigger the receptionist. For the contractor, call and identify their lead estimator. Here are the questions for the architectural call:
1. How are your specifications written - generally there are three ways:
2. Develop a simple direct mail campaign (yes postal mail - postcards are easy, low cost and simple even in small quantities, say under 100 or 250 cards per month) the concept is develop brand name and product recognition. Plan on doing these monthly. A brochure or binder is too much. I propose simpler, lower cost and easier routes are better long term.
3. If you have local or regional representatives or managers, have them focus on the larger design firms or independent specifiers and have them feed back new information to the database. Doing a long-term direct-mail campaign will encourage your local representatives to spend time further developing the needed architectural contacts.
Questions and suggestions always appreciated.
Publisher - 4specs