October 2022 Newsletter

**** The 4specs Perspective

A Second Perspective on Marketing Strategy

This newsletter is extracted from a LinkedIn posting by Doug Bevill. Do visit the original article as it gives some additional perspective and information. The bold words are in the original article and I underlined some words to add my emphasis. Doug is a long-term friend and has written several other newsletters for 4specs.

As you come to better understand where your brands stand against the market and your competition, depending on what the data clarifies, more questions will begin to surface. If you are losing share, why? If you are gaining share, why, and how do we keep the momentum? Is it due to product gaps on your breadth of line, vs. your competition, or is it price?

The most efficient path to increased and sustainable MindShare is getting specified. Specifications, “basis of design (BOD”), or “approved manufacturer,” all will generate a quote request to your distributor channel from the general contractor.

Spec – to – Quote – to - Buy, simplifies the value in what it means for your brand to be listed as an approved brand in the project specifications. Being in the specifications, does not guarantee that your product will be chosen for the project, but on average, it will increase your selection chances by as much as 70 percent over not being specified.

Does it pay to chase individual construction projects in the hope of getting the architect, engineer, specification writer, or consultant to specify one building product over another? As a path to success, the answer to that is a resounding NO! Why?

Most architectural and engineering (AE) firms are working from office masters. These libraries, or office masters contain manufacturers’ specifications that have already been vetted and approved by a panel within the firm for use on all projects within given firm or office. By the time that planning stage project report comes to your inbox, in the vast majority of cases, the product decisions have been finalized. Trying to flip these, or get an AE to approve your brand transactionally, overall, is a futile exercise.

[Colin's comment - office masters are especially true for larger firms and independent specifiers (SCIP members). Smaller firms may work directly with Masterspec and Speclink for their project specs or use an old project specification.]

Spec Busting, or More Eloquently Stated, a Value Engineered Strategy
Suggesting the Value Engineered (VE) sales strategy, will make my network of close friends that are professional specification writers cringe, but this approach works well, especially for smaller BPMs, [clarification - Building Product Manufacturers] those with brands that are not household names, contractor grade products, and new products.

Target the Firms and the Specification Professionals Who Specify your Product Technology, Not the Projects. Architects are not specification writers. There are many trained specification writers that are architects, but not the other way around. However, a good practice would be to contact the reported architectural or engineering firm, ask them who writes their specifications for LHWs [Left Handed Widgets] and record that name in your CRM [database], so that when you see any particular AE firm on a project, you will know who to contact about your product’s specifications.

[Colin's comment - this is the concept behind the sniper approach used in last month's newsletter]

Contact me if you have any questions or suggestions.



Colin Gilboy
Publisher - 4specs
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