A guest blog post by Chris Ashworth
We can all see how our own working lives have evolved over recent years, with remote access and mobile working common practice. In the US mobile access to the internet is on average 2.8hrs a day, while desktop or laptop access just below this figure at 2.4hrs a day. Here in the U.K. we have seen a comparative shift and with 44.7million UK user recently accessing the internet, according to figures from the ONS, online product information is a must have for any construction product manufacturer.
The advent of the ‘digital age’ has also affected trade press. With most titles diversifying into online publications, a change potentially accelerated by the recession. In a recent blog for Pinnacle consulting, Andy Costin of Professional Builder Magazine debates the future of trade press in the construction industry. He reflects how online now has to work with the printed magazine. “Our electronic communications are designed to enhance the experience for our readers and provide them with more detailed information and resources than is possible in the magazine.”
Is there still a place for hardcopy literature? A recent blog by Construct UK looks at this point, in which CDP, a literature design agency argue that hardcopy literature “has more weight (literally and metaphorically) and less disposability than its on-line incarnations.” The last version of our own research, The Construction Media Index, showed PDF was used by just under 80% of respondents, while hardcopy was used by more than half. Yet when asked if there was still a role for hardcopy literature the response came back a resounding, ”yes” from all groups bar interior designers, where only just over half concurred.
Company websites and digital literature are not the only sources of online product information. Now, with social media and information sites such as YouTube, there are more places to go to get answers to construction design challenges. Pauley Creative report on social media use in construction saying “70% of construction companies are starting to engage with followers compared to 55% in 2014” and note “95% of construction companies are on YouTube and 70% are regularly posting video content.” LinkedIn remains popular with construction professionals, there are also discussion forums, as well as industry specific social sites such as Build.talk.com.
With marketing budgets predicted to grow 62% according to the recent ‘State of the Industry’ construction barometer, how should product manufacturers provide information? Should they provide printed material? Should they deliver advice beyond their website, dispensing advice via social media, forums and information portals? Our Construction Media Index research hopes to provide this guidance. This is your chance to give your point of view, telling us want you want from construction product manufacturers.
Chris is founder of Competitive Advantage Consultancy which specialises in market research and training for the construction industry. He is a specialist in specification strategy. He is a member of the BIM4M2 working groups and serves on the organising committee for CIMCIG, the Chartered Institute of Marketing’s Construction Industry Group.
The Construction Media Index
Researching its 4th edition, The Construction Media Index is the largest independent research into the different communication channels used by the construction industry. In appreciation of your participation you will be entered into a draw for a £100 Amazon voucher! There will be one winner for every 200 completed entries. You can also request a free summary of the research findings from Competitive Advantage Consultancy.
It takes just 15 minutes to contribute your views to construction’s largest independent communications research programme.
How do you think buyer’s expectation of status updates will be changed? Maybe photo streams or FaceTimed meeting ?
Mario, the research focusses on how construction professionals are using media now. Initial findings show that the traditional face to face meeting with the manufacturer is still important, as well as telephone contact. Mobile access to the internet is increasing (according to OFCOM) but in construction the Desk PC and Laptop is still more popular.
Skip Hire Cape Town says
Wow I just wish south Africa would be this far a head even though we aren’t far behind . lots of things need to change and get updated here. We are all going the social media way here cause its cost effective.
A company I am interning for still hasn’t even made the jump to social media yet. Its so effective when you use it correctly and the whole point is to generate some kind of acknowledgement and recognition. Plus a positive discussion goes a long way!
Previewing the Construction Media Index findings in a webinar this Thursday: https://attendee.gototraining.com/r/8977565585079593473 attendees get a 25% off the report cost. Hope you can join us?
Su Butcher says
Looking forward to it!
Slaby and Associsates says
No doubt, social media plays a vital role in every time of business not only in construction, If we have a good and beautiful project completion history in construction, or we have beautiful plans we can show it on our social media plate forms.
For a digital transformation to be successful, executives and managers must start with a clear definition of how digital will create value for the business see sidebar, Defining digital transformation in engineering and construction.