Wheelhouse Thoughts and Insights

2017 & 2018 Building Material Industry Trends - Time to Invest in Digital. Really.

Scott Ericson - Friday, August 04, 2017

The building material industry is always changing. As trends evolve, businesses need to be on the forefront of adapting with the ways their customers purchase products. Below are the most current trends that companies need to strategically market to targeted customers within the building material industry.

The power of digital

The use of digital is increasing. Digital marketing is vitally important for your business because it provides you with the opportunity to establish significantly more targeted and engaged communication channels directly with your consumers for a significantly reduced budget versus traditional channels. This is true for all business, not just those with an actual online marketplace. Digital marketing and especially social-driven marketing strategies allow for businesses to create real time customer engagement and service while achieving a defined and measureable ROI on their digital marketing initiatives.

Digital marketing not only provides building material businesses with a more direct line of communication with their customers, but also provides real time analysis of consumer behavior and spending. Companies know who to target, when to target, and how to best engage with their customers. Having a better idea of who your customer is allows you to better serve and market to them.

Most companies do not understand and appreciate mobile

We are now a mobile society. The building material industry, for the most part, is not. This industry was listed as one of the least technologically advanced with a poor emphasis on website design and digital presence. With a poor online presence, you can imagine mobile is even worse. Our recommendation is to build upon the mobile presence, as virtually all the customers in our industry, including architects, contractors, builders and homeowners use it in some capacity. Also, many of your competitors may not yet be focused on mobile, giving you a great way to differentiate yourself and reach an untapped audience. By building a strong mobile presence in 2017, corporations will not miss out on sales and grow this segment as a competitive advantage.

Companies struggle to see the ROI potential of social media

In the building material industry, very few companies have a large social media presence, or any presence at all. Companies frequently fail to see how they can accurately link their products and determine a buying need from their potential customers. With social media, the biggest takeaway is not to look at accumulating direct sales, but to look at the potential in creating touchpoints and selling product benefits and features to your target audience.

Make a real plan for co-op dollars

Many manufacturers are looking for lumberyard and building material supplier partners to give co-op advertising money to... and most companies miss out on the full potential of these programs. Many companies lay out very rudimentary plans for co-op dollars and even fewer have the ability to show any ROI. Using digital marketing and advertising is the perfect way to set yourself apart from your competitors in this arena. As a building material supply partner, if you are able to present a well thought out, strategic plan for the ways that you will utilize co-op dollars and even show an ROI to the manufacturer, you will not only have a better pulse on your sales and forge a stronger alliance with your trade partners, you will be much more likely to receive even more funds in subsequent years.

Quality is king

In conclusion, 2017 is already a year of change for the building material industry with a lot of growth potential and this will continue into 2018. With the market in full swing in many areas, this industry will continue to make its presence known. The key takeaway is to know your company's value proposition to your customers and be prepared to invest in a dynamic digital strategy that will set you apart from your competitors and act as investment in future business growth.

Wheelhouse 20/20 is a full service business and marketing consulting company with its roots in the building supply industry. If you have any questions about your company's digital strategy, defining your competitive message, or branding your company & products, please contact us today.