Building product manufacturers are behind their customers when it comes to social media. They are supposed to be the smart marketers. You would think they would embrace the newest marketing tools before their dealer, builder and contractor customers. You would think they would at least keep up with their consumer customers.
Here are 5 reasons why building product companies are behind in social media.
1. The age gap
The senior leadership of most building material companies are older. They are most comfortable with what they know. They know trade shows and advertising. And they now know something about websites, but even that is probably not up to date. They are starting to accept apps and mobile applications. I don’t think they really understand apps. I think they are simply something they think makes them cool and innovative even if the app isn’t very good.
2. Lack of understanding
I think most of them see LinkedIn as the only viable social media for business. And even then, I think they see it as a tool for finding a new job. You don’t see many of them participating or joining groups.
FaceBook is just for personal use and who wants to be that transparent? They have no idea what Twitter is for unless you’re a teenager or a celebrity.
Now they’re faced with new programs like Pinterest, Houzz and Instagram. I think they are waiting for it to sort itself out. The problem is that it will never settle down.
3. Need for control
In the marketing world, they are used to; they have a great deal of control of the message. When they want to communicate something, they have a creative develop the message to suit the media. They then route it through a series of departments for approval including legal, technical and marketing.
The message is then sent out from them to the audience with no easy way for the audience to respond or engage them. This is the way they like it.
The idea of a social media savvy person communicating for the company at the speed of social media makes them nervous. And the idea of a customer responding to them and maybe not agreeing with them doesn’t make them any more comfortable.
4. Not willing to let go of the past
They look at their budgets and usually start with what they’ve always done. By the time they add that up, thank goodness, there’s no money left for social media. They get to dodge the bullet for another year.
The past is also about using all messaging to sell their products. The idea of helping customers to make the right decision with good content that doesn’t sell also just doesn’t make sense.
5. Afraid of the unknown
They know what happens at a trade show or with an ad or a new website. They have no idea what will happen with social media. It’s one of those things they know they need to do but are afraid to put their toe in.
A final big problem is they also don’t know how to measure it.
If a building product manufacturer doesn’t get involved, their competitor will. The larger the company the more resistance there is to social media and the more opportunity there is for the smaller guy to grab sales from them.
Thanks for the following comments. I’d like to hear your feedback and suggestions on how to sell architects.
“Right on the money as usual, Mrk Mitchell.”
FELT Design Group
“Mark Mitchell you nailed it! The manufacturers who embrace social media have the upper hand. Those that are strategic and treat it like a two way conversation rather than a chance to talk about themselves will strengthen trust, sales and preference!”
Marketing for Manufacturers
FELT Design Group
“I think you nailed it.”
Senior Product Manager