Content Marketing

How to Market to Architects

What type of marketing will catch an architect’s eye?

 As a building products manufacturer or supplier, marketing to architects can be more challenging than marketing to your direct buyers. The needs and interest within the architectural community are different. Oftentimes, companies have innovative and useful building products that many architects would be interested in learning more about. But how can you get that information in front of the architect, so they can see what you have to offer?

Three questions that will guide you to gaining a better understanding of what architects are looking for.

1.     What resources do architects need from your website?

  • BIM Objects

  • CAD Drawings

  • Case studies

  • Continuing Education

  • Environmental Product Declarations [EPD’s]

  • LEED [How your products contribute]

  • Performance data

  • Product information

  • Project images

  • Specifications

  • Technical support

  • Warranty information

  • White papers

The main thing to remember when assessing your website through the eyes of an architect is that they are busy professionals who need to be able to use your website quickly and efficiently to get information on your products. Keep that framework in mind as you work to design your website and present your products. It’s important that when an architect is viewing a product on your website they can quickly and easily obtain more resources about that product while on that page. For some tips on designing your website to draw in customers, take a look at this blog from Division 08 Marketing.

2.      How do architects prefer to receive information?

The main thing to remember when sending information to architects is to keep it simple, visually appealing and easy to digest. You want an architect to be able to quickly receive your information and to be inspired to learn more about it through your website or a consultation.

  • Printed literature. Even though digital marketing is a very important factor in marketing to architects, sometimes it is just better to be able to flip through real-life pages to see a company’s products. Remember that architects are problem-solvers. Demonstrate how your products can help solve the challenges they are facing. Use education and teaching to encourage architects to further explore your products.

  • Email. Transitioning to the digital side of things, emails are an excellent way to disseminate information about your products and company to architects. Remember to keep your emails clean, simple and informative. Make sure that your emails are easy to read and not too lengthy. Also, try not to send too generic of an email to an architect: Take time to discover their area of focus and to show that you care enough to do some homework. Make sure that what you’re offering fits what they need and be specific about which of your products would be helpful to their work. Click here for an article with more information about email marketing techniques.

  • Do not send unwanted samples, brochures and booklets, etc. The last thing an architect needs is more clutter. Send printed literature or emails that include information about how they CAN get samples, case studies, brochures and other materials as needed, but don’t send until you receive a request. Make your products accessible, but don’t bombard architects with items they didn’t request.

3.      How do architects’ value social media?

Architects, like most of us, are using social media. But, how can you engage with them on social media?

  1. Visual inspiration. Architects are using social media to share and view visually inspiring things. Architects value aesthetics and innovation, so make sure to utilize social media to showcase your products in a visually-appealing manner. Get creative!

  2. Passion projects. Architects are using social media to showcase the projects they really care about. You can use this knowledge to learn more about what an architect cares about and how your products can support those passions.

  3. Engage with other industry professionals. Social media is an excellent place for professionals to connect and exchange ideas. Architects, and professionals from many industries, are using social media to connect with others in their field in order to share ideas, find new products and network. It’s important to make sure that your social media presence encourages architects to engage with your company and products.

Social media is a fantastic tool for networking with architects. Use your social media presence to provide visually-inspiring content that encourages architects to engage in further conversations with your company.

Are you ready to take the next step?

Division 08 Marketing is here to assist your company to be the best it can be at marketing to architects. Schedule your free, 30-minute consultation today to start reaching your marketing goals and learn more marketing tips.

Email Marketing 101: Utilizing Email Marketing to Grow Your Business.

Email Marketing


With a growing number of marketing channels available, it can be a challenge to know all that is available and to determine which is best based on your target audience and desired outcomes. To decide if email marketing is right for your business, it is important to understand exactly what it is, why it's effective and how it can be used successfully.

What is email marketing?

To put it simply, email marketing is sharing content with your audience by sending it directly to their inbox. It’s a way to keep your audience engaged and up-to-date on your business, and drive sales. It provides a cost-effective, efficient method to communicate your brand in a unique and consistent manner because it allows you to share your voice and personality in a way that other marketing channels may not.

Does it work?

One of the benefits of email marketing is that your contacts have willingly given you their email addresses to receive your email marketing messages, which means they are interested in hearing what you have to say. They are counting on you to share good content. Your OPT IN and OPEN RATES will be higher when your contacts KNOW who you are, which is another reason you should not purchase email lists.

Email marketing is not only for B2C audiences. In fact, it is more effective for B2B. Click through rates (CTR) in B2B email marketing are 47% higher than in B2C emails. As a source of information, email marketing is the third best source, only behind industry-specific thought leaders and colleague recommendations. And, according to B2B marketers, email marketing is the most effective marketing channel for revenue generation. After all, the ROI on email marketing is $44 for every $1 spent. You can find more statistics on email marketing here.   

How can you use email marketing?

We’ve learned that email marketing does work, but how can it help you?

  1. Convert your website visitors into customers. Email marketing allows you to nurture relationships with those who have visited your site and subscribed to your email marketing. You can communicate your expertise and value to your subscribers, and when they are ready to make a purchase, they will come to you.

  2. Grow your audience. With or without a website, you can use email marketing to grow your audience and keep them updated on your business. When you attend or exhibit at trade shows or conferences, collect contact information and grow your list. A lead retrieval device is ideal for recording contacts and building your database. If you provide AIA Continuing Education Lunch and Learns, this is a great way to build your database with quality contacts you can begin to nurture. Your goal is to become a reliable and knowledgeable resource for them, right?

  3. Increase your brand awareness. If you deliver valuable, consistent content to your contacts, you will solidify your brand with your audience. They will know who you are, your expertise, and they will grow to trust you. Additionally, as they find value in your emails, they will begin sharing those emails with their friends, family and colleagues.

  4. Make sure to share targeted messaging. Make sure to segment your database and create email lists that allow you to share appropriate messaging with a specific target audience or geography. Do not use a one message fits all approach. Modify your messages to speak to each unique audience. Are you a building product manufacturer or distributor? Based on your products or service, create individual lists specific for Architects, Interior Designers, Fabricators, Contractors.

  5. Increase website traffic. As you share new content with your email subscribers, you should include a call-to-action and links that will drive traffic to your website. Your contacts are already interested in your business, which makes them the perfect, captive audience to drive traffic and boost sales. Hopefully, you’ve attended to your website sufficiently and you are keeping it fresh. When customers, prospective buyers and influencers visit your website, it should be informative, visual and easy to navigate. Don’t disappoint!

  6. Boost sales. Email marketing is also a fantastic way to promote new products and share about upcoming promotions. By using the right tone, words and images, you can influence the reader to act. Utilize email communications to showcase project work recently completed. This is a testimonial to who is using your products or services, the variety of applications supported, quality, breadth of offering, etc.

  7. Establish customer loyalty and advocacy. Sharing customer success stories, reviews or user-generated content within your marketing emails will show your audience that you care. Plus, as you listen to customer feedback and implement positive change in response, your audience will take notice, solidifying their trust and loyalty. As they become loyal, they will also become your advocates, which will multiply the impact of your marketing efforts.

Where should you start?

Developing your email marketing strategy will take work, but it will be time well spent. First, you will need to choose which email marketing software you want to use. Second, you will need to build your database. Another critical note to share: DO NOT PURCHASE EMAIL LISTS. As a matter of fact, most [if not all] email marketing service providers will ask you to sign agreement that states you did not purchase your lists of contacts.

Remember to segment your lists. You may even want to create list specific to sales territories [by sales representative], or by service location. For example, you don’t want to send a message to contacts nationwide, if the message is specific to a promotion or event that is unique to a specific region or operation. Constant Contact is an excellent tool to utilize for email distribution. Of course, there are many tools to use and some are free if you have a small database, and you just want to begin testing the waters.

Prepare in advance for targeted messaging. You can accomplish this by including an email opt-in form on your website, or by manually collecting contact information at events. Next, you will need to identify your goals and create a plan. What are you wanting to accomplish through your marketing efforts and how can you bring forth the desired results? Your plan should include the nature of content to be shared with the different target audiences and frequency. For more information on creating your own email marketing strategy click here.

Whether you are a building product manufacturer, distributor, or contractor, email marketing should be a tool in your arsenal. If you aren’t sure how to get started, or simply do not have time to develop or manage an effective email marketing strategy, schedule your free 30-minute consultation today. We can help you use email marketing to grow your business!

What is Employee Advocacy and How Can This Help Build My Brand?


Here’s how an effective employee advocacy strategy can build loyalty in your organization and amplify your social media messaging.

What is Employee Advocacy? This may not be a term you’re familiar with, but it’s undoubtedly one that is impacting your business, and your bottom line.  A study from Weber Shandwick found that 50% of the U.S. workforce is voluntarily sharing about their employer via social media—that’s 60 million people talking about their place of employment. With that kind of exposure, ask yourself: What message are my employees sending out about my company?

Sales representatives using social media outsell 78% of their peers.

This is where an Employee Advocacy Plan comes into play. Studies indicate when you have specific employees talking about your brand on various social media platforms, brand awareness can increase by 14x. This is because your employees are already on social media, and the average employee has 10x more followers than a corporate network. Not only that, but 90% of their audience is new to your brand. If that isn’t enough to convince you that your employees may hold the key to your next big marketing push, consider this: Only 15% of people trust recommendations from a brand. But, if that same recommendation comes from a person they know, that number jumps up to 84% (WeRSM).

How is a social media policy different from employee advocacy?

If you have a social media policy in place, that’s great—but, it’s not the same as an Employee Advocacy plan. Your policy is simply telling your employees how they can act on social media channels. Or, in most situations, that they should NOT be participating in social media activity while at work. It’s the best way to stave off legal or security problems, but it doesn’t guarantee that your employees are posting anything positive about your brand.

This is the big difference between social media policies and advocacy plans: One gives boundaries for your employees, the other tells specific employees how they can advocate for your brand within those bounds. Of course, you don’t want every employee speaking on behalf of your company!

Who makes a good advocate?

Why not use every employee as an advocate? After all, the more employees you use, the more exposure your brand receives, right?

Wrong. This is NOT what we’re talking about.

Do you really want every employee in your organization sharing posts on behalf of your company, and adding their own ‘unedited’ comments? Absolutely not. There is a time and place for strategies that invite all employees to participate (I’ll touch on that later), but you should be selective about who is acting as your brand ambassador. Good advocates are employees who have a direct connection to your customers and prospective buyers—and, who have already received training on how to communicate your message. They are individuals you know will use good judgement in what they “like”, “share” and “comment on”. Potential candidates include management (specifically sales and marketing), field sales representatives, and perhaps customer service representatives.

5 Tips on Creating Your Employee Advocacy Plan:

  1. Make the benefits clear. No employee wants to spam their social network. Participation should be voluntary since this does rely on the employee using their personal social media channels. What do they get out of blurring the lines between work and personal life? Create a competition and offer an incentive to the advocate that generates the highest number of leads. Of course, you need to define the measurement up front and make sure to keep simple.

  2. Invest up front. If you’re considering attaching your advocate’s social media profile directly to the company (e.g., your head marketer has a secondary Twitter account that’s linked to the company), hire a photographer to take professional headshots. Consider holding a special training on how they should interact on behalf of your brand: Is your company’s voice fun and youthful? Serious and professional? Make sure they can be both themselves and consistent with the brand.

  3. Choose the right social platforms. The days of feeling obligated to have a presence on every social media channel are over. Based on your industry and target market, choose the social media channel(s) that are best suited to build your brand, and deepen your relationship with existing customers. Did you know that 80% of those who participate on LinkedIn do not engage on any other social media channels? LinkedIn is the top B2B lead generating social platform when it comes to reaching professionals and key decisionmakers. Here are some statistics for you. Another underestimated social channel is Pinterest. Building product manufacturers, architects, designers…there is so much more B2B activity on Pinterest than you would ever expect. Need a project or product showcase? Pinterest makes it easy!

  4. Communicate and monitor. Make sure you clearly communicate the difference between your social media policy and your employee advocacy plan. Designate someone on your marketing team to be responsible for monitoring your social media activity to ensure everyone is complying—at least until you are comfortable

  5. Focus on the benefits. Be cautious, but don’t overthink the potential negatives because the employees you choose to be advocates for your brand—already are, right? They are on the front line for you every day talking with customers and prospects. All you are doing is asking they “tune in” to what your marketing team is posting on social media to “like” and “share” with their connections and followers—many of whom are customers and influencers.

Look at the number of social media connections on your company page. Now, look at the number of connections some of your key sales representatives have. People connect with people, not as much with company pages. The company page is more of a repository—a place to share information that should be shared exponentially by its employee advocates and external influencers.

Ultimately, your Employee Advocacy Plan needs to reflect your company. What works for one company won’t work for another. It’s up to you to know your employees, your product or service, and your customer base well enough to marry the three into a successful plan. If you’re unsure of where to start or how to create a plan that works for you, we’re here to help. Take action with our marketing team, and let’s get your Employee Advocacy Plan off the ground.

Sell Your Story, Not Just Your Products

Blog Image.JPG

How TELLING YOUR STORY can increase sales

Storytelling has been around since the dawn of time. It has been used to pass on history to future generations, to entertain and to connect. Now, it is also a compelling and successful marketing strategy.

A great example of a company that is utilizing the power of storytelling is Under Armour. Earlier this year, the company released a commercial featuring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. In the clip, Dwayne shares stories of athletes overcoming adversity and succeeding in their dreams. Johnson also briefly shares his story, and it is extremely compelling. The commercial opens with the questions, “So how do you make it? How do you overcome the odds?” It closes with, “How are you going to get here? Will finds a way.” The commercial leaves the viewer feeling empowered, inspired, and as if they can accomplish anything -- no matter what setbacks they may have experienced up to this point.

As human beings, we crave stories. We are always looking to find something, anything that we can relate to. By using storytelling in your marketing strategy, you are not only giving your audience what they want, but if done right, you are also connecting with them on a personal level. An article by Entrepreneur explains, “[Storytelling] gives meaning to a product that is otherwise impersonal...It builds relationships and inspires your audience/customers/stakeholders to make decisions beyond pure logical calculation.” Plus, stories are easier to remember than pure facts.

Additionally, according to Fast Company, “A compelling story with an emotional trigger alters our brain chemistry, making us more trusting, understanding of others, and open to ideas.” Stories can literally change minds, and that is powerful. After all, we are trying to change the minds of our target audience members, so that they choose our services rather than those of our competitors.

So why should you use your story to sell your service? Here are three reasons according to Forbes:

  1. Through storytelling, marketers can develop deeper connections with their audience. For example, Subaru uses stories to communicate love and establish their brand as one that sells vehicles for those who care for their loved ones. By doing so, they elevate their brand and solidify how their brand fits into the lives of consumers.
  2. Storytelling is a powerful method for learning. As marketers, stories allow us to communicate both knowledge and meaning in a way that resonates with our audience. As people, we learn best through stories because they are memorable and engage us on a mental and emotional level.
  3. Storytelling allows marketers to engage consumers in a fragmented media world. As consumers, we are inundated with advertisements and brands, which can be overwhelming. By using stories to connect with our audience, we are providing them with a new way to connect with our brand -- and we are setting ourselves apart from our competition.

Storytelling in marketing is not a new phenomenon by any means, but it is a strategy that every marketer should employ.

What is your story? What problems do you solve for your customers? How do you make your customer’s life easier? If you are struggling to tell your story in a compelling way, schedule your free 30-minute consultation today. We can help you tell your story.