News I published 22 March 2022
Did contractors’ usage of digital media increase in two pandemic-infested years?
Digitalisation is a major trend that affects the construction sector on several levels. Increasing usage of BIM is changing the construction process, for instance, and the rise of online ordering is affecting purchase channels. Digitalisation also affects the ways construction professionals gather information on products and solutions, which means that the usefulness of media channels that manufacturers use for the marketing of construction materials and products may also change.
That is why we regularly interview contractors on what media channels they use for information gathering and orientation on construction products and brands. In a previous article, we discussed the virtual trade show, which has appeared as a digital alternative to the physical trade shows that were cancelled due to the pandemic.
What about contractors’ usage of the other media channels though? Can a trend of digitalisation or a disruptive effect of the pandemic be seen in them as well? That is what we interviewed 950 European contractors about for the H1 2021 report of USP Marketing Consultancy’s Contractor monitor, which focuses on the media orientation of contractors from eight European countries.
Contractors’ usage of media channels did not change much over two years
European contractors’ usage of six of the media channels included in our study did not change much in two years. The share of contractors who report to use manufacturers’ websites or representatives as sources of information is still around 90%, for instance. Likewise, the shares of contractors using manufacturers’ brochures, wholesalers’ websites, and printed or digital newsletters was more or less the same in 2021 as it was in 2019.
As for the media channels that do show change in usage, the share of contractors visiting trade fairs dropped most significantly. As we discussed in a previous article, that was due to COVID-19 restrictions. Other changes in usage are rather slim. It seems that usage of trade magazines declined a bit, while wholesalers’ representatives got slightly busier over the last two years. Meanwhile, the share of contractors using social media increased from 49% in 2019 to 57% in 2021, and the most significant increase is seen in usage of mobile apps, from 46% to 59%.
Digitalisation or not digitalisation?
As mentioned, changes are either absent or rather slim and do not show much of a digitalisation trend in media usage at first sight. Sure, the increasing usage of mobile apps and social media can be narrated as evidence of digitalisation of media usage, but it is just as easy to link these increases to the pandemic.
When looking at contractors’ expectations for the time to come, that image changes a bit though. Usage of digital media like websites of manufacturers and wholesalers, digital newsletters and especially mobile apps and social media is more often expected by contractors to increase. Meanwhile, a decrease is more often expected for traditional media, like manufacturers’ brochures, trade journals and printed newsletters. These expectations do betray a gradual move away from traditional and towards digital media.
Although the trend of digitalisation does not appear much in the development of media usage of European contractors shown above, it is essential to realise that behaviour and attitudes of these contractors can vary a lot from country to country. To find out where the digitalisation trend is stronger or in which countries’ traditional sources seem more persevering, we refer you to the H1 2021 report of USP Marketing Consultancy’s Contractor monitor.
Read more about the subject
26 February 2024 I Jeroen de Gruijl
BIM usage European level
19 February 2024 I Henri Busker
The buying behaviour of European contractors remains very traditional
05 February 2024 I Dirk Hoogenboom
Electrical installers only spend a small share of wallet at pure online players
05 February 2024 I Dirk Hoogenboom
European HVAC installers still prefer face-to-face training over online training
Fresh Insights Await
Our latest reports
Delve into the newest findings across various market segments, crafted for a cutting-edge overview. Explore our latest reports, brimming with up-to-date data, trend analyses, and in-depth examinations, all tailored to provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the current market dynamics.
Behavioural segmentation and media usage report 2023
2023 75 pages
This report provides a comprehensive overview of purchase behaviour, products, and media usage, specifically focusing on European handymen. It delves into how handymen use media, and for what purposes, and examines their habits and preferences in terms of purchasing behaviour.
Branding Q3 2023
2023 93 pages
This report offers an extensive overview of the home improvement industry, with a focus on branding and the most popular brands within different categories. Within this report, you will gain insights into how customers perceive home improvement brands and what motivates them to buy certain products.
Purchase channels Q2 2023
2023 114 pages
The European Home Improvement Monitor offers valuable insights on purchase channels in the European home improvement industry, examining the evolving preferences and behaviors of consumers across traditional retail and emerging online platforms.
Training needs Q4 2023
2024 110 Pages
This report explores the training needs of installers, both digital and personal. The full report covers all important training needs & aspects and offers a comprehensive overview of business development in the installation sector across important European countries.
Purchase channels Q4 2023
2024 97 pages
This report offers a comprehensive view of the buying and ordering behaviour among electrical installers in Europe. Within the report, you will find key information on the purchase channels installers use, the share-of-wallet per channel, the way of ordering and much more.
Services in the Installation market Q2 2023
2023 111 pages
This report explores the type of support installers anticipate from manufacturers and to what degree. Alongside a thorough examination of installation services, the report presents a comprehensive overview of business development in the installation sector across important European countries.
Purchase channels Q3 2023
2023 106 pages
This report provides a comprehensive view of the attitudes of installers toward purchase channels, specifically among HVAC installers. In the report, you will find insights into buying behaviour, which channels are mostly used, which are growing, and whether online channels are gaining acceptance.