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News I published 15 June 2023

Manufacturers are one of the most important sources of information for DIY companies

For almost two decades, we have been monitoring the media orientation behavior of a wide range of construction and installation professionals. This has allowed us to understand which media sources architects, contractors, installers, and painters primarily use and how those preferences evolve. However, handyman businesses have remained a largely unknown group in terms of their media behavior. At least until now.

Understanding the media behavior of handyman businesses opens up lucrative channels

To gain more insights into this rather elusive group of professional handymen, USP Marketing Consultancy has launched the Handyman Insight Monitor. Handyman businesses, also known as multi-skilled tradesmen, are small contractors (maximum of 4 employees) that perform various construction and installation tasks. Our findings demonstrate that these professional handymen are numerous and often make decisions regarding brands and purchases. This makes them an interesting target group for manufacturers of construction materials and products.

Last year, we focused on procurement channels and revealed where handyman businesses from seven European countries prefer to purchase different products and materials they use. It turned out that the purchasing behavior of handymen differs from that of other construction professionals such as contractors and painters. This year, we examined how they acquire information about those products by focusing on the media orientation of handymen. Our results unveil the best channels to reach European handymen.

Manufacturers and points of purchase provide the most significant sources of information

We asked over 1300 handymen if and how often they use various sources of information for work-related purposes. Their responses, divided into digital and traditional sources, are depicted in the graph and reveal some clear favorites. Manufacturer websites have the largest audience: eight out of ten handymen use them as a professional source of information. With seven out of ten users, websites of construction material stores also score high as a digital source.

However, the second most popular source of information is the advice from staff at the points of purchase, closely followed by manufacturer representatives. These are not only traditional sources but also personal sources. Among handymen, these two personal sources are equally important as the most popular digital sources. Interestingly, whether digital or personal, the most popular sources share the same origin: manufacturers of construction materials or the stores where they are purchased.

Handyman businesses have specific expectations of manufacturer sources

This is good news for manufacturers aiming to target handyman businesses, as their websites and representatives rank among the most popular sources of information. However, to effectively utilize these channels, it is not enough to know how many or how often a source is used. It is equally, if not more, important to understand the specific purposes for which these sources are utilized.

Manufacturer sources serve as a prime example to emphasize this importance. When handymen indicated using manufacturer websites or representatives, we also asked them what information they expected to find through those sources. It turns out that handyman businesses primarily view manufacturer websites as a source for product data sheets, including product features and prices. They prefer contacting a representative to learn about new products and innovations, receive price updates, and address specific issues.

Heterogeneous handyman businesses need to be studied in detail for effective targeting

The popularity of information sources among handyman businesses varies just as much as the information they prefer to find through them. Since handyman businesses are a rather heterogeneous group of professionals, the differences and nuances don’t end there. The information in this article is based on the average responses of professional handymen from seven European countries. Their behavior and preferences may vary significantly when zooming in on a specific country.

Even within countries, handymen can be a diverse group. Therefore, the Handyman Insight Monitor 2022-2023, following the profiling of the average handyman business in the previous monitor report, aims to segment handymen into different

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