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News I published 17 November 2023 I Dirk Hoogenboom

Manufacturers can stand out with online sources of information for architects

It is a professional must for architects to stay up-to-date with the trends and developments in building design and construction. To do so, they can use a variety of media and information sources, including many digital channels. For manufacturers of construction materials and products that are specified by architects, it is important to know about developments in architects’ orientation behaviour. Especially because orientation behaviour was dramatically disrupted recently.

The use of digital media was boosted by the pandemic

Recently, the pandemic that soared around the world also disrupted trends in orientation behaviour, causing rather dramatic developments. After decades of slowly and steadily increasing usage of digital sources of information, for instance, the pandemic gave that increase a massive boost. Since other sources were temporarily less available due to restrictions, digital sources were used more by professionals throughout the building construction and installation sectors.

As the results of USP Marketing Consultancy’s European Architectural Barometer show, that was also the case for the architects. Their usage of digital sources skyrocketed during the pandemic and, more interestingly, has remained at very high levels since. At the moment, digital media are the most used source of professional information among architects in all eight countries we measured.

Most used digital sources of professional information

Digital sources of information or digital media channels can mean a multitude of things, though, and usage varies widely per channel. For example, internet search engines are used by pretty much all architects, whereas digital tools or apps from wholesalers are only used by half. And that only counts the share of architects using those channels, not how often they use them or how useful they find them.

That is why we also asked architects which sources of information they find the most useful. The top two, depicted per country in the image, show the importance of internet search engines. Architects in every country find searching on the Internet the most useful source of information. For manufacturers, this emphasizes the importance of ending high in architects’ search lists.

The second-most useful sources betray how manufacturers can stand out

So what about the runners-up—the other channels that architects find most useful? First of all, manufacturer websites are considered the second-most useful source of information in Belgium, Spain, and the UK. German architects find the parts of those websites dedicated to architects second-most useful. This shows that just being found through search engines is not necessarily enough. Manufacturers can stand out with quality websites that offer exactly what architects expect to find there.

The runners-up also show that business network sites like Linked-In can be used to catch the eye of the installer, especially in France and the Netherlands. Lastly, it is important to note that although digital media are used the most, traditional media are not yet extinct and should not be ignored. Architects in Italy and Poland still find professional journals and magazines the most useful sources of information after searching on the internet.

For a full overview of the media orientation behaviour of architects in eight European countries, we refer you to the USP Marketing Consultancy’s European Architectural Barometer.

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