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Trends I published 15 December 2023

DMU Changes

A key characteristic of the construction, installation, and home improvement markets is the complex decision-making unit (DMU). In B2B construction projects, investors, developers, architects, engineers, contractors, installers, finishing companies, and merchants can all influence the product type and brand selections. Each of these parties involved in the DMU has different purchasing criteria.

Meanwhile, the DMU is changing. Contractors are gaining importance in the whole process as they are more often involved in the design phase of projects. Furthermore, principals are becoming more demanding, and consumers are better informed about their home improvement projects. So many manufacturers find this ever-evolving sea of complex DMUs that differ per project and product hard to navigate. Our market knowledge and dedicated DMU research help them set a course to success.

How does a changing DMU impact the industry?

USP has researched the DMU since the start of the company (for almost 30 years) via dedicated research projects for manufacturers and suppliers and our different European multiclient research.

The DMU has changed over the years due to trends like:

  • BIM, leading to a situation in which BIM modellers are specifying products.
  • House builders are becoming bigger and specifying more towards architects.
  • Prefab producers have an increasing influence on the products and brands applied to their solutions.
  • Regulations give more authority to subcontractors, allowing them to buy products besides the installation.
  • Real estate investors are more and more interested in the total cost of ownership of different products and solutions.

How does USP help their customers with DMU research?

For both manufacturers and wholesalers active in the construction market, a good understanding of the DMU is crucial for your marketing and sales strategy. Also, knowing the decision criteria is helpful for an effective communication strategy.

We help our customers with:

  • Trend research (like BIM, prefab, and sustainability) and their impact on the DMU and buying criteria
  • Researching products and brands specified by architects and the strength of their specification
  • The degree to which subcontractors can break specifications from investors, architects, etc.
  • The DMU is in a “do-it-for-me” situation in the home improvement market

Context is key

To create an overview of market developments and provide context for client-specific research, USP Marketing Consultancy has developed several monitors. We continuously research market developments and the effects of key trends like labour shortages among architects, contractors, HVAC installers, electrical installers, painters, and end-consumers, of which reports are published quarterly, semi-annually, or annually.

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