Posts Tagged ‘Marketing to specifiers’

Fine-tuning case studies to attract prospects

January 21, 2014

Many companies view their projects and case studies from their own point of view and typically reference the product name and location prominently in the title and the opening paragraphs of text.

Does this approach resonate fully with prospective buyers or is there more you could be doing to maximise your conversion opportunities?

Of course, a good bank of case studies are like a portfolio of work – they demonstrate where when your products have been installed, how long they have stood up to real-world use, the types of building you have worked on and the sectors you may specialise in.

But does this help the architect, landscape architect, engineer or interior designer – the people you are trying to target for your next project – find out how you can help them with the problem they are working on now?

Case study / project pages that have the product name and the building / location strongly foregrounded in the title and text tend to be discovered by people researching the specific products and locations that are referenced.

If a specifier knows you or your product, they will search for the brand name or your company name. If they are researching a particular building or location, they will naturally search for that location. Think about two example case study titles below, who they are likely to be found by.

  • Narrow: “Glasgow Commonwealth Games”
  • Still limited: “XYZ street furniture, Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games”

Public realm seating in Camden resolves urban challenges

There is a large pool of designers, specifier and buyers who don’t know your product, are undecided about what to use, or are looking for an alternative to what they used last time. These people may search for their requirement, such as ‘street furniture for regeneration’ or ‘street furniture for place-making’.

  • Better; references the benefit: “Street furniture for Glasgow regeneration area”
  • Better still; benefit highlighted more prominently: “Using XYZ street furniture to regenerate Glasgow”
  • Best; appeals to specifier searching for similar solution: “How XYZ street furniture created a sense of place”

If you can highlight the requirement in your case study title, or at very least the benefits of the product, this will help people in a similar position, who have a requirement to fulfil. In your case study text, it is also important to summarise the consultant’s project brief, or the problem that the client was trying to solve. In a previous post, we provide tips on how  to structure your case study pages on

Case studies address a specific requirement, and at the outset of a project there can be a number of challenges that demand a specialist solution.

Sign in to your content management system and optimise your content now.

Reach your audience with managed email campaigns

September 19, 2013

Take advantage of’s address books of qualified contacts to ensure your email campaigns reach the decision makers and influencers that matter to you.

Whether you want to drive traffic to your website, launch a new product or service, or simply to reach a wider audience for your news and promotions, can tailor a list to match your requirements.

Our data lists are second to none, as our clients can testify:

With gone-aways at a minimum and response levels well above average, is a company that truly understands the market and has the capability of compiling a selection of named contacts that matches client needs. I continue to value the additional insights they provide.

– Nick Gill, Account Director CIB Communications Ltd

Our detailed campaign analytics and reporting allow you to easily quantify your return on investment. You can see the delivery rates, open rates and clickthrough rates, as well as the job title, company and post town of anyone who has opened your email or clicked on a link.
Managed campaign template

How it works

• Define your objectives and target audience
• Plan a campaigns or series of campaigns
• Select contacts that match your customer profile
• Set up and test your email – using your HTML, one of our templates, or fully designed by us
• Send the campaign
• Report back to you with detailed campaign metrics

See an example of an email marketing campaign we managed for one of our clients.

Find out more about managed campaigns in our latest media pack.

Email us on

Or call us on 01786 407000

New illustrated view for suppliers

August 19, 2013

We have developed the Companies view in all categories on The new view is more visually appealing for your audience, making it easier for them to assess your business proposition.

New companies view

Remember the image-rich layouts in our industry-leading printed directories? This treatment provides a similar view, as well as including a snippet from your category entry to provide context.

An attractive, visual layout is still a must for buyers – when we conducted a user survey last year, they told us that browsing for ideas before searching for something specific is an important part of their workflow.

Six writing tips that will increase your reach and influence

July 18, 2013

When it comes to describing your products and services on, the ‘running order’ shown in the content management system helps you maximise your visibility and exposure.

CMS screenshot

A  buyer reading a well-structured description of your product or service knows whether you’ll probably be able to satisfy their requirements. If you are, they’ll be prompted to act. That could mean contacting you for a quote or additional information by phone or by email, downloading related literature and files, or simply deciding to use your products or services.

Our approach to technical communication – and the approach that we recommend you take with each of your entries – is based on BS 4940 Technical Information on Construction Products and Services.

Here are six principles to bear in mind:

Great tips from an Architect. Make it easier for your products to be found and specified?

September 25, 2012
We all know architects and designers are highly visual people. So it comes as no surprise that appearance is a key factor when specifying products or systems for client projects. (more…)

Getting social with

August 22, 2012

All companies listed on can now add social media links to your company profile pages, allowing designers, specifiers and buyers easy access to share and connect with your accounts. This new development allows you to clearly display your Twitter, facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube accounts next to your company profile.

(more…) customer research summary

July 25, 2012

We recently undertook some customer research to further improve our services and help us shape the vision for moving forward.

So here is a short summary of some of the key findings.

This research project was carried out by our research partners, Marketwise Strategies, to help us better understand the needs of our customers and the challenges you face in planning effective marketing activity in an increasingly challenging business environment. (more…)

Make the best use of your content to get your products specified

July 9, 2012

We spend a lot of time working with your content at, ensuring your products are presented in a way that designers, specifiers and buyers need for building or engineering projects.

One important bit of feedback we regularly get from users of, is the fact they really don’t like having to fill out extensive forms to download catalogues,  technical drawings or files.


Are your leads and referrals getting stuck in the funnel?

June 19, 2012

Knowing how and where your leads and enquiries come from is a key priority, period! No longer a ‘nice to know’, channel attribution is key to measuring ROI and for budgeting and planning. Yet there are some very common obstacles that may be preventing valuable enquiries or leads being fed back to your business.

In this post, we look at some very simple things you can do to ensure that leads and referrals generated by are getting back to your business.


A new agenda for sustainable brands

June 18, 2012

Guest editor Simon Goodall from OPX looks at sustainability and branding, and a shift in thinking about what sustainability now means for brands and why it matters.

For the past 10 years and more we have been talking about sustainability and its impact on brands. For us it’s always been a major issue, influencing much of the work we do, but the landscape is changing. The big question now is what does being a sustainable brand mean and why does it matter?

The 2008 Agenda

Before the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008 carbon and climate change were dominant issues. Al Gore’s film ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ had made a major impact and every forward-looking CEO in the world was trying to define a position on sustainability for their business.

Two things were apparent at this time:

• Sustainability largely meant ‘environmental sustainability’. In that sense it was often seen as a rather isolated subject not as something that was core to how an organisation thought or acted.

• For some organisations the commitment was relatively superficial. The focus was often on internal initiatives like office recycling which were easy to implement at minimal cost. At its most extreme ‘greenwash’ meant that some people were making a lot of noise about very little.

In architecture and construction the focus was always more substantial. The influence of planning legislation played a big role, forcing developers and the whole construction supply-chain to address issues around materials, energy, use of technology and building processes. Schemes like BREEAM (which we first branded 20 years ago) led the way – providing a firm basis for measuring success – but sustainability increasingly impacted the whole sector.

For some, like building engineers, this was to be expected. Legislation and growing commercial awareness meant that for the likes of Arup and AECOM sustainability had to be near the top of their brand agenda.

Carpet tile manufacturers were less obvious enthusiasts, producing large quantities of oil-based products that generally ended up as non degradable landfill. InterfaceFLOR’s approach was therefore all the more impressive. They re-engineered their whole business – from products, to processes to logistics – around a truly sustainable approach. For them sustainability didn’t just mean thinking about environmental impact. It meant thinking holistically about a social, economic and environmentally sustainable future and making this the core theme of the brand they developed with us. It’s this broader agenda that’s coming to the fore now.

The new Agenda

Last month’s excellent BRE conference ‘Retrofitting the Future’ focused on looking at ways to improve the efficiency and environmental performance of existing homes. Whilst the focus initially seemed to be on environmental benefits it quickly became apparent that we were talking about much wider sustainability issues like fuel poverty, economic growth, employment, health and new technology. This is a significant change, with social and economic sustainability becoming fully integrated with the environmental agenda.

On a similar theme we’ve been working with the Energy Saving Trust lately on a range of campaigns that aim to help people and businesses reduce energy consumption. Whilst the principles behind this remain rooted in carbon reduction, the messages are now firmly focused on economic benefits – essentially helping people to reduce their fuel bills.

These examples show that ‘sustainable’ can no longer be another way to say ‘environmental’. Instead it’s about a wider awareness of the realities of life in the 21st century – social, economic and environmental. Thinking and talking about these issues in a joined-up way is much the most powerful approach. It’s also how brands who see sustainability as important can create a distinctive and relevant position for themselves going forward.

Three things to keep in mind:

• Architecture and construction is already a sophisticated sector in terms of sustainability. Superficial actions and ‘greenwash’ branding will be seen for what they are, now more than ever.

• Talking about a pure environmental agenda is unlikely to gain much traction now. Money talks and it’s the economic benefits that will drive actions from government, business and individuals.

• Smart organisations are increasingly talking in terms of a win-win. Environmental innovations and technologies can be a driver for substantial economic and social benefits. Brands that focus on this will be the sustainable leaders moving forward. Knauf, InterfaceFLOR, BRE and Arup are all good examples of organisations who are doing this.

Guest post from Simon Goodall, Client Director/Partner at OPX

OPX is a London-based studio that helps businesses of all kinds develop their brands and improve the effectiveness of their communications. Work includes brand strategy, visual identity design, verbal identity programmes, and communications implementation across printed, digital and environmental media. Find out more about OPX on twitter @OPX_london

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