4 min read

The Challenge of Marketing to Architects

The Challenge of Marketing to Architects

Why should you read an article about marketing to architects? 

There are two potential reasons.  

1. you are a marketer for a building product company.

2. You are responsible for revenue for a building product company and are seeing a decrease in sales performance and wondering whether marketing can help.

Whether your are in the first or second category, this article is for you. 

Put plainly, marketing is the best way to drive revenue for building product businesses today.  

Why is this? 

Let us look at the challenges that sales teams are facing, and how marketing presents a solution. 

The expert spec sales team put on a development plan (and why it happened) 

Recently, a large manufacturer put their entire sales team on a development plan.

The team had an average of 15 years with the company and had never previously missed their targets. 

When we drilled down further, it was obvious that the reps were not the problem.

They were doing the same things they had always done.  

They were running the same playbook they had been for their entire careers. 

But the landscape was changing.  

Architects are harder to reach.  

Sales teams complain that architects are impossible to get a hold of and rarely call you back until they need something urgently.  

A few factors contribute to this.

Busy schedules. Urgent issues. Reliance on email, Slack, and messaging systems.

But mostly, architects want to engage on their terms. When they are ready. 

This challenge leaves specification sales teams frustrated and out of control.  

As a business seeking specification, it is important to understand these dynamics, to understand how you can adapt and support.  

The correct response is usually not to put your sales team on a performance plan.  

It is to consider how you can engage specifiers early, to generate good conversations for your sales team. 

NBS reports that 92% of specifiers turn first to online search for product information. In second place are manufacturers’ websites (87%). Then technical sales reps (67%). 

NBS Specifier Sources of Product Information

The most important thing to note is that your online search results and website (the domain of your marketing team) is the first place specifiers go - before your sales team. 

Because specifiers are more independent and less reliant on sales teams, you must consider their first contact with your company.  

What is the first experience they have with your brand? 

According to the NBS research, this is determined by your organic search results performance, website design and content, and then your sales team. 

It’s these digital experiences which determine whether you get the phone call from the architect, or your competitor. 

Making sure that those channels are active, influential, and aligned, makes or breaks your opportunity to engage specifiers early. 

So instead of putting more pressure on sales, it is time to evaluate how well your marketing efforts are aligned to the goal of engaging specifiers early, to generate good conversations, quotes, and orders for your sales team.

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The Challenges of Marketing to Architects 


Despite marketing playing an increasingly important role in gaining specifications, it is still undervalued and under-resourced. 

There are a number of challenges construction industry marketers face when trying to get a seat at the decision-making table, and getting the buy-in they need to succeed.

Here are the top 3...

Long-term vs. Short-term marketing 

Management teams (and especially CFO’s) often look for return-on-investment from marketing activities in the next month or two. This puts pressure on marketing to be busy, but not necessarily effective.  

With this kind of pressure, marketers are limited to "direct response" marketing campaigns that only seek to capture existing demand for their products, which is quite limited at any given time. Probably less than 1% of their total addressable market. 

With project life cycles ranging from several months to several years, architect’s decision-making process is extended and involves numerous stakeholders.

Making sure your marketing is set up to support this entire process means taking a longer view on return on investment.

You must make sure your marketing is set up to fully support your audience's specification process.

Without doing this there won’t be any results to measure, and the plug will be pulled on the marketing program. You will be back to where you started.  

So setting the right expectations with management is essential. 


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Technical content vs. “promo” content 

Marketing is often synonymous with promotion.  

This is how marketers are trained.  

It’s how they think.  

It’s what they’re expected to do.  

But they need to take a cue from their specification sales team.

The best specification sales reps aren't typical salespeople. They don’t drive sports cars, sell ice to Eskimos, or "work a room". They are practical. Knowledgeable. And according to some sources – “a little bit nerdy”. Often, they would have been good engineers or architects themselves, but ended up in building product sales.  

Similarly, specification marketing teams must be invested in the details. They must care about the same things as architects. They need to understand where they fit into the architect’s workflow and provide the educational and technical material they need at every stage.

This means that epic product demo video might need to take a back seat to a CPD academy

Lack of Knowledgeable Industry Voices 

We're not big fans of marketing guru's, but there is a noticeable lack of construction marketing industry voices and advice.

Look up B2C marketing and you'll find data-led insights.  

B2B Saas – thousands of playbooks for exactly how to do it.  

Marketing to Architects? 


At least, none published in the last decade, and they hardly touch on digital marketing.  

In the past, getting articles published in industry journals, email blasts, and trade shows were the domain of the marketing department.  

So there is a lot of understanding about these channels, but these are not the most effective ways for reaching architects today. 

There is research on the architect persona – but not a proven playbook.  

That’s what this blog series will be all about. We will be publishing a series of articles on “How to Market to Architects”, writing the playbook for the new era of building product sales and marketing.  

If you’d like to follow along, subscribe to our newsletter.  


Building product businesses need to adapt to a new reality – architects will get in touch with you on their terms.

If you’d like to influence their decision as to whether they call you or not, you have to think upstream.

  • What is their research process?
  • Are they finding you during this process?
  • What impression are making?
  • Are they finding everything they are looking for?
  • How do you follow up on that initial research? 

By answering these questions with the latest in building product marketing strategy, you can position yourself in prime position to influence their specification, help your sales team crush their quotas, and establish marketing as a key role in the growth team. 

If you’d like to follow along, subscribe to our newsletter, and you will get each new article over the next 12 weeks.  


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At Insynth we deliver a predictable flow of leads, customers, and specifications for building product brands through our inbound marketing approach, proven to connect with a technically demanding audience.

The latest marketing techniques such as construction inbound marketing, help building product companies to grow sustainability.

As the only HubSpot-certified agency to major in construction marketing. We have a proven formula of bringing a variety of functionalities together including CRM ImplementationWeb DesignSEO, and Content Marketing to achieve your ultimate aim: Growing your business and gaining new specifiers and customers.

Book A Free Consultation Today to discover more.

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