The BLD Blog

A collection of building materials marketing trends and insights focused on helping building product manufacturers BLD their brand.

Operation Automation

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Article Date: October 23, 2020

Lean Toward Digital for Lead Qualification

For any business to engineer growth, marketing and sales professionals must ensure that the sales funnel is a beehive of activity. It should be filled with prospects who have demonstrated interest in the company’s products and innovations and are primed for engagement – to learn more, to make a sale, and to close the deal.

For building materials manufacturers, the keys to success are filling that funnel with architects, specifiers, engineers, and building owners who make the critical decisions on everything that goes into a building – the building envelope, insulation, windows, doors, and more.

The rules of engagement have been evolving in this space for years, and the global pandemic that began in early 2020 has accelerated that evolution.

For BMMs, the conversation no longer begins with direct, one-on-one interaction between salesperson and prospect, whether it’s a phone call, an email, or an in-person meeting.

Today, it is a digital play.

Creating a Digital Ecosystem

Decision makers in the building and construction trade first conduct research online when they are searching for a specific product or solution to help meet the challenges they face on a particular project.

They will visit websites, review project profiles, delve into product specifications and work to build a knowledge base about a particular solution so they can develop informed questions about the product. They also prepare themselves so they can demonstrate knowledge about a solution they’ve identified if their client starts asking questions.

For BMMs, the first step toward developing a digital ecosystem primed for prospects is to harvest timely, relevant, and impactful content in the brand’s voice and on a regular basis. That content should be featured prominently on the website and on social media channels and should come in a variety of forms, including product descriptions and specifications, case studies that showcase products and solutions in a real-world environment, and authored articles that position the brand as a thought leader with insight and perspective on key industry issues.

It may also come in the form of infographics or videos that help visualize a challenge and the solution offered by the company.

Having this foundation in place – and constantly building upon it with new content – ensures that the pump is primed

It’s Got to Be Automatic

Studies show that architects are more apt to remain engaged and maintain a consistent connection with a brand when that manufacturer can regularly deliver relevant content.

Content feeds the digital ecosystem. Marketing automation puts it in motion. It merchandises all those great stories, enabling BMMs to create and share messages tailored to specific target audiences.

Using one of the many widely available marketing automation tools, the brand can design and launch a systematic digital program to engage those audiences with the appropriate frequency and the right customized message. In sharing a pathway to the brand’s organic content, the program drives those prospects to the manufacturer’s digital assets, whether it is a landing page or the company website.

Consistent engagement drives prospects further down the funnel so that they move from marketing qualified leads to sales qualified leads.

Through marketing automation, a manufacturer can monitor and track a prospect’s level of engagement with the content being served by the brand. In doing so, the brand can attach a score to that prospect’s activities. Did the prospect open the email? Did the prospect respond to the embedded call to action and click through for more? What happened when he/she received a second message? Did he/she unsubscribe to the mailing list?

Each of these actions changes a prospect’s score, and that score helps an organization determine the strength of a prospect and what should be done next to nurture it.

What’s the Frequency?

Launch a product, highlight its specifics, and you may think that’s enough to get you into the consideration set with architects and specifiers.

Research conducted by BLD Marketing shows that this simply doesn’t hold true in today’s marketplace.

Manufacturers face long sales cycles with architects, building owners, contractors, home buyers, remodelers and others who may be primed to specify the BMM’s products. That presents a challenge. How do you remain connected with decision makers and influencers, especially as they research, qualify, and ultimately select products to be included in their project?

Like everyone else, the key players in bringing a building to life must manage multiple and competing priorities that command their attention. If architects come across a product that offers a value proposition, rarely do they have the time to dive in and research it at that moment.

An architect might engage your brand’s content initially out of curiosity, whether it is an innovation you’ve introduced or a solution you’ve improved. At the same time, they may not currently be driving a project where your product makes sense.

This provides the impetus to extend the conversation by staying in front of them. Doing so heightens brand recognition and the possibility of more meaningful engagement down the road.

You increase the chances that your product becomes their solution by continuing to serve up smart content – delivered with the right frequency, available through through a variety of channels, and tailored to put them on a journey of discovery.

Handing off a cultivated lead such as this to your sales team effectively positions the organization for success.

The prospect has knowledge of your brand, has reviewed your innovations, and is ready for a productive conversation that can lead to conversion.


BLD Marketing is a results-based, digitally-focused, full-service strategic marketing firm exclusively serving the commercial and residential building materials category.