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MARKETERS GUIDE TO
A GUIDE TO USING BIM AS A MARKETING TOOL
2. BIM 101
3. Marketing with BIM
4. Benefits of BIM as a Marketing Tool
5. Where to Start?
6. BIM Resources
7. BIM BONUS
Unless you are really new to marketing construction products, you will be
well aware of Building Information Modelling and its increasing role within
But while the techies argue about the best software to use, the best way to
deliver data drops and whether IFC is or is not the answer to everything,
building product marketers like yourself have a few things to consider too.
Sure, this is really important stuff. Stuff that could dramatically revolutionise
the industry for the better. But BIM doesnt work without buy-in from
building product manufacturers.
And actually, theres a strong argument that the marketing benefits of BIM
actually provide the more important discussion for building product
manufacturers when it comes to deciding whether or not to go ahead and
get BIM ready.
Yet this is an area that seems to be remarkably light when it comes to
articles, discussion or guidance.
So our aim here is to give you, the savvy building product marketer, a guide
on the key aspects of BIM you need to know about, the benefits to the
marketing team and how you can get started.
BIM 101OK, so lets start with a really quick overview of
what BIM is and why you should care. Feel free to
skip this part if you are up to speed.
What is BIM?
BIM is an acronym for Building Information Modelling, which is a process
that involves creating and using an intelligent 3D model to inform and
communicate project decisions.
The National Building Information Model Standard Project Committee
has the following definition:
Building Information Modeling (BIM) is a digital representation of
physical and functional characteristics of a facility. A BIM is a shared
knowledge resource for information about a facility forming a reliable
basis for decisions during its life-cycle; defined as existing from earliest
conception to demolition.
One of the common misconceptions is that BIM is software. But as you can
see from this description, BIM is a process, which is enabled by various
types of design and data management software.
Whilst it is currently the most talked about subject in construction, it is not
a new idea. BIM, as a concept, dates back to the 1970s when it was referred
to under various terminologies, such as Virtual Building or Integrated
But it is only in the last 10 years that BIM has started to gain a much
broader audience, and really only over the last 2-3 years has it become such
a hot topic.
What is a BIM Object?
A BIM object, sometimes referred to as a BIM component, or model, is a 3D
representation of a real-life object, in your case, a building product. It is
geometrically accurate to the real life version of the product. Critically, for it
to be classed as a BIM object, rather than just a 3D CAD model, is that the
model contains, or links to, other data and information about the product.
This can include information about the manufacturer, performance
properties such as U-value or Fire rating, and other data such as cost or
lifespan. It is this information that is the really smart and valuable aspect of
Why is This Important for Building Product Companies?
As touched on briefly, BIM wont work without the buy-in of manufacturers.
This is because BIM relies on the data or information stored within the 3D
objects. And for this to be an accurate representation of real life and
actually be useful, it needs manufacturers data.
And because construction professionals need this information of a project
being created using BIM, they are more likely to use a company that has
provided them with the BIM object to make their process really simple.
Marketing with BIMSo just how do we use BIM as a marketing tool?
Well, in marketing terms, BIM is effectively nothing more than a very
technical form of content marketing which is aimed at a very specific
market specifiers who use BIM.
Its what we call an infoproduct.
Infoproducts are generally types of long-form, technical content that are
great at attracting and converting your target customers. While your blog
posts will bring in traffic, relevant to your products or services, infoproducts
offer these readers to dig a bit deeper on a particular topic in exchange for
a bit of information about them (name, email address, company etc.).
You get the details of someone who you know is interested in a particular
topic and they get a free copy of a valuable and useful piece of information.
Your regular infoproduct would usually be one of the following:
Useful tools (calculators etc.)
Marketing with BIM
This guide youre reading right now is an infoproduct, designed to help us
identify the marketing people within construction companies, who are
interested in BIM, so we can start to build a relationship.
And thats the really powerful aspect of infoproducts and in this case, your
BIM content. They allow you to target a really specific type of customer and
position your company as an educational and valuable resource on a
particular topic. Over time, this builds trust and makes it an easier decision
for people to use your products.
So you need to use your BIM content as you would with any other piece of
good quality content marketing and use it to accurately identify quality
Marketing with BIM
Benefits of BIM as
A Marketing ToolIgnoring the demands of Government projects to
use BIM, lets have a look at some of the other
benefits of having BIM objects as part of your
content marketing arsenal.
#1. Identify Very Specific, Quality Leads
As touched on before, your BIM content will attract a very specific type of
potential specifier (ie. One using BIM). But perhaps even better than that is
that the action of downloading your BIM content shows real intent. Anyone
could download your brochure to have a high-level browse through,
without any real intention of using your product at this stage, but
downloading a BIM object suggests your product is at the very least being
very closely looked at.
#2. Stand Out from the Crowd
Dont be fooled by all the noise surrounding BIM. Were still a long way
from wide scale adoption, and on the manufacturers side, only a relative
handful of manufacturers have BIM content available. If you look at the two
main content creation houses in the UK (Bimstore and National BIM Library)
they only created content for around 80 companies between them
(accurate at the time of writing). But this number is growing all the time. By
acting now, you could massively benefit from first-mover advantage.
#3. Create a PR Storm
Building on the previous point, being the first [insert product type]
manufacturers to have BIM content created is a newsworthy story. Industry
press and journals will pick it up and run with it. And even if youre not the
first in your product vertical, you will still pick up press. Again, there is not
as wide scale adoption as the noise can make it seem. Tell people that
youve got BIM content, and more importantly, why.
Benefits of BIM as a Marketing Tool
#4. Demonstrate Technical and Digital Savvy
In an increasingly digital environment for sales and marketing (and
everything really!) it can only be beneficial to demonstrate that your
company is no dinosaur. Show everyone that you are on top of modern
technology and that you are willing to invest in staying ahead of the game.
This is only going to be more important as the wave of digital construction
professionals come to the fore.
Benefits of BIM as a Marketing Tool
Where to Start?So lets assume your company have or have
decided that you will get BIM content created.
How do we start marketing with them?
Step 1. Get them on Your Website
The first thing you need to do is get your BIM content online. You will want
to do this in a few places in order to ensure you get the most visibility, but
the first place to start is your website.
Most companies will have a dedicated BIM area on their website, where
specifiers can download BIM objects for all of their products. This is fine,
and is a good idea to have, but its just as important to have BIM objects
available on each individual products page.
This is important as many visitors to your site may only land on a specifics
products page, so they should be able to find all they need for that product
on that page. This also provides a much better user experience than having
to navigate different areas of your website, depending on the type of
Step 2. Get them on Other Websites
Getting your content on your own website will be the first step, but in order
to really make the most of your BIM content and reach the widest audience,
you need to get it out on other relevant platforms.
If you have content created by BIMstore or National BIM Library (NBL), then
they will likely provide you with hosting on their respective platforms. These
are good for attracting users who are specifically looking for BIM content
and already know exactly what they need. But for many specifiers, this is
not the case.
Where to Start?
They need to find your BIM content in the context of researching your
building products, in which case they need more than just your BIM
At SpecifiedBy we host BIM content from both BIMstore, NBL and content
created in-house by manufacturers, but importantly, it is promoted
alongside your other vital product information datasheets, sample
specifications, CAD files, case studies etc. allowing specifiers to find and
download your BIM content when they need it.
Step 3. Collect Leads
Your BIM objects are now online, but thats not enough in itself. This
content needs to be generating leads for you to qualify and follow up with,
so whether its your own website, or any other, you need to be capturing
details from the people who are demonstrating their interest in your
products, by downloading your BIM content.
At the very least, you should be aiming to collect a name and email
address, but really you want to be collecting as much information as
possible. Who do they work for? What is the project they are working on?
When does it start? Etc. etc.
To do this on your own website you can either ask for some combination of
these details every time someone wants to download a file, which becomes
a real pain for the user if they need more than one, or you can create a
signup process in which you capture the persons details once, and then
track what they download each time they come back and log in.
Where to Start?
With third party sites you need to be getting this data as well. Again, at the
very least, they should be collecting names and email addresses, but
preferably much more. At SpecifiedBy, we capture details of the specifiers
projects and a history of products theyve been interested in or specified.
Tip: Making the simple change of asking for people to enter their Work
Email rather than just their Email will see the majority of people use their
work email, so you can work out what company they work for.
Step 4. Get the Word Out
As we touched on earlier, there is still a good story to be told when you
have created your BIM content, so push for whatever PR you can when you
launch them. The platforms you host them on should help, particularly
when it comes to search engines, and then there is plenty you can do
Create content (guides, blogs etc.) around BIM related keywords that
link to your content eg. window bim objects
Attend BIM focused events to meet people who are working with BIM
and need BIM content
Create case studies for projects where your BIM objects have been
Create informational content about the creation of your BIM objects
were and the information they contain
Where to Start?
Step 5. Keep People Up to Date
One of the challenges with BIM is that there will inevitably be regular
updates to your objects, either due to general changes needed to improve
the BIM object itself, changes to your products, or an update to comply
with new software versions. Whatever it is, make sure you let anyone who
has downloaded your BIM content know when it has been updated, or even
when you have had additional content created that they can now access.
Its a great excuse to get in touch with someone, see how they are getting
on and what projects they have coming up and to generally keep your
products fresh in their mind.
Theyll appreciate you taking the time to make sure they have the most up-
to-date version of your content.
Where to Start?
BIM ResourcesTo finish, heres a collection of websites and
articles worth visiting to learn more about BIM
from a manufacturers perspective.
BIM Task Group useful website which aims to help deliver the objectives
of the Government Construction Strategy
BIM4SMEs - working group aimed at helping SMEs to better understand
and engage with BIM
BIM4SMEs LinkedIn Group - Join in the discussion with other SMEs
BIMCrunch BIM related news and opinion
A Q&A with the Cubicle Centre on their BIM Journey
Discussion with ASSA ABLOY on their decision to become BIM Ready
Article from AluK looking at how they justify the costs of BIM
Government BIM Report Outline of the Governments plans to support
and encourage BIM Adoption
BIM for the Terrified Technical look at adopting BIM from Construction
Bimstore Space Group / BIM Technologies
National BIM Library RIBA Enterprises / NBS
Bimstore Standards and Templates for In-house Creation
As a thank you for downloading and reading this guide, weve got a special
discount which gives you 20% off the annual cost of our Lead
Generation package which comes with unlimited hosting for all your BIM
content. Thats a saving of 298 per year!!!
Go to http://specifiedby.com/construction-marketing, register your
company and enter the code below when you are asked to choose between
the Listing Only plan or Lead Generation plan.
01 06 14
SpecifiedBy for Manufacturers
SpecifiedBy makes it even easier for specifiers to access detailsabout the performance and properties of our product range andcompare them with others on the market in order to make aninformed decision.Abby Chandler, Marketing Manager @ Heckmondwike
a must for manufacturers to be on.Paul Ogle, Marketing Manager @ Olsen Doors & Windows
Unlike other portals, SpecifiedBy puts us directly in touch with clients who are specifically in need of our particular specialised products and services.Andrew Guppy, Marketing Manager @ Classic Barns Company
"Specifier leads are crucial to our business"Craig Sewell, Marketing Manager, Cubicle Centre