The Construction Marketers Guide to BIM From SpecifiedBy

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    [email protected]

    SpecifiedBy 2014

  • Contents

    1. Introduction

    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

    SpecifiedBy 2014

  • Unless you are really new to marketing construction products, you will be

    well aware of Building Information Modelling and its increasing role within

    the industry.

    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.


    Darren Lester

    Founder, SpecifiedBy


  • 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

    Project Models.

    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.

    BIM 101


  • 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.

    BIM 101


  • 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

    sales leads.

    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

    content required.

    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.


  • Websites

    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

    Useful Articles

    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

    Products Association

    Content Creation

    Bimstore Space Group / BIM Technologies

    National BIM Library RIBA Enterprises / NBS

    Bimstore Standards and Templates for In-house Creation

    BIM Resources

  • 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, register your

    company and enter the code below when you are asked to choose between

    the Listing Only plan or Lead Generation plan.

    **BIM BONUS**


    20% Off

    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[email protected]

    SpecifiedBy 2014