Architects are a highly sought-after consumer set in the building materials industry. Their unique skills and qualifications can add millions to the value of a building and create incredible spaces.

But what do architects really want from building material manufacturers? Or what do manufacturers want to know that architects want from them?

The persona of today’s architects

Today’s architects are a diverse demographic – and your team needs to understand this and your marketing needs to reflect it. They are not only confined to their offices and blueprints, but are becoming increasingly concerned with community issues and social responsibility.

  • Architects tend to be:
  • Typically introverted.
  • Creative, with deep technical ability.
  • Curious.
  • Demographics are wide, meaning they have differing specification methods and information needs.
  • Not confined to offices.
  • Visionary.
  • Some specialisations globally, but more diverse projects locally.
  • Uniquely big picture and detail orientated.

Understanding their persona will make the relationship with the architect easier and more effective.

  • It’s important to understand what architects find important:
  • Architects won’t compromise on form or price.
  • Architects want to read about your past projects.
  • Architects may want samples, either for the office or on site (this depends on the practice), so your website should be an open doorway to product samples.

What do architects want from your website?

Architects picked out the following list of six types of content as information that is most helpful when they are researching a product to spec for the first time:

  1. Case studies and product samples.
  2. Downloadable AutoCad, Revit or 3D files.
  3. Photos and videos.
  4. Interactive tools such as calculators or product visualisers.
  5. PDF brochures.

Architects want products that have it all

To an architect, everything matters – they aren’t willing to compromise in any area. They want a high-quality product that looks good, performs well and is readily available.

What architects want manufacturers to know

They want you to understand their professional relationships, as they must balance several relationships. Most of the time, they must defend their decision to spec your product to several other parties – including general contractors, builders and the client:

  • They are the liaison between manufacturers, the professional team and the client.
  • They must depend on another party to install.
  • They want you to understand that price matters – they need high-quality products at a reasonable cost.
  • A competitive market needs low-cost, high-quality materials.
  • In many situations, the cost is the overruling factor.

Even if you can’t put pricing on your website, you need to speak about it upfront.

When specifying a product, architects must make sure it aligns with many requirements. Several architects voiced their frustrations with the lack of available information and how difficult it is to analyse product materials or functions. They need complete information about the specifications for that material. They also need the information on a project quickly, so tell them what they need to know and ensure that you have samples available.

Architects’ biggest frustrations with building material websites are:

  • Architects need all the information as specific as possible.
  • List specific building types where your projects do best and add information about what other products they complement. Offer estimate calculators or give direct phone numbers of your sales team.

Having a thorough understanding of the needs and wants of the architect and his client, is crucial to a successful relationship.

To have the full research presented to your sales and marketing team, contact Marlene van Rooyen on 083 327 3746 or

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