In the building materials industry, marketing is critical for generating brand awareness, leads and sales. But it can be difficult to do it effectively, and many manufacturers don’t get the kind of return-on-investment (ROI) they’d like to see. So they simply assume their marketing “doesn’t work,” and they chase trendy new tactics.

Only to find out those don’t work, either.

In marketing, success comes from discipline and consistency. With the right marketing strategies, building materials companies can skyrocket their ROI, reaching their ideal customers and generating sales leads. And when they use their network of channel partners effectively, they can further compound that ROI.

In this article, we will explore the key components of a successful marketing program for building materials companies and how they can use them to their fullest effect. We’ll also provide insights for how they can involve their channel partners in their marketing programs, unlocking their full potential to maximize ROI.

Attract and Engage Potential Customers with Content Marketing

Content marketing was made for the building materials industry. That’s because most building products are “high consideration” purchases. Whether it’s commercial or residential construction, the products will be in place for a long time. Customers – whether they are contractors, architects, builders or even consumers – want to know as much as they can about the products they buy.

Content marketing is a powerful tool for building materials companies to educate, inform and engage potential customers. By creating valuable and informative content, companies can position themselves as industry experts and build trust with their audience.

There are endless types of content building materials companies can use. Blog articles, white papers, case studies, installation videos, and how-to guides are just a few. The right mix depends on the specific needs and pain points of the manufacturer’s target customers.

The keys to success are patience and consistency. Content marketing is a long-term strategy. To maximize ROI, building materials manufacturers should understand that it can take months for a program to generate results, and that consistently staying in front of customers will have a cumulative effect on their results.

How to Involve Channel Partners in Content Marketing

A manufacturer’s channel network provides an opportunity to amplify their content marketing efforts. By providing blog posts, white papers, and other content through their channel management portal, manufacturers can give distributors the opportunity to customize the content for their specific markets. This allows them to be positioned as experts and trusted advisors, as well as the manufacturer.

Nurture Leads with Email Marketing

Although it’s been around for over 30 years, email marketing continues to be one of the most effective ways to nurture leads and turn them into loyal customers. Through personalized and targeted email campaigns, companies can stay top-of-mind with potential customers and provide them with valuable information.

The key to maximizing ROI of email is to provide immediate value. Remember, people often receive hundreds of emails every day, so building materials manufacturers must give recipients a reason to open emails, read them, and take action.

Emails should focus on a key customer pain point first, then position a product or service as the solution. They should also be segmented according to where the recipient is on the customer journey, gradually nurturing them from initial awareness to purchase consideration. This will be different for every product category, so understanding the customer journey is critical.

How to Involve Channel Partners in Email Marketing

Using a channel management portal, building materials manufacturers can work with distributors to develop email lists segmented by geography, customer type, and other factors. This allows them to create highly targeted emails that provide greater value to the customers. They can also provide customizable email templates so channel partners can create their own email campaigns, creating more touch points with the customers.

Connect with Customers with Social Media

Almost every manufacturer has a social media presence, but not everyone does it well. Social media is an effective way to create connections, brand awareness, and trust with customers, but manufacturers should craft their social media strategy carefully.

This starts with understanding their audience and determining the platform(s) where they spend their time. Selecting the right platforms also depends on the nature of the products the manufacturers offer. LinkedIn, for example, provides an excellent opportunity to engage with builders, contractors and architects with content that helps them run their businesses. Instagram, however, works well for manufacturers who offer more “photogenic,” design-oriented products.

While providing compelling content is important, many manufacturers overlook the importance of engaging with their customers on social media. By responding to comments and engaging in conversations, companies can build relationships with potential customers and create a sense of community. This fosters trust and loyalty, increasing the chances of converting leads into customers.

How to Involve Channel Partners in Social Media

Many building materials distributors and contractors don’t have the staff or know-how to use social media effectively. Manufacturers can help by providing assets, such as photos and videos, through their channel management portals. They can also offer social media training webinars and customizable social media posts to make it easier for channel partners to run their social media effectively.

Discipline, Measurement and Channel Involvement

Marketing is an exciting field because there are so many possibilities and opportunities to be creative. Taking an experimental approach, building materials companies can set themselves apart from the competition, creating brand awareness and sales opportunities in the process.

However, it’s important to be balanced. Whether they are using content, email, social media, or any other marketing strategy, building materials companies should be disciplined and consistent, continually measuring and adjusting to find what works and maximize their ROI.

And most importantly, they should involve their channel partners as much as possible. They are the ones who interact most with the customers, so it’s critical that they are integrated into their marketing strategies.


Want to learn more about how ZiftONE can streamline your dealer/distributor program? Check out our Building Material Manufacturers page.