01:49 - Ways manufacturers can capture architects’ attention
04:05 - The benefits of combining digital marketing with old-school sales tactics
05:06 - How sales teams can utilize Chat GPT effectively
10:13 - The successes and challenges of prefab construction
12:40 - The value of human connection in developing relationships
Meet the Guest-Hosts
Deanna starts the conversation by applauding episode 206, in which Vardhan Mehta, a seasoned architect and the co-founder and CEO at Acelab, shares invaluable strategies for manufacturers aiming to attract the attention of architects. Deanna emphasizes the shift in how manufacturers communicate with this audience group, pointing to a trend of returning to in-person events while still upholding a strong digital presence for information accessibility.
Everyone wants to be in person again, yet we're still carrying with us the expectation that was built during COVID that everything will be available to me digitally.” - Deanna Murphy
Steve asks about these evolving communication strategies, leading to a consensus on how important in-person and digital strategies were for manufacturers in 2023. Post-COVID, architects demand more intuitive digital experiences — through website design or copy — and manufacturers are stepping up to enhance their brand perception and engagement.
The next top episode Steve and Deanna mention is episode 202, where the Venveo team tackled the buzz around Chat GPT. They point out how integrating AI can revolutionize sales and marketing communications in the building materials space without completely replacing human roles.
Sales teams can be using Chat GPT to help them in their jobs. They should not be using Chat GPT to do their jobs.” - Steve Coffey
Instead of fully relying on AI, use it as a tool to support your team. AI can assist in automating mundane tasks, providing richer customer insights and crafting more effective marketing strategies. It’s important to figure out what exactly your company needs, where efficiency can be boosted and how your teams can better work together to understand where AI can be best utilized in your business.
One of Steve’s favorite episodes was episode 203 where the Venveo team talked about the winners and losers IBS/KBIS 2023, along with the biggest hits and misses at the event. Steve mentions how some brands stood out by creating intuitive and engaging experiences within their booths, which helped showcase their brand.
Deanna advises people going to a trade show to carry a notebook around and jot down what resonates with you and what could resonate with your audience.
Just being able to look at the booths there and the messaging there with fresh eyes can help you develop takeaways for your own brand.” - Deanna Murphy
Steve asks Deanna about IBS 2024 — will it be bigger? Deanna thinks it will be about the same. The momentum from 2023 and craving in-person events will carry over into 2024.
Another notable conversation happened in episode 204. Scott Myer, the Chief Operating Officer at Integrity Building Products, a prefab building products company, talked about the challenges and successes in prefab. He highlighted the crucial role of software like MiTek® and enhancing efficiency and customer engagement.
Steve mentions that his parents actually lived in a prefab house and the quality was great. However, there are conversations around quality being an arising issue for builders and cost being a potential issue for homeowners.
A lot of the topics that I hear around prefab is not just in getting it to the lot and making it, but it's also what's the experience that the end users have with the home.” - Steve Coffey
Deanna also mentions how modular construction is becoming more and more common, and technologies like MiTek are creating efficiencies in the prefab world.
Episode 201 stood out to Deanna, as it discussed the importance of building strong relationships with contractors and other industry players. Heather Bowman, Director of Marketing at Key-Link Fencing & Railing and Superior Plastic Products, was the guest on this episode. She drove home how valuable human connections are in the industry. People no longer just want to connect digitally with others — they want a combination of both.
When you do have that face-to-face interaction and then you have the digital to back it up, you can create really lasting partnerships.” - Deanna Murphy
Steve adds the importance of marketing and sales teams having a symbiotic relationship and their significance in presenting a frictionless experience to contractors. When marketing and sales work together to achieve that, it can make the contractor feel like the brand is close to them, which Heather touches on in this episode.
Drawing the episode to a close, both Deanna and Steve reflect on the dynamic, ever-changing face of the building materials industry. They express sincere thanks to their audience and esteemed guests throughout 2023.
Looking forward to 2024, listeners can expect more discussions surrounding new trends, new technologies and new strategies that are shaping our industry. Stay tuned for more expert interviews that dive into emerging topics!
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More About The Smarter Building Materials Marketing PodShow
The Smarter Building Materials Marketing podcast helps sales and marketing professionals find better ways to grow leads, sales and outperform the competition. It gives insights, examples and shares stories about how to create a results-driven digital marketing strategy for building products and construction companies of any size. SBMM is co-hosted by Venveo’s Founder, Zach Williams and Venveo’s CEO, Beth PopNikolov.