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New Research Sheds Light on How FMs Buy Products - Pt. 1

2/27/2019 BY Tim Rowe

Last month, Building Operating Management, Facility Maintenance Decisions and the NFMT Conference/Expo surveyed facilities professionals across the U.S. who are responsible for buying and specifying products and services. Well, the research is out of the field and currently in tabulation, and I've seen a preliminary set of flash tabs.

Some of the results stunned me.

To start with, print ads, yes you read that right — print ads, were the most effective advertising method in terms of influence and recall. 89% of the facilities professionals who responded said print ads were very/somewhat effective. Only 11% said that print ads were not effective.

Before we jump to the conclusion that FMs are not digitally savvy, the research showed that online ads were the second most effective ad vehicle after print ads. 84% of FMs said that ads online were very/somewhat effective, while 16% said they were not effective.

Let's take a step back to digest this and figure out what's behind these stats.

To begin with, the average facilities professional is older, many of them are 50 years old and older. So, we're dealing with a generation that was raised on print. There wasn't an internet when they were in school or starting their professional FM careers. Consequently, these decision-makers are most comfortable gathering product information from a print source, be it magazines, newspapers or direct mail. It's no surprise that print still works with them.

The fact that online ads ranked right behind print tells me that the facilities world has embraced the internet and relies on websites and eNewsletters for content and product information.

This research study is chock full of valuable data including:

  • Where in the buying cycle FMs want information from manufacturers
  • Top factors that get FMs to engage with manufacturers
  • The kind of Information that helps FMs make a buying decision
  • Marketing channels that get FMs to take action

The report will be ready in March, however in the meantime, here's something that may be useful. Don't waste your time or ad dollars on mobile ads. That was the second least effective ad method you can use when marketing to FMs. Want to know which marketing method is the least effective? Contact me and I'll send you a pdf of the entire report in March when it's published. I'll keep you in the loop on the buying habits of FMs. My next blog will provide a list of the most effective marketing methods that manufacturers and service providers should use in 2019.

Contact me if you'd like a copy of the FM Buyers Journey: Content Needs and Ad Preferences. I'd be happy to send you an electronic copy of the report when its published.



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