A few weeks ago, we had the privilege of hosting our first Building Products 4Cast 2021 virtual event. We brought together experts from Dodge Data & Analytics, Building Design + Construction and three clients for a panel discussion. The event wrapped up with a glimpse into next year’s B2B marketing trends.
Richard Branch, Chief Economist, Dodge Data & Analytics led off the session with his 2021 Nonresidential Building Forecast. He recapped the 2020 Q4 market trends and offered some insights into next year. From a macrocosmic perspective, he predicts -5.9 % growth by the end of 2020 but forecasts a slow recovery, +1.5%, in 2021. Positive building product market segments include warehouses, office renovations and hospitals. Needless to say, retail and hotels may not fare so well.
David Barista, Editorial Director, Building Design + Construction magazine shared innovations and trends from the largest architectural, engineering and construction (AEC) firms. Interestingly, BD+C’s Top 400 AEC firms comprise 30-60% of all construction. Along with warehouses, as mentioned by Dodge, multi-family rentals, cold storage facilities and data centers are expected to see growth. David also reviewed COVID’s impact on the industry, prompting firms to reevaluate the metrics behind business deals, as well as rethinking planning and design to ensure health and safety. Some of the building design trends David mentioned include the increased use of mass timber, indoor air quality (IAQ), touchless products and outdoor space connectivity.
For building product marketers’ perspectives, we invited three long-time Pipitone clients: David Leigh, Vice President, Marketing, Bobrick, a commercial restroom equipment manufacturer; Rob Struble, Brand & Communications Manager, Vitro Architectural Glass; and Dave Capezzuto, Vice President of Pre-Construction & Operations for Birdair, whose focus is tensile fabric structures for roofing systems, canopies and skylights. They shared how they have adapted their marketing plans during COVID and their plans for 2021.
During the final section, I highlighted Gartner’s annual CMO Spend Survey, which indicated CMOs are more positive about the economy compared to their C-suite colleagues, as they focus on existing products and customers support a more conservative marketing strategy. Somewhat surprisingly, brand strategy rose to the #1 most vital marketing strategy, from near the bottom of last year’s list. Of all marketing budgets, marketing technology will continue to increase. Ben Korman, Pipitone’s Senior Content Strategist, then shared some emerging marketing trends leveraging virtual, digital and social media.
According to our post-event polling, the event provided meaningful information and it was suggested that we host more of these in the coming months.
At Pipitone Group, we’re proud to share our experiences and expertise with you. Explore more Pipitone Group blogs and podcasts on our Building Products channel—and if you want to connect about any of these insights, please contact us.