Reaching the Retailer with Your Building Product in the Digital Age


Shopper-centricity in marketing strategies is more critical today than in any other time in history, especially regarding the relationship between retailers and manufacturers of a specific building product.   Consumers are now more sophisticated, selective, and demanding in their shopping strategies for choosing design elements from the lumber and building industry.  There is a new game in town, but many businesses are unfortunately still playing by the old rules. 

Retailers and manufacturers tend to define shopper-centricity quite differently.  While both target their marketing strategies to the same general demographic, the retailer usually measures success in terms of building product categories and individual stores.  Meanwhile, the manufacturer focuses more on a particular brand.   By leveraging their combined marketing strategies more effectively to align with consumer demand, both retailers and manufacturers can achieve a greater return on their investment.   

Promotion Overkill

One of the more common advantages to a unified marketing strategy is the significantly lower risk of promotion overkill for a particular building product, category, or brand.  The assumption that a customer always loves a good deal is a very common misconception.  In the building industry, where the customer might be a project manager, a purchasing agent, a property owner, or perhaps a sales representative of a major construction company, the perceived exclusivity of the material may far outweigh its potential cost savings.  With a retailer-manufacturer collaboration of marketing, the risks of devaluing the building product, category, or brand decrease substantially.

Digital Unity

Thanks to rapidly advancing smartphone technology, builders are shopping with more focus and confidence.   With instant access to an array of product information always at their fingertips, customers can now make almost split-second decisions on final selections of materials.  The online reputations of the product, the retailer, and the manufacturer come into play more often than many business owners realize.  Potential customers are not only basing their decisions on the cost, delivery dates, and value of the product, they are now taking into consideration the online customer reviews and product usage experiences that are also so easily accessible. By unifying their digital branding and marketing strategies, retailers and manufacturers can save one another time, money, and possible long-term damage to their online credibility.


When discussing the sometimes overlapping marketing strategies of retailers and manufacturers in the lumber and building industry, most would agree that the manufacturer has a better ability to assist the retailers’ efforts to reach specific regions of targeted customers.  When the collaboration is successful, the marketing sales funnel usually remains at a fairly healthy and consistent level.   However, when the manufacturer becomes more engaged in marketing to the customer base as well, the retailer can spend more resources on reaching the project manager, purchasing agent, or sales representative at just the right time during the multiple phases of design and construction.  And in the lumber and building industry, timing is everything if you want to build and maintain the highest possible levels of brand name visibility and building product reputation.


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Isaac Oswalt

Owner of 21 Handshake, a strategic marketing company, driven to grow relationship-driven businesses. Futurist in nature, Isaac displays a deep desire to preserve the human element in today's business. Trust being the ultimate currency, his clients appreciate that "new and stronger handshakes" is a success metric in their businesses.

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