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Your marketing material is your product

Inspired by a visit to an exhibition and a trip to an award-winning swimming pool, CIMCIG’s Rick Osman considers why online or in print, to a specifier your marketing material is your product

One of the joys of an exhibition is that specifiers have the opportunity to actually touch and feel the products they are likely to select. Construction is about solid stuff, things are built out of products you can touch, so it has always seemed strange to me that so much specification is carried out without actually seeing the object being specified.

In many, if not most, instances of product specification that specification is carried out without actually touching or using the product. Your product’s quality, benefits and appropriateness must be obvious from your website and your literature. Your brochure or website or exhibition stand or technical literature or emailed newsletter or even installation instructions must be as good as your product or service. If any is of inferior quality then it will actively work against specification of your product.

And if it is effective and informative, you will achieve what every product manufacturer dreams of, being specified without knowing about it.

Of course sometimes it all goes wrong and specification out of a catalogue can fall down when the product is installed on site. I think of this whenever I go for a swim at the award-winning Venue swimming pool near me. Every changing cubicle has a single beautiful Swiss-made clothes hook… which is too small to hang anything more than a single costume on. Which is useless. Especially if accompanied by children when clothes, costumes and towels are condemned to the wet floor or damp bench seat. Every time I go I curse the specifier and wonder how good the product catalogue must have been; so good that the hook must have been specified without ever actually holding a sample. That’s what good product literature can do!.

So good product literature can get even inappropriate products specified, how powerful is that?

As well as being a CIMCIG committee member, Rick Osman is a partner in Highwire, a design and marketing agency that specialises in the construction industry, and one of the team that created He led CIMCIG’s Ecobuild walkabout details of which, along with much more about marketing in the construction industry, can be seen at