ACHRNEWS

I Think... Commercial Marketers Overlook Contractor

February 18, 2008

I’ve heard the argument hundreds of times from companies in the commercial HVAC and refrigeration market, “We are spending most of our marketing and advertising dollars to convince the engineer to ‘spec’ our products.”

Let’s walk that through the marketing spectrum. Create ads, send brochures, go to trade shows, have your sales reps attend ASHRAE meetings, make personal sales calls on engineers. How long do you think it will take before hundreds or even thousands of engineers abandon the specs they are in the habit of writing so that they can spec your alternative? And, once that happens how long does it take to have the specs hit the market as projects and finally when is an order placed? Hello! We are talking years here!

Why not also take your case directly to the commercial contractor? They are starting projects every day. They are looking for a competitive edge, whether it’s new technology, quick installation or energy savings for the building owner. Sure a lot of them follow the engineer’s spec, but have you ever heard the term “or equal” being used on a project. Marketers should also wake up and realize that the design-build trend has taken hold and there are a significant number of contractors that have engineers on staff.

Here is the best reason to take your case to the contractor. When is the last time an engineer “cut a check” for your product?