Social media barely used by European painters

For our monitor market studies, we regularly research media orientation behaviour among all sorts of professionals involved in the construction and installation sectors. Media orientation is also the theme topic of the 2022 Painter Insight Monitor, for which we interviewed 2200 painters from 11 European countries. As it turns out painters are one of the most traditional of all professionals in the construction and installation sectors where it comes to their media behaviour.

Traditional channels, like staff and information at the purchase point, sales reps., colleagues and trade magazines, are very dominant in European painters’ media orientation behaviour. Digital media are gaining importance to reach painters, but currently that mainly revolves around searching on internet through search engines and using manufacturers’ websites. Other digital media, social media for instance are barely used.

With few exceptions, social media are barely used

In ten of the eleven countries we measured, only between 0% and 4% of painters use social media professionally to gather information. The share of painters who use social media to get inspired is slightly higher, but still only ranging between 4% and 8% in ten of the eleven countries. On average it is safe to conclude that whether for information or inspiration, European painters barely use social media.

There are some exceptions though. Regarding using social media as a source of information, UK painters stand out as 8% of them report to do so. To get inspired, 13% of Belgian painters use social media, the highest percentage measured. The youngest generations of painters form an exception as well, as they are more likely to use social media, especially for inspiration. On average though, social media are a rather insignificant in the orientation behaviour of European painters.

Why so traditional?

There are several explanations for painters’ lack of social media usage. First of all, and maybe most importantly, the average age of European painters is about 50, which is one of the highest of all professionals in the construction and installation sector. That means the previously mentioned youngest generation of painters who are more likely to use social media is quite underrepresented. The vast majority of European painters is older and unlikely to use social media.

Secondly, despite developments like mechanical application of paint, the paint sector shows fewer true innovations than for instance the installation sector, which has to deal with a constant flow of new systems and solutions. That means painters have less of a need for information to keep up with new solutions than for instance installers or architects.  

Thirdly, if there is a need for information, the purchase point is very important. This is often the case among professionals in the B2B environment of the construction and installation sector, but especially so for painters, who are predominantly relying on traditional wholesale channels for both purchase of and information on products.

Future of social media usage among painters

The result is that painters currently barely use social media for professional purposes, but that may change in the future. As mentioned, social media are used a bit more by the youngest generation of painters. In due years, the oldest generation will leave the market for a well-earned pension, while the younger, social-media-adept generation will become more influential. However, the impact will not be enormous, as even the youngest generation of painters are fairly traditional in their media consumption.

That means that despite their importance to reach out to younger painters, social media have limited impact in the grand scheme of things. For paint manufacturers of paint and paint-related products, it would be wise to allocate more resources to advertisement in physical sales points and to increase findability of their website, than to social media presence. For a full overview of media usage among painters in 11 European countries, we refer you to USP Marketing Consultancy’s 2022 Painter Insight Monitor.

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