Usage of traditional and digital media

It is not news that digital marketing is becoming more and more important in B2B market places, but this does not mean that traditional media are not used or not effective any more. The frequency of usage of digital media channels such as websites, social media, mobile apps and digital newsletters has been increasing more than ever in the last three years. Meanwhile, traditional media such as sales representatives, brochures, trade magazines and trade shows are still used just as much as digital media. Based on the Contractor Monitor H2 2019, the two currently most-used channels are the manufacturer’s representatives, used by 89% of European contractors on average, and the manufacturer’s websites, used by 88% of European contractors. Each a clear representative of either traditional or digital channels, this top-two shows that generally speaking, there is value in aiming marketing strategies at both traditional and digital media, but the question of what to aim for specifically remains.

Vast country differences

The above does not mean that blindly investing in all channels on the European market is the right course of action. First of all, there are significant differences in the usage of specific channels between contractors from different countries. Trade shows, for instance, are quite popular among the vast majority of Dutch and Belgian contractors, whereas only 28 percent of UK contractors report to use them at all. At the same time, the Dutch contractors seem to be the most digitally minded, whereas the French contractors use traditional channels the most. All this goes to show that country-differences per channel are important to observe when conceiving your marketing strategy, but there is another lev    el of channel information to keep in mind.

Each medium serves different needs

Aside from country differences, it is worth paying attention to the type of information contractors use different media channels for. The Contractor Monitor H2 2019 report shows that on average, European contractors use digital media, and specifically search engines, more than traditional media for picking up on trends and innovations. But for advice and service, they rely more on traditional channels like the manufacturers’ representatives. Meanwhile, there is a demand for specific product information that European contractors expect to find on manufacturers’ websites. So in the end, the effectiveness of investing in certain channels depends on matching the goals of the investment with the main usage of the channels invested in.


The above shows that an insight in contractors’ purpose of usage of media channels, and in differences in usage per region, are invaluable to efficiently target the European contractors, depending on your aim. If you want to catch the eye of possible users of your products, you might want to invest in being at the top of online search engines used. If you want to improve the satisfaction of your customer base, you might want to provide them with the information they need on your website. And if you want to up your satisfaction and sales, traditional representatives are still a valid medium to invest in. Please bear in mind that these are general guidelines, and that the trick for efficient marketing is to know what your specific target groups use and need these channels for.

For more detailed information we refer you to the Contractor Monitor H2 2019 report

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