Despite a pandemic and a trend of digitalisation in the construction sector in general, the media usage of European contractors has not changed much over the past two years, including most digital media channels. Manufacturers’ websites, wholesalers’ websites and digital news letters are as important in 2021 as they were in 2019, as they are used by about nine, eight and seven out of ten European contractors respectively. The only significant increase was seen in usage of both social media and mobile apps, which about six out of ten contractors used in 2021.
These figures show the importance of digital media channels for manufacturers and brands of construction products and materials, but they lack one important detail. In the previous century, contractors could only access digital media through bulky desktop computers, but nowadays, contractors can access digital media pretty much anywhere on a variety of mobile devices. For successful marketing through digital channels, manufacturers and brands need to make sure that their websites are compatible with the devices contractors prefer to use.
The question is which devices contractors prefer to use for which digital sources. That is what we asked 950 European contractors about for the Q4 2021 report of USP Marketing Consultancy’s Contractor monitor, which focuses on media orientation of contractors from eight European countries.
Desktops are still used the most for websites
Around three quarters of the European contractors still use desktops to search information on websites of both manufacturers and wholesalers. Around one in six contractors use laptops for the same purpose, while almost none of them use tablets. A slight increase in usage of smartphones to search on websites can be seen, but that only resulted in 9% of contractors using smartphones to search on wholesalers’ websites, and 6% on manufacturers’ websites. On average, it is clear that the desktop and laptop are still the clear winners where it comes to searching information on websites.
Mobile devices should not be ignored though
This does not mean that both manufacturers and wholesalers of construction products and materials can ignore mobile devices altogether. As we saw before, contractors’ usage of mobile apps and social media is ever increasing. The above graph also shows that 37% of contractors already use smartphones to search information through social media.
This means that it is increasingly lucrative for manufacturers and brands to incorporate social media presence in their marketing strategies. It also increases the necessity for a mobile-friendly website. One of the aims of a brand’s presence on social media is to activate contractors to find out more about it, for instance by clicking and accessing the website. For the many contractors that use mobile devices for social media, the linked websites should also be mobile-friendly. Given that contractors expect usage of digital media sources, and especially of social media to significantly increase in the coming years, manufacturers and wholesalers should be prepared with a website that is fully functional and pleasant to use on both desktop and a variety of mobile devices. To see what devices are preferred by contractors in eight European countries, we refer you to the Q4 2021 report of USP Marketing Consultancy’s Contractor monitor.