Learning From the Master: Understanding Building Materials Channel Marketing

Posted by: Stoner Bunting 06/09/2015

mark mitchell

Mark Mitchell is not afraid of honesty. In his book, Building Materials Channel Marketing, he dedicates a chapter to some of the inherent problems in working with advertising agencies. Mitchell, who has spent his entire career in advertising and marketing, calls it like he sees it. There is high turnover in the ad world. Many agencies don’t give the client their best team, especially the big players who many manufacturers are enamored with. The vast majority of agencies don’t recognize the importance of the channel in building material sales. The list goes on and on and on.

As experts in home and building products we have had many clients come to us disappointed from their previous agency experiences. While no agency is perfect, especially when it comes to the building products industry, some are better than others, and we count ourselves as one of the better ones out there.


Expert Source, Invaluable Information

In his book, one of the best resources for any marketing or advertising professional looking to understand building materials channel marketing, Mitchell provides timeless strategies, behind-the-scenes expertise, and a vast array of insights. He writes in the forward, “I have found that it can take new employees a year or more to understand how the building materials industry works. This book will shorten that learning time for the new employee, as well as challenge the thinking of the more experienced.” Color us impressed.

From how commercial building materials are sold, to building creating marketing budgets and selling to builders, big boxes, contractors, and architects, he takes the reader on a in-depth tour of the do’s and don’ts of channel marketing. One of our favorite quotes deals with manufacturers thinking too small. Mitchell writes, “To create big results, you have to put a stake in the ground about your leadership and commit to innovation and growth. Customers recognize boldness and are afraid not to be with the company most likely to succeed.”


You Actually Have to Make a Difference

One of the biggest takeaways from Mitchell’s seminal work is that in this industry you actually have to make a difference. It all comes down to sales. You can run flashy ads, develop a killer brand strategy, and use the latest technology to interact with your client’s customers. However, if that doesn’t sell products through the plethora of distribution and exhibition channels out there, then it’s all a waste. And worse, you have wasted your time and your money.

Building products are marketed and sold through a number of different channels. This seems like common sense to us (and its how we operate our business), but for many agencies and professionals in the industry this isn’t the case. Understanding this web helps to focus marketing and advertising efforts, establish key industry connections, and use budgets effectively. We understand your industry.

Back in July of 2014, Mitchell included Stoner Bunting in his official list of advertising agencies with building material experience. The compilation included a select list of agencies with building material experience, a dedicated and knowledgeable team of employees, that were small enough to give you their A-Team but big enough to know the industry and its key players.


About Mark Mitchell:
Mark Mitchell is the author of Building Materials Channel Marketing and the lead strategist behind Whizard Strategy, helping the building materials industry solve tough sales and marketing problems.  As a sales and marketing consultant, Mark is the go to person when companies are stuck and aren’t sure how to proceed.