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Segmentation of architects: the ‘sad loners’ are the largest group in Europe

A well known mantra has always been to know your customers.

A well known mantra has always been to know your customers. It’s a very fundamental piece of knowledge needed for marketing & sales. A lot of information can be found on consumer segmentation, but not so much on B2B. Especially when it comes to B2B in Construction.

That’s why we decided to investigate the segmentation of Architects in the European architectural barometer , a quarterly research among 1,600 architects in 8 European countries.

In order to understand the diversity within architects better, it is necessary to divide them into several segments, based on their behaviour and attitudes. A segmentation analysis is one way to get better insights in the differences between architects.

After the segmentation analysis, using 16 statements of various themes, four segments were created. These segments are based on the factors liking to experiment, modern working, BIM, design and quality. This categorisation gives insight into the characteristics of the different types of architects. Resulting from the segmentation, we have made 4 segments

  • The ‘Sad loner’  (negative outlook, not working closely together, no interest in BIM etc)
  • The ‘Traditional architect’ (likes designing but uses traditional materials, not using BIM etc)
  • The ‘Positive trendsetting digital architect’  (mainly new build, uses BIM a lot, positive outlook etc)
  • The ‘Together for the best quality architect’ (regional level, quality first, positive, working together etc.)

In the image below you will see an overview of the division of all architects in these group on a European level (full report covers individual countries)

The ‘sad loner’ group is the largest in Europe, with 28% of all European architects fitting in this category. However, there are very big regional differences. The highest number of ‘sad loners’ can be found in Germany with 41% of architects fitting in this category. The lowest (23%) can be found in the UK.

In the UK, the largest group are the ‘Together for the best quality’ architects, with a little over a third of the architects fitting in this category. Not surprisingly, this group is the smallest in Germany (18%).

The largest group of ‘Positive trendsetting digital architects’ can be found in the Netherlands, with almost 40% of architects fitting in this category. The largest group of ‘traditional architects’ can be found in Spain, closely followed by Italy with about a third of the architects fittings this category.

So why is this important? First of all to understand their behaviour and why they choose to work with certain brands and solutions. The ‘Sad Loners’ are far more inclined to stick with what they know, in stark contrast with the ‘positive trendsetting digital architect’. It also helps with prioritising BIM strategies, what kind of contact with manufacturers they prefer and so on.

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