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Will the effect of the pandemic on architects’ media orientation last?

Like many of us, architects are social creatures, and in their line of work, staying up to date with trends and developments is a professional must. In normal times, that means architects receive brand representatives and visit trade fairs relatively often, discussing said trends and developments over a coffee or whatever their preferred beverage may be. But then Corona hit.

The pandemic severely limited those face-to-face moments of professional interaction for architects as well. But their work continued and with it the professional need to stay up to date. So how did architects manage? In other words: how did the pandemic influence changes in architects’ media orientation? To answer those questions, the theme part of the Q1 2021 report of USP Marketing Consultancy’s European Architectural Barometer focuses on the trends in media orientation of architects from eight major European markets.    

Architects started using more sources to stay up to date  

When comparing European architects’ usage of information sources in Q1 2021 with just before the pandemic fully hit in Q1 2020, the influence of the pandemic is clear. Whether to compensate for information normally gained during face-to-face visits or trade fairs, or simply because they had more time on their hands during the pandemic due to cancelled events or working from home, architects have started using more information sources over the past year.      

Will the effect of the pandemic on architects’ media orientation last?
European Architectural Barometer - USP Marketing Consultancy

Sure, manufacturer websites are still the source of information used by almost all architects. But the growth of shares using architectural platforms and websites, and professional journals and magazines shows that architects have indeed changed their media orientation behaviour during the pandemic.  

The increased usage of email newsletters also stands out here. A growth of 20% of the share of users of email newsletters has not been seen before. Changes like these show that the playing field for brands and manufacturers to target architects has indeed changed over the past year. Be that as it may, it remains to be seen whether changes like a growth spurt in newsletter usage are permanent.

Keep an eye on the bottom of the list  

When focusing on the runt of the litter, it appears that the share of European architects using social media as a source of information to stay up to date has only grown a mere 7% over the past year. Next to the increase of newsletter usage, that may seem rather poor. However, that share of social media users has been growing steadily over several years, meaning it is not a spur of the moment increase caused by the pandemic, but a solid trend.  

This is a good example of the need to examine changes in architects’ media orientation over longer periods of time. Not only to find out whether the pandemic was of influence on media orientation, which was clearly the case, but also to estimate which of those changes are permanent. To effectively target architects, knowledge of those trends is key, which is why media orientation has been a recurring theme in the European Architectural Barometer for over a decade.  

For more detailed information on trends in architects’ media orientation in eight European countries, we refer you to the Q1 report of USP Marketing Consultancy’s European Architectural Barometer