Direct Impact: Why Your AIA Course Is Not Increasing Product Specifications

Posted On: 
Jun 10, 2019
Direct Impact: Why Your AIA Course Is Not Increasing Product Specifications

Are you happy with only 30 architects a month taking your AIA course? Do specifiers have to read your AIA course like a college term paper? Many building product manufacturers waste precious budgetary dollars on underperforming AIA courses that offer low ROI and don’t increase product specification opportunities.

There are several reasons for underperforming AIA courses which include crummy content, dreadful delivery, a lousy education platform, and meager engagement with the design professional. All of these are symptoms of a shoddy implementation plan and a waste of money and time. Building product manufacturers who want to increase product specifications should avoid many common pitfalls associated with AIA courses. A great AIA online course not only educates design professionals and builds brand awareness, but also can generate leads for sales and marketing staff.

“A mistake is not something to be determined after the fact, but in light of the information available until that point,” says author Nassim Taleb. You may shake your head in disbelief when realize your AIA online course only has 30 participants a month. How did you arrive here? Why are you paying $500 a month for poor ROI? What went wrong and how do you right the ship? Why is your AIA course not increasing product specifications?

Your Course Looks Like a Train Wreck

Are your product reps using Power Point presentations from 1999? Do architects suffer narcolepsy during your box lunch seminars? Then maybe it’s time to revise your CE course. An antiquated AIA CE course can negatively affect your brand and open the door for your competition. In addition, you may know everything about your product and have been in the industry for decades. However, you may not be the most qualified person to translate that knowledge into a great presentation.

In a previous blog, 3 Reasons Why Your AIA Education Course is a Waste of Money, we discussed why building product manufacturers need to invest their marketing dollars wisely. Developing an AIA education course can be an expensive project for a manufacturer. Avoiding certain pitfalls and maximizing ROI is crucial. One of the worst mistakes a building product manufacturer can make is selecting the wrong delivery format for their AIA course. Here are a few pitfalls to avoid when developing an online AIA course:

• Avoid the PDF as your primary AIA education course! The PDF results in poor ROI and mediocre engagement. A major education provider we’ll dub “XYZ Weekly” use this antiquated delivery format.

• Avoid text only courses. Nobody wants to read a 60-page PDF to learn about your product.

• Avoid stock photography. Hire a professional photographer to take pictures of your amazing products.

• Avoid locking your course into one format. Develop your AIA course so it can be delivered as a lunch and learn, AIA webinar, and online course.

• Finally, avoid an education platform with hundreds of courses where your product will get lost in the mix.

How to Increase Specification Opportunities

We’ve discussed what you should avoid when developing an AIA course. However, what should you implement to increase specification opportunities? Why is your competitor’s online education course outperforming your course by thirty percent or more? Let’s review some strategies to improve your AIA course.

• Besides the AIA credit, develop a LEED specific hour course. On average you will have 200-300 designers a month take your course.

• Develop content about popular sustainability topics such as LEED v4 and Health Product Declarations (HPDs).

• Develop video content to incorporate into your AIA course. This increases engagement with designers.

• Develop an online course with a voice over. Nobody wants a college term paper assignment!

Ultimately, your specification opportunities will increase via education if the message is easily digestible, professionally produced, and the content is useful to designers. AIA continuing education is a significant tool for a manufacturer to increase specification opportunities. What strategies do you use to increase product specifications via AIA courses?

For more information or to discuss the topic of this blog, please call Brad Blank at 360-727-3528.