After my November 2012 blog post about SpecifiedBy, I did a follow-up interview with Darren Lester for my ExtranetEvolution tech blog in February, and have since had a closer look at the site following its Beta launch at Ecobuild in London earlier this month.
It is, of course, still very early days, but the Beta site is currently listing over 200 construction products, with more being added daily. The clean and simple interface presents first-time visitors with the choice of searching for products or viewing new, featured or popular additions to the site. Behind the scenes, each registered supplier or manufacturer is also provided with a simple dashboard to monitor how many users view their products, how many download product information, etc. A page-top link to BIM will (eventually) filter users to manufacturers and products with BIM content.
SpecifiedBy also offers users the ability to create ‘Project Folders’, which can be used to manage information about projects or types of product, and to share information with specific other users (including multiple users) invited by email.
Darren has also extended his social media marketing to two blogs. In addition to the main SpecifiedBy blog (where, for example, he wrote about his Ecobuild experiences), the business now also has the product marketing-oriented Constructasaurus, where SpecifiedBy apparently wants to provide content “a bit more for specific to the challenges faced by building product companies when it comes to promoting products online” (a memorable name, though I am not sure if the intention is to be seen as a Thesaurus work of reference or to come across as a dinosaur!).
One of the early posts was (to me, any way) provocatively entitled: “5 Reasons Why You Don’t Need a Social Media Consultant” to which I responded – arguing that the best investment a firm can make is in an experienced marketing/PR professional who can integrate digital and social media into the mix and who can also provide expertise in the particular vertical market in which a firm is operating.