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The Top Building Materials Trends for 2019

The 2019 NAHB International Builders Show is around the corner and NVISION is gearing up to be there!

S&P Global recently released its Building Materials Industry Top Trends 2019, highlighting some of the key trends, takeaways, and forecasts the building materials industry will be keeping its eye on this year, and especially at IBS 2019.

Based on the trends report, here are our three key takeaways that all building materials industry leaders should know!

steel rods - building materials

Commodity Costs Will Continue to Grow

As the report points out, commodity costs for the building industry in North America rose in 2018 for several reasons, including decreasing unemployment, new tariffs, and increased demand. And S&P Global expects those same factors to continue to drive commodity prices up in 2019.

“So far, most building materials companies have been able to offset the cost increases with higher pricing, but it remains to be seen if companies can continue to maintain higher prices in 2019,” the report says. With S&P Global predicting a 3 percent increase in building materials costs in 2019, the building materials industry will need to look at cutting costs and optimizing their supply chains to offset this increase in prices and maintain their margins without continuing to raise prices.

Increased Prices Could Slow the Building Materials Recovery

As the report states, low inventory, higher home prices, and higher interest rates may be pushing marginally qualified homebuyers out of the North American market. This, S&P Global says, could bring a halt to the building materials recovery. “Existing home sales (a big driver of repair and remodel activity) could slow if values remain high and available inventory low,” the report claims. With fewer pre-existing homes being purchased, fewer old houses will be getting remodeled and repaired by new homeowners, and that means less business for building materials companies.

With building materials companies competing for homeowners with fewer dollars to spend – or with new construction townhomes that don’t need remodeling – they will need to find other ways to protect their margins, including finding ways to cut costs and compete on the customer experience with enhanced agility and responsiveness.

home building site

The Building Materials Market is Healthy, But with Growing Risk

When it comes to the numbers, the S&P Global report predicts modest growth in the North American building materials market. “We expect 2.3 percent real GDP growth, 3.6 percent unemployment, and 1.3 million housing starts. We further expect mid-single-digit growth in repair and remodeling activity, and only 2.8 percent growth in nonresidential construction,” the report states.

As a result, S&P Global is predicting another year of improved sales and earnings for building materials companies. But, the report says, “with much less growth than in 2016 and 2017.”  What’s more, due to the affordability and availability issues of new homes mentioned above, S&P Global warns that housing starts could actually retreat slightly in 2019. To combat this problem, many builders will “attempt to address this by offering more value-based entry-level housing,” which will present an enormous opportunity to building materials companies who are able – thanks to a nimble, efficient supply chain – to offer reduced prices on materials and faster delivery timelines.

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The 2019 NAHB International Builders Show promises to be one to remember. With these trends in mind, building materials companies will want to be on the lookout for experienced partners who can help them cut costs and better optimize their supply chain management in order to capitalize on this shifting market.

NVISION will be there, and we hope to see you!

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Why NVISION?

For more than three decades we’ve partnered with Fortune 500 companies to deliver marketing operations solutions. Led by a strategic account management team, we’ll help you develop, procure, fulfill and distribute printed collateral, signage, point-of-purchase displays, direct mail, branded merchandise and much more.

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Top Characteristics of Transformational CMOs of Tomorrow

back of a man with arms crossed - transformational cmo

One of the most significant challenges facing modern CMOs and marketers is how rapidly the marketing industry changes. Between new technology, new customer demands, and new cultural trends, it’s more important than ever that CMOs keep their brands positioned for rapid success. That’s why Bob Van Rossum at Business2Community.com spoke with some of the top marketing recruiters in the industry and has put together what he believes are some of the key characteristics of “the transformational CMO of tomorrow,” the type of marketing leader that is equipped to lead his or her brand into the future.

Let’s take a look at a few of the most important characteristics.

Focus and Understanding of the Buyer’s Journey

For many brands, the sales cycle is a long and protracted one. For others, the intricacies of the marketing supply chain – from the creative team’s demands to the CFO’s strict budget requirements – make for extremely complex marketing operations. Either way, as the buyer’s journey becomes longer and features more distinct “moments,” transformational CMOs must be ready.

As Van Rossum says, “We look for leaders that are capable of understanding the various pain points a consumer may encounter during the customer journey. By truly understanding the buyer’s journey, CMOs are better able to drive engagement and growth.”

And that doesn’t just mean knowing which marketing materials will resonate best at each stage. It also means planning ahead and enabling an agile and responsive marketing supply chain that can quickly adapt and react, allowing the brand to capitalize on each moment of the buyer’s journey. Transformational CMOs will be sure to work with partners who enable this responsiveness and success.

be the change - brand activism

Creating Emotional Connections to the Brand

In increasingly crowded markets, it’s no longer enough to simply offer a superior product. Transformational CMOs must use their marketing materials to create a meaningful, lasting, emotional connection with their customers. “A strong brand goes far beyond a memorable logo or slogan…it needs to be immersed in every element and strategic move of your organization to make a true impact,” Van Rossum says.

Developing these connections between your brand and your customers requires both a close examination and an intricate understanding, of changing customer demands and cultural trends. But capitalizing on them, and using them to create lasting, deep bonds with your brand requires agile and responsive marketing operations. When an opportunity arises, your marketing logistics should be simple and fast enough to seize on it before your competition does, and execute on it in a way that keeps costs low and ROI high.

Foster an Agile Mindset

Transformational CMOs must be familiar with what Van Rossum calls “lean and agile” methodologies. “Lean and agile methodologies have transformed other industries, and have a great potential to improve practices within the marketing space,” he says. A lean mindset is one that helps brands maximize customer value (which should always stay top priority) while optimizing for a specific desired outcome. An agile mindset, on the other hand, helps your marketing efforts adapt in real time as you keep your customers the central focus in building effective solutions.

To this end, partnering with a marketing supply chain and logistics partner can take much of the burden of searching for ways to stay lean and agile off of the CMO themselves. By working with an expert whose business is keeping costs low and production time short, CMOs can foster this transformational attitude in all areas of their operations, saving time and preparing for changing definitions of success.

Subscribe to the Blog

Why NVISION?

For more than three decades we’ve partnered with Fortune 500 companies to deliver marketing operations solutions. Led by a strategic account management team, we’ll help you develop, procure, fulfill and distribute printed collateral, signage, point-of-purchase displays, direct mail, branded merchandise and much more.

LEARN MORE