4 Reasons Why Online AIA CE Courses Help Product Manufacturers Get Specified

Posted On: 
Oct 8, 2018
4 Reasons Why Online AIA CE Courses Help Product Manufacturers Get Specified

Building product manufacturers that don’t have an online AIA course, do so at their own peril. AIA continuing education is crucial for manufacturers to educate design professionals and increase their product specifications. A manufacturer that doesn’t have an online AIA CE course risks losing market share and giving their competition the upper hand.

Brand Recognition

In a previous blog, How to Get Specified by Architects-Part 1, we discussed that out of sight is out of mind. How can manufacturers increase brand awareness about their products? Brand awareness is the extent to which your product is recognized by architects, specifiers, contractors, interior designers, and other professionals. Brand awareness is the first step for product manufacturers. If an architect has no familiarity with your brand, they are less likely to specify your products.

In the Stone Age, building product manufacturers utilized everything from newspapers to radio ads to promote their brand. Magazines are still being utilized by some building product manufacturers to spread the word about their products. However, magazines deliver poor ROI compared to online AIA courses for brand awareness. Any marketing professional advocating a print magazine with zero metrics over an online platform with large scale analytics should have their head checked.

Magazines fare poorly compared to online AIA CEUs for increasing brand recognition. In a previous blog, we discussed why magazine ads are worthless. As magazine subscriptions dwindle and ad rates increase, manufacturers need modern and effective solutions to build brand awareness about their products. AIA courses that are in printed format in a magazine offer poor ROI. The sooner these dinosaurs are put to pasture the better. Manufacturers deserve better!

Educate Architects

AIA courses educate architects. That may seem obvious, but a great AIA course engages the architect and offers the manufacturer a chance to influence specifications. How many chances does a manufacturer have, to discuss their products for an hour and reach the top decision makers? Name another strategy aside from a face to face presentation, AIA webinars, or online course where a manufacturer can engage with decision makers about their product for one hour?

Not having an AIA online course is bad but another detriment for ROI is the delivery format of the AIA presentation. If you’re company is trying to use magazine articles or the dreaded PDF course, you’re in trouble. We’ve discussed the many failures of PDF courses in the past. PDF courses limit engagement when educating architects by not allowing video, voice over, animation, music, etc. The PDF course is the equivalent of a printed newspaper page in machine reproducible form. It's one step up from a JPEG image and that’s saying a lot.


LEED v4 plays a crucial role in educating architects about sustainability. Many design professionals are searching for the latest information on how products contribute to LEED. AIA online courses with topics pertaining to LEED v4 do better than traditional courses. Participation rates are much higher for AIA courses registered for GBCI CE hours.

Continuing education courses that discuss topics such as Health Product Declarations (HPDs), Declare Labels, EPDs, and other specification documents are popular with designers. Courses that differentiate your products from your competitors by showing the value of product declarations can be powerful tools. Many AEC firms are requesting HPDs and AIA courses that discuss this critical information are of great value.

Generate Leads

AIA online courses generate leads for your marketing team. Generating leads helps manufacturers connect with design professionals interested in their products. An architect may be considering two types of exterior cladding for a building. One manufacturer has an AIA online course that discusses the benefits of their system while the other manufacturer has no online AIA course and limited information on their website. All things being equal such as price, selection, warranty, availability, etc., a manufacturer could be more inclined to specify the product with more information available.

In a previous blog, Where Should Building Product Manufacturers Invest Their Budget Dollars, we discussed that companies need to be mindful how they allocate precious budget dollars to maximize ROI. Invest your money where it gets the highest return! The metrics speak for themselves. A great AIA course on a platform with more than 100,000 subscribers will generate leads and brand awareness for a manufacturer.

Not all AIA courses are winners. We discussed magazine articles and PDF courses as delivering ROI. In addition, manufacturers need to add sustainable topics to their courses, engage the architect with video and 21st century technology, and use a robust platform. One of the most important aspects of a great AIA course is the content itself. It is crucial that whoever develops the content has a firm grasp of the topic. Third-party consultants can polish the content and then get it out to the masses.

How have your online AIA courses helped your company? What strategies do you use to maximize your ROI with continuing education?

For more information or to discuss the topic of this blog, please contact Brad Blank