Recently, I was asked by Fortune Magazine to comment on the impact that Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) will have on home remodelling, and that inspired me to dive deeper into the importance of what it means to have “strong foundations” in our industry.
The past two years have seen its share of challenges for the building product industry and 2022 will be no different. However, like I expressed in my 2020 article, it is my belief that meeting these challenges head on successfully requires industry-wide digital transformation that can help fortify businesses and set us up for long term success.
Strong foundations are essential to business growth and longevity. Now that we’ve witnessed this accelerated adoption of digital solutions, the industry is better prepared than ever before.
Going digital remains a clear priority for our clients, and I am proud that Renoworks has had a place in that part of their journey.
The core of our company and platform is to discover, invent, and innovate new ways to simplify and expand our clients’ businesses. Our recent announcement of new digital offerings that utilize AI and data architecture will contribute to this.
Like our clients, Renoworks is adapting to bring more value and innovative solutions to our clients and the industry.
Counting on Uncertainty to Keep Innovating
There are shared struggles in the industry: North American supply chains remain bottlenecked, delivery dates have stretched from weeks to months, high inflation that in-turn have increased raw material prices, the impact of labour shortages, and pent-up demand. What effect does this all have in the coming renovation season?
I can’t begin to predict the future any more than you can. However, there is always a key constant in each of these scenarios: uncertainty.
One client I spoke with was unsure how they would navigate a global pandemic and ended up having their record year because they had to be creative in their solutions. The client will continue to operate and plan for uncertainty even as times seem to be looking up because as the last few years have shown us, anything can happen.
Uncertainty is prevalent in challenging times and in good. This is one reason why our clients continue to look for digital integrations to build and strengthen their business foundations, turning to more active digital marketing techniques for lead generation, qualification, and improved user experiences.
When our customers contact us to talk about how to convert their present website traffic into consumers more effectively, their aim is not only to enhance buyer decisiveness but also to increase brand loyalty. To bring their traditional approaches in-line with modern practices and to help weather the unpredictability of the times.
This is where we can help.
For over 20 years now, we’ve helped our customers achieve those things.
We’ve focused on providing digital solutions that increase decisiveness and brand affinity for our clients. We achieved this by powering their websites with product visualizers, configurators and analytics tools that are simple to use, engaging, and fosters an overall better experience. Already, Renoworks is one of the industry’s top-performing lead generation and qualification platform for material vendors.
But we’re confident that we can be even better. For the last few years, investing in our data assets has shown a lot of potential for innovation. Innovation that can guarantee the competitiveness, scalability, and profitability of Renoworks, deliver new value to customers, all derived from analyzing data in more relevant ways, and adopting and applying modern data science, AI, and ML techniques.
Guiding Future Innovation with Data
It is our strong belief that design intent data, gathered by the Renoworks platform, equates to valuable buying intent data. This has been our legacy for the past two decades and should be where our natural progression of innovation stems from.
With over 3 million homeowner users each year, interacting with hundreds of thousands of product combinations and colors across over 350 material vendor brands, Renoworks is building one of the largest data sets surrounding building product user interactions in the world. Companies like Facebook or Amazon collect similar user behavior data information whenever you use their app or website.
Once this data is collected, it serves a variety of different purposes. One of the most popular methods reads through a variety of inputs to determine future behavior.
For example, if the aim is to increase product sales, you can figure out which inputs best correlate with individuals who have previously bought a product. Maybe your previous customers all engaged in the same activity for a set amount of time or pushed the same buttons in a certain order, etc. This technique is called predictive modeling.
We’ve all experienced it before. One moment we’re searching about an interesting topic, the next we’re looking at advertisements that show us exactly what we need. This is the powerful impact of behavioral data.
Facebook monetizes this data to businesses to help target their ideal customers more efficiently. The knock-on effect of this business model is a secondary layer of targeting insights called look-alike audiences.
Look-alike audiences can be developed if a business’s ad strategy is successful. If they successfully sold products to a certain demographic, Facebook now knows that they can target a broader range of people who are similar to the first target group.
Techniques like this have begun emerging in the construction space as well. Companies like Homebound can carry previous design data over to new home builder projects. Streamlining the building process by predicting what that home builder will want based on their demographic information.
This is the potential value that can be found when AI and machine learning best practices are introduced to data sets like Renoworks.
Here are a few simple examples:
AI can distinguish patterns that give material vendors powerful targeting information. We can also use regional tracing to detect if a certain color palette is trending in a city. If it is, the likelihood of a similar product and color selection by nearby individuals is high. Similar to how Amazon can offer product recommendations, predicting the best design choices most suited for visualizer users to help increase consumer decisiveness is possible.
It is not hard to imagine a future, not so distant, where these seamless experiences are integrated at every level of the value chain.
The applications for data are virtually limitless, and we are only just beginning to scratch the surface. We are constantly exploring how we can use our platform and data to help drive value for everyone involved in the home remodeling industry. From contractors and material vendors to homeowners themselves.
The Future of Renworks Will Evolve
The exciting possibilities of these innovative technologies in the building product space are just beginning to be developed. The methodologies pioneered by other industries have paved a way for us and we are confident in its potential.
To truly achieve our goal of reinventing the way homeowners approach their renovations and changing the way the industry interacts with consumers and technology, we must build innovation on top of our data assets.
To do so means taking our business in slightly new and exciting directions and pursuing interesting partnerships and discussions -topics I am eager to share with our community soon.
CEO of Renoworks Software Inc.
Are you a building material manufacturer looking to increase lead generation, or better understanding your ideal customer insights? Contact the Renoworks sales team to discuss our platform, or if you’d like to schedule a demo.