An Open Letter to the Masonry Industry
By Lynn Nash
Dear Fellow Members of the Masonry Industry,
Imagine a website that inspires and teaches your customers to design their next building with masonry. Not material that looks like masonry; not precast, not tilt-up, not metal, not synthetic stucco or manufactured stone. That's right, we're talking about genuine brick, block and stone — total masonry construction. The website of which I speak is MasonrySystems.org.
MasonrySystems.org is the brainchild of the Masonry Executives Council (MEC), a coalition of professionals from more than two dozen mason contractor associations. Our group believes that it's high time to bring our industry together and to provide a unified source of information and promotion for the total masonry wall system.
We're frustrated that our competitors' "turnkey" building systems approach is eating the masonry industry alive. We're confused by our own industry's promotion efforts, where brick, block, stone and labor are all promoted as separate components. We want to make it easy for architects, engineers, developers, school boards and city officials to choose masonry for their buildings. And most importantly, we want to significantly increase the amount of masonry used in the marketplace.
During the past year, our Council has worked with professional web developers to create the infrastructure and design for a comprehensive Internet site. The finished site will have three major components:
As we all know, the vast majority of our customers use the Internet as their primary research tool. MasonrySystems.org will become our customers' destination of choice, the gateway to all the industry resources and information they need to design and build a high-performance masonry structure. And the easier it is for them to understand our products and systems, the more our customers will specify them. We all win.
Our first year's budget for creating, testing, launching and aggressively marketing the MasonrySystems.org website is $250,000. In year two, we will add a major print advertising campaign to the mix, for a total annual budget of $475,000. In years three through five, we anticipate that revenue derived by advertising on the website will offset our expenses by as much as 50 percent.
This would be a huge investment for a single company or organization to make in marketing its products. But it's not a lot of money for an entire industry to invest in itself. We invite you and your company to join us in making MasonrySystems.org a reality. Please consider contributing $500, $1,000 or more this year toward the development and launch of MasonrySystems.org. All companies that contribute $500 or more will be listed for one year in our masonry sponsors' directory on the website. Also, we will keep you updated on our progress every step of the way.
Together, we can compel our customers to choose masonry over non-masonry systems by showing them the best in masonry design and giving them the objective information for which they're looking. We can build masonry's market share — and our bottom lines — by making it easier for our customers to design and build with our products. Please visit www.MasonrySystems.org today for more information about all the exciting features of our new site and how you can become a part of it.
Thank you very much for your consideration.
About the Author
Lynn Nash is the Executive Vice President for the North Carolina Masonry Contractors Association.