Construction Media Index - Key Media Insights

The latest Construction Media Index (CMI) research has been published. Here we look at the key media trends and insights from the 2022 reports.

Pete Stemp - Senior Copywriter

Peter Stemp31.05.2022

The CMI is impartial research, conducted every two years by Competitive Advantage, and provides insights into the traditional and digital communication media behaviours of decision makers across the construction industry. This year the research covers five different professions: M&E Consulting Engineers, Architects, Housebuilders, Main Contractors and Electricians.

Publication readership

The 2022 reports show that the level of readership of industry publications varies among the professions but is highest among architects (85%) and lowest among main contractor respondents (59%). The preferred format of the publication, online versus printed, also varies significantly. In general, the research shows that digital readership is increasing.

The professions with the biggest shift towards digital are main contractors (60% digital, 16% hard copy) and M&E consulting engineers (58% digital, 21% hardcopy). In contrast, electricians and those in housebuilding have the highest use of printed publications with 39% and 43% respectively saying they read industry publications in this format only. However, a significant number of architects have adopted a hybrid approach, with 52% saying they read both online and printed publications.

Most popular publications – printed:

  • M&E engineers – The Engineer
  • Architects – RIBA Journal
  • Housebuilders - Professional Housebuilder & Property Developer
  • Electricians – Connections and Professional Electrician & Installer (equal percentage readership)
  • Main contractors - Construction News

Most popular publications – online:

  • M&E engineers – Construction News
  • Architects – Architects Journal
  • Housebuilders – Housebuilder
  • Electricians – Voltimum
  • Main contractors – Construction News

Respondents in all professions are more likely to read articles in-depth in printed publications compared with online. Main contractors and M&E engineers are the groups most likely to read articles in-depth, for both online and printed publications.

Social media usage

It should come as no surprise that social media usage is high across all professions with many respondents indicating that their usage had increased in the past year. The biggest increase was among M&E engineers, 48% of whom had increased their use of social media. The survey also showed that the frequency of accessing social media generally decreased through the age groups for all professions. For example, there was a higher proportion of respondents who access social media multiple times per day in the younger groups compared to the older ones. Similarly, the number of respondents who never use social media increases as the age groups get older.

Information sources

One of the key takeaways from the research is the importance of manufacturers and suppliers providing high quality information and creating good, highly relevant content.

For all professions, a manufacturer’s website was selected as the first choice for technical information by the most respondents. In fact, 68% of architects said it was their first choice, with a further 27% saying they regularly use the websites for technical information. Although it was still the most common option, electricians had the lowest number among all professions surveyed (35%) that selected manufacturers website has their first source of information.

Furthermore, a large number of respondents across all professions said they regularly or occasionally share industry news and articles with colleagues, with this being highest among architects (82%) and main contractors (73%). In all cases the topic of the article being critical to the business was the most common reason why the article would be worth sharing.

The media landscape is changing but industry publications, whether online or in print remain important communication channels across many sectors. There is also a strong place for owned media in the communication mix, including company websites and social media channels.

Tea break sized updates and news direct to your inbox.

By signing up you agree to receive communications from us in line with our privacy policy