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A DIGITAL REVOLUTION

MORTARR + INDEAL

BY: JEN LEVISEN, EDITOR AT THE FORUM

February 22, 2021

At the beginning of the year, Mortarr and INDEAL announced a partnership to help digitally strengthen the connection between the commercial interiors industry and the A+D world. I had the opportunity to check in with Mortarr CEO, Abby Murray, and INDEAL CEO, Dave Bloch, on the genesis of the partnership, the value it’s bringing to their combined audiences, and their shared goal to digitally revolutionize the industry.

DAVE AND ABBY, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR TIME. NOW, I KNOW THE PARTNERSHIP HAS BEEN ANNOUNCED AND TALKED ABOUT, BUT I’D LOVE TO HEAR FROM THE TWO OF YOU HOW THE PARTNERSHIP CAME TO BE? 

DAVE: One of our dealer members in the Minneapolis market introduced us to Mortarr. After seeing the amazing things this dealer was able to do within the platform to showcase their capabilities and expand their digital marketing efforts, we jumped at the opportunity to form a partnership that would offer an enhanced program at a lower cost to our members.

ABBY: It’s a great networking story for sure. Mortarr’s mission is to digitally connect the entire industry in a more efficient and sustainable way, and we believe partnering with industry networks is a way we can do more, better, faster. INDEAL’s commitment to digitization within the brand and dealer space and their stance on only partnering with companies offering top quality solutions, really made them a perfect fit.

WHAT VALUE DOES THIS PARTNERSHIP BRING TO YOUR AUDIENCES?

DAVE: Mortarr provides a vehicle for INDEAL’s dealer members and brand partners to build program connections while offering a distinct opportunity to drive new business by engaging with design and end user communities. The relationship also enables us to showcase a thoughtful blend of INDEAL brands through a series of renderings created by our team, providing inspiration and idea-starters for our dealers and their clients.

ABBY: This partnership is not only growing our content base of installation photos — which our A&D audience is asking for — through INDEAL’s leading quality contract-grade brands, but we’re also extending our platform to the industry’s dealer network. This supports dealers (and brands) in digitizing their marketing efforts, both regionally and nationally. Moreover, our Design Rooms provide dealers, designers and business development teams a digital way to collaborate with project teams, assemble interactive idea boards using INDEAL’s exclusive blended renderings, and pitch ideas via these renderings virtually to prospective buyers.

THIS PARTNERSHIP IS HELPING TO FURTHER CONNECT THE INDUSTRY. WHAT IS THE POWER IN THAT?

DAVE: Mortarr’s highly visual platform is truly unique to the commercial building industry, with a reach that extends across the entire ecosystem. This partnership will build upon the existing presence of dealers and brands on the platform, greatly expanding the number of companies to look to for industry solutions.

ABBY: We designed Mortarr to do exactly that — to connect the industry. In fact, it’s our mission. The INDEAL network and the content that brings forward on mortarr.com allows for increased exposure and connectivity to their network of brands and products, as well as the dealers providing services in regions across the country and in Canada. But what makes INDEAL even more unique is the blended renderings they are hosting within their own Mortarr profile to offer up visualizations that bring a collection of INDEAL brand partners’ products to life in a variety of commercial spaces. These photo-like renderings put some of the top products together within a single workplace setting, for example, to connect dealers and the A&D community at-large with the visualizations and product-level information they need to more effectively inspire and ultimately sell to their clients. 

WITH BOTH ORGANIZATIONS FOCUSED ON THE COMMERCIAL INDUSTRY AND SO ROOTED IN MARKETING, I’D LOVE TO HEAR WHAT TACTICS WOULD YOU RECOMMEND WHEN LOOKING TO MARKET A COMPANY, PRODUCT OR SERVICE?

ABBY: Effective marketing is a) understanding your target audience and b) meeting them where they are, throughout every stage of the buying journey. With over 80% of that buyer’s journey now done digitally, before they even get to the consideration stage or speak to a salesperson, a digital strategy is critical. This is not to say that digital is the only tactic, but it has become one of the most important segments of a marketing plan in order to meet and cater to today’s buyer.

DAVE: I completely agree. It all boils down to visibility, accessibility, and customization.

DAVE, WE’VE HEARD FROM MORTARR’S SUBSCRIBERS AND PARTNERS THAT A LARGER EMPHASIS IS BEING PLACED ON DIGITAL MARKETING EFFORTS, EVEN MORE SO WITH THE IMPACT COVID-19 HAS HAD ON TRADITIONAL WAYS OF DOING BUSINESS. WHAT ARE YOU HEARING FROM INDEAL’S NETWORK?

DAVE: The pandemic has forced dealers and brands to market themselves, engage with clients, and sell more effectively from a distance. The need to stay ahead of the competition is even more critical now than ever before. We’re finding that digital solutions like Mortarr are quickly moving from being something that’s “nice to have” to something you “need to have.”

ARE PARTNERSHIPS LIKE MORTARR’S AND INDEAL’S THE WAY OF THE FUTURE? CAN THEY HELP KEEP THE INDUSTRY PROGRESSING?

ABBY: The industry is quickly evolving into a more digital environment. Digitization not only increases the efficiency of the design process, but significantly decreases our reliance on in-person and in-print everything. These changes bring tremendous benefits to companies and teams (less cost, more time, wider profit margins) and an even greater, lasting impact on our environment. By reducing the industry’s heavy carbon footprint from a traditionally in-person and in-print process toward a more virtual one, we can quite literally change the future of the industry and our environment, one project at a time.

DAVE: Both of our organizations believe that technology should not only offer new and unique solutions, but that it should be integrated and easy to use. As Abby mentioned, sustainability is extremely important to our industry, and the request for enhanced digital resources is growing. Many dealers who once complemented their print marketing with digital have flipped this approach by bringing technology to the forefront, leveraging print in a more conscious way. INDEAL has reimagined the client engagement resources we provide our dealers for this very reason, offering customizable selections and right-fit solutions through our new Pinpoint Platform. Partnerships, like the one we have with Mortarr, bring a more cohesive, accessible, and efficient resource to the industry.

ABBY: The power of this partnership is expanding our reach through networks of professionals in order to transform the industry into a more digital environment.

SO, NEW YEAR, NEW PARTNERSHIP. WHAT'S COMING DOWN THE PIKE IN 2021? 

DAVE: 2021 will be a big year for expanding INDEAL dealership and brand representation on Mortarr. You’ll see increased functionality and integration with our evolving Pinpoint Platform and a growing collection of exclusive work style renderings showcasing brand partners in cohesive environments.

ABBY: As we look ahead to 2021 and beyond, our common business themes encompass efficiency, inclusivity, and sustainability. How we do that within the brand and dealer space in particular will be driven by the INDEAL collaboration. More interactive content through INDEAL’s exclusive renderings, education campaigns - and focus groups - to learn and inspire digital adoption, functionality for more regional and territory-based opportunities, expansion of messaging…all of it leading and equipping this audience and the industry toward a more digitized and sustainable future.

More about Mortarr

Mortarr started as a full-service branding agency in 2013, providing companies across many industries brand strategy from logo design to website design to SEO and digital campaigns to even the design of their brick-and-mortar spaces. Those experiences within the commercial design process exposed a significant opportunity for more digital accessibility of the resources needed to kick off a project, collaborate with teams, and source the pros and products to outfit a commercial space, much of which was already readily accessible online for the residential industry. Mortarr’s co-founders realized there had to be a better, more sustainable way to design [and market] commercial spaces. Enter Mortarr.com — a single digital hub connecting the entire commercial construction and design industry from inspiration to installation.

More about INDEAL

In the 10 years INDEAL has been in business, it has grown to become the de facto dealer organization in the commercial interiors industry, connecting dealer members with a comprehensive group of brand partners. Once focused exclusively on providing a purchasing program with negotiated rebates for dealers, INDEAL’s services have expanded to include a complete platform of tools and resources that ease many of the struggles INDEAL members face in their workday.

Editor at The Forum, Mortarr

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