Let’s face it. There’s a whole different kind of reading going on these days. And building products distributors are into it in a big, big way.

In fact, in a recent Point To Point research study of building products distributor attitudes and behaviors, we found that more than half of the 499 respondents are reading multiple types of information multiple times a week.

It’s what you might call a content revolution.

It’s not books that distributors are reading—it’s blogs. It’s not newspapers—it’s white papers. It’s not stories read in comfy chairs—it’s information gleaned from screens of all sizes at all times. And it’s not just any old content distributors are after—it’s quality content they want, and most of the time they want it from building products brands.

Which brings us back to you and what you are—or aren’t—doing with your website to meet distributors’ needs for quality content.

Distributor Content Preference

Distributors are actively looking for quality content from numerous sources.

  • More than half of the respondents are reading blogs, white papers, case studies, articles, trade publications, online forums or e-books either daily or multiple times weekly.
  • Distributors read blogs, articles and whitepapers most frequently.
  • They look at traditional information sources—like magazines—as well as online sources.

Distributor Views on Trade Pubs

Do distributors still read trade pubs? Yes. According to our study, 87% of the respondents read trade publications, with most reading them on a daily or weekly basis.

The three most read trade sources are, in priority order:

  1. Professional Builder
  2. National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors (NAW)
  3. Building Products Digest

Other popular choices include Qualified Remodeler, Professional Remodeler and BUILDER.

Interestingly, 54% of the respondents read these and the other noted industry  publications online rather than in print. This supports another study finding that today’s building products distributors are experiencing an increasing number of business interactions on digital platforms.

Where Distributors Go for Content

Today it’s anywhere and everywhere. While a few publishers used to control the flow of information, today there are multiple voices and multiple sources, making it more difficult to be heard, seen and read.

Yet we believe brands have an edge.

According to our study, distributors value their connection to building products brands, and feel a strong commitment to maintaining ties with them. While the number one way for distributors to get product information is still from manufacturers’ reps, our study shows that information from manufacturers’ websites is almost equally important.

Already viewing you as product experts, it is likely distributors will also look to you for quality content, both in-person and online.

This presents a huge opportunity for brands to use their websites differently. By positioning them not as product information portals, but as vehicles for authoritative and educational content, brands can build trust and credibility with distributors, creating partnerships that can result in added sales.


With the advent of the digital age, a transformation has occurred in the way distributors consume information. Today there are multiple voices and multiple sources of content, making it more difficult for brands to be heard, seen and read.

Still, brands have an in with distributors. Perceived as industry experts, brands’ websites are key places for distributors to access quality content. Knowing what types of content distributors read, which formats they prefer, and how often they read will help you better target your content. By delivering the quality content distributors are looking for, brands will position themselves as a credible and authoritative resource, building partnerships that will help distributors be more effective at their jobs.

For more distributor insights, read our whitepaper, Why Building Products Brands Are Falling Short With Distributors.

Enjoying what you are reading? Want to talk about how it applies to your business?