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What Video Means For Construction: Fred Mills at Google

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What will the rise of online video mean for the construction industry? Fred Mills explains at The B1M and YouTube’s Constructing Content. Hosted at Google’s London headquarters in January 2016, #ConstructContent looked at how video can engage and inspire construction industry audiences to promote change.

Learn more in our 4 Takeaways From #ConstructContent.

Building on Tom Payne’s overview of the online video sector, Fred explains that the construction industry has some way to go to catch-up: “We’re not in this market. In fact we’re barely in the digital market at all” he says.

“The world is fast losing patience with construction and if we don’t change someone else will do it for us. Google, Apple or Amazon will come in and do what we’ve been trying to do for centuries in a higher value, service-led and better designed way”.

The B1M's Fred Mills presenting at Google. Image courtesy of Su Butcher.

The challenge of having to keep-up has in fact gifted the industry a great opportunity to change in Fred’ opinion. How we respond to the digital shift is now critical.

The determination to promote better approaches – primarily using building information modelling (BIM) as a catalyst – led to the original founding of The B1M; to take pockets of best practice out from small groups of expertise to a wider audience. YouTube’s platform has enabled The B1M to do that in an engaging and easily digestible way that reaches out to people across six continents. “We’re not going to convince people to change for the better by boring them” explains Fred. “We can’t tell people with mandates, we need to compel them with clearly shown benefits”.

Taking The B1M as an example, our video content is primarily watched by millennials and Generation Y – people typically under 35 years of age. When that connected generation go to search for something they aren’t looking for PDFs, evening events or stuffy procedures. They are typing their queries into YouTube. In the BIM context to date, this almost always results in The B1M’s content appearing top in YouTube’s global search results, directly influencing those young people.

“I want to showcase construction at its best. If we can do that we’ll shake-off the image we have. We’ll reach that connected generation, and we’ll show them we’re an industry worth coming into”

Of course, the marketing potential for brands on such a platform is obvious, but Fred’s passion is rooted in the more fundamental benefits that this can have for the construction industry. As streamed video services become the way the world watch content, he explains that he wants construction to have a place in the market. Far more than a new marketing medium for brands, The B1M’s vision is to share content that inspires people: “I want people to come home from work and be able to learn about something, to be captivated by a documentary about a building from the other side of the world, to see the latest tech, to see our industry at its best” he says.

“If we can do that then we’ll shake-off the image that we have. We’ll reach that connected generation and we’ll show them we’re an industry worth coming into”

Fred Mills, Co-Founder of The B1M at Google London. 

Don’t forget to watch the other keynote speeches from Constructing Content, including The Power of Video by Tom Payne and How Parenting Embraced Video by Siobhan Freegard OBE.

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