A national survey of bathroom installers conducted by Deva, part of Methven UK, has revealed the breadth of challenges faced by bathroom installers.

Shower and brassware manufacturer, Deva, joined forces with the UK’s largest online trade recommendation service RatedPeople.com and bathroom directory Findafitter to conduct one of the largest bathroom installer surveys ever undertaken.

The findings, taken from a survey of more than 200 installers, have exposed the barriers faced by installers in securing work, revealed their perception of trade associations, attitudes towards manufacturers and their feelings about the industry’s wider reputation.

A worrying 28% of installers felt that their role within the bathroom industry never receives the recognition it deserves from the wider industry, with 67% saying they felt recognised only rarely. Asked why they felt installers were not more widely acknowledged for their contribution, a third (33%) said they felt tradesmen within the industry were still being given a bad name because of a small number of rogue traders. A further 19% felt that installers were viewed as labourers and not skilled experts, whilst 18.9% felt the bathroom industry was not doing enough to promote the contribution made by installers.

Predictably in the current climate, when asked what they think their biggest challenge is, more than 60 per cent of installers said they were struggling to market themselves and to try and find work.

At present, 66% of the installers surveyed said they were not able to do any marketing, with a third of those citing lack of money as the reason and 21% admitting they didn’t know where to start. Despite many consumers turning to the internet to find an installer, almost half of those installers surveyed (49%) admitted they had no website or online presence.

Asked to identify the two things they wanted to see more of from their industry trade associations, 64% said they could do more to assist them with marketing themselves and finding work and that trade associations should be working harder to change the public’s perception of bathroom installers.

From manufacturers, most installers wanted to see products priced more competitively, closely followed by a desire for easier to fit products with clearer installation instructions and an overall improvement in product quality.

In response to the survey, Deva has launched a fantastic national ‘Win a Marketing Campaign’ competition in which one installer will have the chance to win a marketing campaign worth up to £5,000.

Included in the campaign will be the full design and build of a professional website and website content; a photography portfolio of completed work; a PR campaign in their local area; and a ‘pay-per-click’ campaign, improving their position on Google rankings so that potential customers can find them online.

To be in with a chance of winning, installers simply have to visit www.deva.org.uk and explain in no more than 100 words why they deserve to win. The competition is open until the end of April 2013.

Barbara Osborne, product marketing manager at Deva, part of Methven UK, said: “The results of this survey clearly demonstrate that installers feel undervalued and cannot find the time or the money to promote themselves at a time when competition for work is at its highest. Our Win a Marketing Campaign will not solve all the issues indentified, but we hope it will give one lucky installer a real boost.”