Many in the construction industry may not be familiar with marketing to construction, but it is a vital component of overall successful operations. From surveys and site investigations to new job openings and promotions, marketing to contractors is essential for long-term success. In fact, many surveyors and practitioners believe it to be one of the most important aspects of their job.
For example, some of the best practices for marketing to construction include creating a competitive edge through creative branding, which helps clients remember you and remember your services. It also allows you to distinguish yourself from the competition, thus increasing your ability to attract and retain new clients. As well, the marketing management of this highly specialized field involves creating a favorable image through the design and promotion of your logo, letterheads, brochures, advertisements, business cards, website, and other tools.
However, there are times when these marketing activities will seem like a waste of time. There are many challenges inherent in the management of marketing for contractors, which includes the necessity to constantly evaluate market conditions and perceptions about the industry itself. While surveys and other techniques can provide valuable information for making critical decisions, they are only a part of the picture. What are people thinking? And how should you present your perspective to the public? Below are a few questions contractors should consider when formulating an effective marketing strategy:
– Does everyone in the construction industry perceive the current climate in the same way? Survey results show that in areas where marketing is performed, the majority of contractors believe that their business development strategies are being challenged by a relatively “easy” set of issues, whereas survey respondents from another industry group indicate that everything is going great. In either case, understanding how the various opinions are formed may be the first step toward creating an effective strategy to address those perceptions.
– Are there consistent themes among the responses? When surveying contractors, it’s important to understand that no two clients or employees will bring up the same questions nor do they all have the same interpretation of the same data. In addition, the majority of survey respondents probably don’t understand all the questions and the main points included in the survey. Understanding how survey respondents formed their opinion(s) can be valuable information for formulating an effective marketing plan. By using both qualitative and quantitative research methods, you can more accurately interpret and create marketing campaigns that engage clients and employees on all key topics.
– What topics are frequently brought up during discussions with other contractors? Construction managers and leaders should pay attention to the types of questions contractors bring up most often during conversations. By doing so, they can incorporate these topics into marketing plans. For instance, construction managers should note that a question regarding bathroom and kitchen design is one of the top three items contractors raise with concerns. Knowing this information can help craft a conversation that engages all parties.
– Which businesses use the “interviewing and sampling frame” in their marketing and business development? Qualitative research methods and questioning have been shown to be highly effective at eliciting accurate, relevant responses from consumers. A simple “Q” format may be all that is needed to obtain respondents’ opinions. For example, if a marketing campaign is developed around a topic like workforce planning, senior management could ask contractors for input on their businesses’ efficiency in determining work schedules, job description descriptions, and employee skill levels.
If you want your marketing strategies to be as effective as possible, be sure to use both qualitative and quantitative interviewing techniques in all aspects of your communications. Both types of methods provide strong avenues for gaining valuable insights from all parties. Senior managers should also include surveys in all marketing activities. Surveys allow for in-depth research, which gives companies greater opportunities to determine what topics contractors bring up most frequently when working with their clients. This information can help direct and align future marketing campaigns and programs.