How a Proactive Marketing Plan Helps with Construction Lead Generation

shutterstock_289952918One of the strongest and most effective marketing concepts is proactive marketing. Here is a brief explanation of this strategy along with some tips on how you can use it for lead generation and to encourage more business from existing customers.

What Is Proactive Marketing?

Proactive marketing should be seen in contrast to reactive marketing. In reactive marketing, a company gathers data, results and other information from a marketing campaign and analyzes it, looking for areas that worked and those that didn’t. The company then reacts to this data, making changes to an existing marketing plan or launching an entirely new campaign.

In proactive marketing, a company uses existing knowledge and data to act before a formal campaign or the application of new techniques. Proactive marketing is predictive, anticipating the needs and wants of customers before they are expressed. Proactive marketing is also more active, compared to the more passive stance of reactive marketing.

Applying Proactive Techniques to Your Marketing Plan

  • Marketing in anticipation of need: Proactive marketing will present your message to existing customers and potential leads before they need what you are offering. For example, a photocopier company might market replacement toner cartridges to customers at about the time when a new cartridge might be needed. In a construction contest, you might target market your renovation services in a neighborhood of older homes, or window replacement services right before winter.
  • Marketing as a social interaction: Customers and leads who receive proactive marketing messages that address their real needs will have a more favorable attitude toward your company. This happens because you satisfy one of their social needs, that of being liked and noticed. By taking steps to fulfill their needs before they even have to come to you and ask, you will generate considerable interest and goodwill, and even a sense of obligation to respond.

With the data and industry insight offered by Construction Monitor, construction companies can effectively build their marketing and lead generation plans. Contact us today for more information on how to use proactive marketing techniques in your search for new leads and customers.

3 Offline Ways to Get More Construction Clients

shutterstock_239060812When it comes to getting new clients, the tested traditional methods are often best. Certainly it pays to use online marketing methods, but you can still attract plenty of clients with offline techniques. Here are three ways you can use offline marketing to get your company noticed and to get more clients during all seasons.

1. Advertise

Advertising remains an incredibly popular and effective way to attract clients to your business. Look into some traditional and non-traditional ways of getting the word out about your company.

  • Media: Advertising in newspapers and the Yellow Pages can still be useful. Talk to your advertising representative about the best ways to use these media.
  • Signage: Make sure your business location has attractive, easily readable signs. Put magnetic signs on your company vehicles, or painted signs and logos if you intend for them to be permanent.
  • Billboards: Purchase billboard space strategically. Look for billboards on well-traveled routes or in areas where commercial or residential expansion is expected or underway.
  • Non-traditional ads: Put your advertisement on the back of cash register receipts in supermarkets, diners, or other places where potential clients frequently go.

2. Network

  • Join local business groups: Find and join local business organizations, such as the Chamber of Commerce, or business networking clubs.
  • Offer to speak: Offer to make presentations or give lectures at local meetings, and be sure to make yourself available for questions and lead-building afterward.

3. Build Your Reputation

  • Sponsor programs: Sponsor local programs or groups, such as youth sports teams, or charitable causes, such as fund-raisers.
  • Make contributions: Contribute financially to charities, social organizations, aid organizations, and other groups. Your contribution will usually be acknowledged in some way and will increase exposure.
  • Get awards: Seek out awards and recognition in your field. These may seem trivial, but they can give your company a strong image of authority.

Construction Monitor provides construction companies, managers and planners with the data and tools they need to grow their businesses and attract customers. Contact us today for more information on offline ways to get and keep more clients for your construction business.

Are You Using Your Employees to Gain Construction Referrals? (Plus More Referral Tips!)

shutterstock_288870017Gaining new leads is a constant concern for businesses, and construction companies are no exception. Advertising, networking, customer referrals — all of these are effective methods of getting more leads into your sales funnel. While working these methods, however, don’t neglect another potentially rich source of referrals: your employees. Here are some ways you can look to your employees for construction referrals.

  • Ask for referrals: The simplest way to get referrals is to simply ask, so make it a point to ask your employees if they know of anyone who could use your company’s services. An employee’s outside business contacts, plus family, friends, and other associates, could be a good source of referrals.
  • Offer incentives and rewards: If you ask your employees for referrals, be prepared to offer some sort of incentive for successful referrals. After all, if you and your company are benefiting from employee referrals, the employees should benefit too. Typical incentives include a cash reward, gift certificates, or additional time off.
  • Tap into employee knowledge: Your employees are a potential goldmine of knowledge and expertise, so using this information to gain referrals makes sense. Ask your expert employees to write articles for your website or blog, to create tip sheets or other relevant content, or to contribute information to marketing materials that are sent out to generate leads. Potential customers will appreciate the helpful information they provide.
  • Look for insights: Many of your employees will have insights into customer needs and wants that won’t be available anywhere else. Your sales staff, for example, will have direct contacts with customers and leads and are likely to know what they’re asking for. Supervisors and employees in the field will also have direct contact with another segment of customers whose needs and requests can lead to high-quality referrals. Use these insights to your advantage.

Construction Monitor is dedicated to helping building and construction companies manage their businesses with the most recent and most effective data available. Contact us today for more information on employee referrals and how to implement an effective employee referral program for generating more and better leads.

Best Practices for Social Media in Construction

shutterstock_189811238-2Because the use of social media in the construction industry rarely gets the attention it deserves, too many contractors are left wondering how to best leverage these sites. Social media can be a rich source of construction leads, but only if you approach it correctly.

Share What You Know

Social media sites aren’t advertising platforms, but rather places to make genuine human connections with the people in your target market. Providing information that helps them reach their goals is one of the most effective ways to do that. Offer tips and guidelines to help them make better buying decisions. Share resources such as websites, articles and videos. Educate your followers on the pros and cons of the different construction materials, technology and methods your firm specializes in.

Post content that demonstrates your expertise and highlights your accomplishments. By doing this, you can not only help your followers, but also build your reputation and show your prospects why they should work with you.

Don’t be afraid to show a little personality. Candid photos of your team, behind-the-scenes shots of your office, and the occasional personal story let your followers feel like they know you. Rapport like this gives you an edge over the dozens of faceless companies out there.

Engage With Your Audience

The opportunity for nearly effortless, two-way communication is one of the biggest advantages of using social media in the construction industry. Just listening to what your potential clients are saying — their interests, complaints, and frustrations — gives you insight into how you can win their business.

Social media also lets you ask for feedback in a way that’s more personal and direct than a web form. Ask specific questions in your posts and videos, and encourage your audience to leave comments.

Follow people and companies that interest you and strike up conversations relevant to your shared interests. You’ll develop your knowledge while also building relationships that help you win construction leads without the need for pushy sales pitches.

For more information on the most effective uses for social media in the construction industry, contact Construction Monitor today.

Using BIM for a Safe Construction Site

shutterstock_426500653BIM software can do more than help you design your project and manage your budget. Using BIM for a safe construction site helps you spot potential hazards so you can either eliminate them or plan ahead to reduce the risks.

Clear Visualization

Sometimes a design document just can’t clearly represent what a situation looks like on the ground. BIM software provides an easy-to-understand 3D visual representation of the job site that allows your entire team to familiarize themselves with the conditions there before they go in. This helps your team identify potential dangers so those dangers can be removed or minimized before work begins.

Instead of relying on documents or verbal explanations, workers can take a virtual tour of the site to explore the environment so they’ll be informed and mentally prepared when they arrive.

More Accurate Scheduling

A construction job is a continually developing project with numerous steps that must be carefully choreographed to avoid scheduling conflicts that could put worker safety at risk. With BIM software, you’ll be able to plan your project using 4D scheduling and sequencing. This reduces human error in scheduling and gives everyone involved a clear picture of what work is being done where and when at every phase of the project.

Comprehensive Preparation

While it’s impossible to remove all risk from a construction site, unavoidable risks can be reduced through preparation. This kind of preparation is a major part of using BIM for a safe construction site. BIM lets you focus in on specific tasks in order to assess the risks and decide which tools, machinery and safety equipment will be needed.

Workers will have time to get what they need to work safely and efficiently, rather than compromising their safety by making do with whatever is available.

In addition, the automated systems included in BIM software will help guide you in implementing safety measures by suggesting optimal locations for railings, barriers and other safety structures.

For more tips on using BIM for a safe construction site, or to get the latest construction leads, contact Construction Monitor today.

4 Ways to Decrease Your Accident Rate

shutterstock_358991912While providing quality equipment and training goes a long way toward assuring safety for construction workers, that’s not all that’s involved in achieving a low accident rate. The way in which your workers interact with each other also plays a role.

Thorough Training

Every worker, regardless of prior training or experience, should receive training in safety practices before they begin work. Even experienced workers benefit from regular refresher courses.

Create training courses by taking advantages of the numerous training videos and pamphlets provided by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and related organizations. Keep up on advancements in safety practices and equipment, and update your training as necessary.

Greater awareness also improves safety for construction workers. Before you send workers to a job site, inform them of the risks present at that particular site.

Proper Equipment

Using the wrong equipment can prove fatal. Provide your workers with safety equipment, tools and machinery that are ideally suited to the specific job they’re performing. Keep your tools and machinery well maintained to prevent accidents caused by sudden malfunctions. Consider your workers’ needs beyond equipment. In hot weather, provide plenty of water and shady rest areas to reduce the risk of heat exhaustion.

Open Communication

Surprises and misinformation are common causes of accidents, but good communication can prevent these situations. Before the workday starts, inform your workers of the overall plan for the day. Help workers communicate quickly and easily throughout the day by equipping them with handheld radios, headset radios or similar devices.

Rigorous Supervision

Every individual worker is focused on the task at hand while on the job, so it’s easy for them to lose track of what’s going on elsewhere. When a worker is tired or feeling rushed, they can be tempted to skip safety precautions. That’s why you need a skilled and vigilant supervisor who’s capable of keeping tabs on all employees at all times. Choose a supervisor who’s willing and able to strictly enforce safety regulations.

For more information on safety for construction workers, contact Construction Monitor today.

How to Close More Construction Deals

Even though there are many signs of recovery within the construction industry, owners and managers must still place substantial importance on finding new customers and additional business. Here are some suggestions you can use to increase your chances of attracting additional construction leads and closing more deals.

  • constructionUnderstand your position in the industry: Many companies are versatile and offer numerous services, but recognize that no single company can be everything to everyone. Determine what offerings make your company different from your competitors. For example, do you specialize in a certain type of construction — residential, industrial, commercial? Do you have employees with unique skills that customers appreciate?
  • Thoroughly understand the sales process: Remember that a major portion of what you do will involve sales and customer service. Refine these processes and how you deal with prospects at all points in the sales funnel. Study and apply proven techniques that are designed to increase sales and customer interest.
  • Become an expert at bidding: Bidding on a project can be a complex process, but you and your staff must be highly skilled at all components. From reading and understanding requests for proposals, to making cost estimates, to writing proposals; each element of bidding must be handled professionally and flawlessly.
  • Market your company: Apply effective marketing techniques to help create a strong reputation and an impression of high perceived value. Clearly define and present the unique selling proposition (USP) that differentiates you from others in the industry.
  • Go the “extra mile” for your customers: This has become almost cliche, but the truth behind the statement is that your customers will appreciate and remember companies that go out of their way to ensure a successful project. Make sure you can complete the project on time or earlier. Offer additional suggestions that could improve the project or help cut costs.

Construction Monitor gives construction industry professionals the inside information they need to successfully expand their operations, either into their current geographical region or into new areas. Contact us today for more information on how to win more business and secure more deals for your company.

The Importance of Targeting Your Construction Marketing

Effective marketing of your construction company’s services is the cornerstone of business growth. In some cases, successful marketing might be the difference between staying in business or closing up shop. To succeed in the construction industry, your marketing must be aimed at the right audience. Here are some ways you can use construction marketing techniques to build and sustain your business.

construction marketingNarrow Your Marketing

A shotgun approach to marketing your construction services is almost guaranteed to be a waste of time, effort and resources. It’s necessary to narrow your marketing to those who might reasonably be expected to need your services. A newspaper advertisement pointing out general services might be fine, but if you are looking for broader opportunities, you’ll have to specialize. For example, if you advertise in industry publications, you’ll not have much luck advertising in agricultural publications if all you do is retail or residential construction. If you have a specialty in building agricultural structures, however, that type of magazine is a good choice. Marketing to former customers can also narrow your marketing to a proven and interested group.

Use the Proper Techniques

Your marketing must use the proper techniques to reach the audience most likely to need your services. The type of media you use — radio, television, print, or online — will depend on the type of customer you’re looking for. Mailing lists can be effective, but they need to be targeted to potential customers who will need the type of construction services you offer. Techniques such as programmatic advertising — a method of buying advertising and marketing media based on very specific audience characteristics and criteria — can let you get your message in front of a very narrow but very receptive group of potential customers.

Construction Monitor is dedicated to the success of construction businesses, and provides the data, construction leads, and best practices information they need to survive and thrive in a competitive industry. Contact us today for more information on construction marketing and how you can shape your marketing program to best take advantage of your available resources and the market you wish to serve.

The Latest in Home Security Trends

Home security continues to be a significant topic among residential construction professionals and their clients. The following information on home security trends in 2016 will help you understand the current status of home security systems so that you can better advise your clients on the products and manufacturers that can best meet their requirements.

home security trendsInformation Resource

The following information is derived from information presented on the website, an evaluation, review, and reporting site covering security systems. Their assessment of home security products is based on detailed research, expert interpretation, and direct contact with the manufacturers.

Best Companies and Products

  1. Frontpoint: Frontpoint achieved’s highest rating for 2016, marking the ninth year as the site’s top pick. Frontpoint was cited for its excellent customer service, low-pressure sales, and 30-day money-back guarantee. It also received high marks for the ease of installation of its systems. The system’s “crash and smash protection” prevents intruders from disabling the entire system by simply destroying the control panel.
  2. Protect America: Protect America was also commended for its customer service, lifetime warranty on equipment, and the ease of installation of its systems. The site also noted that Protect America offers locked-in rates for the lifetime of the system and requires no activation or installation fees.
  3. LiveWatch Security: The site’s number three choice, LiveWatch Security, offers benefits such as monthly monitoring by cellular system and good levels of customer service. Their systems are available on one-year contracts and there are no cancellation fees.

Equipment Features

All three companies offer equipment features that provide high levels of security. They include:

  • Door and window sensors
  • Motion sensors
  • Motion-sensing cameras
  • Indoor and outdoor cameras
  • Glass-break sensors
  • Moisture sensors
  • Freeze sensors
  • Panic buttons or pendants

All three companies also offer equipment that is compatible with smart home devices and technology, including geo-fencing and Z-wave technology.

Construction Monitor provides the most up-to-date information on industry developments that can help you acquire more construction leads and customers. Contact us today for more information on home security trends and how new advances in home security technology can benefit you and your clients.

Tips for Getting More Construction Leads Offline

Although online marketing is growing in importance, offline marketing is still a highly effective approach to lead generation in the construction business. That said, some offline methods draw in construction leads better than others.

lead generation in the construction businessWord of Mouth

While many construction firms cite word of mouth as their richest source of leads, few do anything to encourage word to spread. Instead of relying on your clients’ memory, directly ask clients for referrals.

When the job is done, give the client a form in which they can list the name and contact information of anyone they know who might need your services. Consider offering a cash referral fee or other reward, such as a gift card, for each lead that turns into a sale.

Direct Mail

Done correctly, mailing out postcards, fliers and other advertising material has strong potential for lead generation in the construction business. Start with a targeted mailing list of potential clients, such as property developers, affluent homeowners or new building permit holders. You can buy these from mailing database providers.

Then, if you plan to write the material yourself, invest some time in learning the best direct mail practices for construction contractors. That includes learning to make a solid offer, such as a complimentary consultation or an upgrade with purchase.

Cold Calling

Cold calling means phoning someone you’ve had no prior contact with to discuss your services. While it takes some stamina, cold calling has the potential to bring in construction leads relatively quickly. For better results, use a targeted calling list of people and businesses in your market.

Magazine Ads

They may be old school, but well-designed ads in the right publications are still effective for pulling in leads. To choose where to advertise, look through the variety of construction trade journals out there to find those you feel your potential clients are most likely to read. If you provide home remodeling and other consumer services, ads in consumer magazines are also worth considering.

For more guidance on effective lead generation in the construction business, contact us at Construction Monitor today.