Identifying Construction Trends for 2020

Preparing your business for the future is a lot easier when you have some idea of what to expect. Data on what’s happening in today’s construction market helps you develop the foresight you need to take advantage of emerging opportunities while steering clear of potential threats.

Shifting Demand in Project Types

Changes in the types of projects in demand in your area are some of the clearest trends that emerge from construction market data. Reviewing building permit data over time makes it easy to see what customers in your target market might be planning for the year ahead. For example, you might notice home additions are trending while remodeling jobs are in decline. If your company offers mortgages and financing, you might decide to rework your marketing or offer new loan packages to target homeowners who are planning additions.

More detailed data on these projects could reveal a trend in home additions, maybe master bedrooms are on the upswing.  If you sell fireplaces and stoves, marketing that highlights the benefits of a bedroom fireplace could help you attract customers who are getting in on the new bedroom trend.

Changing Methods and Materials

With the constant advance of construction technology, demonstrating competence with the latest construction methods and materials is an effective way to differentiate yourself from the competition. If data shows more and more top companies near you are moving toward modular construction, that’s a trend you could cash in on as a general contractor or roofing contractor. To set yourself apart, you might offer customization options your competitors don’t.

No matter what your specialty, trends in building methods can give you valuable insight into your market’s interests and values. Increased interest in modular construction suggests your would-be customers prioritize speed, cost-effectiveness, and flexibility over traditional appearance. As a floor coverings supplier, you could use that knowledge to focus more on materials that are low cost and quick to install.

For in-depth construction market data that will help you spot profitable trends, contact Construction Monitor.

What Can Building Permit Data Tell You About Your Business?

Building Permit Data

Even if you built your construction business from the ground up, you can always stand to learn a thing or two about how well it’s performing in the current market. By giving you insight into what’s happening in the market, building permit data helps you see if you’re on the right track or if making some changes could help boost your profits.

Are You on Top of Your Market’s Demands?

Examining building permit data is one of the most accurate ways to determine what your target market wants right now. For example, the data might show you many families in your area are putting in new garages. If you sell windows and doors, but your marketing material says nothing about what you offer for garages, that tells you your company might be out of touch with your potential customers.

If you sell floor coverings and notice a lot of retail spaces in the works, but your current product line has nothing durable enough for commercial use, chances are you’re missing out on sales. If this is the case, doing a little more research and fine-tuning your marketing could have a quick pay-off by helping you reach customers who are looking to buy immediately.  

Are You Prepared for the Future?

Trends in the construction market don’t move quite as quickly as in some more fashion-conscious markets, so it’s easy to get complacent with your current way of doing business. Tracking building permit data over time helps prevent this by alerting you to shifts in market demand as they happen. If you notice an uptick in permits for commercial demolition jobs, that suggests more commercial construction jobs could be on the way in the near future. If you’re a general contractor, is your company ready to handle more commercial jobs? If you specialize in light fixtures, will you be able to meet an increased demand for commercial lighting?

For more on using building permit data to learn how well your company is positioned in the market, contact Construction Monitor.

Using Construction Trends to Improve Marketing Strategy

Improve Marketing Strategy

Even if you think you know your target market inside and out, their needs and wants will change over time. By staying on top of those changes and adapting your marketing strategy accordingly, you’ll be better able to profit from market demands.

Construction Trends

Local building permit data is an invaluable information source on trending construction projects and what types of projects are waning in popularity. Knowing that apartments and other multifamily housing projects are more common in your area than other types of commercial construction is a powerful insight that can lead you toward profitable target markets, which are fundamental to any marketing strategy.

Building permit data also helps you refine your choices of target markets. If you specialize in remodels, it’s useful to know whether bathroom or kitchen remodels are more popular or whether a marketing campaign to promote your attic finishing services is worth the time and money it takes to run one. 

Trends in what property developers and homeowners want can guide your choice of a marketing mix and your messages. If you notice a growing interest in smart home technology, you might decide to publish more website content showing how your products fit into a modern, high-tech home.

Social Trends

Keeping up with trends outside the construction industry lets you better anticipate your buyers’ overall needs in a way that grabs their attention. If you sell light fixtures and discover a work-at-home trend, you might develop a line of lighting products well suited to home offices and promote it on remote worker information blogs.

Tendencies in building permit applications can reveal social trends, too. An increase in cabin construction could tell you people in your area are interested in getting back to nature or finding simple ways to relax. You can use that information to create marketing material that shows how your products help meet those lifestyle goals. If you sell windows and doors, you might create a campaign focused on large windows for those who want more natural lighting.

For more tips on using trends to inform your market strategy, contact Construction Monitor.

How to Define Your Target Market

Define your target market

Knowing who you’re selling to is essential for successfully marketing your offer. Whether you’re starting a new construction business, revamping an existing one or just fine-tuning your marketing plan, construction market data can help you define your best customers so you can reach them more effectively.

Geographics

Finding out where your potential buyers are located is a critical first step in defining your target market. One of the easiest and most accurate ways to do this is to identify trends in building permit applications. If you sell swimming pools and spas, data on where the most pool installations are happening is invaluable. Finding out which neighborhoods have the most high-value home remodels could also lead you to buyers. Building permit activity mapping lets you see at a glance where and what kinds of projects are going on, which alleviates having to sift through pages of irrelevant data.

Demographics

Once you know potential buyers’ location, get familiar with the demographics of the area. Learn the community’s age ranges, gender ratio, average family status, occupations and income levels. Will you be selling pools and spas to young families who care primarily about safety and fun for the kids or to older adults who might be more interested in your products’ health benefits and ease of maintenance? Building permit trends can offer insight here, too. If the average value of remodeling projects in an area is low compared to the average home value, you might want to market toward a frugal audience.

Psychographics and Behavior

Understanding your potential customers’ values, interests and favorite activities helps you connect with them on a personal level and sets you apart from the generalists. Let your own company values guide you. If you’re committed to sustainability, consider targeting nature lovers who enjoy hiking. If social responsibility is important to you, focus on buyers involved in volunteering. A property developer who donates to community projects or groups is more likely to choose a contractor or building materials supplier who does the same.

For more on using construction market data to define your target market, contact Construction Monitor.

Making the Most of Your Email Marketing Campaigns

Email marketing campaigns

Email cuts through the clutter of marketing messages online by reaching your prospect directly, but getting your prospect’s attention is only half the battle. To gain new construction buyers from an email marketing campaign, you’ll need something more than generic emails.

Target Your Readers

Running a successful email campaign starts with giving your readers information that’s directly relevant to their needs. If you’re a general contractor specializing in both light commercial and residential construction, you’ll get better results creating separate campaigns for each group than by sending generic emails to everyone. Take advantage of construction market data to tailor your content. If local building permit data shows you a lot of small office buildings are in the works, create a campaign focusing on your office construction experience.

Further segment your list by points in the planning process. A reader who downloads your guide to choosing an architect for their office building has shown they’re ready to get serious with their project. Instead of keeping them on your general informational campaign, move them to a list with more hard-sell content that encourages them to set up a call to discuss your design-build services.

Get Straight to the Point

When your prospects open your email, it isn’t the only thing in their inbox waiting for their attention. Overload your reader and they’ll leave in confusion to go read someone else’s newsletter. Keeping your layout simple and your copy succinct helps get your point across quickly. Stick with around 200 words and one or two highly relevant images. Offer a plain text version, too.

Set a single goal for each email. If you’re running a campaign to promote your sustainable building materials to new home builders, one email might focus on AshCrete foundations and walls with the goal of getting the reader to click through to an article on the benefits of this material. Include a clear call to action that tells your reader exactly what you want them to do.

For more tips on using construction industry data to develop effective email marketing campaigns, contact Construction Monitor.

Informing Your Marketing With Buyer Personas

Customer personas help you see what your prospective buyers have in common beyond their interest in construction. Using that information to guide your marketing efforts lets you get into your prospects’ heads so you know how to reach them and deliver the messages that get them to buy.

Get to Know Their Problems

Well-developed “goals” and “challenges” sections are critical to any buyer persona. When you know your prospects’ goals and the roadblocks they face in reaching those goals, you’ll be better able to position your company as the solution.

If you target property developers, you might find local building permit data shows rising interest in commercial property construction. Taking that information, you could create a buyer persona for commercial property developers that mentions their frustration with loans that come up short of what they need. Now you know your marketing can grab their attention by mentioning that you can provide 100-percent financing in a single loan.

Meet Them on Their Own Turf

Your buyer personas should tell you about how your target client spends time. If the persona of your trend-conscious young home builders get their ideas from interior design websites and Instagram, you’ll know those are good places to market your most stylish light fixtures, floor coverings, cabinets, and other design-related products. If your older home remodeling persona prefers print magazines and Facebook, you might use those platforms to promote products with more traditional designs.

Build a Stronger Rapport

The better you know someone, the easier it is to create marketing that speaks to them on a personal level. When your prospect feels understood as a person, not just a construction project, they’re more likely to trust your marketing message. If you sell fireplaces to older home remodelers, you might touch on benefits, such as making memories with grandchildren or enjoying luxuries they worked a lifetime to attain. Highlighting safety and convenience features that benefit older users also shows your target prospects you understand their concerns.  

For more ideas on using customer personas to improve your marketing, contact Construction Monitor.

Construction Marketing: 4 Things to Learn From the Competition

Because no two construction businesses are quite the same, your competitors are bound to have insight you don’t. Data on the top companies in your area gives you a better understanding of how your successful competitors do business so you can learn from their experience.

  1. Spot new opportunities – Learning what your competitors are working on and where they’re working helps you find new buyer sources. If you sell cabinets and notice a lot of renovations going on in a neighborhood full of historical homes, you’ll know a strong market for traditional cabinetry exists in the area. On the other hand, studying your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses can lead you to potential gaps in the market you can take advantage of in the future.
  2. Find fresh marketing angles – By evaluating the marketing messages, methods, and channels your competitors use, you’ll get a better idea of what works and what doesn’t. Your competitors’ marketing can also spark new ideas. If your floor covering competitors’ marketing emphasizes their durable office flooring, you might take the idea a step further by creating content that demonstrates exactly how much wear your office flooring can handle.
  3. Optimize your pricing – Checking out your competitors’ prices can tell you if you’re underpricing and leaving money on the table or if your prices are unusually high and possibly driving buyers away. If you find your prices are higher than average, but for good reason, you’ll know to highlight those reasons in your marketing.
  4. Stay on top of trends – If you’re a general contractor, the fact that two or three of your main competitors have cut back on their home addition services is valuable information. If building permit data also shows a decline in home additions, it’s safe to assume you shouldn’t rely on that market in the near future. That information can save you from inaccurate predictions that could sink your business. If you see a new product appear in a competitor’s ads, this can alert you to a trend before everyone else jumps on it.

For more on using what you learn from competitive analysis, contact Construction Monitor.

Is Your Marketing Strategy Well Informed?

Taking educated guesses about your target market might have worked decades ago, but with the wealth of data available today, it’s no longer sufficient or necessary. By leveraging data on the construction projects happening in your area, you can develop a marketing strategy based on facts instead of assumptions.

Researching Your Market Through Building Permit Data

Building permit data is a valuable source of insight into the types of construction services and products that are in demand in your area. Refining your data searches by project type, contractor or valuation gives you a more nuanced understanding of your market. With this knowledge, you can focus your marketing efforts on the hungriest audiences. If you sell waste management systems, you might notice permit data shows more commercial buildings than apartment buildings are going up. That tells you to focus your marketing strategy on promoting systems suitable for commercial waste management.

Work in an area that includes both urban and rural residents? Building permit data can show you whether there’s a stronger market among city housing developers or farms in need of agricultural buildings. Knowing that will inform your choice of marketing methods, platforms, and messages.

Including Top Companies in Your Competitive Analysis

You can learn a lot by reviewing data on the types, valuations, and locations of the projects top companies are working on. Knowing what your most successful competitors are up to helps you find new opportunities and spot things you might be doing wrong.

As a roofing contractor, if you discover all the top roofing contractors market their roof replacements and repairs more heavily than their new roof construction services, you can be sure that’s a profitable angle. On the other hand, if none of them specialize in flat roofing, a little further investigation might lead you to an untapped market. If your content marketing material doesn’t emphasis the low-maintenance aspects of your roofing as much as your competitors’ do, you might want to pay more attention to that.

For more ideas on using data to develop your marketing strategy, contact Construction Monitor.

Build Your Construction Business Marketing on the Right Foundation

To be effective, your marketing needs clear direction rooted in a strong foundation. That foundation is your brand, the unique identity of your construction business. By defining your brand, you’ll gain a better understanding of your target market and what it takes to win their business.

Develop Your Brand Positioning

Brand positioning is the way your company is placed in the market and in your clients’ minds. It’s the differentiating factor that lets you stand out from the crowd. Start by defining which construction category you’re in, who you’re targeting, and what benefits you deliver and want to highlight.

Then take a look at how each of your main competitors have positioned their brands. Data on the top local construction companies can help by showing you whose brand position is really working for them. You’ll learn what to do and what to avoid.

Using that knowledge, look for what sets your company apart and develop a distinct value position that includes compelling logical and emotional benefits. If you sell building materials, are you the company that specializes in durable, low-maintenance materials for industrial facilities or the one that can always find the perfect materials to complement your area’s historical homes?

Define Your Brand Image

Your brand image is how your clients think of your company beyond knowing what products and services you offer. It’s built on the assumptions and associations they maker after interacting with your company. When you know the brand image you’re aiming for, you can focus your marketing efforts on creating associations that support that image.

Take the hip, free-spirited general contractors who specialize in home office additions for young professionals versus the prudent, tradition-oriented contractors who build home additions for growing families. Both offer essentially the same services, but their images are very different and their marketing will be, too.

Building permit data can help you spot trends and gaps in the market to craft a brand image that will appeal to a profitable customer base.

For more tips on perfecting your construction business marketing, contact Construction Monitor.