Construction Marketing Tips for Summer 2020

According to April 2020 Forbes, U.S. construction output growth this year could range between zero and -8%. You read that right: minus eight percent.

It’s not all about COVID-19 illness and shutdowns, although that will have a stunning impact on the construction industry for many years. Supply shortages have paralyzed many projects.

Marketing management is crucial.

2020 Economic Recovery: Construction Marketing Tips

The tech industry was one of the few that saw more opportunity and growth this year. If your company uses technology to its fullest advantage, you’ll have an edge over your competitors in job bids and wins.

We’ve encouraged utilizing building permit data for knowledge-driven marketing strategies. Depending on your choice of data sorts, you can plan a marketing promotion that can include aligning with top construction companies.

Your post-coronavirus construction marketing tips should utilize traditional techniques with 2 new emphases:

1. Safety First

We’re frightened about the coronavirus. But we’re also scared there will be financial consequences if we can’t prove diligence onsite.

Every marketing promotion now through the remainder of the year needs to emphasize “new” worker safety from cross-contamination and how you enforce distancing guidelines. You must reassure your contractors, owners/operators, and investors your construction job will not be a walking minefield for illness-related lawsuits.

2. Upgrades for Shelters-in-Place

Use a don’t-put-your-dream-on-hold approach to new-property development and homeownership. Whether you’re an architect, real estate agent, homeowners insurance professional, or facilities maintenance company, use the quarantine as an example of how crucial living space really is.

“We expect to see an influx of newly motivated buyers who were previously deferring a home purchase,” said Chicago home sales specialist Jaime Kelly.

Upgrading living spaces may become a priority before fall. “As we all shelter-in-place, one inescapable sentiment has surfaced: The place we call home is more important than ever.”

Construction Monitor For Construction Marketing Tips

We hope you’ve positioned your company for COVID-19 business recovery. If you need help with any of the marketing tools we offer, let us know.

Ask us how to use business permit information to develop:

Call 800-925-6085 or contact Construction Monitor today.

4 Tips for Maintaining Relationships with Your Construction Suppliers

construction suppliers

Your construction business depends on several factors for success. Four of them include:

  1. Diligence – Regulatory agencies and insurance claims are managed through documentation. Lawsuits are not uncommon to a construction business, and your documentation can make or break a litigation.
  2. Management – No one person needs to manage everything. But everything must be managed, from A (architects) to Z (zax).
  3. Technology Managing information to increase opportunities is relatively new to the construction industry. The leaders in your field use a technology advantage to stay on top.
  4. Transparency – You want construction business operations visible to stakeholders and project management. This is reassurance that efficiency and employee satisfaction are part of your strategy.

Supplier Relationships Also Drive Success

Good supplier relationships may lead to favorable prices,
generous terms, improved availability, and even the
occasional buyback
. –Armando Roggio, Marketing Professional

Every construction business depends on suppliers. Your reputation for quality, quick turnaround, competitive pricing, and customer service depends on your suppliers. When your brand is on the line, supplier relationships can prove very beneficial.

1. Be knowledgeable

Know your purchasing history, compare it to economic history, and if you have a new construction business, get that information from similar businesses. Your suppliers will have a better understanding of what and how much to order. When you plan ahead, they can too, and this prevents supply chain bottlenecks.

2. Demonstrate professional courtesy

Be patient with supply chain problems; at least as patient as you’d want your clients to be when you’re in the same situation. Rather than complain about the problem, work to be part of the solution.

3. Enjoy the relationship

When placing an order, take the time to enjoy the conversation. Let your suppliers know you value their friendships.

4. Pay promptly

If you’re slow to pay, suppliers will save their best deals and the largest amount of negotiation leeway for other customers. When you’re dealing with a financial crunch, suppliers may give you longer to pay because you’ve proven you can pay on-time.

Construction Business Growth is Our Business

We take the time to collect and sort business permit data so you don’t have to. Instead, put this data to work for you. Call 800-925-6085 or contact Construction Monitor

What’s Missing from Your Construction Marketing Plan? Social Media

Construction Marketing Plan

The last thing you want is to be caught flat-footed and find yourself lagging your competitors when the economy revs up again.Entrepreneur

Your annual construction marketing plan flew out the window March 2020. But this is no time to keep your cards close to your chest. When the economy tanks, gamblers often win by rerouting money into more – not less – marketing.

You can rebuild your construction marketing plan by targeting social media. Here are 6 tips:

  1. Are you waiting for things to “get back to normal?” Some of the results of COVID-19, like social distancing, may continue through 2022. Your construction marketing plan needs to be driven with a sense of urgency plus here-and-now reality.
  2. Develop a social media calendar and commit to it. Every post should include your visual branding. Put a version of the same post on every social media outlet.
  3. Note which posts get the most action and follow-up with more of the same. Productivity professional Aja Viafora says, “Hug your haters.” Rather than engage in a volatile conversation, respond with sympathy and a desire to help make it right.
  4. “Now is not the time to rely on assumptions,” says CEO Andrew Reid. You’ve got to pay attention to customer/client behavior, especially construction purchasing patterns since March 2020. Some consumer behaviors are here to stay.
  5. Use empathy in your social media messages. “How can we help?” is a good question and your Facebook/Tweets need to reflect your concern. Be real. Post at-home employee videos and examples of distancing within your company to promote safety.
  6. Your presence should be visible on all social media channels. Facebook and Twitter are the construction industry frontrunners:
    • Facebook – Launch ads and share your blogs.
    • Instagram – Visual platform for customer-attracting content to build a follower base.
    • LinkedIn – Business development is this platform’s foundation. It’s a good site for networking and news-sharing.
    • Twitter – Influencers are more available on this platform.
    • YouTube – Post and promote videos from your jobsites, promotional company videos, and empathetic we’re-in-this-together videos.

Getting more value from social media marketing is possible when you work the numbers and make them work for you. Contact Construction Monitor for timely, targeted construction data.

Construction Marketing: Common Direct Mail Mistakes

The Internet has offered some of the best sources for advertising and marketing since sliced bread. Because of its incredible draw, some construction marketing managers have neglected display, local, and direct-mail promotions.

Any solid marketing plan includes several types of marketing to reach customers and prospects. Construction-industry businesses tend to be area-focused, so local advertising and direct mail marketing programs should be included in the mix.

Here are 9 direct mail mistakes to avoid:

  1. Cram too much into one piece
    It’s tempting to promote every service, every product. But direct mail offers a limited amount of space. If you can grab their attention, make your offer the first thing they see.
  2. Exaggerate
    If you say you are the “The Best,” back it up with data. Be honest and don’t use a lot of fancy, meaningless copy.
  3. Fail to explain what you want
    End with a CTA (call-to-action). Your recipients shouldn’t wonder why they got this in their mailbox. “Don’t wait for termite damage. Schedule your annual inspection today.” Include contact information (phone, email, website).
  4. Fall flat
    Too often, a direct mail campaign nosedives after we’ve invested time and money. Once you’ve created your target market and are sure you’ve got the right message, make a list of critics. Only choose those that will give you honest feedback.
  5. Forget to follow-up
    Your direct-marketing program must include a follow-up plan. Be prepared to call, email, and deliver on what you advertised.
  6. Neglect the headline
    You’ve got a split second to get their attention, so make the most of your headline. 
  7. Overkill graphics
    If you pull them in with 4-color graphics, have a strong message too. Your logo should not be the biggest image on the piece. The largest visual should be your offer.
  8. Target the wrong people
    Your mailing list is the most important direct-mail marketing element, so before you begin, define your Perfect Customer. Advertised products and services need to reach your basic demographics.
  9. Use weak, badly written content
    Direct mail pieces are short and sweet. If you only use 100 words, those words need to be power-packed. And if your piece has typos, punctuation or grammatical errors, that speaks to the kind of work you do. “Hey, I wasn’t an English major,” doesn’t cut it when there is spell-check available. 

Direct mail is a direct customer touch. Construction Monitor can show you how to get actionable results by targeting your market. Contact us today.

How to Give Your Construction Marketing a Fresh Start

Everyone in our country has taken a hit by the COVID-19 epidemic. We hope you’ve not suffered personal losses of loved ones, but we know you’ve had some coronavirus-related economic setbacks. As of May 2020, construction marketing gained a new element: pandemic recovery.

Construction Marketing Strategies

If you began your recovery strategy in March, good job! Implementation begins now. A lot depends on your target market area; some states are still struggling with re-openings and some may revert to closures later.

Your first task is to revamp all marketing strategies for the remainder of 2020. In addition to a COVID-19 recovery strategy, construction marketing includes:

Marcum accounting/advisory firm offers 4 tips:

1. CRM

Customer relationship management systems can maximize potential like nothing else. They are well worth the investment.

2. Local, ABM

There’s no telling if summer athletic programs for kids will be available this year, but they are, invest in goodwill marketing as much as you can afford.

Account-based marketing (ABM) may be the most effective tool you have at this time. Specifically target specific clients, areas, and contacts that can generate the most profit.

3. Video

If you are suffering from lack of face-to-face time with customers/clients, scheduling online meetings and creating personalized marketing videos using video-building marketing tools is extremely effective.

4. Website, Digital Advertising

Trade show attendance will be down for the remainder of 2020. Consider transferring trade show expenses to beefing up your online presence because your website and digital ads will be more important than ever.

Marcum says for every question potential clients ask in-person, that same question may be “Googled” hundreds of times. Ask your sales team the top 5-10 questions they receive and put the answers on your website landing page.

Construction Monitor Forms Your Marketing Foundation

Employees need “marketing” too. This has been a time of staggering workplace/jobsite insecurity. Reassure contractors and sub-contractors you’re focused on increasing job opportunities. Communicate often using newsletters and emails. 

Sharing information will reinforce your position of strength and solidarity. That’s what Construction Monitor strives to do. Call 800-925-6085 or contact us today to learn how construction data can drive your marketing strategy.

Businesses That Benefit From Construction Data

construction data

Construction Monitor increases the efficiency for thousands of companies across dozens of vertical markets nationwide. Yes, we generate information. But, wait…there’s more.

The information is sorted for you into information-specific data analytics you need right now. The newer information targets locations you’re interested in developing. Historical construction data can shape your strategy for future business development.

If you think the benefits gained from construction data is limited to land developers, builders, architects, and construction contractors, you’d be half right. The building industry actually encompasses many types of businesses and organizations that reap benefits from construction data.

Here’s a success-story example:

A new home construction company needs…

1. Swimming pool architect and/or subcontractor for pool construction

To construct swimming pool, the needs are…

 2. Concrete and quarry stone
 3. Fence/patio materials

The swimming pool homeowner needs…

   4. Landscaper/lawn professionals

   5. Lawn and garden supplies

   6. Patio furniture

   7. Pool supplies/chemicals

…A guy that studies building permit reports and construction data has a small pool maintenance company. He studies local building permit reports. He has two vans and six employees.

He knows exactly how many new homes in a particular housing division in a cross-town suburban area are going to need pool maintenance. He develops his marketing plan accordingly.

Two years later, this small pool-maintenance business is a household name. It has a fleet of vans and can now offer employees healthcare and retirement options. The pool-maintenance business owner continues to regularly study building permit construction data.

How 3 ‘Non-Construction’ Businesses Use Local Construction Data for a Very-Real Competitive Edge

  1. A carpet cleaner studies business permit reports and solicits homes under renovation. She emphasizes her onsite carpet and furniture cleaning service to “give your furniture a look as new as your home!”
  2. An insurance professional reads current building permit construction data reports and sends a “Welcome Home!” gift to the new homeowners.
  3. An online business developer is looking for a location where there will be a large, youthful employee base. Homes built in 2004 have…teenagers. (Teens are often tech-savvy and work cheap.) Historical construction data quickly narrows the location search.

Construction Monitor Has Marketing Tools to Build Local Business

This year has been unusual, to say the least. Unusual times call for creativity. If you’d like to learn more about why Construction Monitor is the local marketing resource you need, call 800-925-6085 or contact us today.

Video Marketing Tips for Your Construction Business

construction monitor

Video marketing is becoming one of the main ways that organizations are communicating with customers. While many in the construction industry continue to avoid this viable marketing tool, your overall sales and promotion strategy should include some video capabilities. 

Your first step is to hold a planning session and include at least one representative from every facet of your business operations. Discuss options and affordability for the remainder of 2020 and into 2021.

Construction business marketing includes:

  • Content management (blogs for SEO [search engine optimization])
  • COVID-19 recovery strategy
  • Customer relationship management (CRM)
  • Social media
  • Display advertising
  • Email marketing
  • Video marketing

Getting Started: Your Construction Business and Videos

You can DIY or hire an agency for construction business video marketing. YouTube is free and your website is a perfect placeholder for the video links. You can purchase an inexpensive camera or use your phone’s video capabilities to use right on job sites. 

Lights, camera, action! Videos are also called “vlogs,” because their purpose is blog-like. Vlogs provide information about your construction business.

If you’re new to video marketing, here are 15 simple ideas for videos:

  1. Company announcements
  2. Behind-the-scenes at work
  3. Case studies
  4. Client interviews
  5. Construction team interviews
  6. Corporate culture
  7. Customer testimonials
  8. Decision-makers/founders
  9. Drone footage
  10. Jobsite safety precautions for employees/contractors/property owners
  11. Leadership teams
  12. Product reviews
  13. Project reviews
  14. Special events
  15. Training/how-to processes/Walk-throughs

Appearances do matter. You may find hiring a production company is affordable and gives your video a polished, professional appearance. If one of your team members take on the initial groundwork and arrangements, a production company’s time can be minimized.

Options for your video include:

  • Audio enhancement
  • Brand-specific (your brand) content packaging
  • Closed captioning
  • Editing
  • Scriptwriting
  • Special effects

Corporate clients and investors will want to see examples of your finished projects. Shooting a video to showcase your best work is a powerful marketing tool. Your video marketing should be as client-specific as possible. If homebuyers are your target, interior and exterior tours are beneficial. It can give them ideas for their project.

Construction Monitor offers the kind of data analytics you need to build a post-coronavirus marketing campaign. Ask us how building permits information can give you an edge over your competitors.

Getting Back to Construction After COVID-19

Construction After COVID-19

April 16, 2020, OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) released a revised training and audits statement. The wording is telling: Discretion in enforcement when considering employers’ good-faith efforts to comply with safety and health standards will lead workplace standards during and after COVID-19.

Basically, they’re saying continue doing your best to keep your workplace and employees safe. Continue efforts to meet training requirements by exploring available options. If you’re at a standstill today, create a master plan that details what you plan to do later this year.

Don’t give up.

Coronavirus and Workplace Risks

Hospitals and healthcare facilities may be subject to more onsite OSHA inspections. They are the high-risk hotbed for cross-contamination and protecting workers will take priority for the remainder of 2020.

Here are risk-level examples; they include but aren’t limited to:

  • High risk – Healthcare facilities, hospice/homecare, medical laboratories, medical transport, aerosol-generating engineering sites, etc.
  • Medium risk – General public workplaces (retail, public services, etc.)
  • Low risk – Jobs that require little-to-no contact with general public and co-workers (open-space workplaces)

‘Essential’ Work

Construction is an essential industry but regulations regarding activity are strictly local. Some cities shut down construction work altogether. Some area construction businesses have chosen to stand down to protect their workers.

Project contract wording is now critical to the construction industry. You can’t put employees and/or sub-contractors at risk to fulfill the terms of a contract. Established project requirements are out the window, so re-negotiating will be essential throughout 2020.

Supply Chain Challenges

What materials are plentiful and which ones are in short supply will also dominate our industry throughout the third and fourth quarters of 2020. Much of our plumbing and electrical components come from China.

Building Permit Analysis Now Prepares You for Later

Construction industry companies use building permit data to plan marketing strategies. The information can target specific locales and give you some idea of what commercial and residential real estate development is. Those numbers are used by national economists to predict our country’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

You can use that data now to study previous trends and how long our recovery time may be. But before you return to project sites, establish precautions and new workplace guidelines for onsite employees.

To minimize financial losses, take action now. Keep projects alive and get everything in writing. (Emails and texts are valid correspondence to corroborate agreements, but contracts are always better.) Despite the public lack of commitment to “non-essential” construction projects, your vigilance is what will make the difference during this time.

Keep work alive and lay the foundation for new projects.

Information and what you do with it is more critical than ever. If you have questions about data analytics and how to use them, call 800-925-6085 or contact Construction Monitor.

Anatomy of a Building Permit Report

building permit report

Building permit reports are used by economists, marketing professionals, real estate specialists and practically every business in the construction industry. Organizations analyze building permit reports to make informed decisions.

You hear a lot about “informed decisions” these days. The phrase is a logical result of our unlimited search for information. Even gamblers don’t make decisions without analyzing data.

You may feel like the construction industry is gambling with its life right now, but you can make business plans and “informed decisions” using building permit reports.

Breaking Down Building Permit Reports

Economists and investors use building permit reports to evaluate financial stability. These reports are financing, employment, and economic indicators. They can be geographic-specific and because it’s a small world, building permit reports can reflect our global economy. Here’s how:

Types of Building Permits

There are 2 types of building permits: commercial and residential.

Projects that need commercial building permits can include:

1. Commercial new-site construction – Excavation/demolition, reinforcement, and new building construction.

2. Change of use – Permit required to convert a building for another purpose. Requires:

  • 2 sets of floor plans
  • Notice of Commencement
  • Owner affidavit
  • Site plans

3. Interior remodel – Remodeling permit is required plus:

  • 2 sets of building plans
  • Owner affidavit
  • Notice of Commencement

4. Roof covering – Re-roofing, repair, recovering an existing roof. Installation of a new roof requires:

  • 2 sets of site/building plans
  • Application for permit
  • Notice of Commencement
  • Owner’s affidavit
  • Product approval

Residential building permits are needed for most remodeling and/or construction projects.

What Building Permits ‘Tell’ Us

An increase in commercial building permit applications indicates a need for more commercial properties or housing subdivisions. A rise in residential building permits can indicate an older neighborhood is about to renovate/transition into a hot real estate market for investors and young professionals.

If you’re in a holding pattern, you’re not taking advantage of this unique time in our history. Start laying the groundwork for your company comeback in 2020. Construction Monitor is the U.S. building permits generation source. Ask us about ways to develop 3Q2020 marketing projects using comprehensive, up-to-date information customized for your industry.

Building Permit Data: Learning About Competitors

construction business competitors

Another company has outbid you and you’re wondering why. Let’s see…both businesses are located in the same state, county, and city. You’ve actually been in business longer and you know the ins and outs specific to the job you just lost.

The answer is available using building permit data analytics.

New and Improved

You aren’t a startup but your experience pales in comparison with several big kahuna companies. Have you heard the phrase, “Keep your friends close but your enemies closer?” Building permit data can tell you which competitors might be in over their heads.

When you see a fish bleeding in the water, it’s sometimes a good idea to be a savior, not a shark. Offering to help can benefit your fledgling company in the long run.

You Can Know What They Don’t

On the other hand, swimming with sharks can make you a better swimmer. Using building permit data for a competitive edge is just plain smart. Your first task is identifying the competition.

Historical Data

Look at last month, last year, last decade. Which companies are getting more wins and which ones seem to have dropped off? Building permit data sorts by market share to show you competitors’ historical trends. With a short time investment, you can learn more about competitors’ businesses than they know themselves.

What You Need to Know About Your Competition

No one is without competition. Here are the key elements you should examine when undertaking a competitive analysis:

  • Advantages/disadvantages of their employment benefits
  • Advertising tools
  • Affiliations, organizations
  • Annual report
  • Are they flagship-innovative or one step behind the real leaders?
  • Brand and values
  • Community support efforts
  • Customer reviews/loyalty
  • Number of and types of employees they have
  • Owner/stockholder personality/reputation
  • Prices
  • Products/services
  • Technology – website, internet rank, email marketing
  • Their distribution and delivery

Real-Time Leads, Detailed Statistics: Construction Monitor

For over 30 years, Construction Monitor has been the industry source for U.S. building permit data. Our information helps many businesses to target new customers and identify competitors.

Call 800-925-6085 (international callers 435-586-1205) or contact Construction Monitor to discuss how timely, local information can improve your company.