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.

Get the Biggest Bang for Your Marketing Budget

Managed well, even a modest marketing budget can bring impressive results. Knowing where to put your marketing money isn’t just about finding the right advertising channels, though. To get the greatest return on your investment, you need to zero in on the right prospects and be ready for them when they come.

Focus on Active Buyers

Turning a lead into a paying customer requires repeated, high-value contact. This is particularly true in the construction industry, where investments are high and long-term, and the sales cycle is often measured in months. You’ll get better results by building relationships with a small pool of promising leads than by broadcasting your company name far and wide.

Instead of targeting broad groups such as “families with children,” invest some of your budget in data that leads you straight to eager buyers. Building permits can help you find prospects who are actively searching for what you offer. If you sell eco-friendly wall or floor coverings, permits for home additions can help you find parents who want building material that’s safe for their growing family. If you’re a general contractor specializing in home additions, reviewing building permits can help you find neighborhoods where additions are trending.

Get Your Website Right

Once you reach a prospect, for your marketing investment to pay off, you need to convince that prospect to buy. Your website can do a lot of the heavy lifting here. The articles, images, and videos on your site and in your mailing list demonstrate the value you offer and nurture trusting relationships.

Accurate data on your target market helps you produce the kinds of content that attracts your ideal customers‘ and wins them over. Maybe you sell fireplaces and local building permit data tells you most remodeling homeowners in your area have small houses. Knowing this, you might predict they’ll be more interested in learning about free-standing gas or ethanol fireplaces than about traditional wood-burning models.

For more tips on getting the most from your marketing budget, contact us at Construction Monitor.

Building Trust With Potential Clients

Trust is the foundation of any business relationship, but it takes on even greater importance in the construction field where your clients trust you with their homes and investment projects. Showing your prospects you truly understand their goals goes a long way toward building that trust.

Get to Know Their Needs

Your would-be clients want to know not just that you’re an honest business person, but also that you understand their needs and have the skills necessary to fulfill those needs. To show them they can trust you with their projects, invest some time in learning about what your ideal clients are really looking for.

Local construction industry data can help here. If you’re a roofing contractor, researching building permit data might show you there’s an ongoing decrease in permits to alter roof lines, but an increase in permits for remodeling. Knowing this, you can focus on showing your target audience how your services can fit into a remodeling project.

Communicate Consistently

Building trust is a long-term process that requires repeated interaction. One of the most practical ways to manage this process is with an email list. A mailing list keeps you on your prospects’ minds while letting you demonstrate your expertise. It also gives you a chance to express a little of your personality to establish a real human connection. If you sell building materials, you might use your list to show how your clients have used your materials, offer quick guides to choosing materials or share a funny story about a problem your past client had and how your materials saved the day.

Use the data you have on your target market to inspire ideas for content. Maybe you’ve noticed more permits are being issued for remodels than for new builds in your area. If so, that’s a good sign your prospects might like to hear about your bathroom and kitchen flooring materials and the benefits of upgrading their existing flooring.

Building Loyalty in Your Customer Base

When your competitors are just a quick internet search away, building loyalty in your customers requires a strategic approach. By using market data to predict your customers’ needs and by staying in touch during the slow times, you can keep your customers around for years.

Give Them What They Want

When your customers know you understand their needs like no one else, you become their go-to provider. They’ll have little reason to shop around for anyone else. Keeping up on the trends helps you anticipate your customers’ needs so you’ll always be ready with the products and services they want.

Reviewing building permit data tells you what types of construction projects are happing in your area. If you sell lighting fixtures and there’s a rise in office building construction, chances are a lot of your customers will be looking for LED task lighting. An increase in warehouse construction, on the other hand, suggests they’ll be coming to you for batten and high bay fittings. Data on the top companies in your field can help, too. If local contractors are making a killing on kitchen and bathroom remodels, it’s probably worth having a good inventory of lighting for those rooms.

Stay in Touch

Construction work is seasonal and cyclical, so your customers might not always have a constant line-up of building projects. No matter how happy they are with your work, it could be months to years before they need you again. Staying in touch with them during their down times helps ensure you’re the first company they think of the next time they’re ready to buy.

A blog and email newsletter are both efficient ways to stay connected with your customers, but the topics you choose have to be relevant. Construction industry data can help you find those topics. If recent building permit data tells you home additions are hot now, blogging on the subject will encourage customers to keep visiting your website even when they aren’t ready to buy immediately.

How the Right Data Can Help You Reach Your Ideal Customer

Even when you have a crystal clear image of your ideal customer, you still need to know how to connect with them in a time-efficient and cost-effective way. By alerting you to trends and spotlighting opportunities, detailed data on local construction projects can lead you straight to the clients you want most.

Spot the Trends

Reviewing local building permit data can help you find neighborhood trends that show where your ideal clients might be within your area. If you’re a general contractor focusing on home additions, a neighborhood with a high rate of home addition, remodeling, and renovation permits is a rich source of clients. Neighbors take inspiration from each other and once a few start renovating, more are sure to follow. Do a great job for one client and your name will spread through word of mouth. For financing providers, keeping an eye out for new building permits can reveal clients who are in the market for construction or home improvement loans.

Track Their Habits and Interests

When you know your ideal clients well, data from a building permit can help you surmise what the property owner might be buying soon. A building permit for a large house in an affluent neighborhood is a good indication the owner might be interested in high-end countertops, cabinets, and floor coverings. If you sell eco-friendly or smart appliances, looking for house plans that include solar or geothermal heating can help you find homeowners interested in cutting-edge appliances.

Hoping to find more repeat business? Looking at the construction history of a building tells you who might become a long-term client. If a homeowner renovated their kitchen one year and built an addition the next year, that suggests an on-going interest in home improvement. On the other hand, if a home hasn’t been renovated in the last 20 years, the owner might be actively searching for someone to do the job. You’ll have a chance to reach them before your competition does.

To learn more about using construction data to reach your ideal clients, contact us at Construction Monitor.

Getting the Inside Scoop on Which Construction Projects to Bid On

If you want to bid less, but earn more, finding the right construction projects to bid on is half the battle. By searching building permits and other local construction data, you can uncover more ideal projects while avoiding potential problem clients.

Play to Your Strengths

Instead of considering any project that comes your way, take the initiative to seek out projects where your unique skill set will be valued. A would-be client is far more likely to pay attention to a bid from a company offering expertise in the exact services they need. If you’re a general contractor specializing in light commercial construction, searching local commercial building permits can lead you toward potential clients. From here, you can narrow your search to specific building types, such as retail stores or medical offices, to find the right construction projects to bid on. If you’re a high-end building materials supplier, remodeling permits are a good source of potential clients looking for products to upgrade their interiors.

Check for Signs of Trouble

Using building permits to find potential clients can help you weed out the troublesome ones before you waste any time on them. If the same residential property developer has already let one or more building permits expire for their current project, it could mean they’re having trouble finding the right contractor. A little further investigation can tell you why that is and whether or not the project is worth pursuing. If the project requires specialist skills or materials you’re an expert in, you could be a shoo-in for the job. On the other hand, it could mean the developer is having financing problems or they have a bad reputation and you’re better off avoiding the project.

Building permits also help you find out if the project will require methods or materials you’re unfamiliar with, if regulations might make it difficult to actually complete the project or if the work will require more effort than it’s worth.

For help finding valuable construction projects to bid on, contact us at Construction Monitor.

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Tiny Houses See Construction Boom in Tough Economic Times

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