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.

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.

What’s Missing From Your Construction Marketing Plan?

Creating a construction marketing plan is a complex undertaking and it’s easy to overlook aspects that could help you grow your business. By reviewing your plan for missing pieces and using construction data to fill in the gaps, you can find new, more effective ways to reach your target market.

In-Depth Customer Personas

Segmenting your market by age, location, and income is a good start, but it’s no longer enough to compete with companies that use data to create more detailed customer personas. With access to detailed building permit data, you’ll gain a better understanding of exactly who you’re targeting. You’ll find out what types of projects they’re investing in, where they carry out those projects, and how much they’re spending. You can then combine this with other data.

If you’re a drywall and sheetrock contractor, you might profile your target client as a 45-year-old male general contractor specializing in moderately priced multi-family residential projects and who’s married with one child, drives an SUV, and enjoys woodworking. Understanding your customers’ lifestyle beyond their construction projects helps you craft a marketing message that resonates more deeply with them and find ways to get that message to them.

Informed Market Positioning

Market positioning is about more than the products and services you offer. Your brand personality also factors into how effectively you attract your ideal clients. By showing you which of your competitors are popular among your ideal customers, building permit data helps you learn which brand personalities appeal to them.

Do they prefer trendy upstarts or sophisticated, seasoned firms? Do they choose companies with a casual, family-friendly image or companies that focus on luxury? Use what you learn to refine your brand’s personality. That might also mean entering a gap in the market. If you sell windows and doors to commercial remodelers and notice only one local remodeling contractor projects a high-class, sophisticated image, but it’s highly successful, your company might do well with a similar image. 

To learn more about using data to build a comprehensive construction marketing plan, contact us at Construction Monitor.

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.

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.

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.