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.

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.

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.

Using Construction Data to Improve Your Website

construction data to improve your website

Construction data can help make your website more relevant and informational to your most likely prospective clients. Research shows interested customers don’t linger long on sites where products and services are not specific to the customer’s needs or locale.

Effectively prioritizing the information on a website helps generate maximum exposure and amplify sales potential. Utilizing construction data from building permits provides the raw information to accurately aim website content and attract the most suitable prospects.

Target your marketing

Data from building permits offers the opportunity to more accurately match services on your website to specific demands and/or a particular season. For example, building permit data can indicate particular areas where renovations and remodels are trending upward this spring. This information gives you an edge by enabling you to synchronize the information on your site to the rising demand in that specific area.

Localize specific services

Construction data can also pinpoint particular areas where certain services are increasing in demand. With accurate data, you’re empowered to target the site accordingly by emphasizing closely related services and products.

A spike in recent permits issued for water damage recovery might indicate areas where a market for structural repair and rehab of flood damage also exists. Increases in permits for installation of high-efficiency HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) and/or high-tech insulation retrofits could be a sign of increasing concern about local energy costs or environmental issues.

Track your competitors

Information about who’s getting what kind of work—and where—can be derived from permit data. If you learn contractors and other companies providing services similar to yours are thriving in a particular geographic zone or income level, that’s information you can use. For example, you can use such data to adjust your website content appropriately as well as localize your sales outreach to the most promising locale.   

Use construction data to effectively fine-tune your website content and engage potential customers in a targeted market.  Contact the professionals at Construction Monitor for more information.

How to Use Construction Data in Your Content Marketing Book

content marketing book

You won’t hear many construction industry professionals say, “I wrote the book on…” There aren’t that many books written about content marketing using construction data. There simply aren’t that many construction-industry books, period.

What is Construction Industry Content Marketing?

Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach…to drive profitable customer action. Content Marketing Institute

If it sounds to you as if content marketing is a fancy name for advertising, you’re right. Kind-of.

Advertising takes a direct approach. “Buy now.” “Visit our showroom.” And these words are used in billboards, television, radio, newspaper, direct mail, and other traditional advertising venues.

Content marketing is more subtle. Construction industry content marketing targets your specific customers (You sell lighting; you need to appeal to interior designers, homeowners and architects.).

You share information that appeals to these potential customers: “Why Direct Sunlight is More Popular Than Ever in Commercial Construction.”

It’s advertising, but you’re using the internet and social media as your billboards. This is truly the Information Age and consumers want to know more about…everything.

3 Ideas for ‘Writing the Book’ Using Construction Data

If you’re willing to share what you know using timely construction industry data, why not write a book? An ebook would be cost-effective and garner more hits on the internet than a printed version.

History always repeats itself, and you can study industry trends to predict the future. Here are some construction industry-related title ideas. You are welcome to “steal” them:

  1. Common Mistakes in [doing what you do]
  2. Examples of Outdoor Living Spaces
  3. Ways to Get [results they need, want, etc.]

These book titles could work if you use information gathered from remodeling construction data:

  1. Renovation Mistakes
  2. Ways to Increase Your Home Value
  3. Should You Move or Remodel?

You can use these ideas based on new-build construction permits in your demographic:

  1. Architectural Styles
  2. Best Places in [State/County/City] to Build a New Home
  3. Ways to Hire the WRONG Contractor

You have valuable knowledge to share. Contact Construction Monitor for more information about using that knowledge to generate revenue.

Building Permits and Your Client’s Buying Cycle

building permits and the buying cycle

It doesn’t matter whether you are a construction industry company marketing to B2B (business-to-business) or B2C (business-to-client). Applications for building permits can reveal a lot of information that can impact your bottom line.

As with everything else, construction data is a tool. You need to develop ways to use that information to your business advantage.

Use Building Permits and Construction Data to Grow Business

Your customers go through 5 buying cycle stages:

  1. Awareness – Your potential customer is beginning to develop an action plan and files for building permits.
  2. Consideration – This is where you proactively seek to add your product and service solutions to the customer’s action plan. This is actually the most important buying cycle. 
  3. Intent – Your customer is reviewing pricing options and making decisions. Whether right or wrong, those decisions are driven by emotions, money, time, and logic.
  4. Purchase – It’s decision-making time for your customer. Did you make the cut?
  5. Repurchase/renewal – This buying cycle is contingent upon what you sell and/or service.

Building Permits: More Than Meets the Eyes

Building permits can tell you how much new construction and renovation is going on where. But dig deeper… –Using Building Permits

Again, it doesn’t matter what your connection is within the construction industry. One food truck company monitors construction sites and makes frequent lunchtime appearances at worksites. With regular analysis, building permits data can reveal prior and current trends in your geographic area of interest. You can use this information to your advantage.

Use It or Lose It

If you’re not using business permits data, someone is, and they’re likely a competitor for your business.

Construction information technology (IT) is driving our industry’s sales and services and fewer of us are sitting around, waiting to be called. Some of the most respected and long-established companies are discovering that customer response to their proactive marketing results in additional quotes and projects.

Discover how building permits data and trends can increase your profits in 2020. Call 800-925-6085 or contact Construction Monitor to request free tutorials and more information.

Send Emails They WILL Read

construction marketing emails

To stay in contact with potential customers, your construction-industry organization should be sending informative, “cold” emails bi-weekly to weekly. Cold emails are unsolicited emails sent to your customer contact list. With cold emails, less is more; they should average 100 words if possible.

How to Create Better Emails

Here are ways to create emails they will open and read:

Email Architecture Should Be Sound, Every Time

Follow this format:

  1. Important information first
  2. Detailed information
  3. Information recap/reinforcement
  4. CTA

Review. Edit. Rewrite. Repeat.

Pay attention to:

  • Grammar – Spellcheck is critical. Unless your target audience is academia, make the ease-of-reading level about 8th grade or less.
  • Hierarchy – From the first sentence onward, everything should lead your customers to your call-to-action (CTA).
  • Website links – Your blogs, service landing pages…try to include links.
  • Value – There’s got to be something you have the reader wants. Ensure it’s in your email.
  • Voice/Tone – What you say (voice) and how you say it (tone) is different for every email. Add a sense of urgency for increased results.  
  • End w/CTA – Include a link to your website’s contact page.

Write Like You Talk

Good grammar; yes. Complete sentences are negotiable. Write it the way you’d say it.

Email Content: Use the Latest Construction Data

Building permits can tell you how much new construction and renovation is planned in your county or state. It’s easy if your sales and service area is one venue: real estate sales, for example.

Your emails to Realtors can blanket your target audience. Residential construction data can cite sales opportunities. You’ll need to change the content for each sector of your demographics.

The residential community under development will need a “show” home, and company information needs to go inside the sales office for potential homebuyers. Interior designers will want to contact architects and contractors immediately.

Knowledge IS Power

Construction Monitor Inc. was founded with the goal of providing construction industry professionals with the most comprehensive, up-to-date information possible. In 2019, our organization was recognized by Bloomberg as a primary source for U.S. building permits and construction data. You’re the reason we try so hard.

Smarter Marketing Using Building Permits

marketing

There are a lot of ways to get a feel for your prospects’ interests, but few are as accurate as reviewing building permit data. When you have detailed information on the projects going on within your target market, you can create marketing that’s truly in tune with your prospects’ needs.

Understand Your Prospects’ Goals

While talking with your prospects and suppliers can give you a general idea of what interests your target market, building permits show you exactly how they’re spending their money. You’ll find out what types of projects are most popular and how much more popular certain projects are than others.

If you sell countertops and find your area has a similar amount of kitchen and bathroom remodels in the works, you’ll know to create marketing that’s relevant to both. If bathroom remodels are coming in a distant second, though, you might decide to focus your marketing on the advantages your countertops have in the kitchen, such as their ability to resist food stains and heat damage.

Get a Feel for Their Budget

Building permit data lets you see how much your target prospects are spending on their projects. That information can guide you on which products and services to promote as well as how to position your company. If you’re a general contractor specializing in single-family homes and the data says your area’s home builders have high budgets, you might grab their attention by promoting the luxury features your company can build.

On the other hand, if budgets tend to be modest, you’ll probably have better luck with marketing that focuses on the cost-effectiveness and durability of the homes you build.  

If you sell swimming pools, fireplaces or other features best suited to upscale homes, building permit data can help you find high-end building hot spots. This lets you target your marketing toward those affluent neighborhoods where a large number of homeowners are making upgrades.

To learn more about using building permit data to perfect your marketing, contact us at Construction Monitor.

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.