Use these six steps to create a simple, efficient and effective construction marketing plan that will help your construction business grow.
Developing a construction marketing plan and strategy that speaks to your key target personas is critical to the success of your construction firm, whether you are a general contractor or a subcontractor. Marketing your construction firm is more than just advertising and selling your services. Marketing is the management process through which goods and services move from concept to the customer. This includes the coordination, development, and implementation of promotional and content strategy. There are six steps you can take to create a simple, efficient and effective construction marketing plan that will help your construction business grow.
- Determine Your Objective
- Perform a SWOT Analysis
- Analyze Your Market
- Create a Marketing Budget
- Develop Your Construction Marketing Mix
- Monitor and Analyze the Results
While advertising is a piece of the marketing puzzle, it is only one piece. Each component of your marketing plan is a part of the larger strategy and depends on the other for success. Just as the project management and coordination process of building a project in the construction industry is essential to the success of a project, so is the planning and measuring of results in the marketing plan for your construction firm.
It is important to understand the general steps necessary to create and implement a marketing plan and define your target personas for your specific business. The size of budgets will vary, as will the target audience depending on your company’s needs and goals. Creating a solid strategy needs to be developed and communicated to the staff to make sure that your end goal is seen and understood by all parties. Your marketing strategy, just like any construction project, must be monitored, adjusted and adapted to the ever changing environments.
Determine Your Objective
What is your construction firm’s goal(s) this year? Are you looking to expand territories or industry sectors? Is it to grow gross revenue which means that you will need to determine what your highest grossing product, service or type of project is and market it accordingly? Or are you concentrating more on revenue goals? A solid strategy must start with a measurable objective that you can quantitatively discuss and compare your results against. If your company targets several sectors of business providing multiple revenue streams, each one should have a separate marketing plan targeting each sector.
You will find that your target personas will be found in different avenues for each sector. For instance, if you are an electrical subcontractor, you can find general contractors through different unions or the National Electrical Contractors Association. If you are a subcontractor looking for facility managers, you may want to be targeting LinkedIn and other associations such as BOMA. There is always a bit of overlap in places and actually should be for SEO, credibility and other reasons. However, your marketing for each is different and should be treated as such.
Perform A SWOT Analysis
A beneficial step in your situational evaluation is looking at your firm's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats through a SWOT analysis. The SWOT involves the collection of information about internal and external factors which may or may not have an impact on your construction business. This process of analysis will help build your marketing strategy as well as keep you abreast of the competitive market in which your construction firm operates in.
What does your company do well? Where is your company’s advantage? How strong is the core of your operations and processes?
Where do you need to improve? Are you venturing into a new sector, for instance, moving from commercial into the industrial sector? To be aware of construction contracts in this new sector that you are targeting, do you have the leads, the content and credibility on your website and other social outlets?
Where are the opportunities that you want to focus on for your business? What new services will you provide and what competitors are weak where you are strong? Brainstorm with your sales and estimating staff; you will be surprised at what they may see as they are out there in the field with their ears to the ground hunting for new opportunities each day!
No business is without threats. Is your core business in danger of becoming outdated or replaced with new technology? Could you use better technology to enhance your team's outreach and squash the threats?
Analyze Your Market(s)
Now that you have created the marketing objective to the correct targeted personas and the SWOT Analysis, you have two pieces of the puzzle completed. Now is time to look at the markets for the sectors you are interested in pursuing, the potential avenues in which you need to focus on to market to these sectors, and put the two together. Don’t be afraid to adjust your objective! Especially if you find through deep analysis that your marketing strategy and personas may not yield the outcome you originally thought.
If your construction firm is expanding into the industrial sector that will require additional capital and slow return, consider keeping your ‘bread and butter’ projects your main focus while slowly making moves at a minimal cost into the industrial sector, where you are seeing new opportunities for growth. Review your local construction markets, industry specific sectors you are interested in targeting, and make your market research goal-oriented by setting objectives and timelines. The ultimate goal of a construction marketing plan is to strategically grow your business.
Create a Marketing Budget
Always consider the numbers. Do you have the internal staff to implement your marketing plan? Will you need to outsource content marketing? If your marketing plan yields a high return on investment (ROI), do you have the sales, estimating, and office staff to handle the additional workload? Whether you are a small firm looking to grow by just a few projects a year or you are a larger firm looking to expand into a new industry, consider the the amount that you are willing to spend on marketing. Keep in mind the overhead and operational costs that may be incurred from your business growing at a certain rate. Have a rough number and budget in mind, but remember to use estimated budgets for your escalated sales.
Develop Your Construction Marketing Mix
You have created your construction company’s objectives, performed a SWOT Analysis, analyzed the construction markets that your firm is interested in targeting, and have an estimated budget for your marketing plan that will help assist you in reaching your goals. Now it is time to determine the best avenues in which to market your new company objectives. Is your website above par? Maybe you need to ‘beef up’ the content on your website by building case studies of your projects and writing blogs that are specific to your industry. This is a great way to help promote credibility in your past performance that can be displayed via social media and other trade publications that will reach your targeted personas and creating more job opportunities. A marketing mix of digital advertising, content writing, and community outreach programs are a wonderful way to get your message across to a multitude of potential new clients.
Monitor and Analyze the Results
If your company objective was to double your revenue, compare last year’s results to this year’s in a monthly format so that you can see if you are on target to meet your goals each month. Meet with your sales team, estimators and other staff to brainstorm new ideas to meet your goals. Also, take a deeper look at why you may not be reaching your goals. Do you have project management processes that are not running smoothly, are your projects being delayed, or running over budget?
Creating a construction marketing plan for your company will not guarantee you success. However, it will guide you to a path where you can fine tune internal and external factors that affect your company objectives. On the road to success is failure and we must take those failures and review them, analyze them, and turn them into lessons learned, processes perfected and ultimately success!