Just as contractors need a plan to know what to build, you need a marketing strategy to guide your marketing efforts. Without a plan or strategy, your team may spend its time on activities that don’t support your construction company’s marketing goals.
There is no one-size-fits-all marketing strategy for construction companies. Different companies target different clients and use marketing for different reasons. Contractors may market to commercial clients or be focused on developers interested in multifamily developments. Subcontractors may strive to be more visible to general contractors in their service area. Construction companies market not only to attract clients but to recruit workers, create community recognition, or be included in RFP invitations.
Before deciding which strategies will work best for your company, you have to identify your goals for your marketing efforts. But first, you must understand the business case for creating a marketing strategy.
Why does your company need a marketing strategy?
A marketing strategy is key for any construction company for several reasons.
- It helps you measure the success of your marketing efforts and know when you need to change tactics. Without a strategy and goals to measure your success, you won’t know what’s working and what isn’t.
- It allows you to budget for and control your marketing costs. Without a plan, you don’t know how much to spend or where to spend it.
- It makes delegating tasks easier because there is a plan, guideline, and goals for someone else to follow. Without a written plan or strategy, employee turnover can stall your marketing efforts for months.
- It improves your ability to hire qualified workers because you know what roles you need to fill. For example, if you know that you’re targeting five new customers, you know you need to hire field workers to handle their work.
- It allows you to focus your marketing on your goals and not just “do marketing” for its own sake. Without targeted marketing, you have no way of knowing what is working and what isn’t.
- It lets you know which analytic measurements you need to pay attention to. Is social media engagement enough, or do you need to drive more web page traffic?
- It allows you to identify ahead of time the written content and visual assets that you will need for marketing. Planning ahead allows you the time you need to write, edit, and publish good quality content.
- It allows you to set a realistic timeframe and schedule for your marketing efforts. Without adequate time to create content, your quality will suffer.
- It helps you see how your marketing efforts will impact other departments, like sales. Increased effort on attracting new clients will lead to the need for more salespeople or estimators.
Your marketing strategy depends on your goals
Companies use their marketing efforts for a variety of purposes, not just client attraction. Other goals may include employee recruitment, inclusion in RFPs, community recognition, and general awareness about your company from architects, project owners, and other construction companies.
Each goal requires a different strategy. For example, potential clients may hang out on Facebook, while designers may be more active on LinkedIn. The strategies for engaging with users on Facebook are different than that of LinkedIn. While Facebook encourages short shares and sharing video and photographic content, LinkedIn allows longer blog posts and thought leadership pieces.
Asking employees to manage several independent strategies could be confusing and lead to watered-down content. Employees should be given clear instructions on the marketing strategy and what activities are to be implemented to support it.
How do you determine your marketing goals?
Determining marketing goals requires input from all decision-makers, stakeholders, and check signers. Everyone must be on the same page and agree to the activities that will support each goal. Collaborative idea-sharing and brainstorming can help the team develop cohesive goals and determine the appropriate actions to take to meet them.
Goals should include a description of what the effects will be if the company succeeds in achieving them or if they fail. For example, a well-described goal would be to hire 10 people by the end of Q2 so the company can deliver on projects in the pipeline. If the company does not succeed in recruiting 10 people by the end of Q2, they will not be able to deliver the projects. This would have a considerable effect on the company’s financial standing and its ability to sell additional work.
An ambiguous goal is “it would be nice to have 500 more keywords by next month.” This doesn’t help the marketing team cater its efforts toward that goal. It needs to be clearer, including information on the purpose, how to know which keywords are the right ones, and what will happen if the goal isn’t reached.
Goals lead to strategy
Once your marketing goals are clearly established and the consequences are defined, your marketing strategy will become clear. And since all departments in the company helped develop the goals, you’ve already got leadership buy-in, which is key when requesting budgets and time to implement marketing efforts.