Developing an effective marketing plan targeting the right audience with the right material is crucial to a successful construction business. Many construction business owners tend to minimize the importance of a good marketing strategy.
What is the need to spend valuable time and resources on social media, websites, ads, and other outlets? The need is there, and it’s growing by the minute. Competition in the construction industry is getting tougher and challenging as more companies enter the arena today. It’s not enough to just provide the best services and affordable pricing anymore.
You need to market your services so customers recognize your brand and turn to you for their construction needs. An effective construction marketing plan provides you with a competitive edge over others in the industry. Contrary to popular belief, marketing is a lot more than just advertising. This involves utilizing the positives of your business to garner popularity and trust with customers.
This includes reaching out to customers on various levels and nurturing relationships. It requires a thorough understanding of both, your business, and the industry it operates in. Does it sound like a challenging task? We’ve got you covered. Read on to learn our 6-step approach to building the perfect construction marketing plan.
We’ve also included some tips as an added bonus!
Step 1 – Understand & Define Your Objective
The first step to an effective construction marketing plan is to really delve deep into your business itself. Understanding the core purpose that your business operates on is essential to how you strategize your marketing plan.
When you know your business, you know your customers, and thereby know how to sell your product or service.
Start by looking at past performances to get an understanding of how your business has been operating. Look at your current customer base and identify how they’ve responded to your existing marketing style.
One of the easiest ways to define a targeted objective is via a SWOT analysis – strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
- Strengths – figure out what your business is really good at. What are the advantages you offer to clients that are different from others? What are the aspects that clients have loved in the past? These are your strengths.
- Weaknesses – these are the areas that your construction business needs to improve on. It could be a new formwork method you need to add, a design style you should adopt, etc.
- Opportunities – look at any industry trends that are changing or are unexplored. Is there a way to improve on existing processes that you follow? Is there a niche market you haven’t entered yet?
- Threats – these are the aspects that hinder your business to operate at its best potential. It could be financial, operational, or simply the lack of a strategy.
Once you’ve completed your SWOT analysis, get back to the drawing board of your effective marketing plan. It now becomes easier to identify that one true objective you want to achieve. That’s step 1 completed!
Step 2 – Analyse the markets relevant to your construction business
With your objective in place, it’s time to do some research on your target markets. This is a very important step to building an effective construction marketing plan.
It provides an insight into the types of marketing to employ and how to reach out to specific market sectors.
The three main market sectors for a construction business comprise buildings, industrial, and infrastructure. You may already have a plan as to which one, or all, of these your business caters to.
The analysis part of this step in your marketing plan is to deep-dive further into these sectors. To recognize the niche markets you want to serve, review the local markets and identify common ground with prospective businesses.
The primary aim of step 2 is to figure out how best to tailor your construction marketing plan. With a clear picture of your broad and niche markets, it becomes easier to drive your marketing efforts towards them.
For example, your construction business may be catering to only commercial building constructions. In this scenario, your marketing plan will include more large-scale advertising along with a focus on high visibility aspects such as press releases and targeted marketing.
Here’s a set of questions you can answer to get you started with analyzing your business markets efficiently.
- Which are the areas in which your business enjoys a competitive advantage?
- What are the opportunities that align best with your objective?
- Are you looking to expand to new markets?
- Do you have the resources and skilled labor to branch out into a new sector?
- Are there challenges you’re facing with an existing market sector?
These questions will get you thinking about the direction you want your business to grow in. Use those ideas to align your interests and record your market analysis.
Step 3 – Plan your Marketing Budget
Setting a budget is the next step in building an effective construction marketing plan, and one of the most crucial. Budget planning is not an easy task. There are numerous factors that go into developing a sound marketing budget.
Let’s look at some of them now.
- The first and most obvious factor is the size of your construction business. Large multinational construction companies can have a larger percentage set aside for marketing. Such organizations may be able to do radio and television ads in addition to online channels and social media. Smaller businesses, on the other hand, require an in-depth analysis to set budgets. These need to fit into both, the business strategy, and allow for adequate promotions.
- The next question to answer is who will handle the marketing efforts. Whether or not your company has internal staff to manage the marketing plan impacts the overall marketing budget. If you’ll need to hire external personnel, that becomes a part of the cost.
- Another aspect to consider is the returns you get on your advertisements. If large scale advertising yields an influx of new customers, is your company ready to handle the additional load?
- Your objective is the next factor that decides your marketing budget. If your goal is to grow your business by a few projects a year, you wouldn’t require a very high budget. Targeted marketing can be handled using a small amount. On the other hand, if you’re planning to venture into a new domain or niche industry, you will require a larger amount to invest in multiple marketing channels.
On the whole, paid advertising need not be a very expensive option. Today’s digital age has also made it very affordable for even small companies to run ad campaigns on the smallest of budgets.
Step 4 – Define your Marketing Strategy
So, you have your objective, you’ve analyzed your markets, and finalized your budget. Now it’s time to put together your strategy on how you’ll implement your effective construction marketing plan.
This step involves understanding the various marketing outlets available to you and choosing the ones most suited to your business.
Start with your existing marketing options. Your website, for example. Do you have one? Does it convey your objectives efficiently to visitors? If yes, that’s a great place to start.
Add information about your most successful projects, introduce a blog if you don’t already have one. Likewise, look at other existing outlets and spruce them up with an initial chunk of your budget.
Next, you’ll have to start defining suitable marketing channels that offer the best value for money, specifically for your business. This can be in the form of social media, advertisements, media announcements, print ads, etc.
Programs in community outreach are another way to strategize promoting your business to your local community. Finally, look at out-of-the-box opportunities that you can add to your marketing strategy.
It could be something as simple as a local event to something bigger like a competition. Research your existing customers and gather feedback to understand the best ways to reach more potential clients like them.
Defining your marketing strategy thoroughly will go a long way in boosting your construction marketing plan. Don’t hesitate to try something that looks promising for your business. That’s what strategy is all about!
Step 5 – Make a Schedule for your marketing plan
Once your marketing strategy is in place, it is important to streamline the details and bind it to a schedule. You don’t want to be running all over the place trying to get everything done at once.
An effective construction marketing plan follows a timeline that leads to successful completion. Your schedule should determine the best time to complete each component of your marketing plan.
There are quite a few management tools available in the market today that can help create your schedule. These tools also help in tracking your progress to keep your marketing plan on course. Also, take into account external factors that can impact the components of your marketing plan. For instance, let’s say your strategy involves a local community program to promote your business.
It’s a good idea to coincide that with a holiday or occasion that will get more people participating. Similarly, look for other external factors that could boost your already great strategy. Plan your schedule around them and make the most out of your free resources. Of course, not every plan follows a schedule with total precision.
There’s always that small percent that could go awry. Therefore, always add some leeway to accommodate unforeseen circumstances. In the best-case scenario, you’ll end up finishing early!
Step 6 – Monitor & Follow Up
Now that you’ve got the components of your construction marketing plan in place, it’s time to ensure it’s working right. Start comparing your business performance from before your plan was rolled out to its current status.
Take notes from your social media feeds to understand how well your posts are doing. Look at the analytics results for your site. Is the number of visitors increasing?
Do you get more responses and comments on your blog posts? These are questions you should get answered on a regular basis to see if your plan is working as needed.
Moreover, your objectives and requirements might change over time. It is important to monitor your marketing plan to see that it remains in line with changing trends. Keep track of the latest news in the construction industry to stay abreast of changes. You might get some great new strategies to add to your plan.
Involve relevant stakeholders in your monitoring sessions to get that valuable third-party input. You’d be surprised at the innovative ideas and suggestions you get from brainstorming with your peers.
Lastly, remember that it’s alright if you don’t get your plan right on the first try. A marketing plan is a living object that needs to adapt to its changing environment, and you drive that change.
Continue doing the things that are going right and improve on the components that aren’t functioning too well. Learn from the failures and perfect your processes accordingly. After all, as the saying goes, there’s no success without failures.
In conclusion, putting together a marketing plan doesn’t guarantee that your business will become successful overnight. It is simply a means to achieve that success.
A marketing plan helps keep the objectives of your construction business in focus and attract the required attention. The rest depends on your business strategy, quality, and the way you build on the potential relationships.
In a competitive market like the construction industry, an effective construction marketing plan can make your business stand out from the crowd. Once you get that competitive edge, all you need is to build on the existing plan from time to time. Do that, and you’re all set to take your business to greater heights. So, go ahead and climb the metaphorical marketing ‘ladder’ and turn it into a positive endeavor.
These 6 steps to an effective construction marketing plan will certainly get you started on your way to a successful construction business. Get started now