Marketing and the Age Old Challenges of the Construction Industry
What are some of the major challenges facing the construction industry today? Some industry professionals could argue that there are four major challenges labor shortages, stagnant productivity, adoption of new technology, and safety. The scope and topic of the issue may have changed but the general themes are quite consistent over time. If the same general themes continue to arise in the construction market, how can companies stay ahead and solve these problems quickly? How can a good marketing plan and team help stay in front of some of these general challenges and help the construction market turn them from challenges to opportunities?
Labor is the front line of any construction business and is the face to the customer on any job. Maintaining and attracting the right people to your company can be a challenge when the picture most people think in their heads of construction is outdated. This is where a company’s marketing team can shift the image and mentality. A strategic and established content strategy and an updated online presence can help firms reach a wider audience to show that the construction industry is seeking a diverse skillset of talent. Organization leaders commenting on industry news and innovation on social media platforms are a great start. This shows the audience that, from top to bottom, the organization is looking to the future and growing talent internally. This is a huge selling point to anyone looking for development and succession planning for their career. Not only can this lead to a successful workforce, it could lead to a spike in improved productivity for all future projects.
Reaching this talent can be tricky. A company’s marketing team would first have to take the pulse of customers and audience. How are the audience’s needs changing? What do they need from the organization to see results? How do they measure results? How can the company message to them and direct their strategic questions? Is the company’s strategic direction headed in the right path to meet future customers’ needs?
Market research and customer relationship management (CRM) tools can help companies lead the way for the team and customers. Many construction agencies are not using a CRM platform to track leads and customers. This is another aspect of the technology gap that exists in the construction market. A CRM tool helps monitor results and track performance of marketing and sales strategy. There is value in performing market segmentation and SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and theats) analyses on leads, segments, and competitors. This can help narrow the message to the right target market and determine the segments that may be missing that could prove to be valuable to the business. An afternoon performing SWOT analysis with the company’s leadership team can bring out not only information that had not previously been shared but also ideas and strategies for the future. This leads to new and focused strategies and tactics and sets up a unified message for the leadership team and all involved in sales and marketing for the company.
A well thought-out marketing strategy each year should align and compliment the company’s overall strategy for the year. This is a key piece of the puzzle that could be a game changer for any construction company looking to change and upgrade their current status quo. It is easy to fall in the trap of mimicking what the competition is doing in the marketing space but that approach may not necessarily work for all firms. It will take more work on the front end but it will produce dividends on the back end and help companies stay in front of those challenges that have been around for decades.