Some construction professionals are scrambling for work, while others are up to their eyebrows without a minute to spare. When is marketing the most crucial?
The answer is (drum roll, please): all the time. When business slows down, marketing funds are usually the first to disappear. There’s nothing wrong with cutting the fat, but slashing your marketing budget entirely won’t move you forward. Invest in marketing in slow times to jump-start your business.
On the other hand, it’s tempting to let marketing slide once you reach a healthy amount of revenue. But companies that keep growing know that marketing fuels the fire of sustained business growth.
Here’s how to create a solid construction marketing strategy:
1. Know Who You Are
In business, knowing who you are is just as important as knowing who you aren’t.
When cash flow is low, it’s tempting to get creative with new streams of revenue. But a “Jack of all trades” approach won’t get you far. Accepting business that’s a poor fit eats up time and resources, so the additional revenue is hardly worth it.
To gain clarity, ask your happy customers why they like working with you. Notice any common themes? Use that insight to nail down the best customers for you (your target markets), and then develop marketing materials that speak to them.
2. Set Goals
Rock-solid, tangible marketing goals are the difference between a construction business that thrives and one that drifts aimlessly.
In today’s competitive landscape, a day-to-day approach to business doesn’t cut it. A marketing plan and business strategy go hand-in-hand. But without actionable marketing, business, and revenue goals, your organization is adrift, like a canoe without paddles.
To set sound, achievable goals, follow the time-tested marketing axiom “SMART”:
- Specific: Zero in on a specific area, like winning more referral business.
- Measurable: Think less “pie in the sky” and more quantitative. For example: “We will increase referral business by 20% or $50,000 in the next quarter.”
- Attainable: Increasing business by 30% in six months would be nice. But do you have the resources needed to get there? Your goals should be attainable given your skill level.
- Realistic: Increasing revenue by a million dollars would be fantastic. But is that even possible? Aim for goals that are ambitious, but realistic.
- Time-Bound: Every goal should come with a deadline. Once you’ve reached your timeline, check in. Did you meet or exceed your goals?
3. Measure, Test & Refine
Before you implement your marketing strategy, benchmark where you are. Take a snapshot of your revenue, sales, marketing budget and return on investment. Your marketing plan isn’t set in stone. Any good strategy is dynamic and adaptable.
Along the way, measure improvements and refine as needed:
- Review your market analysis once annually
- Measure results continuously
- Review your marketing strategy and objectives, and adapt them (if needed) once a year
- Monitor your competitive environment, but don’t lose sight of your goals
When in doubt, consider hiring a business or marketing consultant to fine-tune your strategy and help you develop a plan of attack.
Over To You
As National Market Manager at Graybar, Todd’s goal is to find the best products and solutions to help contractors work more efficiently, stay safe on the job, and win more productive and profitable business.
Sources & Credits
Udemy Blog: Marketing Objectives As SMART Goals And Part Of The Marketing Plan
Construction Business Owner: 6 Steps to Develop an Effective Construction Marketing Plan