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Construction Marketing: Ten Tips to Increase Your Share of the Construction Market


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Ten Tips to Increase Your Share of the Construction Market

1.   How to get more construction deals
2.   Make sure you are clear on your business strategy
3.   What marketing does for you
4.   Positioning your company
5.   DIY or outsource
6.   Do your research
7.   Your Marketing Plan
8.   Involve your people
9.   Performance measurement - weekly checksheet
10.  Demystify construction marketing - keep it simple


1.  How to Get More Construction Deals
In most technical companies like construction, marketing is often an afterthought.  Don't pay lip-service to construction marketing.  A good construction marketing strategy backed up by good sales conversion reaps dividends and will get you salary increases all round..  I am a marketing expert of over 30 years, brought up on tight budgets and making the most of what limited resource can be spared.  So here are some ideas that I hope will give you an edge in your construction market.

2.  Make Sure You Are Clear on Your Business Strategy
To develop a marketing strategy, you need to be clear on your business strategy.  It is always good to kick off the new year with a clear idea of what business you are in and what you would like to achieve by the end of the year.  That quiet time at the beginning of the year is always a good time for reflection and spending quality time on your goals and plans. SMART goals - Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Time-based.  So before focusing on marketing make sure you do a SWOT, have a goal for turnover and profit, clarify your vision and mission, what your main target market focus areas are and then go for it.


3.   What Marketing Does For You
You need to be clear on what the needs of your target market are and how you can best differentiate yourself from your competition with your unique capabilities to win business and market share.  When you put in a bid or make a sales call, it is essential that they already know who you are and have a good idea of what you stand for, and how you can best serve their needs.  Instead of waiting for tenders and enquiries to come to you and competing with all and sundry - you want to build relationships and networks so that you can selectively get deals where you have the opportunity to win the work with your trust and relationship focus.  Going in cold, you are at a severe disadvantage and if you pitch up for example and they are expecting a "doctor" and you look like a "mechanic", you are not going to get the deal.  First impressions do count and it is critical that your target market gets consistent messages that clearly convey to them who you are.

4.   Positioning Your Company
To make sure you get deals, you need to make sure that your market positioning clearly differentiates you from your competition and that your target market's perception of you matches how you want to be perceived in the market.  Where is your competitive advantage?  Where are you good?  Where can you win.   Are you going for the low cost look or are you looking for the high value, quality professional image.  It is important that you position yourself correctly in the market.  To do this you need to make sure that all your "touch-points" shout at this and convey this image and positioning for you.  Touch-points with your target market could be the kind of experience they have in your rugby box, what your construction sites look like, the colours of your logo, the way your people present themselves verbally and dress-wise, the kind of sales and marketing channels you use.  Examine all of your touch-points with your target market and make sure that you are presented consistently in them.


5.  DIY or Outsource
Some of the things you can do yourself and obviously we all have budget constraints and want to get max bang for our buck.  But I believe there are some not-negotiables.  There is no way that you as a construction company are good at marketing.  It is not the nature of your business.  My recommendation is that you hire a small expert marketing person or partnership.  Ask around for recommendations and interview three businesses to ask them what they are like and to pitch for your account including a budget.  I believe that everyone in the company is in marketing.  Every aspect of the company contributes to a customer experience, whether it is the labourer, the accountant, the delivery person . . so for me a marketing strategy involves everyone.  But, marketing people understand marketing and my recommendation is that you work with them to understand your playing field with research, but you do as much of the work yourself or with outsourced specialists.

6.   Do Your Research
It is essential that you know your turf before producing a marketing plan.  Any marketing person worth their salt will recommend that you know what you are dealing with in order to produce an effective, relevant and useful plan.  Make sure you know what you want to know before letting a researcher loose on your market.  Set an affordable budget and make sure you are clear on the brief to keep it tight, effective and affordable.  This is also a good time for an "independent" person to find out from your target market why you didn't get deals and what would make them give it to you next time.  There are two elements to research.  The first is an industry scan.  How big is the market, who are the players, what are the "verticals" ie the industries and market segments and "horizontals" small, medium and large.  Now when you have chosen your target niche, then the secondary research is to drill down into your target market and get a feel for what is required to convert those deals.  Marketing is not "woolly" it is scientific.  Get the facts so you can act accordingly.

7.   Your Marketing Plan
Get an expert to guide you with the development of a marketing plan.  For me this is simple.  Do your research to understand your industry, then understand your target market and customers.  Understand how they perceive you and how you would best be perceived to get deals and build a sustainable business.  Position yourself to match the needs and requirements of your target market.  Choose your touch-points and channels that would best communicate with and serve this target market.  Marketing is about getting the phone to ring.  Sales is about converting these leads.  Make sure these work effectively together.  Get a good flow of leads that best match your unique capabilities.  Set up a system for effective conversion of these leads.  I like the incremental and "evolving" marketing approach.  Set a monthly budget for marketing and advertising and then work with a good marketing person to build momentum over the year.

8.  Involve Your People
Marketing is a team effort.  Make sure you involve the key people in your organisation in the marketing plan and effort.  If they are part of the process then they will buy into it and see their role clearly.  In my experience, this is very difficult to start with.  Initially they don't see it as their responsibility, but you have to stick with it.  Once they get it, you have a shared responsibility and the unique contributions of experts in their field.  Get them to do just one thing every day in their area that contributes to growing the business.  Cheer them on, encourage them, reward them (with chocolates:).  I cannot emphasize this more - a company-wide marketing effort is unbeatable in the market - it's challenging, but it is a winning formula!

9.  Performance Measurement - Weekly Checksheet
Marketing is measurable.  Marketing is about making more money.  You need to sit with your team and work out a one A4 page of key measurables.  What are the key measures that will tell us if we are winning or not.  This is more about general management, but I believe the most significant contributor to company success is marketing.  Yes, we can extend it to sales and delivering what you promise.  But marketing is about what's coming in the door.  Measure what's coming in, the size and frequency of bids, the enquiries (get your reception to write down enquiries), the orders.  Meet weekly with the team for one hour max and review the figures and look at how what we are doing is affecting this performance.  What we can do to enhance the performance.  Not only the marketing department, each person in the room and cooperatively and collectively and working together.  At the bottom of the A4 sheet, keep a monthly running total of key measures.  We need to keep our team focused on results.  We are marketing for results.

10.  Demystify Construction Marketing - Keep it Simple
So marketing is about common sense.  It's about being clear about what your unique capabilities are, clear what target market needs your unique and differentiating capabilities, making sure that you are well known for these unique capabilities, and trusted for delivery of the solutions to their needs. This makes deal conversion (sales) easy, and profits high.   

Hope this helps you to make more bottom line.

Go for it and good luck!

Date Posted: 2011-03-31
Posted By: Printed Shadenet Solutions
Listed under these Business Listing Categories: Advertising, Building and construction,

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