Building a strong marketing strategy lies at the foundation of any prospering, construction business, and with the New Year, comes new objectives and goals. Here Lynn Lambe, Director, Little Lambe Consultancy, Ireland’s only dedicated construction marketing agency, takes us through the basics of what marketing strategy is.
As terms can sometimes get mixed up, marketing strategy is all about simply answering three — and only three — questions:
To help you build an excellent action plan, you firstly need to ensure you’ve ticked all boxes when devising the marketing strategy, so we’ve put together a list of seven handy action points to pay attention to when conducting your research.
1.Run a SWOT analysis
Start by running a SWOT analysis to identify your construction business’ strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. To avoid bias and cover different perspectives, get as many fellow colleagues to contribute as possible.
Having a clear view on what you’re best at, what areas you need to improve on, spotting the external factors that represent the motivation for your business to exist or, on the other hand, factors that have the potential to place your business at risk, will equip you with the right tools to build a well-informed marketing strategy.
2. Figure out the value proposition
A well thought out marketing strategy derives from a construction company’s value proposition, which encapsulates its main strengths (identified in the SWOT analysis) and differentiators against competitors, as opposed to being created from scratch.
Determining your value proposition is probably the step you should invest most time and resources into, as it is one of the most important conversion factors. Get started by identifying the main customer benefits and what value your construction products/services bring to the customer, followed by outlining the key differentiators. The best value propositions are clear, concise, and solve the customers problem, which is what marketing is all about.
3. Determine marketing strategy objectives
Construction companies define and communicate their goals using objectives. Objectives specify measurable outcomes that will be achieved within a particular time frame and they help individuals evaluate the success and effectiveness of a particular marketing strategy. The easiest way to do this is through SMART objectives. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time Bound. Re-evaluate them every six months, make changes if necessary, and use them to measure success.
4. Understand your customers
In order to embed your customers’ needs, you firstly need to fully understand them.
In the marketing space, there’s been lots of buzz on customer centricity, a strategy to fundamentally align a company’s products and services with the wants and needs of its most valuable customers.In their quest of getting to know them, marketers in the construction space now pay more attention to smart online platforms and tools that tell them everything about their customers’ demographics, online behaviours, and conversations.
5. Define your buyer personas
Buyer personas are fictional, generalized representations of your ideal customers. They are crucial across the construction sector with so many customers being involved in a construction project. The process of creating buyer personas involves gathering insight from different platforms, (such as website analytics), social media channels, customer reviews as well as actual conversations with prospects and customers.
When researching and building personas, look into their background, preferences, demographics details, and based on that, determine what’s the most appropriate way to communicate with them, what channels they prefer, style and tone of voice, etc.
6. Analyze your market and competitors
We’ve established that a clever marketing strategy is a construction business’ game plan which helps them flourish and stand out from competition. But to get to that level, you need to have expert knowledge into what’s happening in your market and how are you competitors doing: what are their struggles? What’s working for them? Which are their weak links?
Once again, information is power. Keeping your ears and eyes open for what’s happening in the construction industry is vital. It helps to identify gaps in the market, needs that aren’t being fulfilled, common frustrations, or trends and innovative ideas.
7. Establish your marketing tactics
Depending on your target audience, you will need to pick the best marketing tactics to implement your brand. Find out where your audience lives (which social channels they prefer, blogs, sites, forums, etc.) and use that information to your advantage to reach them.
It’s equally important to determine at an early stage which marketing areas you’ll focus on attention on. Then it is important to develop a budget and set an agreed time frame for achieving your goals. Target customers want purpose, so deliver it.
Planning ahead is crucuial to acheiveing your goals, but with any business it is also important to be reactive to trends within your sector. Your marketing strategy should act as a roadmap but may change along the way. If you want to get started on your construction marketing strategy talk to Little Lambe Consultancy today, please visit; www.littlelambe.com.