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7 steps to an effective Marketing Strategy
14 June 2021
If you, like me, are a professional business development and marketing person within the construction and built environment, where the dynamics of face to face to face relationships were key to generating and reciprocating opportunities, it was a real shock to find oneself confined to the ’home bunker’. March 2020 provided a watershed moment for the world, restricting the movement of people in a dramatic fashion.
It happened so fast, that preparation wasn’t possible; we simply had to use what was available as a means of communicating with customers.
Virtual platforms have been around for a long-time, gathering dust in the corner of the office, but without them in the pandemic, we’d have had minimal visual contact, so most of us were forced to adopt its usage and maximise its features. We know it’s not the answer to everything, but it will continue to be a valuable communication tool, if deployed sensibly.
As we emerge into what’s being described as a blended world, what do effective marketing strategies look like for construction companies; let’s first consider the main options available:
- Account Based Marketing (Inbound) – Where we truly define our audience and engage in B2B, face to face client contact with a strong value proposition based on customer insight.
- Digital Marketing – Especially Linkedin (outbound) where you’re posting high quality content to build interest and credibility in your brand.
- Email marketing – Targeting a defined audience with leads generated from inbound and outbound sources-permission based.
- Lumpy Mail campaigns – This works well to a defined audience and where good follow up’s implemented. Not such a great idea however in the pandemic where only a few people were in the office and therefore a loss of impact. So timing’s key; it could be a key method in the future.
The route to effective business development and marketing strategies in the future, is embedded in doing the following 7 things.
1. Research, Research, Research
Generate as much customer and market insight as you can muster on a constant basis; have more regular customer contact, do more desk based and peer level research. This will keep you agile and allow you to pivot more easily
2. Understand your clients and customers
Develop better and more distinctive value propositions based on the intel you gather, so they solve customers’ problems and aren’t just notions.
3. Find Opportunities
Work as hard as you can to generate opportunities for your customers, whether this is a fee-paying job, project leads, an introduction to a useful person or an introduction into a virtual collaborative forum to meet new people. It’s all about networks and not only supporting your growth plan but of those around you.
4. Sales plan
Have a clear path to the clients you wish to prospect, follow-up and convert; in other words, focus your time effectively. Do you have a plan in place to target prospects, and how you’re going nurture these leads to turn them into clients?
Build better performance data streams on clients/ sectors/ services to maximise your return on business development and marketing spend. This will help to give you a measure on how well your efforts are working or perhaps where you need to amend your strategy.
6. Marketing plan
Don’t allow your business to just evolve under its own devices, have a clear, well-structured and costed marketing plan. Having a visual plan for where you want the company to go within a time frame really helps to put direct the business’ efforts.
7. Route to market
Decide what the best combination of marketing channels is to get the desired reach to your audience and results which match your expectations. Is this through paid advertising, or e-marketing, or even optimising your own website for SEO purposes. You’ve also got to take into consideration things like whether your audience on social media? Or, do they prefer to receive emails? Or, is your website their first port of call?
There have been winners and losers in the construction and built environment sector during the pandemic, largely dictated by the sectors and clients in your portfolio, but remember, those who seem to be doing better is no guarantee of future success. If the marketing plan isn’t regularly tested and the tactics you’re using aren’t measured for their effectiveness, then there’s no longevity.
The business development and marketing audit service we’ve developed for this sector, is designed to help you address these elements, providing objective insight into what’s working, what needs development and where future opportunities may lie, in order to get you the results you want.
For further information or if you’d like to evaluate your options, please get in touch with our Construction & Built Environment team on 01604 746760 or email the team today.
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