Share this article on StumbleUpon Share this article on Delicious Share this article on Digg Share this article on Reddit Share this article on Pinterest Expert Author Sean Kimbrough What is marketing? Marketing is defined by Wikipedia as “the process of communicating the value of a product or service construction companies email addresses to customers, for the purpose of selling that product or service.” Did you get that? It is the process of conveying value of your product or service to a customer for the purpose of making a sale. Another way of thinking about it, marketing is what your company does to attract a customer with the goal of parting them from their money in exchange for your widget/service. By having a marketing plan in place, companies can avoid expensive mistakes.
Several actions within construction company marketing plans are free or have very low expenses which calculate into lower Cost of Acquisition. Simply put, how much does it cost the company to acquire a new customer or make a sale. Step 1 – Get a website! The internet is where everyone goes to conduct research on products, services and companies. Information is knowledge, knowledge is power. The website does not need to be the most expensive available. In fact, the most effective websites today are inexpensive to design, create and easy to manage with little technical training or skills. Effective websites are search engine optimized (SEO), easy to navigate, have clean text, fast loading images and most important, formatted for mobile display. The website should have testimonials from current/past customers and maybe before/after pictures to show off work.
If potential customers can’t see what has been done, it is hard for them to imagine what will be done. Step 2 – Get marketing/advertising material together. This means having print media, like flyers, brochures, folders, designed and created by a professional printer and graphic artist/designer. Have a new logo designed or the current logo reviewed by a graphic artist for a fresh, updated look, then use that logo everywhere! Reuse the same print media images in emails, the website and social media. Step 3 – Determine marketing distribution frequency. If the company wants to send an email newsletter, will it be weekly, monthly, quarterly? Door hangers should be distributed on a steady schedule to the same neighborhoods, homeowners need to expect a company brochure hanging on their front door every Tuesday, bi-weekly Thursdays, etc. Also, use door hangers in conjunction with door-to-door sales as a way to introduce the sales person before they even knock on the door. Social media posts, tweets, blog posts need to be placed on a consistent schedule, as well, with a common message. Direct mailers need to be scheduled with enough time for the mail to be received, read and a follow up sales call within a few days. Be careful not to mail more units than the sales staff can follow up in a timely manner. Home/trade shows are great for exposure and capturing leads but, again, if the sales staff cannot follow up promptly afterwards, warm lead turns colder the more time lapses. Step 4 – Set up social media accounts. Which social media accounts to setup depends on the target customer. Target residential homeowners through Facebook and Pinterest; business professionals through LinkedIn and industry trade forums. Twitter and Google + are effective for both targets. These platforms allow creation of company pages separate from the individual business owner’s profile page. Use the same logo, images and “look” as the website to keep uniformity. Also, not necessarily considered social media, but just as valuable, are sites like Angie’s List, Thumbtack and Homeadvisor – join them! Step 5 – Get an email list together. How do you create a list? Start with what you got, Outlook, Google Mail, etc. In the email newsletter, ask the recipient to share/forward topics of interest to their email lists (sounds like social media, right?). The newsletter should have an “opt-in” sing up form (provided by most email vendors) for non-recipients to complete and continue receiving the company’s informative newsletter. Step – 5.2 – How to create an email list of non existing customers and prospects. This where social media and trade shows shine. Prospects will freely give an email address in exchange for something of perceived equal or greater value. Create a sign up form at he trade show booth, on the company website and social media accounts, same as the “opt-in” form in the email newsletter, offering in exchange for an email address, something of relevant value such as a free consult, evaluation, ebook, research, $XX off first service, etc. Remember the goal, get an email address. Step 6 – Write white page articles. Senior management of the construction company are the experts in their field, right? Other than employees, customers and social media followers, who else knows about the company expertise? Exactly, no one. Use the same topics as in the newsletter but expand upon them. Here is the opportunity to get technical, use industry jargon, tell the reader how it really works. The idea behind article writing is exposure to a specific audience. The target customer is not as important because the reader is searching for your in depth knowledge of the topic, and may not be a customer at all, but possibly a competitor, vendor, news/media outlet looking for an expert in the field to complete a news story. Make sure the author has the credentials to back up the information. The receptionist should not write a technical article about “Structural Concerns of Multilevel Parking Garages”. Once all the print material is gathered, the website is in place, email newsletter material is laid out for at least 6 months, and six articles are ready to publish on free ezine publishing websites, the construction company marketing plan is ready to move forward. Make sure the sales staff have the new print sales brochures to distribute to prospective customers. If a promotion is being offered, brief whomever will be answering the phones that person knows how to answer questions and properly route calls to keep uniformity throughout the marketing plan. A little upfront work will payoff big dividends in the long run. Remember, effective marketing is a marathon, not a sprint. Give the marketing plan time to develop and measure its performance weekly.