5 Marketing Challenges for Construction Marketers and How to Overcome Them

 Challenge 1: Connecting the Dots (ROI)

It’s amazing how many businesses I’ve seen without a robust CRM system at the heart of the business. CRM systems allow you to map contact details generated from marketing activity to project details so you can see that the specifier who responded to a marketing activity in 2011 turned in to an order (placed by a distributor) in 2013.

Without a CRM system with project tracking capability, marketers will find extremely difficult to answer the “What did we get from it?” question.

Ever heard of the saying 80% of you business comes from 20% of your customers? Do you know which companies make up the 20%? More on this later.

  • How to overcome: Shape your CRM system to allow you to map marketing leads to projects and then to supply chain contacts, quotes and orders.

Challenge 2: Too Slow to Respond to Enquiries

Not many marketers know the ‘average response time’ for new enquiries submitted via their website. Enquiries submitted via the website usually get distributed to a team. Sometimes, a team of people where nobody really knows what to do with them next or puts them at the bottom of the pile.

No doubt someone who enquired via your website after searching for you on Google, immediately submitted the same enquiry to the companies above and below you in the search listings.

Who will respond first? You or your competitor?

  • How to overcome: Have a process in place whereby a designated person is responsible for qualifying any contacts or projects before they get passed on to the sales, specification or technical team.

Challenge 3: Switching Mindset from Outputs to Outcomes

“We published 34 press releases in 2013, 18 full page ads, we’re now on page 1 of Google for 12 of the 17 search terms we’ve set, we published 62 blog posts, we’re now on Twitter and have 428 followers, we now have a Facebook page with 326 likes and we sent 12 email campaigns to over 234,000 contacts”.

“So bleedin’ what?”

Everything you’re saying above is all based on outputs and not outcomes.

Executives of the company want to here about outcomes.

If you want a super pay rise – go back and fix challenge 1 so you can start adding £££ to your outcomes.

  • How to overcome: Use Google Analytics to measure website goals (as a start) and then look at the sources of traffic which are generating those goals. Also, learn how to tag marketing campaigns and attribution. (Get in touch with me if you want help with this)

Challenge 4: Managing Expectations of the Board

Rome wasn’t built in a day.

It takes time to build a brand and get your products noticed amongst all the noise out there on the web. The marketing you do to Specifiers today probably won’t turn into outcomes until 2016. Again go back to Challenge 1 to ‘connect the dots’.

The amount of times I’ve had the objective of getting a website onto page 1 of Google is unbelievable. Again, this takes time. You have to build a brand, you have to give Google a reason to show your company on page 1 of it’s search engine.

If your company sucks at marketing then why should any search engine want to show your content to its users?

  • How to overcome: Have a clear marketing strategy in place and set some relevant goals for your online marketing. Ensure you set some realistic time scales to achieve them by. Read this post to help you set some goals.

Challenge 5: Understanding who the Customer is and Delivering Relevant Marketing

Let’s face it. Who is the customer? Is it the Architect? The Surveyor? Or is the Surveyor an influencer? What about the sub-contractor? Architect can’t be a customer because he/she doesn’t place a transaction with the business. So how do you know who is specifying your products? But as a marketer you may have no clue as to how many projects had you named or if your product was an ‘equivalent’. Who broke the spec? A customer or an infulencer?

“We want to target specifiers” say the marketers.

So if you are marketing to Specifiers but the money comes in form the distributor or contractor…….who is the customer?

How do you work out the ROI of your campaigns if the customer isn’t the one who places the order? But you have no CRM system to see how many new specifiers you have in your CRM before and after a campaign. (See Challenge 1)

“We want to target Facilities Management Companies” say the marketers.

“No, who within the company do you want to talk to?” says I.

This is also the same reason why personalised marketing is done so badly. One message to everyone. One size fits all. Marketers assume all Facilities Management companies are ALL the same.

Better to understand one audience well and market to them really well than it is to market to lots of audiences poorly. Ive also seen “Buy me now” type messages sent to people who are loyal and always spec the same product. They don’t need telling to spec your product every fortnight.

  • How to overcome: Conduct lots of research and surveys. Really dig deep to find out the motivations, pain points of your customer database and look to develop content which helps them solve their problems. Before you look into doing a survey, make sure you plan your questions and ensure the answers are actionable (answers generate an outcome).

Are there any challenges you face which you’d like to share with others? Hopefully readers can help overcome by providing their thoughts and experiences.

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