Why Solutions Are Better Than Products In Construction Marketing

The construction industry has been through a tough time. Although the bad news about redundancies, job losses and construction companies going bust is beginning to diminish, we are still hearing reports in the press of hard times for the industry.

Most construction business owners are waking up to the necessity to have a robust marketing strategy to meet the new demands they are facing. The competition is fierce, everyone chases the same job, finance is tight and the once lucrative construction market is being held back by government cuts.

However, it’s not all doom and gloom! With the right construction marketing strategy in place, and with a little of the ‘thinking outside of the box’ attitude and a whole lot of nerve, the industry can become highly profitable again.

One of the keys to future growth is to grasp a simple truth. It’s not so much about the products we offer, it’s about the solutions we bring.

Think about the problems your potential clients come to you with. What does it REALLY take to solve their problems? By offering your client an attractive package of services that will offer solutions to their problems, you will be laying the foundation for keeping that client for life. And loyalty is priceless.

How can this work in practice?

Offer your clients a Pre-Construction / Pre-Project Service. This could include Land Survey, Project Feasibility Study, Planning Applications, Initial Design Stage and bringing together a Project Team. Any contractor, large or small, can get involved at this early stage and out-source if necessary. The important thing is that your client is relieved of the burden of trying to sort everything out – you can do it for them. You are offering SOLUTIONS.

If you are a Fit-Out Contractor or Remodeler, make sure you have all the up to date brochures from recommended suppliers and be ready to give professional advice at every stage of the project. If there are government restrictions, legislation to overcome or complicated forms to fill in – offer to help.

Value Engineering is also a way of offering solutions to your clients. This means you will be monitoring the project from start to finish and will be ready to recommend cost savings without loss of quality.

Construction Marketing – Blogs and Forums

In the world of construction, we need more things like blogs and forums where resources and tools are made available for contractors to use to improve their businesses.

Construction newsletters, articles, and books on construction marketing are too few and far between, at least compared to other industries which are commonly conceived to be more so-called “professional.”

But, like a good contractor buddy of mine says:

“A surgeon client complained about my prices and said, ‘I don’t make that much for my time, and I’m a surgeon.'”

To which the contractor responded:

“Neither did I when I was a surgeon.”

The public perception of lack of professionalism among general contractors is something I’ve ranted about many times in the past. It’s frustrating. But it can be overcome.

I guess the best defense against this perception is simply living a life of integrity. Eventually, where it counts, your integrity will rise to the top.

But in the mean time, we can use marketing practices that work to boost our sales and increase our clients satisfaction level.

Because, as many experienced contractors know, client satisfaction can often times be influenced by your client’s perception of reality. And your client’s perception of reality can often only be altered through effective marketing techniques.

And that’s where the importance of Construction Marketing Forums and Blogs comes in.

Stop Business Suicide Through Sensitive Construction Marketing

Since the 2008 recession hit the construction industry hard, many construction companies have been struggling to break even, let alone make a profit. One of the major problems has been the way competitors under price and under value projects just to win the work and then, when they are on site, they suddenly reveal all the hidden extras. Alternatively, they turn out shoddy work because of false cost cutting exercises and value engineering, bringing the finished project to an unhappy conclusion for all concerned.

In today’s construction marketing climate, cash rich construction companies are often pricing contracts below profit margins, just to pick up the work leaving smaller companies struggling to win anything at all. In situations like this, the only way to win a contract over a lower priced competitor is to demonstrate to your potential client that you deliver a service that is far superior to that of your competitors.

In a time of economic difficulty, clients in all sections of the construction industry are looking, not just for value for money, but also a first class service. Cashflow is a problem for many developers and contractors and contractual terms are becoming too severe for some.

However, this kind of environment is not sustainable in the industry because more and more smaller contractors will go our of business and the standard of works completed will require remedial works down the line, costing the end user even more money.

So what is the smaller contractor to do? You can offer a service above and beyond the call of duty which will focus on a solutions based service that will bring huge added value for your client who is looking for a hassle free completion for their project. Offering low cost, high value services is a good way forward.

Sensitive construction marketing can steer your company through troubled times by focusing on some easy to adopt key principles:

Firstly, by building good relationships with people in related construction trades. The smaller company has an advantage here as larger companies can present a very impersonal face.

Secondly, by looking for strategic partnerships with like minded, related trades. This enables smaller specialist companies to offer more comprehensive services to clients who are looking for a completely managed solution to their building project covering all trades involved.

Thirdly, by overhauling the way your business prices tenders and enquiries in terms of the profit margins expected. Look for ways of bringing down margins by applying efficiency savings.

Fourthly, by making sure you are on as many Approved Lists as possible. This can be a time consuming business, but is essential if you want to grab opportunities with larger clients such as local government, public sector projects, medical projects, larger building contractors who need a reliable source of sub contractors for different aspects of work.

Turn Your Building Drawings Into a Construction Marketing Tool

One of the top priorities for every company is business growth. Construction startups compete for clients. Established companies search for new ways to expand their business. In the end, everyone is looking for new business.

Construction marketing requires a good marketing strategy designed for the construction industry. Organizations may also use different construction marketing tools. But they can be costly and time consuming.

Construction companies have a sales team reaching out to potential customers and qualifying leads. A marketing team creating presentations and promotional materials. And a website presenting their services and products.

So how do you stay ahead of your competition? Are you using your completed construction drawings to get more business?

When we ask that question, the answers are all along the same line. No, we’re not using building plans to win more work. We hear companies say, “we acquired a company and they handed us blueprints that we store in boxes and drawers in our storage facility.” Or “we have all our projects in digital format on a network drive we can all access.” Or “Some of our projects are saved as blueprints in our office, others in CAD format on hard-drives, and the newest ones on a network drive”.

So we ask the question again: are you using your construction drawings to win new or more business?

Use The National GIS of Building Plans to Showcase Your Building Plans on Search Engines

ABR put a solution in place that complements the work of your marketing and sales teams. A solution to showcase your project portfolio to the largest audience possible.

The National GIS of building plans is a database for construction drawings at national level. It features a public interface that lists documents by address and is indexed by search engines. The national GIS is a powerful tool to showcase your work on the most used search engines.