Kate Bygrave, Managing Director of UK Construction Marketing, discusses how best to market your businesses in the current climate and offers tips for driving value in 2021.
UK Construction Marketing
2020, what a strange year. We’ve seen some lows, very few highs, but let’s explore the marketing opportunities it has brought us.
The decrease in face-to-face meetings, presentations and trade shows has fundamentally shifted the focus of how businesses sell and engage with prospective customers. Those who proactively embrace this change will be best positioned for the year ahead.
Now is the time to prepare if you have yet to do so. Review your existing marketing plan in a structured way, starting with a current analysis of your company, listing strengths and weaknesses. Move on to examine plans already laid down and decide if those are realistic in this climate. Look at what your company does well and where you need, or want, to go in the future.
If you are a small business owner you will invariably be wearing many hats, marketing may not be your first priority or your core skillset. If you are a larger company and have a marketing manager or team, they will know that you cannot solely rely on repeat business. Client loyalty is wonderful but does not last forever. You need to be making new connections, building trust in your brand and making sure you stand out against your competitors. This will not be easy, but you can make things easier on yourself.
Laying your marketing foundations
To start, identify your target audience and refine the list. Do you have a different target audience for different offerings? If so, your marketing campaigns need to be tailored. Aim to understand your customers as individuals and why they are interested in a product or service.
How visible is your business online? How does your prospective target audience perceive your organisation? An often-overlooked resource for insight into public perception is talking to current and past clients. Listen to them and act on their suggestions, sharing any success stories and testimonials.
As it is harder than ever now to meet clients face-to-face, the window into your business is your website and online media. This needs to be ‘on point’ and stand out when compared to those of your competitors. If they have invested wisely in marketing and branding, with great imagery, engaging video and regular topical news posts, it shows attention to detail and pride in their offering.
Staying on the radar is key. Are you active on LinkedIn and other social media? Many overlook LinkedIn as an effective marketing tool and your company should be as active as possible. Share your expertise and knowledge with your audience, build up trust and make new connections. Is your company page up-to-date and correctly branded? Are you posting regularly? Is your content on-brand, engaging and relevant?
Finally, every member of your team should be a brand ambassador. They should be correctly reflecting your brand and familiar with your company tagline, mission statement and elevator pitch. This way, your message can always be correctly communicated to potential clients. It should be included in brand guidelines, which are distributed to all staff and any marketing or communication contractors.
That summarises just a few marketing items which are important for any business. If this all seems overwhelming, then it’s time to enlist the help of experts.
Kate Bygrave is Managing Director of UK Construction Marketing, a marketing agency that delivers inspiring marketing campaigns and innovative brand design for construction businesses.