To be successful, business owners need to develop knowledge, if not expertise, across a wide range of topics. One approach to successful leadership is asking questions. But what happens when you don’t know what you don’t know?
Here are the questions you should be asking about marketing your construction company, along with some professional insight.
1. Why market my construction company?
Why not? Marketing is a set of tools required to build and maintain a business in any industry. Marketing helps you differentiate your company from others that provide the same services, helps you build lasting relationships with customers and can fill your pipeline with qualified leads. Additionally, companies that invest in their brand often achieve higher multiples when their owners are ready to sell.
2. What does B2B marketing look like?
Marketing your building services to another business requires different strategies than selling directly to an individual.
The tactics you would use to sell home renovation services to a single homeowner will not resonate with the Fortune 500 company you want to build a hotel for. Business-to-business (B2B) marketing is more data-driven, recognizing that purchasing decisions are often made by boards or committees of people who have to justify the impact of their choices on the organization’s bottom line.
3. Is marketing the same as advertising?
Advertising can be a part of your overall marketing strategy, but marketing goes well beyond buying ad space. Marketing encompasses a wide range of activities, from sending out press releases about a project ribbon-cutting to developing a brand positioning statement and clarifying your target audience personas. In many ways, marketing activities build the foundation to support a healthy return on investment for paid advertising campaigns.
4. Will marketing grow my business?
Marketing alone cannot grow your business, but it will help. Marketing efforts can bring in leads for new projects, introduce you to project owners and differentiate you from your competitors. When business is good, your marketing efforts should be running in the background maintaining your brand recognition and warming up new leads. If there is a lull in business, turning up your marketing efforts can help you fill the gap. Relying on marketing only when you need new business is not an efficient or effective strategy. When you market your company well, everything becomes easier, including learning about bid opportunities, winning business, attracting and retaining talent, and connecting with investors.
5. Isn’t my business name my brand?
“A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.”
— Seth Godin
A brand is much more than a name and a logo; it is a feeling. Before you dismiss the role feelings play in the construction industry, consider this. You are asking people (either individuals or a committee of people) to spend money on your building services. There is always an emotional component to spending money. Your brand evokes a feeling that helps differentiate your business from others that perform the same service. It is that feeling that helps align project owners with the right construction company for their work. Building a solid brand wraps your name, services, values and standards into a neat package that prospective customers can understand on an emotional level.
6. Is my business too small for marketing?
Every business needs marketing to thrive, and marketing efforts can be scaled to suit your business. Even if you are a solopreneur, you need marketing to help bring in the next job while you’re focused on the current one. Marketing can also help you create name recognition for your business and build a solid reputation, which will make winning new projects easier. When implemented right, marketing efforts can help grow your business, so it isn’t that small anymore.
7. Do I have to hire a marketing manager?
Keep in mind that marketing is a broad area that covers everything from branding and content writing to website development and search engine optimization (SEO) maintenance. Unless you bring on a whole team of marketing experts to cover the various aspects of marketing your construction business, you will probably end up subbing out some of your marketing projects. You may choose to hire one marketing generalist to act as the GC for all those projects or contract directly with an agency that can handle all your marketing work in one shop.