Your number one construction marketing goal should be the simplest and easiest to understand and implement: Ensure you deliver the experience and value your clients expect. In other words, if you do your work well, the rest of the marketing basics will become reasonably easy to implement. If you fail at this fundamental prerequisite, your marketing experience will be similar to the struggle you would face pushing a boulder uphill, on an icy slope.
The reasons for this simple and fundamental marketing principle relate to the ongoing research that virtually all of your new business bookings will emerge from repeat and referral clients. (The ongoing Construction Marketing Ideas poll reports that 42 per cent of readers obtain most of their business from referrals, and 30 per cent from repeat clients — that’s an impressive 72 per cent.)
Sure, other resources, including advertising, leads services and, if you want to get down and dirty (as it seems about five percent of businesses do), canvassing and telemarketing can generate the most leads for your organization. And undoubtedly, you will want to consider one or more alternative marketing and business development methodologies, especially if your repeat/referral levels are within the norms. (Each lead, even if initially expensive, has an incredible lifetime value if it spawns more repeat and referral clients.)
- If conclude you aren’t in the 70 to 80 per cent level for repeat/referral business, take a close look at your operations and see what you need to do to improve your client experience:
- Do you have systematic benchmark and job progress evaluation systems to track and respond to your clients’ perceptions?
- Is your inquiry response process immediate, forthright, and clearly communicated from the outset?
- Especially for residential and any client-facing projects, do you have a strict “clean job site” policy; making sure that everything is tidied up?
- Are your employee and contractor relationships founded on mutual respect, with measurable work satisfaction?
- Do you and your employees make meaningful community contributions; integrating within relevant public service, charitable, association and non-profit initiatives (without bragging about these contributions?)
- Realistically, no one providing marketing services can provide suggestions about effective marketing until you ensure your back-end is in order. In truth, a test for effective marketing success occurs when you can say: “We rely on repeat and referral business.” If I hear these words, and they are true, as marketers we can provide you with incredible value for money to deliver additional higher-yield revenue and sustainable profits.
On the other hand, if you are on a churning treadmill, constantly needing to find more than 30 per cent of your clients though cold marketing outreach, the best advice I can give you is to not spend more on advertising, leads services or pushy telemarketing/canvassing strategies, and look closely at why you need to use these as your main marketing methods. You shouldn’t.
If you would like more insights, you can reach me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.