It could be said that all work done by marketing is critical, it could be said but we won’t here as this isn’t true. Not because all work done by marketing isn’t critical, it certainly is that - if implemented correctly.
Unfortunately what you’ll find is that a lot of marketing efforts within construction are not fruitful, nor are they guided by foundational marketing principles. So to this extent, all work done by marketers is simply not critical to a construction technology business's cause.
But let’s say you do have a marketer or marketers that know what they are doing, educated on the foundational knowledge that is the lynchpin for great marketing. What are they bringing to the contech party and why is their work so instrumental in the success of a construction technology business?
We’re about to find out.
In diving into five core marketing principles we can see just how critical the work of a marketer is within construction technology. Although there is an abundance of other factors where marketing also plays a critical role, such as the diagnosis of current market factors, internal auditing of marketing output as well as the development of strategic intent, it is within the implementation stage where these five principles are based.
The tactical execution of a marketing plan offers many outputs and below are five of the best, fundamental to any businesses success - powered by marketing, driven by results:
Be it a SaaS or a physical product marketing is your gateway to developing better solutions to your target market's problems. This is where it all starts if you aren't solving a problem, you might as well be creating art and art is only needed for the finishing touches of any construction project.
Marketing is the only department that has that critical eye on the client's needs, the organisation's solutions and the communication between the two with any impartiality. What so often happens is that marketing is left out of this product development - told to communicate the products/service not develop it.
When in the construction technology industry, you must be developing products as much as the tech itself changes, which is constantly. marketing is your gateway to understanding what these changes need to be.
Rory Sutherland is quoted as saying that poor promotion is discounting your pricing and you don’t need a degree to do that, any fool can cut the price of something. And he’s right, cutting pricing simply means you havent got your pricing right in the first place. So let’s not do that.
Your price point can make or break you, but how do you know what is the correct pricing for your services? It can be tricky as the price needs to reflect the potential problem-solving abilities of your offer. Too high and your potential clients may not see the value in it or where an ROI is coming from, too low and it will devalue what you have created.
Through market and competitor analysis as well as inviting stakeholders to be involved you can start to analyse what your pricing structure will look like. There are multiple ways of doing this such as how much profit you want to make off each sale or by focusing on a breakeven point. Regardless of how you reach that figure, just like with the product, marketing should be at the decision table.
The better you understand a customer's journey the better you can cater for their needs throughout. Not only cater for their needs but make sure you are providing the right information at the right stages of this journey, building up that brand awareness so when they are in a position to purchase, it’s you they think of. Failure to do this just means another brand pops into its head at the point of a decision being made.
This becomes more complex within construction as you are usually targeting multiple stakeholders (buyer, user, owner, developer, beneficiary and so on). Using marketing to better understand each journey means you stand a better chance of being remembered by your target market and creating dialogue for each stakeholder makes it much easier for all parties to agree on the right solution to a particular problem - let's make sure it's your solution.
A quick note about purchasing here: Having an understanding of where your clients will purchase is an important part of this customer journey. This critical juncture is where a frictionless process is required, and you can use marketing to understand how to make it so. The less friction there is (especially in the complex world of construction technology) in the purchasing and post-purchase stages the more likely potential clients will purchase quicker and stay a client for longer..
The promotional and creative elements of marketing within construction are pretty poor. As the industry is slow on the uptake of tech, it seems the same can be said for marketing techniques and creativity. The majority fits the same mould, too heavy on the sales and less so on the brand positioning (we’ll come onto that in a minute).
Through marketing, you will be able to discover the right communication channels to reach your audience. Without doing this there is a lot of wastage and probably wastage that you cannot afford right now when budgets are tight or even being cut.
Through creativity, you will be able to stand out from the crowd. Standing out and being noticed is an important factor within this market due to the continual stream of new competitors and new technology. Without doing this it becomes far too easy for potential clients to forget about who you are and what you do.
A quick note about budgets here: During turbulent market conditions it can be difficult to apportion the correct budget to any form of marketing, most see this as a luxury. This is a mistake and although investing when the market is down sounds counterintuitive, it has been proven that those that invest in increasing their share of voice while others are scaling back maintain this additional awareness when markets are more favourable.
As most construction technology companies are founded as start-ups it can be difficult to justify spending on brand building (similar to promotional spending), but the brand warrants its own section due to its ability to deliver results long-term. The benefits of brand building are multiple; higher pricing, better visibility, shorter sales cycles, and better investor opportunities can all be attributed to creating a well-known brand.
While the promotion element here is focused on the short-term sales activation, the brand is very much long-term, both are important within the world of construction technology from the start-up phase where generating income and investment can be critical, to being well-established within the market which will only occur by maintaining high levels of brand authority.
It could be said that all work done by marketing is critical and if you’ve chosen the right person/people/agency then it is, it fundamentally is, but these are few and far between. What is clear is that for a business within the construction technology industry, there are elements of marketing (product, price, customer journey, promotion and branding) that need addressing to have the best opportunity to either build up a market share with new tech or maintain that status as tried and trusted.