Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in 2013 and was updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness on January 2nd, 2018.
By now you would have probably discussed and finalised with your marketing team the plan for the new year.
Hopefully this would have involved benchmarking, re-evaluating and making measurable actions for improvement based on last year’s results, and from this, outlining fresh, achievable business objectives.
doing the same things and expecting different results is the definition of insanity…
However, if you do feel a little behind with the chaos of Christmas (we get it, and everyone’s been there), or if you simply want to ensure your marketing department are heading in the right direction, here are our top 5 tips for getting even better results for 2018:
1. Outcome vs Output
You, as the boss, should decide on the desired outcome, while the marketer should decide on HOW you’re going to get to that outcome.
Outcomes, which need to be measurable, could be ‘gain X new customers in 12 months’ or ‘increase new customer rate by 20% vs LY’ or ‘increase leads from the website by 100% vs LY’
With the marketing team, questions such as the following need to be discussed…
- How will you gain new customers in the next 12 months?
- Do you know who your existing customers are?
- How many new customers do you need in next year to break even or make profit?
- Do you need 150 new stockists/merchants?
- How many projects do you need to win in order to make a good profit?
- Do you know how many leads you’ve generated via the website this year?
Please don’t fall into the trap of planning around outputs such as “we need to print 10,000 brochures” or “we need to do 3 exhibitions” or “we need to do 50 feature articles in magazines X,Y,Z” or “we need to buy 300 golf balls for our sales guys”.
These are promotional activities and are useless if you have no objective or defined ‘ideal’ outcome.
2. Figure out Your ‘why’
It’s time to get personal. Figure out ‘why’ you manufacture what you manufacture – and get your team to communicate it! Ultimately this is what will steer your construction business and keep all marketing efforts both consistent and effective.
Ever wondered WHY Glazing Vision do what they do? You might say ‘make money’ but that’s a result of WHAT they do, not WHY they do it.
Why do Kingspan manufacture cladding? Why do Catnic manufacture lintels? Why do Polypipe manufacture pipes?
3. Take a Look Around
This is a simple yet crucial exercise: Get online and take a look around – everywhere.
Do this today: Try and find your company in Google WITHOUT using your company name or the name of your products.
Can you find your website? If no, then your content marketing strategy is not working in the way it should be.
Who else is around your listing? They’re your online competitors.
Take a look at their websites.
- What do they look like?
- Does it work on a mobile?
- Do they have a blog?
- Are they using specification tools like u-value calculators?
- Do they have a stockist Locator?
- Are they using social media?
- Where are their links coming from? (this will tell you how effective their PR is also).
What content can you then write to help them and get them onto your website?
We know Architects and Specifiers use Google for researching new products or sourcing technical information, they also use product directories to compare products – are you online?
Get your marketing team to carry out stringent research. Do lots of surveys to small segments of your database. Get some facts, ideas and find out what could be improved – don’t assume anything without backing up your assumptions.
4. Get Employees Trained
SEO is not the same as it was 5 years ago when you may have done a 1 day course – Google are constantly introducing new algorithms which means your content marketing strategy needs to reflect this.
Plan to get out to some conferences, seminars and events that are focused on B2B digital – or you could speak to us for a bespoke training session.
5. Receive Diagnostic Feedback
Your Google Analytics account is full of hidden gems. It will answer questions such as ‘are people still Googling for your products?’ or ‘what kind of content are my audience searching for’ or ‘which of the main contractors and biggest Architectural practices are regularly visiting and interacting with my website?’
It can then go on to tell you the highest performing traffic channels and conversion rates for specific marketing campaigns. The platform really can be used in a variety of ways – it all depends on how you want to use it and the level of detail required for your construction business.
We audit and benchmark Google Analytics data, along with a range of other platforms, to generate a list of recommendations which are all actionable – something you can take away and do tomorrow or plan for the future.
More often than not, this is paramount to ensuring your marketing plan is successful – so if you haven’t already – research what’s already happening on your website in order to make the right priorities going forward.
Hopefully these top 5 planning tips have been useful, and if you need further support with your construction marketing, don’t hesitate to drop us a call today on 01908 671707.