Pauley Creative’s 2018 Construction Marketing Survey – The Results

We recently carried out our 2018 Construction Marketing survey; the aim of this was to understand exactly how construction companies are managing their marketing to achieve their business goals.

The research addressed marketing tactics based on popularity vs how well these actually performed, and also gave us insight into the key marketing challenges faced today within the construction industry.

Is your construction business implementing marketing tactics differently, or are you facing similar challenges?

How should you be steering your construction marketing this year based on our results?

Summary of key findings:

1) Brand Awareness as priority marketing goal for 2018

The majority of respondents, at 59%, determined brand awareness as being their key priority for the year, followed closely by targeting new customers (49%) and growing market share (45%). As the competition increases and new digital marketing tactics become available, the pressure to enhance and expose your company’s brand effectively across the right platforms continues to be a key focus.

2) Generating qualified leads is the biggest marketing challenge

Nearly half of all respondents determined generating qualified leads as being their key challenge within construction marketing. This again comes down to channelling all marketing efforts towards your customer personas, and knowing exactly what their background, challenges and requirements are. Effective lead-generation also requires a user-friendly, optimised website, a well-organised CRM database and integrated email marketing system to successfully manage every stage of the journey for each lead.

3) Resource & time management is the biggest barrier to achieving business goals

Whilst we received a variety of answers to this question, both time and resource was mentioned repeatedly, demonstrating how marketing strategies are often restricted to who is able to manage the process internally. More often than not, it simply requires making the most of the skills and resource you do have; read our blog post on ‘How to structure an effective building product marketing team’.

4) Email marketing is the most used marketing tactic for construction businesses

With 70% of respondents stating that email marketing was the go-to tactic for construction marketers, there is no doubt that businesses are now starting to reap the benefits. Due to the collaboration of clever CRM systems and automated software, email marketing now allows you to personalise and refine your strategy for each customer type, to provide the most relevant and targeted information.

Interestingly, cold calling and Print PR were the next most-used marketing tactics, showcasing how the industry still take a fairly traditional approach to marketing. Even when a powerful incentive is used, cold calling can still be highly unsuccessful and can create a negative perception of your brand. In addition, Print PR when used as a standalone tactic can be difficult to measure. Combining this with targeted online coverage and a stringent content marketing strategy will allow you to closely track the success of each publishing house.

5) Paid media is the best performing marketing tactic for construction businesses 

Paid media can often be avoided due to the perception that it costs a lot to implement; however just over half of respondents rated this as their best performing marketing tactic. With more construction businesses paying to have their brand heard online, there really is no avoiding paid advertising. Remember – when you know exactly how it can be used and what areas are most relevant to your business, you’ll receive a high return on investment. Check out our PPC guide for more information, or contact us about the paid media services we offer.

Face-to-face events was the second highest performing marketing tactic mentioned, again accentuating the desire to stick to more traditional approaches within the industry. Event marketing can be great for building leads and creating a positive brand presence, as long as an integrated approach is taken, with a clear ‘pre’ and ‘post-event’ plan. View our latest marketing insights from Ecobuild this year here.

6) Social media marketing was the worst performing marketing tactic for construction businesses 

While 70% of respondents claimed to be using social media marketing as a key tactic, this was then rated for the worst performance. Such findings indicate that while construction businesses understand the necessity to engage on social media platforms, there is an uncertainty with how it should be best utilised as a business tool. If you’re interested in how other construction professionals are using social platforms, you can view our latest Twitter research here, or for further guidance download our Social Media eBook.

Another insight gained was that only 30% of respondents stated that cold calling performed well, despite it being one of the most used marketing tactics; this was the same result for email marketing, which also had low performance rates. Again, this demonstrates an educational gap for email marketing within construction, and also suggests the struggle for businesses to move away from their comfort zones to try other tactics.

7) 76% of respondents manage their marketing in-house

Interesting that the largest barrier for construction businesses was the lack of time and resource available to integrate an effective marketing strategy; yet many continue to do their marketing inhouse. You can read our post on how to get the most from your marketing partners here; remember that every business is different, so do what works best for you!

8) Content marketing training is most sought after

While content marketing appeared to perform well as a tactic for these construction businesses (at 64%), it seems that there is a lack of knowledge in terms of how to best utilise different content opportunities.

You can view our ‘Push & pull strategy here’; this showcases how different content opportunities work hand-in-hand to generate further outreach, with your website sitting at the heart of the strategy. Download our eBook here for more detailed guidance.

Social media and customer research were the next two areas where training was required; this again falls in line with the most popular business goals mentioned for 2018 – how to improve brand awareness and target new customers.

Stay tuned for our next construction marketing survey, as we continue to find out the latest marketing insights for you – be sure to sign up to our blog to keep updated 🙂


And if you require further guidance with your digital marketing strategy, take a look at our Essential Guide to Construction Marketing here; this provides you with a range of solutions that will enable your business to learn, teach, deliver, and grow.

Ebony Hutt

About Ebony Hutt

Ebony Hutt is a content marketer who has worked in the Construction Industry for 5 years with Travis Perkins and Snows Timber. In Oct 2019, she made the leap over to Digital Marketing Agency, Pauley Creative. In her role as Marketing Manager, she creates & shares content for Construction Marketers that aims to teach & inspire their digital marketing. She’s on a mission to make sure every Construction Marketer knows about Pauley Creative. Since graduating, Ebony has immersed herself in the Construction Industry and is passionate about its journey of digitalisation. She delivers results by using tactics such as SEO, Social Media, PR & Events.

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