Following on from our recent blog post ‘building strong brands: essential for construction companies’, discussing what a brand is, what makes a strong brand and why branding is important even in the construction industry, some research has been published re-confirming this need for brand building.
We came across this article in Building Products Magazine today, who published some interesting findings from a survey conducted by Arch-Vision (research hasn’t been published on their website yet). It revealed that UK architects list Trespa and Kingspan as the two strongest building material product brands. The research is conducted quarterly and includes the opinions of over 1200 architects across Europe. They were asked to mention two brands they thought were the strongest in building materials such as concrete, bricks, aluminium systems, roofing material, construction floors amongst others. In the UK, the top 5 companies mentioned were Kingspan (40%), Trespa (15%), VELUX (8%), Schüco (7%) and Otis (6%).
For savvy construction marketers, tracking and measuring marketing campaign performance is not just important, it’s absolutely fundamental.
This post was originally created in 2011 and was recently updated in November 2014
The insight gleaned is invaluable in guiding current and future marketing decisions and should ultimately govern the allocation of your marketing spend.
In this post we’ll show you how to use the Google Url Builder to measure the effectiveness of all your online marketing channels through Google Analytics (other analytics software are available).
You’ll learn how to Structure and name your campaigns. How to tag email, adwords and banner ad campaigns. We’ll show you how to tag Twitter campaigns and track offline campaigns too.
We’ll also show you how to analyse your campaign data in Google analytics and how to measure goals.
The current economic climate is tough for many businesses in the AEC sector and seeing companies such as ROK go into administration was a real eye-opener. It is exactly in times like these that branding becomes even more important. Achieving growth and acquiring new business opportunities is increasingly challenging, especially when the industry is becoming even more competitive. In order to stand out you need to focus on your brand and remind prospects and clients why you are ‘the right man for the job.’ A strong brand is not achieved over night. It needs constant investment to sustain it and build strong brand equity.
A brand is much more than a logo or positioning statement. It is a promise. A promise from the company to its customers and clients that they will receive a product or service that consistently delivers added value.
“A brand is an identifiable entity that makes specific promises of value.”
Without branding all products and services are perceived to be the same without any differentiation. Strong branding sets you apart from the competition by providing benefits that others do not. Through this, a relationship is formed. The construction industry is built on many relationships – relationships with clients, suppliers, employees, architects, contractors. The list goes on. It is these relationships that fully define your brand. You may think your brand represents reliability, performance and sustainable development but if your clients, customers, prospects, employees and even the general public do not think (or see) that, then something is wrong.
We recently presented at the CIMCIG Digital Marketing Workshop in London about measuring what really matters to your bosses and directors .
The presentation focused on what construction marketers should be measuring if the aim of your marketing is lead generation. Your website is and should be the heart of your digital marketing strategy and it is a lead conversion tool – but is it doing its job? How do you know your marketing activities are working if you are not measuring leads by source or campaign?
Lead generation and conversion is an important marketing and business goal, so are you measuring how your website is performing? How many leads is your website generating and how many of them are converted into prospects? Which campaigns are working better than others? Where are you spending most of your budget and is it generating you leads? How can you reduce your spend yet increase conversions or generate good qualified leads?
Some marketers only report metrics such as visits and page views which doesn’t tell you anything. Marketers should instead report results and outcomes, not observations. Measure what matters!
First and foremost let’s get the definitions out of the way. What exactly is a lead you say? Well, a lead is simply a company or group of companies that you have identified as expressing some kind of interest in your products and/or services. Lead generation is the marketing term for the process of creating and generating the interest of potential prospects. It occurs when a visitor to your site (or other company touchpoints) takes action and makes additional contact with your company. There are several ways to increase lead generation and the main 5 will be discussed in further detail in this post. The purpose is to offer your target audience a wealth of relevant information that will shorten their buying cycle and convert targeted traffic into ‘hot’ prospects. This can be done through establishing your business and your team members as thought leaders in your industry.
*** If you are a construction product manufacturer that has all the necessary (and more) product information on your website, including online applications such as product selectors, pricing guides, downloadable brochures or product specification datasheets, you are making an architects’ or specifiers’ product selection that much easier. Good, relevant technical information creates loyalty amongst those who specify products or require assistance from those who manufacture products.
For many construction marketers who are creating social media plans or are already participating in social media, their first task should have been to find out whether their audience is using Twitter (or not) as a communication tool. If they are, then there is potential to engage with this audience and achieve valuable business goals such as lead generation, brand awareness, relationship development, research and general networking.
So how do you go about finding your audience?
I came across this handy tool the other day called Follower Wonk. It basically allows you to find Twitter users by searching for keywords within their biographies. Most professionals’ bios contain their job title, who they work for or which industry they work in.
So to help product manufacturers to kick start their social media campaigns, we have created a list of Architects within the UK on Twitter using Follower Wonk.
CIMCIG kindly invited me to present at the Marketing to Architects half-day seminar on the subject of ‘Social Media Marketing to Architects’. Majority of the audience were marketers from Product Manufacturing companies and a handful of marketers from software providers and design services. 89 marketing and business development professionals attended the event which was great news for the organisers and presenters. The event provided a unique networking opportunity and gave delegates a chance to learn about enhancing existing communication channels and integrating new channels into their marketing mix to target and communicate with Architects more effectively.
Key points from the presentation:
- Plan and research your audience. Where are they discussing topics online? What forms of communication channels do they use?
- Take the time to listen to what architects discuss and talk about online.
- Respond and engage with Architects. Provide them with content which is of value and helps Architects, Specifiers and Engineers to choose your products and establish a relationship with your brand.
- Nurture Architects and help them through the specification process at various touch points.
- Don’t always talk about yourself. Provide informative content to Architects.
- Get other departments involved, social media can be a business tool.
CIMCIG organise and host a wide variety of events aimed at construction marketing professionals. Have a look at what else is happening this year: http://www.cimcig.org/events.php
The new year is quickly approaching and many businesses have already planned their 2011 marketing strategies. However, for those who haven’t yet, this post provides useful tips and guidelines for integrating your online and offline marketing activities to ensure maximum impact and effectiveness. Some companies in the construction industry still keep their offline and online marketing activities separate, leading to confused messages, inconsistency and wasted budgets.Read More
The advent of social media has led to new strategy development and various opportunities to do business in different ways. This post will focus on product manufacturers and how they can combine traditional marketing methods with social media to increase brand awareness and purchase intentions. This strategy is referred to as ‘social product marketing’. It is based on the concept of the hierarchy of effects model, developed by Lavidge and Steiner (1961), which argues that people pass through several stages from product awareness, to preference and eventually to purchase. This model can also be applied in a B2B context because company decision-makers go through similar stages when deciding which firm to do business with.Read More