Image courtesy of JD Hancock from Flickr.com

Digital Marketing has yielded great success in many B2B and B2C industries.  One area that has attracted a lot of attention recently comes from the Construction industry.

The Marketing Trends in Construction

As one of the oldest industries on the planet where brand and experience rule, construction companies are embracing even greater lead gen results thanks to digital marketing.  The US construction industry includes more than 660,000 establishments (single-location companies and units of multi-location companies) with combined annual revenue of about $1.3 trillion.  The industry is highly sensitive to the health of the economy and experienced continued annual loss in CPiP (Construction Put in Place) from 2008 through 2011, $1,068B to $788B respectively.

But the tide has changed as 2012 saw an 8.7% increase in CPiP and forecasts of greater than 7% year over year are anticipated through 2017.

In a recent survey amongst construction companies by the Construction Marketing Association, 86.8% stated an intent to increase their marketing activities and budgets.  While Branding is the top “Traditional marketing tactic” winner in this increased funding and Trade shows are the biggest losers of budget in that category, Email marketing enhancements are in 71.1% of the budgets.

 

 

As far as “Internet tactics”, Website development took first place at 81.6% followed by SEO and Social Media (75.7%).  As far as Lead Gen, the traditional Reed Construction Data and Dodge Reports are now at the bottom of the investment list.  From 2012 to 2013, social media adoption rates increased from 90% to 97%.  Social effectiveness is most realized in LinkedIn and Twitter.

Like This: Construction Is Engaging

In an interview with Choate Construction Company’s Emily C. Bridges, Marketing Director, these trends and successes were validated.  Choate, a highly respected brand headquartered in Atlanta, GA, is celebrating its 25 year anniversary this year.  “Concentrated efforts around SEO have improved our web traffic. The market sectors benefiting the most from social media are Technology, Retail/Hospitality and Restaurant,” Emily shared.  Emily also referenced Twitter engagement was mostly centered on Choate’s community outreach around charity activities.

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Emily has also seen dramatic increases in LinkedIn activity – mostly for senior construction positions. Reviewing the analytics results, Emily and Choate are realizing a noteworthy improvement in engagement with their email base as a result of a more data driven strategy utilizing targeted messaging.

A study conducted by Profile By Design revealed the top 5 internet marketing challenges construction companies face are (in order):

  • Poor or No Strategy
  • Dated Website
  • Social Media Wallflower
  • Failure to Differentiate
  • Inconsistent Branding

Arke has seen these same challenges in CPG, Energy, Financial, Hospitality and other industries as well.  My personal experience reveals too many companies jump half way in without a true plan or comprehensive strategy. Many stop halfway in after they’ve deployed siloed technologies that don’t serve up the relevant data marketing needs for making informed decisions.

However, construction as an industry is catching on and their growth trends tell me many have or will get a solid strategy and make it happen!

 

Ron Steiger has 25 years of experience in various technology sectors including Software, Energy, Semiconductors, SCADA, and Wireless. Ron has led strategic business initiatives domestically and internationally. He is former Executive Vice President of Arke Systems, driving Marketing Technology, Franchising CRM, sales leadership, strategic alignment, and operations. He is also the Chairman of the TAG Smart Energy Society Board of Directors: Driving policy and programs surrounding jobs creation and economic development (Generation, Renewables, IT, T&D, Microgrid, Sustainability, Distribution Automation, Substations). Prior, he was the Global Process Leader for GE Digital Energy, leading initiatives around Smart Grid and Utility automation to optimize efficiency, reliability and sustainability in the T&D space. Other responsibilities included leading Intelligent Water and Mining initiatives through LEAN processes in the business workflows across various business units and regions. Prior to joining GE, Ron held positions of Managing Director, VP of Strategy, Area Director, GM and Nuclear Systems Engineer with EntrePartners, Memec, Westinghouse, and Arizona Public Services, PVNGS. He holds a BSEE from Southern Polytechnic State University and an MBA in Global Business from Kennesaw State/University of Phoenix.