Written by Jack Meisinger, General Manager at Project Prospecta – A partner of Barbour ABI
Following Brexit, the UK’s official withdrawal from the EU on January 31st 2020, the construction industry has had to contend with numerous challenges, also largely relating to the impacts of Covid-19.
Covid 19 meant many sites and projects were shut down. There were impacts on supply chains (including availability and prices) and increased health and safety measures. These have all affected the global construction industry over the past 18 months.
And then there’s Brexit. The red tape, the new regulations and changes in import costs.
How marketing can help your business overcome challenges
These challenges are industry-wide and attempting to find resolutions for them is a big task. Some of them are out of our control. But what we can control is how we deal with the challenges we face, both big and small.
Construction is a resilient industry and the people who work on-site and in offices all over the nation are also resilient. Finding innovative methods to face the struggles we have is at the essence of our industry.
Whilst there’s nothing new about marketing, the way it’s perceived in construction is evolving. The impacts of Brexit and Covid-19 have sped up this process. We’re trying our hardest to unshackle ourselves from the ‘colouring in’ department jokes. We’ve put down our pencils, and our new aim is to help construction companies, building products businesses and services create a predictable flow of new business, in an unpredictable time.
Email as the go-to communication
Being able to instigate 2-way conversations on a mass scale is one example of where marketing can help you to overcome the Brexit effect. With more people than ever working from home being able to send a personal email to your entire customer list is a very useful tool. Whether it’s to give them the good news that you’re the only one stocking materials or keeping people up to date with delays; communication creates comfort for your customers.
Most companies have a mailing list but many are guilty of neglecting it. Maintaining a detailed list, that’s segmented by demographics, buyer personas (your ideal customers) and the buyer’s journey (how close a lead is to converting), is a very useful practice. If you can communicate the right message, to the right people, at the right time, you get a much better response.
Maintaining this sort of detailed database might sound like a chore but the payoff is worth it. And to make life easier there’s customer relationship management (CRM) systems, Hubspot, is one great example, which holds this data and makes it accessible to everyone in your team. You can use it email, edit your website and schedule social media posts as well.
For Barbour ABI subscribers, the Project Prospecta service has been created to help you reach out directly to the projects and people that are right for your business. It uses email marketing, specifically email automation, sending specific emails based on the actions of prospects, and lead scoring, qualifying leads that are ready for sales based on prospects actions.
Your website is your virtual head office
With travel more complicated due to Brexit and Covid-19 having space where prospects and current customers can still visit you, find out everything they need to know and even leave you with their details is all-important. Adopting a ‘help first’ attitude to sales and marketing will be the norm as we reopen the world and our businesses. This means providing easy access to information about your products, your sector and your business that provides value to your prospects.
The hard sell is on the way out, specifiers are being bombarded with emails, calls and texts all day long. Set yourself apart by making their job and life easier. Fill your emails, decks, and website with the type of resources that specifiers need. This means technical files, checklist, pricing guides, blogs on the latest research, how-to videos and any other content that a specifier will thank you for and puts you at the forefront of their mind next time they’re looking for the solution which you can provide.
The impacts of Brexit and Covid-19 have changed the face of the construction industry. Supply chains are less reliable, lead times are longer and new regulations have changed the way we work. But by using a bit of smart marketing your relationship with your customers and prospects can be managed in the best way possible.