As the line between marketing and operations continues to fade into the background, many construction companies are looking for ways to keep marketing from slipping to the back burner. According to a Forrester report put out in August 2011, marketing and advertising continue to shift away from traditional venues that have an interruptive focus, to digital venues with interactive focus. By 2016 Forrester predicts that search marketing, display advertising, mobile marketing, email marketing and social media will make up 35% of all ad spends.
Construction is not a heavy user of advertising partly because it is, and always has been, a relationship business. Whereas major consumer products brands can get real returns from massive advertising campaigns, construction depends more upon relationships, and establishing relationships. In a way, construction was ‘social’ long before social became a household word.
In the past five years construction has also begun to slip out of its reticence to adopting technology. Thanks to smart phones and tablets the term ‘app’ is now as familiar to construction as lumber, steel or concrete. Mike Arnold, at The 5 Footholds of Design and Construction Marketing, spends a lot of time working with people in the AEC industries. From the multitude of apps available for marketing here are three that Mike recommends.
1. Evernote- Digital Notebook
I use evernote App as my note depository when I’m in the field. The App is accessible across all devices and It allows you to set up individual folders for specific Projects, Industries, Areas, etc. Then it allows you to type/dictate notes, save documents, clip articles, save videos and photos, and even record audio to the folders. It’s great for exploring new areas, analyzing new markets, and chasing after long-term work.
2. Highrise- Client Relationship Manager
This CRM is a great tool for managing construction clients. Store all personal and professional client information in one place and share it across your entire organization. The program also allows you to schedule interactions with clients and make sure you are meeting their needs and keeping yourself top of mind.
3. MailChimp- Email Management
In Today’s wide world of business, the right email addresses are gold. If you are not collecting emails from your clients and and potential clients, start now. To manage my list of emails I use Mail Chimp. It’s similar to Constant Contact, and allows you to craft one email and send it to many people with one click. Send clients and perspective clients your latest news, links to your website and articles, and offer them special deals- all through high-quality, professional looking HTML emails.