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From the category archives: Marketing & Branding

Marketing & Branding

Biggest Headaches with Proposals

  Recently Brand Constructors lead a webinar discussion entitled the "9 Biggest Mistakes Construction Companies Make on Proposals." One of the most painful conversations came from our point of not having a process. When you're working on a proposal, you should not have to reinvest your process like you've never done a proposal before. Not having a process breeds chaos, last minute panics, and creates mistakes. 

Business Development Goes Beyond You

  One of the most common mistakes a company can make in their in business development model is to assign one single individual to hold all responsibility. Statistically, only 5 to 7 percent of professionals in the business development community are natural “rainmakers,” capable of being the driving force behind continued sales and growth. Those few were born with the natural style, tendency, contacts, and negotiation skills that most others lack. For the rest of us, it takes strategic planning, long nights, and early mornings to acquire those skills, and for a company, it takes teamwork and utilizing the strengths of each employee, rather than just one individual.

Tips for Creating Your Personal Brand

  Unless you have been living under a rock, it is virtually impossible for you to have escaped the barrage of social media sites that have popped up all over the web. Most company websites include links to their respective social media pages on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, just to name a few.  While companies realize the importance of having a presence in these areas, professionals often overlook the importance of marketing themselves in the same manner.

An Inconsistent Brand Costs Money

  Many people in construction think their brand should be managed by the lowest bid. They send out RFPs for the company's logo, website, newsletter, tradeshow, and all of their printing to ensure they're spending the least amount possible. It might be counter-intuitive, but doing this means you're shooting yourself in the foot. 

I discuss the cost of an inconsistent brand in my book, Construction Executive’s Guide to Brand Marketing. Here are two main reasons you don't want to use different, lowest bidders for each of your marketing materials:

Who Knows Your Differentiation?

You've probably heard that your company needs some type of differentiation to compete in today's construction market. By differentiation, I mean some characteristic or reasoning for a prospective customer to hire your company over another besides price – a competitive edge. Differentiation can be speed, expertise, location, attitude, or any number of things. 

The Experience Matters Most

  Many times when I talk about your customers' experiences in construction to an older professional, their eyes start to roll into the back of their head, or they tell me that is just for consumer stuff like retail stores and restaurants. Well, it is for B2B (Business-to-Business) companies too, including construction companies. 

Your Differentiation Varies

  If you've read anything regarding brand marketing or modern business development tactics, you are probably familiar with the term "differentiation". It is simply educating your clients and prospects about why you are a better fit for them over your competition. Usually, when marketers speak about differentiation, they are usually speaking about your company's universal differentiation to use in your marketing materials. Your differentiation will vary from prospect to prospect because the needs and wants of each prospect will vary. Also, they will weigh each factor differently then the next prospect. For some, they care about speed while others care more about quality or sustainability. 

Content Marketing in Construction

  Content marketing is the new buzzword in the marketing industry and it is important for the younger generations to understand because you can grow your career by becoming an expert. You commonly see content marketing as a way for companies that work business-to-business (B2B), especially professional service firms including in the build industry, but it is still uncommon in construction. 

What is content marketing anyway? It is educating your prospects and positioning your company as the go-to company because you are the expert and a resource for your clients. When you are an expert, prospective clients seek you out and pay more for your services. This will allow you to earn more negotiated work and require less low-bid proposals. Sometimes, you do not have to compete at all because that prospect wants to work with you only. 

You Didn’t Lose That Proposal Because of Price

  Even if the prospective client TOLD you it was because of price, that isn’t the reason. You lost the work because you did not explain your value. Most likely, all the potential bids looked and sounded the same, leaving price as the only differentiator. By blending in with all of your competitors, you gave them no choice but to pick the cheapest option.

Facebook Campaign Supports Craft Training

  In an effort to raise funds for the Trimmer Construction Education Foundation and ABC’s National Craft Championships, Construction Executive magazine is donating $1 for every new “like” on its Facebook page throughout the month of April.
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