Posts Tagged ‘Strategic Marketing for the Construction Industry’
Author: Nick Holloway, Senior Manager at Leading Edge
For marketing executives looking to keep their budgets and headcounts intact, a vital part of the battle is demonstrating that marketing adds significant value to the business.
At Leading Edge, we have been running the State of the Industry Construction Market Barometer since the start of 2008 and it shows that large marketing cuts often leads to lower sales growth when the economy starts to recover.
The Barometer, run in association with the Chartered Institute of Marketing’s Construction Industry Group, tracks marketing budgets and headcounts and is completed by 50-100 senior executives on a quarterly basis.
Looking back to the recession of 2008/09, the figures show marketing budgets and headcounts being slashed at an alarming rate across the industry in response to plummeting sales figures.
But, when you dig down, the data highlights why cutting marketing spend too quickly and too deeply can have damaging long-term consequences. In fact, the vast majority of those companies that have cut the least, or even grown, their marketing spend over the last four years are now reporting the strongest sales growth. Proof that effective marketing is vital for sustained revenue generation.
Marketing can sometimes be viewed as the money-spending department, rather than the revenue-generating department. Marketers often don’t help themselves by talking vaguely about “brands” and “positioning” (and letting themselves be seen as ‘creative types’) rather than using the kind of words the FD loves to hear – cashflow, return on investment, margin, and of course profit. So here are some important ways that Marketing and Finance are linked – and why a great marketer should be the FD’s best friend, and vice versa. Read more…
For the last decade, sustainable development has been a key consideration for most construction industry projects, from buildings to major infrastructure schemes. There has been a raft of legislation, regulation, and industry led initiatives to champion the benefits of sustainable design.
This has all led to major improvements in the way we perform throughout the design process and across the whole supply chain: from the engineer and architect’s designs on the drawing board through to contractors and sub-contractors activities on site.
What is all too often neglected, however, is the back office approach to sustainability. It’s all well and good making sure your building site has zero waste to landfill, but what’s happening with your waste bins back at head office, or the piles of un-used corporate brochures rapidly dating in a corner of a storeroom?
If a firm is truly committed to adopting a sustainable approach, this commitment should extend to all activities – both those within its direct control and also those within its immediate sphere of influence. This will ensure that our organisations really are striving to benefit the environment, the communities we work in and our local economy.
A key head office function long overdue some attention is the marketing department.
Just before Christmas The CIM took the very bold step to publish a paper that has sparked a huge amount of debate within the marketing press.
The paper called for the integration of the marketing and sales functions. A rather radical statement from a professional body that is funded by membership fees paid, largely by marketing professionals. Over many years The CIM has tried very hard to develop and promote professional standards within the marketing profession so many such highly accomplished professionals appear to be quite aggrieved by this approach.
The premise of the proposition is that the most effective businesses are those where the sales and marketing functions work together and jointly take responsibility for revenue generation and the future of the business or the brand. It uses language such as “firms are forced to consider changes in the conventional distinction between marketing strategy formulation and sales implementation”. Read more…
The Construction Marketing Awards, presented this year on 29th November, give the construction industry the opportunity to recognise its very best marketing campaigns. Winners are invited to contribute a summary of their entry to this blog: today it is Lafarge Cement, Winners of the Best in-house marketing team category.
Judges comment: “This team delivered a wide range of marketing solutions tailored to different customer groups. They managed a range of campaigns and had a great deal of success. Their work was consistently of a very high quality, and always made a positive sales impact and exceeded objectives.”
Lafarge summarises: A big challenge for Lafarge’s marketing team is how to effectively communicate a single brand identity to a diverse and broad target audience.
At one end of the scale Lafarge manufactures bulk cement products for large construction companies, who use cement in hundreds of tonnes for projects such as power plant builds or sports stadium construction, and at the other end of the spectrum Lafarge also produce specialist bagged cement products for Pro-DIYers to buy from their local B&Q outlet.
In-between these very different purchasers, there are smaller construction companies, jobbing builders, sustainability managers, DIYers, architects, civil engineers, technical directors, local authorities and many more. All of these have different purchase drivers regarding building materials.
Strategy, engagement plans and creative demonstrated dynamism and innovation in each of the 2011 campaigns, with results providing sufficient evidence of their effectiveness. Lafarge Cement has also launched many more campaigns over the last 12 months such as an Extra Rapid Cement promotional campaign that provides customers with a chance to win a ride in a dragster, launched a range of ready-to-use products in B&Q with heavily researched Point of Sale communications, and released an iPhone app for DIYers plus much more.