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Monday 6 April 2020

10 trends in marketing and communication in the construction, installation and real estate sector

Digital Marketing

That's how we love it at the beginning of new years: trends. Where will we come in the new year? What can we take into account? What should we not do anymore and what should we put energy into? See my top 10 trends in marketing and communication for the construction, real estate and installation industry here.

For many companies in the industry, marketing was not necessary for a long time. There was so much demand for houses, roads and offices that the pressure to actively engage in marketing to win new orders and customers was not so great. That is now completely different.

The obvious growth that the construction digital marketing industry has experienced for decades has not been the case for a number of years. The outlook is better again, but competition is undoubtedly intensified. The challenge of getting enough work and staying successful is growing and remains high, even when the crisis is over. This situation makes marketing more relevant than ever to many construction companies. To increase their brand awareness, reach new customers and win new assignments.

1. From finding to being found

Traditional forms of marketing, in which you try to draw attention to your company or product via a direct mail or advertisement, are increasingly less effective. Customers have a wide choice and because of the rise of the internet and social media, they have a lot of information at their disposal. They orient themselves, compare, and make a choice based on arguments that are important to them.

The purchasing process is therefore reversed. Customers are no longer found by companies that tell them to purchase their products through various means and channels. No, customers increasingly find these companies and their products and services themselves online. It is therefore important for companies to have at the right time the information available to the customer that he is looking for at that moment.

2. From price competition to distinctive character

The first condition is of course that you can be found. Distinctiveness and a clear profile are indispensable for this. Many companies in the construction sector 'do everything' and therefore communicate 'everything'. They are afraid to choose. When you communicate that you 'do everything', the competition is also huge.

How do people know they should have your company and not one of the hundreds or thousands of others who also do (something) what you do? Except maybe because you're just a little cheaper? With clear profiles you make choices, but with those choices you make it crystal clear to your potential customer why you are the right party for him. And not another.

3. From how to why

In that context, also check out the video of Simon Sinek: Start with Why . Companies are used to thinking in 'What' and 'How'. What do we make and how do we make it? But what you create comes from what you stand for and what values   you represent to the customer. From your 'Why'. By communicating more from the 'Why' you can really distinguish yourself and be inspired.

4. From protecting knowledge to sharing knowledge

Also not unimportant: a closed attitude is really outdated and simply does not get you further. Your potential customer or client has no idea what knowledge you have if you keep it to yourself. You cannot find your potential customer if you do not tell online what you know and what you can do. Share knowledge and publish. It gives you brand awareness and helps you to claim authority on 'your' subject.

5. From product oriented to super customer and service oriented

If you are found then the choice for your company or organization is not just made. Thanks to the internet and social media, we can now check online references for just about anything. These online references are based on the (price) quality (ratio) that has been delivered, but certainly also on customer focus.

As an installer or contractor you can still provide such a high quality, if you are always late and leave mud trails everywhere, you really do not get a positive reference. In addition: your customer can make a recommendation years later. Or, if things go wrong, post a negative message about your company, product or service. The relationship you have with your customer no longer ends when the sale is closed. Super customer-oriented companies that deliver excellent quality are the future.

6. From window dressing to authenticity and authenticity

Important: companies are increasingly being held accountable for their social responsibility and are under a magnifying glass due to the transparency of the internet and social media. Saying that you are sustainable while driving highly polluting cars is no longer there. Beautiful talk and marketing such as window dressing, that is what the consumer, customer, or client pricks right through these days. Being transparent, authenticity and authenticity, that's what it's about. Then you are credible as a company and you can bind people to you.

7. From facts to story

People also want to be able to identify with you. They don't succeed if you stick with facts and your website is full of jargon. Show your face, the personality of your company. Tell stories. With a story your message becomes personal and unique and also easier to understand and remember.

8. From me to we

Today it has become impossible to place marketing and communication with one person or department. Communication is everywhere, takes place on forums, websites, weblogs and social media. And between people, not between logos. The distinctive character of your organization is therefore increasingly reflected in your employees. Stimulate your employees to show their passion, profile themselves and work on their personal brand, for example as a BIM expert or lean building specialist. Pay attention to your internal communication. Help them to be an ambassador for your company.

9. From trying to professionalizing

The amount of information on the internet is enormous. We are inundated daily with emails, Twitter messages, updates and blogs and we have limited time. We filter at breakneck speed, so good, high-quality content is becoming increasingly important.

On the one hand, that means that 'just put a blog online so that there is just what it says' is no longer there. Just like a website that is not readable on a mobile phone or tablet. That is unprofessional and that reflects on your company, your brand, your products and services.

Good, qualitative content also means: information that is really tailored to the needs of your (potential) customers. I wrote earlier, customers increasingly find companies and their products and services themselves online. It is therefore important to have at the right time the information available to the customer that he is looking for at that moment.

Of course, this only works if you know what your target group needs at what time. Creating customer profiles and mapping the phases of the purchasing process (customer journey) helps you with this (for more explanation and examples from the industry, see my book Online marketing in construction ). And provide a good foundation: a good CRM system.

10. From offline o f online to offline and online

With regard to the developments in online marketing and communication, I read a lot that the visual trend continues. We will see even more infographics and videos (storytelling).

Note: do not put all your budget on online marketing and communication. The fact that we are increasingly active online does not mean that we no longer need live contact. We are increasingly using and combining traditional and new media. Like following webinars and going to live events. It is not offline or  online, but offline and online.

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