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Construction: Sales and Marketing

Today's construction companies turn to multimedia to build up business in a thriving and increasingly competitive industry. From radio and television commercials to online advertisements, professionals in the field continue to hammer away at unique marketing approaches.

With 729,345 construction companies and more than 7 million wage and salary workers, the U.S. construction industry is a $1.7 trillion business, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.As competition grows, construction businesses across the country look to beef up their sales strategies.

Bid search engines offer construction outfits one avenue to help stir up more profit. Websites such as National and let building professionals enter an area code or state and view upcoming projects planned for that region. Obtaining this information earlier allows the construction company to personally contact the developer before shovels ever break ground. In fact, some development-focused websites even provide online bidding forums, allowing visitors to vie for jobs with a click of a mouse.

Other building-focused websites bring the work directly to the construction firm via email leads. The contractor simply registers with the site, providing a company profile. As developers submit request for proposals (RFP) to the same site, it sends the project info to the vendor(s) most appropriate for the job.

Such referral services essentially play the role of the middle man, allowing construction companies to pick and choose their work. At the same time, this virtual networking makes it easy for developers to reach dozens, if not hundreds, of qualified builders in a matter of seconds. A number of these sites also include the latest industry news.

Cyber Selling

With many key players in the development arena logging onto the Internet to recruit building specialists, online advertising helps construction firms stand apart from their competition. Many industry-focused sites offer design and placement of banner ads. Ranging in size and content, these ads usually link directly to the construction firm's website or email address, if available. Other online marketing options include video streaming ads. These usually consist of a 30-second video showcasing the construction firm's services, latest projects and accomplishments.

The Email blast represents an ideal tool for contractors looking to reach many target clients in a single swoop. Online magazines geared toward development sometimes offer this service. For usually a nominal fee per email address, the site company will send to its subscribers a digital advertisement that highlights the client's construction profile.

Raising the Roof on Sales

Aside from utilizing the Web to spread the word about services, many contractors also rely on construction marketing firms. These public relations professionals provide a wide range of services such as new market assessments, customer satisfaction studies, strategic planning, marketing training and seminars, pricing studies, telephone/mail surveys, personalized press releases, brand awareness campaigns, presentation development and more.

For firms unable to outsource marketing, construction marketing software lets contractors establish an elaborate campaign in-house. Some of the more sophisticated programs include features like newsletter formats, project literature templates, marketing handouts, open-house materials, client letters, thank you letters, customer postcards and updates, etc. This software tends to include project brochure features that detail company history, awards, projects, personnel background and client testimonials – all in a professionally designed packet.

In Clear View

In the construction industry, the job site truly plays the role of showroom – here, the crew's services and job performance are on display for all to see. This, however, only lasts as long as the project time. Then, it's onto the next workspace, so to speak. With construction firms rarely associated with an anchored office setting, marketing insiders stress the importance for companies to brand their operation wherever they find themselves. Vehicular signage allows professionals in the industry to advertise on the go. Magnetic decals represent one of the most popular forms. These removable signs can be placed on any metal surface and are shaped to fit the body of the truck(s) or car(s). For heavy machinery vehicles that experience a lot of wear and tear, adhesive vinyl signs offer permanent placement. Most sign companies provide graphic support to help the client design an effective logo.