How to create a rock-solid marketing plan for your construction company
If you want to have success in the competitive construction industry, you’ll need to have a solid marketing plan.
To create a successful plan and see tangible results, you’ll need to answer important questions about your business, vision, goals, strengths, and weaknesses, to create a marketing plan that supports your mission.
Here are 10 questions (steps to create) to help you create your marketing plan and dominate your market.
Marketing Strategy: How Will Your Construction Marketing Plan Support Your Goals?
Before you start developing your marketing plan, you’ll need to establish realistic goals of what you want to accomplish.
Your marketing strategy will be directly related to your business’s objectives.
Depending on the results you want to achieve, you’ll need to develop a plan that outlines what you want to do and the methods you’ll take to accomplish it.
For example, if one of your business goals is to expand your brick-and-mortar retail store into an e-commerce website, your marketing strategy could be to introduce your products to a new national market segment.
Next, you would break down your strategy even further into short- and long-term objectives and define your specific marketing message.
If you don’t have them already, create specific business goals to get started.
Also, make sure you are attaching a specific timeline to your goals, such as a 30-day, 60-day, and a 90-day plan.
By having a time frame, you can create a laser-focused and realistic marketing plan.
Mission Statement: What Are You Trying to Accomplish, and Why?
Your mission statement is the foundation of your marketing plan and spells out what you are trying to do and why you are doing it.
Although it may not play a direct role in your marketing activities, the mission statement provides focus to help you make sure that your marketing activities support the business’ overall vision and objectives.
It’s an effective tool to refer to whenever you start to question if you are still on the right track.
If you have already created a mission statement as part of your business planning process, add it to your marketing plan.
If you haven’t created your mission statement yet, stop what you’re doing and do it now!
Your Target Market: Who Are You Trying to Reach with Your Marketing Activities?
Your target market is the ideal customer for what you’re offering.
In your marketing plan, you describe in detail the demographics, traits, and trends of potential customers to define your target market.
By understanding your target market, you can create marketing materials that will attract them to your business.
So, you’ll need to research who these people are and what will make them choose your construction business over the competition.
The more detailed you are in determining your target market, the more targeted your marketing plan will be.
Next, conduct market research to learn about your market including its size, location, socioeconomic status, and whatever other details you need to know to help in marketing your construction business.
Other information you should gather includes:
- Who makes up your target audience?
- Where you can find them
- What they value as important
- What they are worried about
- What they need right now
Create a virtual sketch of the person or business that makes up your ideal customer.
Doing this will help you identify specifics about that customer so that you can personalize your marketing messaging.
Competitive Analysis: Who are You Up Against, and Where Do You Rank?
One of the best ways to research your target market and prepare your marketing activities is to analyze your competition.
Find out who is out there provides the same services as you, especially if they are serving consumers who fit your ideal customer profile.
Take a hard look at what your competitors are doing right, what they may be doing wrong, or what they’re falling short on.
Use this information to boost your competitive advantage by doing something new, different, or better than your competition.
One way to conduct a competitive analysis is with a SWOT analysis, a strategic tool that evaluates a company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Take time to measure the SWOT of your top competitors, as well as your own business.
By conducting a thorough analysis of your competition, you identify areas where you can beat the competition, fine-tune your niche market and make sure you are prepared to address competitive challenges.
After you’ve performed a SWOT analysis, you’ll want to focus on your unique selling proposition.
Unique Selling Proposition: What Makes Your Business Unique?
Once you know what you’re up against in the market, it’s time to develop an approach that sets you apart from the competition.
A unique selling proposition (USP) outlines how your business, products, or services differ, in a better way, from your competition’s.
This statement identifies what makes your business the better choice, and why your target clients should choose you over the competition.
Pricing Strategy: What Will You Charge and Why?
If you have a traditional business plan, chances are you’ve already have spent a great deal of time researching the best price point for your services.
As part of your holistic marketing plan, pricing information (including payment details), should be included in your plan.
In the pricing section of your marketing plan, be sure to give an overview of your product or service pricing and consider how other factors can impact supply and demand, which are directly related to price.
In most cases, you want to be able to support your price points by providing your customers with a clear idea of the value and benefits they receive in return.
A high-value proposition often leads a customer to make a purchase.
If you haven’t identified your pricing perspective yet, do that now focusing on how it can fit into your marketing objectives.
Promotional Plan: How Will You Reach Your Target Market?
As a key element of the marketing mix, your promotional plan covers
- your USP
- how your service will be sold
- how you’ll let your target market know about your offer
- customer service plans
When it comes to reaching out to your market, you should utilize various marketing activities, such as:
- Public relations
- Direct sales
- Internet marketing
- Sales promotions
- Marketing materials
- Other publicity efforts
Don’t overdo it initially on these promotional tasks.
Select three to five specific activities that will best reach your target market and will help you execute your marketing strategy.
For example, if one of your goals is to provide five free initial consultations within three months, your promotional plan may include focusing on targeted leads through a cold calling campaign, a social media outreach plan, and a direct mail campaign.
You can get some ideas on specific activities by browsing lists of 101 business marketing ideas, but remember, you want to keep your target market in mind when developing your marketing activities.
Tweeting won’t work if your market isn’t on Twitter.
Complete this step at the same time as the next step because your budget directly affects the activities you can include.
Marketing Budget: How Much Money Will You Spend and on What?
While there are low-cost (or even free marketing options), many elements of your marketing strategy will incur some sort of cost, such as website hosting or email list provider.
As a result, you need to create a marketing budget that has a breakdown of all costs related to marketing.
You may have an annual marketing budget, but you should also drill it down into separate monthly budgets so that you can track results and modify your promotional plan to focus on the activities that provide you with the biggest return on investment.
Action List: What Tasks Do You Need to Complete to Reach Your Marketing Goals?
Once your plan is created, you need to take action on it.
You need to identify the tasks you need to do to put your business marketing in motion.
Your action steps help you stay on track so that you can make consistent progress without having to start from scratch each time you want to market your business.
In creating your marketing plan action list, just follow the same process for managing your daily tasks – take the end goal, and divide it into a series of single-step tasks that help you in achieving your desired results.
For example, if one of the activities outlined in your promotional plan is launching a direct mail campaign, your first few action steps may look like this:
- Determine your budget for the campaign
- Clarify your objectives for the campaign
- Determine the types of direct mail to send
- Hire a designer or firm to create collateral.
- Write copy for the direct mail piece
- Clarify the intended call-to-action
- Create a draft of the direct mail piece
Your action list can take a number of different forms, as long as it’s created in a way that supports progress.
Each action item should also include a due date that works with the timeline you created for your marketing plan.
Typically, the fewer the steps, the easier it will be for you to complete tasks and build momentum.
Metrics: What Results Have You Achieved and Where Can You Improve?
Your business marketing plan is useless if you don’t track and measure the results.
Don’t waste time and money on marketing that isn’t bringing you, clients, conversions, or customers.
You want your marketing to bring in business and give you a positive return on investment (ROI).
The way you track and measure your results depends on your marketing tactics.
For example, online marketing can be tracked using analytics and other internet-based metrics such as monitoring your success in the search engines, while tracking your offline marketing efforts requires a more manual approach.
In general, the more standardized your tracking system, the more relevant your results will be.
By measuring your results, you will become much better at focusing your marketing activities on the areas where you will have the most success.
Success for Businesses Starts with Good Planning.
Building a profitable and successful business is a direct result of a good plan and hard work.
Planning, execution, and evaluation are all parts of running a successful business.
Create a blueprint, follow it, fine-tune it, update it, and always use it as your guide for your business success.