The construction industry has traditionally lagged behind others when adopting new technology and digital strategies. However, as customer expectations shift along with increasing online competition, construction companies cannot afford to avoid digital channels any longer. Implementing digital marketing delivers measurable benefits that impact a construction firm’s bottom line. Here we explore exactly why digital marketing matters in today’s environment.
Reach Wider Audiences
In the past, construction firms may have solely relied on recommendations or repeat local business to generate leads. However, national competitors leveraging digital channels like search marketing and social media ads now frequently encroach on what was previously controlled local territory. Without a digital strategy allowing you to reach prospects online before competitors, significant business is being lost. Construction companies actively investing in areas like search engine optimisation (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC) and content marketing report increasing impressions and engagement from wider geographic audiences. This expands lead opportunities beyond just nearby customers.
Strengthen Brand Identity Clear and consistent branding across digital channels fosters familiarity and trust with potential customers. For compressed or commoditised services like residential plumbing for example, brand strength can be a key differentiator over competitors. Construction brands actively engaging audiences on social media or via helpful content like video tutorials also tend to perform better with relevant Google searches. This brand signal boosts click-through rates (CTR) as users perceive the company to be more authoritative within the niche. Submitting press releases to establish your company as trusted thought leaders within construction also improves brand identity. Combine this with monitoring and responding to online reviews, and customers gain confidence in selecting your services.
Improve Operational Efficiency
Digital tools can also significantly impact efficiency of daily construction operations. Inventory tracking via cloud-based apps saves time over manual paper logs for example. GPS tracking and fleet management systems also reduce vehicle costs. Project collaboration platforms centralise communication, documentation approvals and task scheduling across office and field teams. This increases transparency and accountability. Tablets/mobile devices provide on-site teams digital access to schematics, permits, invoices etc. eliminating paperwork. Such technologies provide tangible operational efficiencies and cost savings that impact profit margins. This is increasingly expected by commercial clients when selecting vendors.
Generate Higher Quality Leads The majority of customers research construction services online before making purchase decisions. Digital platforms allow you to engage these prospects when they are actively looking via organic search, paid ads or social media. You can then nurture site visitors with relevant content to convert high-intent prospects into quality leads. On-site calculators, SMS messaging proactive chat assistance etc. also allow capturing lead details directly. Compare this to cold callers, van signage and newspaper ads that interrupt consumers rather than engage those already interested. The flexibility in capturing and qualifying leads digitally results in higher conversion rates and faster sales cycles according to construction firms surveyed.
Gain Marketplace Insights
Digital analytics provide extensive visitor data revealing buyer interests, pain points, and journey patterns. Monitoring metrics like website visitor demographics, search queries, content consumption and conversions over time establishes clear marketplace insights. This intelligence guides decisions on refined services, targeted positioning and effective channels across campaigns. With analytics also quantifying campaign costs, construction firms optimise digital programs by killing off underperforming areas and doubling down on what works. Relying solely on anecdotal customer feedback or gut instinct cannot compete here. The level of metric-driven decision making possible via digital analytics creates competitive advantage.
Match Modern Buying Habits Statistics show 93% of company purchasing decisions involve an online search. 67% of prospects also consume at least 5 pieces of content before even reaching out to vendors. An astonishing 91% of B2B buyers now prefer digital self-serve experiences as well. Construction companies who lag in adopting modern buying habits risk losing customers to forward-thinking competitors. Even long standing relationship-drive industries now involve an initial digital touch. Users demand 24/7 access, localised support options, transparent data and fast response times. Mobile-optimised sites, real-time inventory tracking, predictive analytics and instant messaging/chat applications should now be standard across the construction industry too.
Attract Top Talent
Another underrated benefit of digital marketing investment is attracting top talent. Skilled construction workers are in high demand and short supply currently. Labour surveys reveal technology utilisation scores highly among desired incentives today alongside competitive pay and project variety. Construction brands with engaging social media channels and positive online reviews better attract talent as workers assess employers. Younger demographics like Millennials are especially swayed to apply and remain longer-term where cutting-edge tech is actively deployed. Becoming an innovative brand through digital marketing and analytics adoption aids recruitment and retention.
In closing, construction firms adopting comprehensive digital marketing gain competitive advantages from increased brand visibility to measurable sales impact. However, leaders also note such data-driven online strategies must complement rather than override traditional relationship building and word of mouth referral networks in this industry. Syncing robust digital activity with on the ground boots strongly positions construction brands to acquire customers and talent while achieving operational efficiency gains. As today’s buyers research options online even for high consideration services though, not evolving to match modern digital habits poses an existential risk construction executives can no longer ignore if they want their businesses to survive and thrive this decade.