For contracting companies marketing your business well is crucial to its success. But what does good marketing really look like? Is there a simple marketing formula, which can be applied by all? How do you win the right type of customers or projects? Will marketing generate a return on investment?

What does good marketing really look like?

Finding the next project is a never ending task, which requires you to be selected over and above your competitors, but marketing is more than just out-shining the competition or being seen in more places, more often. Good marketing starts with a clear strategy, which asks some searching questions.

You need to engage in strategic thinking with a clear awareness of your core business strengths and offering. This starting block is fundamental to good business strategy and practice. For example, stating the obvious, you may be of the viewpoint that you are in the business of selling or installing contract flooring. Searching deeper though may bring you to conclude that it is actually more than this and about creating lasting interiors, or even helping people to feel well. By definition these areas of thought could be extended into choices of products available or the service provided.

Is there a simple marketing formula?

Marketing is a dynamic function, which demands that it adapts completely to its environment or market. If this is true then prescriptive marketing theory such as the 4P’s of product, price, place, promotion or the 7P’s, which add on people, process and physical evidence run the risk of generating marketing which is no more than following a pattern, where potentially similar competing companies would end up delivering look-alike marketing outputs.

Marketing is strongest where it has the freedom to evolve. This will fuel a culture of innovation, creativity of new ideas, products and services, developing new markets and opportunities, stretching markets beyond and ahead of the competition instead of copying.

How do you win the right type of customers or projects?

When markets are deflated there is a temptation to seek out and accept any business. As markets grow and pick up and contractors become increasingly busy it is easy to be caught up in the process of managing the business on a day-to-day basis and losing sight of the mid to long-term development of the business for sustainable profitable growth.

Reviewing your existing customers and understanding which ones are most profitable, which offer the greatest on-going business potential and which are a powerful drain on time, resources and profitability can be extremely enlightening. Examining past bids and tenders, successful and lost can be equally revealing in helping develop a more productive approach to the time consuming tender process. An extension of this is in developing a profile of your target customer or tender, which will provide you with a powerful platform for creating a target profile for prospects and business development.

Will marketing generate a return on investment?

Many companies have explored marketing of a kind with varying degrees of success. Unless marketing is integrated with the wider business strategy it will invariably fail to produce the results that provide sound commercial sense and anticipated ROI. I have already indicated that good marketing begins with good strategic thinking, with businesses asking searching questions. The dynamic nature of marketing demands that is it not prescriptive and not created or delivered by those with little or no experience in the field.

For contracting companies the need to constantly fill the sales funnel with new projects and customers can sometimes lead to a lack of clarity and vision in what good business looks like. Identifying profitable customers and profiling target prospects allows contractors to use marketing as another essential part of their toolkit. To refer to an all too familiar saying “a poor workman blames his tools,” one could surely conclude, a poor manager blames marketing for a lack of return. 

What next?

To find out more about how you can access an approved business coach or for help with your business growth and to develop a business strategy and critical action plan contact us at enquiries@reach-mc.co.uk for a free initial consultation or for more advice on business strategy and marketing expertise.

How your strategy can benefit from reach-mc

  • Specialists in business strategy, marketing expertise & business development, leadership and management, product management, new product development and effective marketing campaigns.
  • Specialist expertise for the construction and property, manufacturing and distribution, building materials, drainage and water management, renewable energy and home improvement sectors (bathrooms and kitchens, tiles and flooring).
  • Successful track record targeting architectural specification, building contractors, housing developers, installers & contractors, and distributors.
  • Winners of the Construction Marketing Awards 2014 for strategic planning and management.
  • Leo Aspden, founder of reach-mc is an approved High Growth Business Coach, a Chartered member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM), Steering group member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing Construction Marketing Group (CIMCIG) and a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute (CMI).