Almost every business in building product and construction has been planning for the inevitable impact that the coronavirus will have on our industry. It's unexpected, and sadly for most, unplanned for.
In these uncertain times, a strong sales and marketing strategy is your closest defence to ensure that you come out of this the other side.
But, what does a strong sales and marketing strategy look like for building products and construction?
A lot of the time, it means working smarter (not harder) and adopting a digital approach to help streamline processes.
All of a sudden, adopting a 'digital approach' has gone from a 'consideration for the future' to an actual necessity for business' survival. Digital is here. It's real. So let's start doing something about it.
Times Of Crisis = Great Opportunities
When faced with the prospect of an economic downturn, we must turn to the History books to explore how others have coped during times of change and uncertainty. It's the only way to gain a sense of positivity and perspective in-what seems to be-a very dark tunnel.
Looking back at the 2008 recession, analysis from the likes of the Financial Times suggested that businesses who invested in their digital infrastructure, rather than 'cutting back' were the ones who succeeded in coming out on top.
So, whilst most are likely to be sitting at home in self-isolation, we urge company's to not let that 'self-isolation' manifest into 'self-pity'. Use this as an opportunity to reflect on:
- Your brand's strategy
- Your core values
- Your digital approach and;
- How you can get through this
It's 100% true that times of crisis present great opportunities and this hysteria will not last. In fact, this is a great opportunity for you all to take command of the situation and become leaders in your market.
It’s true: the building product companies that invest in themselves, their future and their staff’s future will be the ones that come out of this bigger, better and stronger.
Don’t Sit Stagnant
Yes, face to face interaction will dwindle, so it’s vital that your company has an online presence in order to maintain relationships with your customers and prospects.
- Is my website optimised for SEO?
- Do I have relevant and engaging content?
- Do I have a working email marketing strategy?
- Am I sharing my company’s story on social media?
Your overall online presence is truly your best defence. What you lack in personal interaction should be made up for in the story that you present online with the solutions you provide.
Your Reps Will Need To Get Off The Road
Photo Via GBSW
There's a lot you can do to adapt to the prospect of your sales reps being on lock-down but it requires you to switch up your sales strategy. This may seem quite drastic for some of the more seasoned, less tech savvy reps out there, but not impossible.
You should consider looking into CRMs/Tools to help support this transition. Such tools will enable reps to:
- Automate processes to nurture leads
- Decipher between leads worth perusing and leads that aren't
- Utilise video tools to interact with people (without spreading germs)
- And so much more!
We define this term as sales enablement, which we have blogged extensively on for some time now. To get started on sales enablement, click here where you will find a detailed exploration of how you can kick-start this process.
Will You Be Saving Money?
This is a tough one. Yes, conferences/events/trade shows are being cancelled left, right and centre, which could mean that your marketing budget could get repurposed.
However, you're obviously facing the prospect of cancelled orders or projects being put on hold.
When it comes to making savings and investments during this time, we urge building products companies to consider the platforms worth investing in and those that aren't.
Here, we have to look upon the habits of your buyer personas (or target audiences). It's a fact that building product magazines will be delivered to offices. If architects are working remotely, they won't get access to this material, meaning that your cash spent on magazine spaces will be rendered useless.
So, consider - Is spending money on magazine space a good investment at the moment?
In contrast, architects and specifiers will be using this time to carry out product research (and probably watching re-runs of Grand Designs). In other words, they're going to be spending a lot of time online, which further emphasises my previous point:
Your online presence is crucial.
When considering the prospect of investing any spare cash you have, we recommend that you look into some tried and tested methods that have been proven to show positive ROI, for example:
- Outsourcing some of the more technical/time consuming tasks-such as content
- Invest in sales and marketing software-such as HubSpot
Specific Activities To Consider For Your Marketing Team
A common pain point for many of our prospects is that they don’t have time to carry out certain marketing activities. With events being cancelled and your marketing team self-isolating, it’s a great opportunity for your marketing team to be capturing architects’ and specifiers’ attention.
Self-isolation presents a lot more time to focus on things like a content strategy and conversion path, thinking about areas that, as a marketing team, you need to get better at.
If blogging is an area for development, download our free eBook and use this as an opportunity to up-skill and prepare for when things get back to normal.
Of course, utilising social media during this time will not be a wasted exercise. To learn more about how to improve on your social media strategy, download our free eBook here.
A Great Time To Evaluate Your Product
In light of these events, it’s a great time to evaluate your product/service offering. How many of you have neglected the feedback/improvements that your customers have been asking for?
Use this as a chance to pull together all this feedback and explore ways to make improvements to your product. With people being more acutely aware of clean and hygienic practices, why not consider how your products could be adapted to deliver a more sanitary solution, for example?
A Few Tools To Consider For Your Teams & Your Prospects
Here are some easy-to-implement techniques/tools to get you off to a good start:
- Do you have a Chatbot or Live Chat feature enabled on your website?
- ‘@’ mentioning to facilitate better collaboration across teams (this can be done using apps such as Clickup and Monday)
- Workflows to ensure no leads slip through the crack
- Meetings link so that each rep can customise their availability
- Integration with key communication tools, like Slack, to better enable remote workers.
It might be a challenging time for you and your company but now is the perfect time to explore opportunities to develop your sales and marketing strategies.
We understand that this may seem daunting and certainly challenging, so why not get in touch with one of our experts to help you through this transition?
For any more information on some of the tools/techniques we’ve discussed above, don’t hesitate to get in touch today.
As the only HubSpot certified agency to major on construction marketing, we bring together construction marketing strategy, digital strategy, website design, SEO, content marketing, email marketing, sales automation, marketing automation and HubSpot CRM implementation to produce successful campaigns and great results for our clients.