2020 was a strange year to say the least. Our lives went from unlimited freedom, to housebound for months at a time, and having to find new ways to live.
This was no different in the construction industry either. We’ve all had to adapt in one way or another, both personally and from a business and marketing point of view.
Although you may not have achieved all of your goals set at the start of 2020, your business may have achieved the hardest goal to achieve, and that’s survival when faced with uncertainty.
What changed this year?
The biggest change for construction businesses may have been their route into the market. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the traditional routes such as trade shows - weren’t available.
Many smart businesses adopted a digital approach to ensure they were reaching out to their audience in different ways. Examples have included digital CPDs and utilising the benefits of social media.
When it comes to informing your clients about your products, it’s important to have that personal touch, to make them feel valued and not like just a sale. Adapting to a digital approach made this possible, such as using emails, or even virtual meetings, such as Zoom or google meets.
This showed us how important it is to adapt and progress our businesses to ensure we are getting the most out of our product or service, as those who don’t often get left behind.
What else did we learn in 2020?
Lesson 1- The Importance of automation
The power of automation has always been there to see, however, many people and businesses simply ignored it. As they didn’t understand just how powerful it can be.
Automation allows your team to focus on creative tasks, as opposed to general admin, which was essential in 2020, as you needed to find new ways to make your product stand out.
Increased efficiency was also important in 2020 as many people were working from home. It was easy for them to take a more relaxed approach to their work. And that could’ve been because they felt demotivated by mundane tasks, automation would allow them to really have fun and enjoy their work, improving efficiency.
We can take this into 2021, by realising , and how it can benefit your business, and improve the way it operates, As well as getting the most out of all of your employees.
Lesson 2- The evolution of CPD training.
Traditionally, CPD training was a presentation, given to a room of suppliers, about why they should choose your product. However, with all the restrictions in place over the past year, it hasn’t been possible to get in front of them to showcase your product.
One thing learnt from 2020 is how we can convert anything into a digital alternative, which is something we all had to adapt to.
We also had to adopt new strategies, and new ways of promotion for these CPD’s, meaning we had to take advantage of our contacts, whether through social media, or email marketing.
The results from these showed how virtual presentations could be a powerful tool in 2021. as instead of presenting to 10 specifiers at a time, you have the potential to get your CPD in front of every specifier you need at the same time, or when convenient to them.
Lesson 3- There’s a whole world of new recruits out there.
Some companies, unfortunately, had to downsize, due to the effects of covid-19. However, others had to expand to cope with the demand for their product or service.
If you were fortunate enough to experience the latter, you may have realised that a number of applications were from areas nowhere near where your business is located.
The power of virtual working as well as virtual meetings helped to expand your pool of applicants, to ensure you can recruit the best talent available for your position.
This is something we need to carry into 2021, as we’ve shown this year it’s possible. Why should we limit ourselves to local talent, after all the whole point of your business is to progress, right? So why put a cap on that progression? Allow your business to expand and recruit the top talent you can, rather than the best local talent.
Lesson 4- Technology Is The Way Forward
As some businesses couldn’t afford to keep all employees working and had to utilise the furlough scheme, many needed to find alternatives to do the job. The most cost-effective way was to turn to technology.
As salespeople were no longer able to meet clients in person, a company car may not have been needed, as all meetings could’ve been held online, either from home or the office.
We also saw many marketing efforts transition towards technology, with automation a huge part of that.
This showed us just how essential having the correct tech stack can be when it comes to keeping your business running, even in the face of adversity, and something we should all heavily focus on in 2021.
Lesson 5- Client meetings a thing of the past?
With the emergence of Zoom in the past year, are face to face client meetings needed anymore?
In some cases, yes, of course, they are. As there are limits to what technology can do. However, not every meeting needs to be done face to face. Using virtual meetings can be so helpful for a business, as you can save time not travelling around the country to meet 2 clients in a day, as well as lose time where you could be working.
Keeping your meetings virtual is a no brainer. It allows you to meet with clients all over the world, whilst sat in the comfort of your own home or office. It allows you to focus time elsewhere, producing work, instead of having to drive from one end of the country to the other.
We have a lot of lost time to make up for in 2021 to ensure our businesses are performing as well as possible. So why waste this time behind a steering wheel, or on a train, when we could be making the most out of every minute available to us in the working day.
Although seen as a bad year, those with the right mindset will see it as one full of lessons, and ways to improve.
It is important we take these lessons into 2021, as without them, we won’t progress.
2021 will be the year for progression, as many businesses stood still, or went backwards in 2020. Which amplifies the importance of improvement in 2021. Using different marketing technology, and going into the new year with a progressive mindset will set us all in a good position for progress and growth.
Insynth Marketing is a leading UK construction marketing agency based in Shifnal in the West Midlands.
They use the latest inbound marketing techniques such as construction inbound marketing, to support building product companies to grow their business by proactively driving sales lead generation activity.
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.