81% of the construction leaders interviewed within the Construction Front Line Survey shared their expectations to enact or put in place initiatives to improve their construction businesses digitally in the following 12 months. With that 12-month deadline quickly approaching, it becomes clear that the construction industry is finally catching up with digital innovation.
Despite over half of the firms surveyed admitting that the sector has been slow adopting digital, results show that attitudes towards digitalisation within the construction industry are almost instantly rewarded, reducing their operating costs, and increasing their employee productivity. But the changes that come together with digital transformation go beyond adopting new technologies.
And, truth is, digital adoption does not come without challenges. It is within the construction company that the strongest resistance to digital transformation can be found. In contrast, construction is also the sector that needs this change the most, with their employees seeing their workday halved due to tedious admin tasks and paperwork.
Construction companies are being asked to update their processes and current strategies, implementing modern tactics that support their new business goals. This change involves the introduction of new tasks that require new skills that would enable and facilitate such transformation. And, sadly, 66% of businesses feel like they have not yet found the support they need.
This feeling is real and can be a challenging inflexion point, particularly in areas where digitalisation has brought completely new frameworks, like digital marketing. To transition from traditional to digital marketing, the construction industry needs to understand not only the software being introduced, but also the reasons and benefits behind that shift.
Unfortunately, that information has not always been clearly communicated. We believe that the construction industry is overdue for this transformation and that the first step towards digital adoption comes through understanding the role of digital resources and utilising such tools to optimize their processes and achieve more ambitious goals.
#1 Digital Marketing Establishes Connections
On their Social Trends 2021 Report, Hootsuite published that 1 out of every 2 of the companies surveyed were planning to increase the budget devoted to Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn in the following months. 78% of the interviewees believed Facebook to be the most effective platform for reaching their goals, closely followed by LinkedIn.
Curating a thoughtful online presence has become essential for construction leaders as a whopping 98% of architects prefer to research building products online. Over half of social browsers use social media exclusively to research products and 7 out of every 10 specifiers who have had a positive experience with a brand on social media are likely to recommend it to their colleagues.
#2 Digital Marketing Improves Compliance
Throughout the last decade, the UK embraced the implementation of Building Information Modelling (BIM), defined as the process of digitalising every element of a building project, underlining its key stages, with the purpose of reducing risks and mistakes that should become easily identifiable within the digital description of the building asset.
From 2016, the UK Government required all construction projects to use BIM to the maturity Level 2, involving the development of a digital 3D file that aims to improve business operation and ensure compliance. As BIM become the norm, architects expect BIM files designed with expertise, requesting from building product companies a flawless BIM portfolio that should align with your vision.
#3 Digital Marketing Enhances Professionalism
Your portfolio should be presented within a thoughtfully designed website. This website must coherently complement your online presence, creating a fluid conversation that continues through your social media channels, and introduces almost instantly the user to your brand. Whist you might be tempted to include as much information as possible, it is important to keep it brief.
As a matter of fact, websites get scanned more than they get read, with only 16% of users devoting their time to reading a page word-by-word. Use high-quality images and videos to bring your page to life and that transmit your vision to your audience. Including case studies will help you portray your building product brand not only as a successful, but also trustworthy company.
#4 Digital Marketing Gives Authority
When digitalisation is brought up, construction is among the sectors showing a greater resistance with arguments like “we have always worked through word-of-mouth” or “we are a successful, no frills industry… Digital communication has no place here”. Needless to say, traditional tactics are still valid but, with over 80% of companies updating their approach, traditional might not cut it anymore.
Search engines recognise your authority in a particular area based on the content you produce on that particular topic. With over 40% of the revenue of building companies coming from purely organic traffic, it has never been more pressing to ensure that your website maintains a robust search ranking and that you are consistently reviewing and improving your SEO. Together with using the right keywords, building backlinks is one of the most effective tactics to apply.
#5 Digital Marketing Improves Compliance
On their report Technology in 2025: Prepare for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, Pluralsight forecasted that personal development and training programs will become the core of the any business strategy by 2025 due to the fast-paced rhythm different sectors are adopting. The benefits of continuous learning, however, are not alien for professionals within the construction sector.
Architects are required to undertake at least 35 hours of CPD a year, equating to about 45 minutes every single week. Designing a CPDs can be a useful way to demonstrate your expertise on an industry-specific topic, that will include a summary of the solutions available in the market. Your product may be incorporated into these solutions, but only in an unbiased and balanced way.
#6 Digital Marketing Promotes Leadership
Positioning yourself and your brand not only as a professional and sophisticated company, but also as an educational referent can prompt you to be regarded as a trusted advisor. And being a leader is important. Leading, in this case, has nothing to do with managing; it involves offering a distinctive approach to construction that should be reflected in each of your actions.
Architects have a conservative nature and tend to play safe with their choices. It is essential that, through your interactions, you provide them with reasons to reach out to you for future projects and encourage them to refer you to partners and colleagues, creating a community that will allow you to get your opinion heard.
#7 Digital Marketing Guarantees Efficacy
Following the Digital Transformation and B2B E-Commerce Report produced by Sana in 2019, over 84% of construction companies expect to sell their products exclusively online in the near future. And, when asked the reasons behind such transformation, 95% of the brands surveyed aimed to reduced manual errors whilst 92% wanted to decrease admin workload in their day-to-day agenda.
In the Construction Front Line Survey above mentioned, 62% of the interviewed leaders considered that capturing forms and making physical documents such as quotes available digitally would make the sales process more efficient. 71% stated that improving invoicing or adopting e-invoicing would enable easier payments and 53% believed it could improve cash flow management.
#8 Digital Marketing Provides Control
10% of the firms interviewed on the Construction Front Line Survey confessed having had issues measuring a positive return on investment (ROI), keeping them from having an accurate vision of the results of their business strategy. The survey found construction brands were still caught in dated reporting solutions, mostly based in risky “trial and error” tactics with no guarantee of success.
Just under half of the respondents stated having integrated reporting software that would provide them with more control over the management of their projects. When looking at new reporting solutions, 55% of construction firms prioritised real-time information, whilst 70% wanted faster flows of data, both essential elements within the decision-making process of a business.
#9 Digital Marketing Draws Partnership
A report published by SpecifiedBy on “Specifier Insights” found that 76% of architects use building product directories for their research, with 38% of them utilising exclusively online tools when searching for new products to consider. A similar survey, conducted by the NBS/RIBA, endorsed this findings, stating that over 55% of the respondents used RIBA’s product directory.
Through product directories, architects have seen the amount of information available to them multiplied, enabling them to make better and faster decisions based on downloadable technical files. With most directories being completely free, listing your product on directories is a quick way of enhancing your brand awareness, increasing visibility, and improving your Google rankings.
#10 Digital Marketing Facilitates Communication
The Construction Front Line Survey found that construction businesses that had invested in the acquisition of internal management software with the aim of better managing workforce had increased their productivity by up to 15%. When asked about the challenges new technologies helped overcome, firms highlighted the importance of shared data availability.
Introducing a CRM system to your data management strategy will allow you to not only to collect the information, but to always be keep in the loop of the conversation prospects are having with your building product brand. CRM platforms like HubSpot can improve and curate data, helping your business grow while alleviating the pain of book-keeping.
At Insynth we deliver a predictable flow of leads, customers, and specifications for building product brands through our inbound marketing approach, proven to reach a technically demanding audience.
We use the latest marketing techniques such as construction inbound marketing, to equip building product companies to grow sustainability in this era of digital transformation.
As the only HubSpot certified agency to major in construction marketing. We have a proven formula of bringing a variety of functionalities together including CRM Implementation, Web Design, Sales Automation, SEO, and Email Marketing to achieve your ultimate aim: Growing your business and gaining new specifiers and customers.