A few years ago I made a simple mistake, innocuous really, but one that would set off a chain reaction that would personally cost me over £1 million, reshape my future and drive me to succeed and be happy.
Here’s what happened.
A few years ago I made a simple mistake, innocuous really, but one that would set off a chain reaction that would personally cost me over £1 million, reshape my future and drive me to succeed and be happy.
Here’s what happened.
It feels like every building product business wants to be a thought leader at the moment. It may even be something you’ve included in your marketing strategy – “become THE Thought Leader in our space.”.
I often ask, “so what’s your big idea then?”, to be told about how the brand has existed for 50 years, is a market leader, has supplied prestigious projects, etc.
But this isn’t enough. It’s not your past that makes you a thought leader, it’s your vison of the future.
So, what do you need to do to become a thought leader, and is that really what you want your brand to become?
Proceed with caution….
It started as a debate about why I want to improve the image and value of marketing in the construction industry.
Post Grenfell, the attitude around specification has become more stringent and cautious, with legislators and specifiers alike demanding greater reassurance about the performance, safety and provenance from the materials that are being used in construction.
So how does this impact your construction marketing strategies and why does Inbound Marketing become the ideal method of adapting to this change?
We want your opinion of the marketing channels and resources you love and find most useful for promoting your building product brand.
We’re kicking off a series of blogs about building awareness amongst specifiers and installers in the building product space. Rather than just giving you a bland overview of “what the experts say”, we thought it would be great to get your thoughts too.
To get featured, all you need to do is pick the blog, or blogs, that you want to be included in, follow the link and answer a couple of questions. Leave us your website URL and Twitter/LinkedIn handle and we’ll drop a nice backlink into the blog for you and mention you in our social promotion.
We’re looking forward to you sharing your knowledge with our audience. Don’t be shy.
Building a company is hard enough, but what if there's no clear market to launch into? That's the situation Gainsight CEO Nick Mehta found himself in when he joined the company that would become Gainsight in 2013.
The latest edition of the Insynth Digital Construction Media Guide – Architecture Edition has ranked and named the UK’s top 51 architectural magazines for 2019.
Using a proprietary algorithm, Insynth has ranked over 50 titles based upon circulation, social media following, domain authority, spam scores and other factors, to produce an independent and objective picture of which titles are most likely to support SEO and PR activity.
The guide is written to assist construction marketing professionals understand the effectiveness of various to their marketing communication plans, PR activity and online marketing strategy. It’s also a valuable tool when negotiating rates.
In an unusual move for Google, the officially announced an impending algorithm update this week. Google described it as the June 2019 core update.
The update began rolling out on the Monday 3rd June, impacting Google search ranking and listings positively and negatively across the globe.
With an estimated 39% of sales people missing their targets every month, any tool that you can use to help your team succeed has to be seriously considered.
One key problem that many sales teams has is getting access to key information and knowing how they are doing hour by hour, day by day.
Using ‘live’ reporting on dashboards can fix this, increasing competition amongst the sales team, improving focus and raising team morale - all leading to an increase in sales. Learn more here.
From our conversations across the construction industry, it’s clear that building product Sales Leaders view content marketing with suspicion, feeling it could hinder their chances of getting in front of prospects and customers.
Once we explain the benefits to them and their teams of a well executed inbound marketing strategy, they soon understand the potential to help them improve lead generation and lead quality.
Making their sales team busier, more respected in their sector and getting them in front of more influential decision makers and specifiers.
Read on, to find out how we explain the key benefits to sales of inbound and content marketing.
To generate website traffic, you need people to visit your site. To get them to come, you need to understand what they’re looking for, what phrases they’re using and what type of content would best fit their needs.
Fundamentally, a keyword strategy is needed in any successful building product company's content marketing plan. Let’s explore what keyword strategy is and how it complements keyword research.
A recent report from chiefmartec.com found that there was a 27% increase in the number of marketing technology solutions available in 2018.
While the fear is that the increasing use of technology in sales and marketing will depersonalise the customer experience, the reverse is actually true if these systems and techniques are used correctly.
So, how can technology be utilised to give you more time with customers and improve their experience with your brand?
One of the first things that you’re taught in sales is that you have two ears and one mouth and to use them in that order.
However, you shouldn't use your mouth at all at crucial points in your sales conversations
Learn how silence can unlock a sales opportunity and when to use it.
Growth. It’s compelling, alluring and addictive. It’s also tough.
It’s getting harder to generate more leads, win more customers, up-sell, cross-sell, increase market share and make more profit using the tactics that were so successful just a few short years ago.
It was Einstein who famously said, “insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”.
So, is your reluctance to alter your approach, tactics and mindset in your quest for increased growth madness?
Positive customer experience is vital for referrals and maximising life time value from your customer relationships. However, one of the biggest challenges any business faces is keeping customers happy and being consistent in the way we deal with customer challenges and needs.
Unhappy customers can spread their dissatisfaction quickly with social media. But, a delighted client can be the most valued influencer in attracting new customers.
Discover how A.I. can help you improve customer experience, build your brand reputation and grow your business.
Kicking off this year's Microsoft Future Decoded event in London is Cindy Rose.
Cindy is the CEO of Microsoft UK. The event takes place at the ExCel Exhibition Centre at the Victoria Docks in London. The two day event covers a range of technological topics from A.I. to using the cloud and building trust around it.
Read on to find out what Cindy's keynote speech was all about...
Billed as a ‘Question Time’ style debate, the CIMCIG evening focused on the role that traditional UK construction media plays in an age of social and content marketing, and which, if any, media can you trust.
What did we learn? Which media channel is right for your audience? What will publishing look like in 10 years’ time? Who can be trusted in the age of ‘fake news’?
Just as Amazon has created turmoil in high street retail, Apple disrupted the music industry and Facebook changed the way we keep in touch, new technology, most of which is becoming available now, is about to change the way we do business in Construction.
Is your business going to be the next Blockbuster – killed by an obsolete business model, or will you be the Netflix of building products, taking action now to take advantage of the disruptive potential of AI? It's time to incorporate this new technology into your construction marketing strategy.
The pace of innovation and new features in the HubSpot ecosystem is mind blowing. Since Inbound 17 there have been more changes than I can keep track of and every week there is a new feature to impress.
Learn about the big changes to the suite that were announced at the Inbound 2018 conference, and how these could help you supercharge your business growth.
Talking about how organisational change begins with the individual, ground up and how this approach strengthened GE and led to exciting developments for the business.
There’s a real buzz at Insynth this week.
On Monday, we’re heading off to Inbound 2018 in Boston.
With new technology appearing increasingly frequently, promising to disrupt traditional methods of sales and marketing and make business success a breeze, it’s easy to be tempted to throw the baby out with the bathwater and overlook some of the main principles of growing your business.
No matter how you deliver your message and what methods you use, it’s important to remember to use technology to support your sales and construction marketing strategies, not replace them.
A last-minute decision to visit Barcelona was a wonderful surprise from my wife; we’ve been talking about it for 20 years! But with my Inbound mindset, it was more than the food, drink, architecture and culture that left an impression on me.
Here are a few of my experiences from the weekend and how my passion for Inbound was stoked again.
One of the main challenges you can face with trade shows is managing the leads that are generated from visitors to your stand. A successful show can generate hundreds of leads, all of which need to be followed up quickly.
So learn 3 SIMPLE tips to help you process them and identify the hottest leads.
Do you have a digital marketing strategy? Are your digital marketing efforts ad-hoc or aligned with broader business goals? Do you understand the return your digital marketing is delivering to your business?
In recent years, everything has gone online and ‘on-demand’, adding to the pressure to join the digital race; new websites, social media, email marketing, CRM systems. Most businesses now see digital channels as the mainstay of their marketing strategy.
But, in this rush to get online, is strategy being left behind?
Is blogging part of your construction marketing strategy? How useful Is blogging for generating leads? How do you write a good blog post and how long does it take?
If you’re not using your blog yet, then you should be. Various studies show that businesses that regularly blog get 3.5 times more website traffic and 4.5 times more leads than those that don’t (HubSpot 2015).
With 96% of B2B buyers wanting insightful content from industry thought leaders (Demand Gen Report 2016), there is an appetite for your views and opinions on your sector and specialist knowledge.
One of the biggest challenges of sales management is figuring out how involved you need to be with your team. Too much and you can be accused of interfering and getting in the way. Too light a touch and activity can start to stray away from your carefully constructed sales strategy.
So how do you get the right balance, and where should you and your team focus your time and energy to make the biggest improvements to your sales performance?
If you want to hit your sales targets this month, this quarter, this year and beyond, you will need to consistently produce the right results.
The problem is that many business owners and entrepreneurs can find it difficult to understand their sales pipeline and know where to focus their efforts and resources to really build the sales engine that will produce repeatable results week after week, month after month.
This simple formula for sales success will show you where to focus your efforts and help you grow your business with more consistency and a scientific approach to performance improvement.
In one of our recent blog posts, we discussed how long it takes for content marketing to work. Blogging frequency and quality were the key topics, but it led to questions about more subtle signs that things are starting to work.
So, here’s a quick list of the sort of signals that you should be on the lookout for when starting out on your construction inbound marketing journey (we'd love you to add your own ideas in the comments at the end of the post).
A common question that we get when discussing inbound marketing with potential construction clients is "how long does content marketing take to work?".
There are a number of factors at play, but we'll give you some insight into how long it takes and when you can start to see results.
Developing buyer personas for the decision-makers and influencers in your target market should be one of the first tasks that you carry out when developing your construction marketing strategy.
Unfortunately, the research and effort that goes into creating your buyer personas will go to waste if the document is not kept up-to-date and constantly evolving. So, how often should they be updated?
Content Marketing is starting to become more commonplace in the marketing strategies of building product manufacturers and construction companies. The businesses that really grasp the nettle and execute great content will soon become the thought leaders in their fields and grow their market share.
One big challenge that everyone kicking off their content marketing strategy faces is, who is going to write all of this content? Producing 2 – 3 blog posts every week plus white papers, webinars and eBooks takes time and skill. And, let’s face it, not everyone enjoys writing. So how do you tackle this problem?
Developing a marketing strategy for your construction or building products business can seem like a daunting task. While it’s not a 5-minute job, it doesn’t need to be a huge burden for you to create your new marketing plan.
Without one though, your time, effort and money can easily be misdirected and even wasted, negatively impacting your ROI and personal success.
A well-researched and crafted strategy document will add real clarity and focus to all of your marketing, and sales, activity, improving your brand, market share, product offering and profitability.
By following a systematic process, you will be able to quickly establish where you are currently, where the opportunities are and how to realise them. Here are a few pointers, describing how we approach construction marketing strategy with our clients.
What's interesting in our regular website reviews and health checks is that most businesses have already got most of the ingredients for success in place, they’re either poorly aligned, under-resourced or missing something crucial i.e. a construction marketing plan.
All that's needed is to shift a few elements around, refine a few areas and fill in some missing elements. Couple this with a firm commitment to digital and you have a winning combination. So, what are the critical pieces of a marketing plan and how should you bring them together?
Addressing this can make a huge difference to website traffic, conversion, lead generation and ultimately sales.
Follow this 15 part guide, full of simple tips and hacks, to pull your online construction marketing strategy together.
Understanding who your perfect customers are is a vital part of your construction marketing strategy, but one that is often skimmed over or missed altogether.
If you intend to tailor and segment your content and message to your different audiences, profiles and personas will be very useful. So, what’s the difference between a buyer profile and a buyer persona?
As the way that building professionals research products and services changes, it is only right to consider the relevance of brand building in your construction marketing strategy.
So, why do why brands exist, what is their role in the decision-making process and what will be their future value as they come under increased pressure from search, artificial intelligence (AI) and digital marketing?
In most building products businesses, link building is misunderstood, seen as a dark art or handed over to their SEO company to handle. Effective construction marketing will have link building and outreach as an important element of the marketing plan.
Having a strong and growing foundation of authoritative, good-quality links to your site is the juice that high ranking websites are made of, they give you the kind of authority that Google loves and brings you referral traffic.
It’s not a difficult as you may think, so find out how to build your backlinks and improve your organic rankings.
The main observation from the vast majority of our site audits is that most building product websites are only designed to be an online catalogue or a brochure website.
Building product manufacturers are missing a golden opportunity to turn their websites into sales lead generation engines which provide their sales teams with regular high quality enquiries.
Business guru and well-known provocateur, Tom Peters once addressed a crowd of over 400 sales and marketing executives saying: “I hate sports analogies. They’re just a bunch of male macho…” Yet, in the world of sales and marketing, sports analogies are de rigueur and tossed around like a rugby ball during at Twickenham.
To properly understand the difference between sales and marketing, however, another analogy seems more suitable: that of musical theatre. Salespeople are the performers in a West End musical, whereas marketing folks are the set designers, producers, and choreographers.
Our regular website audits and reviews are consistently highlighting missed opportunities and common shortcomings of building product websites.
The way that specifiers and buyers search and select products is evolving quickly and construction marketing professionals need to adapt or risk losing market share and sales to smarter operators.
A building product directory is an online resource for building specifiers, such as architects and engineers, that enables the research, selection and specification of building materials for current or future construction projects.
With marketing budgets constantly under pressure, it can be difficult to know where to allocate your budget, especially where the return on investment (ROI) can be difficult to prove.
Online Building Product Directories and Trade Directories offer more than just a link to your business but can be tricky to measure, so what should you be thinking about when considering directories as part of your communications plan?
The Marketing Technology Expo has just wrapped up for 2018. So, what were the key takeaways for construction marketers? How can the latest technology be used to improve engagement, generate leads and increase sales for forward-thinking and innovative building product manufacturers?
I recently returned from a major trade show. I felt both angry with the disappointing effort from the majority of exhibitors, but also excited that there was hope that there would be a future for trade shows if exhibitors employed inbound marketing tactics.
This is why.
We’re looking for a talented content creator who can scale our marketing efforts and grow the audience of Insynth and our clients. This role requires exceptional writing skills, a creative mindset, and a results-driven attitude.
I was recently walking on the Cornish Coastal Path; it's a beautiful, windswept trail with plenty of challenging climbs and descents. On one particularly steep ascent, I remembered a tip I read many moons ago in a mountain biking magazine.
The tip was about tackling long arduous climbs: it described how if you only focus on the top, your mind will begin to doubt that you can get there, and you are more likely to fail. However, if you look just a few yards ahead, far enough to avoid any obstacles, you will grind out the climb almost without fail.
The trick is to focus on the task ahead, only occasionally glancing up to make sure that you are on track to achieve your ultimate goal. I applied this trick and tackled every climb comfortably.
The experience brought to mind how setting short-term goals can be the perfect way to crush longer-term targets, and this is why.
Getting your product news, case studies or opinion pieces published in reputable trade titles and industry blogs is a great way of publicising your brand, creating awareness, authority and trust.
If you are marketing to Architects and producing content to engage with them, what is the best media to use to reach them?
If you want to improve your website rankings with high quality backlinks, which websites are going to give you the best 'backlink juice'?
Insynth has produced a comprehensive study of all of the main UK architectural titles and ranked them in terms of backlink authority, social reach and circulation, both online and offline.
How would it improve your sales figures if your website was actually an extremely useful and enjoyable experience for your customers and specifiers? What if your content made people want to not only specify and buy your product, but actually come back to your site time after time?
A well designed and executed Content Marketing strategy can deliver increased traffic, improved search ranking and more sales leads, specifications and orders from your website. But it can't do any of that if you're not sure what it actually is or how to do it.
I was helping a friend a few days ago. We were looking at his website and he was telling me that he was getting some really unusual enquires. He has his own powder coating business and loves to win contracts for coating in high volume, but he was getting calls about powder coating motorbike frames.
We took a good look at his website and upon finding the likely cause, it reminded me of a very similar situation a few years ago.
(Check the end of the blog to find out why he was getting bike frame enquiries!)
Our podcast on the upcoming GDPR regulations features Rob Andrews of Andrews Ritson Solicitors. Rob attempts to cut through the scary headlines about massive fines and red tape and offers common sense advice on what Construction Marketing professionals need to be aware of to ensure that they don't fall foul of the new guidelines.
Impress your boss and your colleagues by getting 'position 0' on Google and winning the race for prestigious featured snippets in Google.
Here is a 6-step guide to how Insynth replaced the Construction Marketing Association on a prized snippet in just 10 days.
A new forecast from the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) revealed today that over 150,000 construction jobs are set to be created over the next five years despite Brexit uncertainty and Carillion’s collapse.
Key predictions include;
A conversation we always have with our clients when discussing their content marketing strategy is, "are you open about price on your website?".
Most of the time we get an uncomfortable response, something like;
Now, that's all well and good, but let's look at those arguments one-by-one and challenge the thinking behind them. Then we will tell you why talking about price on your website can drive efficiency, increase conversion rates, win you new business and should be a key element of your construction marketing strategy.
In 2018, at the heart of every strong construction marketing strategy should be a sophisticated CRM system which manages the sales funnel, automates marketing campaigns, records customer engagement, provides clear insights into campaign success and tracks ROI. Ultimately a system that makes it easier to win more orders and grow your business.
CRM is a rapidly changing space, driven by cutting-edge technology, some serious brains and major investment. The choice of CRM systems can be overwhelming. Considering that there are over 200 platforms, choosing the right system for your business may not be straightforward.
In fact, many offerings are now far more than just a CRM, they are fully formed growth stacks, encompassing CRM, sales automation, sophisticated marketing capabilities and reporting, all in one place.
So, let’s look at some of the key questions that you should be asking yourself to identify your needs, and then you can match these against the capabilities of platforms you are considering.
Too often content marketing is perceived as simply publishing lots of project case studies and product news on your website and social media channels and expecting it to improve your brand image and increase your reputation and authority.
This is an over simplistic approach, one which really doesn't utilise content marketing to it's full potential. Find out more about the strategy behind blogging and content marketing.
Research shows that 90% of people don't go beyond the 1st page on Google, and about 34% of searchers click on the number 1 result. This shows that Search Engine Optimisation SEO is something that you really must take seriously if you want your building products to be found on the internet by your target market.
If you're not on page one for the keywords that matter to your business then you will be feeding on scraps or forced in the online auction that is pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, trying to outbid the other also-rans for the top spot in the ads.
So how do you get to number 1? Here is a quick guide to bagging the top spot and being seen by your ideal customers.
Will you be trying the same sales and marketing tactics and strategies this year as you did in 2017? How successful was last year for you? Would you like 2018 to be better? Adapting your approach to the way your market is specifiying and purchasing is critical if you want to beat your targets.
The way that people buy and specify today has changed. Your potential specifiers and customers will seek solutions to their problems on the internet and social media, and reach out and engage with the businesses that they best trust to help overcome their challenge. Research suggests that over 80% of the buying process is now conducted online.
To tap into this new dynamic requires a different approach centred around content marketing, social media, search engine optimisation and website design to fully engage with your potential customers and deliver qualified leads to your sales team.
Here are 5 great tips to help you get started
Your website should be your best salesperson, generating leads, helping customers, working 24/7, consistent, always on-message, technically proficient and measurable.
Often, building products companies view their website and digital marketing activities as independent marketing communications activities, instead of joining the dots and seeing the big picture - how they can work together in a systematic way to drive leads and, ultimately, sales.
With every improving technology and software, it can be hard for you to keep up with what websites can do these days, and how sales and marketing automation can improve customer service, increase conversion rates and shorten sales cycles.
With the end of the year on the horizon and countless marketing plans are being finished off, ready for budget approval. You may want to check whether you are taking advantage of the latest trends for construction marketing to leverage your marketing ROI and cost-effectively increase web traffic, leads and sales.
Here are some of the latest developments and technologies that could make all the difference to your business in 2018.
Overcoming buyer fear is critical to converting leads into sales. A key component in eliminating the fear of dealing with you is to build trust. So how do you build trust with your potential customers when they may never have bought from you before?
Your blog should be one of your company’s most valuable sales and marketing assets, and blogging is a cornerstone of Inbound Marketing.
If you could unlock more sales leads of better quality with a proven change to your marketing approach, would you want to find out more? If you thought that your fiercest competitor was going to beat you to it and get those leads instead of you, would you be more compelled to act?
Are you finding it harder to book a sales appointment?
Booking sales meetings used to be the key to sales success. Now it is almost impossible to fill your diary. What is happening, and how can you change things?
Here is a quick rundown of my highlights of the week at my very first Inbound 2017. If this is anything to go by, it will be the first of many trips to Boston.
I'm a dyed in the wool marketer with a love of numbers, tech, and sales!! After recently exiting my start-up, I have been immersing myself in the latest marketing phenomena – Inbound Marketing, and for the first time, I feel like I belong.