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Sunday, July 26, 2009

Your three most important construction marketing priorities

You have limited time and resources. Where should you focus your marketing attention, and how?

Here are three fundamentals which, I believe, should reflect about 80 per cent of your marketing energies.

Know and understand your current and recent clients (and the ones that left for the competition).

The ongoing Construction Marketing Ideas poll, How do you attract most of your business?, shows that 34 per cent of this blog's readers obtain most of their business from repeat clients -- and 39 per cent from referrals. So you really need to know your clients, on two levels: How they relate and feel about your service, and who they are: Their likes, interests, socio-economic status, values, and more. And of course, you especially need to know this information about the clients you have lost to your competition.

With this information, you can build closer bonds, draw out referrals and repeat business, and correct mistakes. And, significantly, the information will provide you valuable clues about where to spend our resources for other marketing initiatives; which media to use, where to advertise, and so on.

Know your employees, what they think, their values, and how they relate to you, each other, and your clients.

Your employees are at the front line of client service and marketing; and if you have problems here, you will have problems everywhere. You need to be in touch with everyone in your organization -- remember, the front-line installers or service reps are the people your clients will spend most time with; and even if you are on the non-residential side of the business, you want to be sure to put the right tradespeople and specialists in place where there may be client contact.

One of the most effective ways to connect with your employees is to have regular meetings and huddles -- and periodically, if your business is larger, go out and work with your front-line staff at their jobs; you may pick up eye-opening insights.

Know your numbers.

You are running a business, after all. You had better have reliable financial and cash flow reporting information. How are your receivables, are sales matching projections, and are you collecting your accounts on a reliable schedule? You need to know your business as a business.

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