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Thursday, August 06, 2009

Construction marketing: Effort, money and relationships

Which is the most important element in construction marketing success: The effort (work) you put into the process, the amount of money you spend, or the quality and nurturing of your relationships?

The 25 cent answer is: All of them count.

The $25 dollar answer is: If you work on two of them, you probably can cut back on the third.

But I wouldn't "rely" on just one, unless you are ready to go to extremes, a highly risky approach. And if you can balance all three, you are virtually assured of success.

For example, lets say you are like most people in this industry right now, and don't have much (if any) money to spare. By focusing your efforts, you probably can raise market awareness through hard personal work (for example, door knocking or phoning potential clients yourself) and if you are really smart, focusing your efforts to enhance and build the quality of your relationships, both with current and referred clients, and community/business centres of influence.

Lots of money and lots of effort: You can really blitz the advertising and pound the pavement. People may hate you and your business, but you'll still do enough through sheer force.

Lots of money and great relationships: You are behaving like you've "made it" already -- and you can take it easy as the cash rolls in. (For everyone else, isn't it nice to dream?)

But when we get down to earth, I suppose the ideal combination incorporates something of each element.

You'll want enough money to pay for effective, targeted advertising, fair wages and commission for your sales representatives. You are ready to put enough work into the process to ensure your money is spent properly and relations are properly maintained. And you of course enjoy great and rewarding relationships, with people and organizations who could care less about how much money you actually contribute. Probably, ultimately if you are great at relationships you can reduce the money and effort without too much harm. (But I'd reduce the money before the effort!)

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