Discover your free Construction Marketing Ideas Email Newsletter

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Geography, history and construction marketing

When you spend a day in a place like Florence Italy (after some time in Istanbul/Constantinople) you become aware of how big and how small the world is. I'm sure these feelings will magnify tomorrow as I head to Zimbabwe.

Of course it is unlikely you will have reason to provide your services in any of these countries.  While the architectural, engineering and construction community is truly international, most designers and contractors work within rather narrow geographical areas.  Sure, some multinational companies bid on huge jobs and consortiums link international firms with local businesses -- and some services, especially in the design area -- can be outsourced.  However, the costs and complexities of serving diverse international markets scare off most but the well-organized and capitalized businesses.

Yet geography and history certainly play a role in business and construction marketing, even at the local level.  As I crossed through tourist sections of central Florence, I could see how merchants congregated in groups, with the most expensive, high ticket items sold in the most concentrated natural marketing point:  A central, historical bridge.  (The idea of using bridges for retail commerce hasn't caught on much in Canada or the U.S. but it works well in Europe an Turkey where pedestrians funnel through small areas -- and bridges act as perfect funnels.)

History undoubtedly is important as well.  Traditions, values, stories, memories and even the geographical landscape of the communities we serve are often influenced by decisions made long ago.  Knowing something about these decisions can be important, even if it is to be aware of potential archaeological dig issues.  (Under-water ancient artifacts have gummed up a rapid transit tunnel in Istanbul.)

We live in the present, in our actual location, but we live in a world shaped by events in the past, in a diversity of locations.  No marketer should dwell too much on distant things -- but every construction marketer should be aware of the bigger picture of history and geography, and the possible consequences of distant decisions on current realities.

No comments: