Quick. Can you say what makes your construction company unique in 10 seconds or less? I’ve asked that question many times in my marketing career and, more often than not, I get a 30-minute company description that would make most potential customers yawn with boredom.
Too often, companies don’t have a clear reason why someone should do business with them over a competitor. Consequently, they just add to the noise of me-too marketing messages that bombard consumers of products and services every day.
Do you know what makes your construction company special? Are you highlighting that competitive difference on your website, in discussions with potential and current clients, and in other business development and marketing efforts?
I certainly have seen some construction companies that do a great job of separating themselves from the crowd. They offer something unique that their customers truly care about–and it’s not just lip service. They show proof that they can deliver on their competitive promise. How can you do the same for your company? Here are some tips to help your company stand out:
- Focus on a market niche. Pinpointing a specific segment of the construction market, and being really good at it, is a definite way to get noticed. For example, I’ve seen firms that focus only on highly technical construction projects such as clean rooms, hospitals, and research laboratories. Others have picked an area such as transportation. Everything these contractors do and communicate focuses on the needs of these segments, and nothing else.
- Specialize in a service. Being one of the few—or the only one—offering a service valued by customers can provide a real boost in visibility for your company. These days, for instance, a number of contractors are highlighting different preconstruction services. That’s not surprising given the importance project owners are placing on better collaboration and decision-making from the very start of a project.
- Highlight your employees’ expertise. Let your market know about the expertise you have on staff, especially if it supports the market niche you are going after or a service you are providing. Have your experts write about their experience for publication on LinkedIn, your company blog, or in relevant news sources.
- Showcase your client list. Get permission from your clients to feature them on your website and other marketing and sales materials. Especially powerful are quotes or stories about how your company has helped clients reach their project goals.
- Take a fresh approach. Do something completely different than your competitors. Maybe you have a new, proven way to fast track projects. Or perhaps you can highlight something you know is important to your customers but no one else is talking about.
Usually, it’s not one specific thing that helps you differentiate yourself from your competitors. It may take several of the above strategies, plus others, to get your market to take notice. The effort, however, will be worthwhile. When times are good, stand-out contractors often have the cream-of-the-crop projects. And when times are not so good, they still have a solid base of business because their clients can’t imagine going anywhere else.
About the Author
Deb Carpenter-Beck is a writer and marketer with more than 25 years of experience in the construction and real estate industries. She often writes about technology and best practices and is passionate about helping contractors and real estate professionals achieve their business goals. You can follow her on Twitter @DebCBConstruct.