In the age of customer engagement and justifying return-on-investment, creativity is often overlooked, under-valued and mis-understood.
This is particularly relevant within the Construction sector. With increasingly stretched marketing budgets, ever-complex and changing industry conditions (with factors such as sustainability, BIM and modular constructions gaining momentum) and economic uncertainty, particularly with Brexit fast approaching, companies are reluctant to invest in creative marketing.
However, the value of creativity in marketing is more relevant than ever.
Creative marketing for your business
The Construction sector is constantly developing and changing. It is a broad and very crowded industry and it is difficult to communicate your message to your audience effectively.
As you read through the number of trade magazines within the sector, or browse competitors’ and customers’ websites and other digital advertising, you will appreciate it is difficult to stand out in all of the noise. This is where creativity comes in and the reasons why it should be valued highly within any marketing strategy.
Effective marketing is based on science and art. Many decisions by customers and prospects are based on data. This is particularly appropriate within Construction where Specifiers look for materials which meet various criteria for their build project, or Architects are looking for a suitable architectural solution that is aesthetically pleasing while being fit for purpose.
However, decisions aren’t solely made based on data. There is ‘chemical’ element too, often based on gut instinct, or for example a customer’s feel for a company who are tendering for a particularly project. There has to be that connection. That relationship. Trust. Value.
This is all made possible by creativity. Aaron Hayes, Creative Ambassador for the Chartered Institute of Marketing, comments, “Creativity underpins everything in a marketing strategy. Whether you are undertaking a digital campaign, a PR campaign, an offline advertising campaign, creative gives it all direction, meaning and purpose.
Creativity helps to build trust with your customers and prospective customers. It builds reputation because it helps your brand or company to stand out within the marketplace.
Often, there isn’t much difference in terms of your products compared to your competitors’. What does make a difference however is how you communicate your company values and your products. Differentiation is key, and a creative, educational, and empathetic message could be the difference in winning or losing new business.”
Understanding the value of creativity
IBM conducted a global research study where it was discovered that Directors and CEOs around the world agreed that the ‘rapid escalation of complexity’ is the biggest challenge their businesses face. Creativity was identified as the single more important leadership competency for enterprises seeking a path through this complexity.’
Chris Ashton, Director at Time54 and Construction Ambassador for the Chartered Institute of Marketing, comments, “We are keen to push the benefits of great creative in any marketing strategy to help companies survive and thrive. Effective advertising ensures that your message reaches the right audience at the right time. Creativity is about defining your message and positioning your company and has a greater impact on the success of it, as opposed to the technicalities of the deliverability e.g. time of social media posts and frequency of emailshots.
Aaron’s input into this article was great and it was great to draw on his experience and knowledge on the topic. Collaboration is key and also helps to drive and develop creativity.”
Hopefully you would have gained a bit more of an insight into the value of creativity and how it should be at the forefront of any marketing strategy, particularly in the Construction industry.
Giving your brand or company a voice which resonates with your customers and prospects is crucial for long-term survival. The only certainty is uncertainty in today’s world and differentiation of your company’s message is essential. Creativity is key for differentiation. Be bold and innovative in your quest for a clear message.
On a final note, collaboration is important. Working with and learning from industry peers is imperative. The CIMCIG (Chartered Institute of Marketing Construction Industry Group) is an excellent resource for learning marketing best practices within the construction sector and networking/connecting with industry peers. It benefits the whole spectrum of marketing professionals, from marketing newcomers to experienced marketing directors.