Marketing trends for 2018

Marketing trends to help shape your company strategy

The Construction sector is an ever-changing and complex industry to be in, and understanding the key drivers and trends of the sector is important. We are already well into the second quarter of the year and it is a good chance to reflect on your company’s marketing objectives, and then plan for the rest of the year.

We discuss a range of important trends that could play a defining role in your company’s marketing strategy within the Construction sector. Firstly, it is important to recognise that every business is different; resource levels, culture, skillsets, customer base, aspirations and more. What is important for one business may not be for another. We would recommend when reading through the trends, compare them to your company’s position and goals. Can the trend help you achieve your business goals?

The first trend to watch is content marketing. You most-likely will have already read about content marketing and the concept has been around for a while now. But how does it relate to your business and how can you use it to help shape your strategy?

Content marketing provides your business with a voice and a purpose, and is the reason for your audience (customers, prospective customers and industry peers) to engage with you. It is producing and distributing focused, timely and relevant educational, enjoyable, or insightful information.

To put this in to real terms, it could be a case study where your company has been involved within a build project – whether designing the architectural plans, supplying building products, or overseeing the build process. You can develop the content and get a testimonial from clients and suppliers. This collaboration and advocacy marketing helps to increase reputation and influence in your content, and ultimately improves your position in the eyes of your audience. By creating this content, it tells your story and informs and educates your audience as to how your company solves problems. Importantly, it will help to build trust and confidence in your brand.

Once your content is in place, you then distribute it to the market via various marketing channels e.g. email marketing, social media, website content, trade publications, and external blogs / online communities. Personalisation is key here, make sure the content you have is relevant to each member of your audience and is of value to them.

This point leads us on nicely to the next trend – big data. Again, it is a bit of a buzz-word, slightly vague in meaning and can be an over-used cliché. But it is important to consider data in your marketing strategy. To give a brief explanation, it is using data (website analytics, social media statistics, sales and order book analysis are three examples) to provide actionable insight for your company going forward. What is working? What isn’t working? If it isn’t working, how can it be improved? How does a specific marketing campaign affect revenue levels or product sales?

By using collective data, it gives you a clear indication of how your business is performing. Using data is also incredibly important with the impending GDPR legislation being enforced in late May 2018. This regulation concerns the holding and using of personal data i.e. your customers, suppliers and anybody affiliated with your company. In summary though, the GDPR legislation promotes best practice for you and the Construction industry as a whole, and by complying and enforcing GDPR guidelines it should help to build trust in your brand with your audience.

The third and final trend in this article to consider is video content. YouTube viewers watch a billion hours of video each day. Facebook users watch over 8 billion videos per day. Video usage is increasing year-on-year and that includes informative, educational product and brand videos, not just videos about dogs and people falling over!

Videos help your audience to engage with your brand. We live in a much more digital-savvy world where, dare we say it, users are more likely to watch a video than read paragraphs of text. Users like to watch, share, embed and comment on videos over social media platforms, which in turn will help to increase your brand awareness by educating your audience. The engagement with video will also benefit your website’s search engine rankings, giving you increased reach and further engagements with potential customers.

In conclusion, the Construction industry is a complex and broad sector. Companies and brands are facing new and ever-changing challenges/disciplines, for example sustainability, BIM, off-site/modular construction and innovative technologies. How do you survive and thrive in such conditions? Hopefully after reading the above article, you will be able to determine which trends may influence your company and think about how it/they can influence your marketing strategy going forward. It is important to understand the way in which we communicate in the sector and how you deliver your message to your audience. By getting it right you will be able to have maximum impact on your company success and the construction sector as a whole.

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