It’s a busy time to be a Marketer

Author: Chris Ashworth CIMCIG

Things are steadily improving! The recent budget promised an investment lead recovery. The latest construction data from ONS shows a 4.6% quarter-on-quarter increase in the final quarter of 2020 which followed a record quarterly growth of 40.7% in Q3 2020. We can expect a busy year for construction!

Over the last year we have seen companies adopt various strategies to cope with the pandemic. Some battened down the hatches, put their staff on furlough, and hoped for the best. Others took the opportunity to hire unexpectedly available skills, raised marketing profile - perhaps through online seminars and white papers - and have seen their brand and sales grow.

As we adapt to the new normal we can expect a scrabble of activity as companies take advantage of their new strengths or try to recover lost ground. Many marketers will be charged with developing new tools such as on-line CPD either delivered in a live video format or as recorded modules.

There is also the challenge of looking at how the sales force functions. We have seen the efficiencies of online meetings, saving time wasted travelling and increasing sales force efficiency. We have also heard that many organisations, particular specifiers, will be retaining some element of homeworking. While there will still be a need for face-to-face meetings in the new business environment there will also be the opportunity to introduce much greater control, focus and efficiency into the salesman’s day using the various digital tools that are available. With marketing teams expected to create opportunities, then qualify, nurture and deliver them to sales teams when the customer is ready to buy. Yes, there is the software available to do this much of this, but it requires a lot of planning and setting up.

In addition to all these strategic and tactical decisions, the ground rules have also changed. The introduction of the Building Safety Regulator Bill and Construction Products Regulator mean that many companies will need to improve their processes. Construction Products Competence means having a robust training programme in place for both new and existing personnel to ensure that anyone conveying ‘Product Information’ is competent to the level of knowledge required for their role. This encompasses a range of functions, in addition to design and installation, it will include sales staff talking to customers and marketing staff writing and preparing product information. For the marketer it will not just require a knowledge of the organisation’s products and services, but an understanding of marketing best practice.

Then there is the Code for Construction Product Information, currently out to consultation, but expected to be published by the summer. It intends to provide a framework for construction product manufacturers and suppliers to ensure they give their customers correct and up to date information about their products in an appropriate language.

So, plenty to keep you occupied! To help you with this CIMCIG and its partners will be publishing an array of tools including blog articles, webinars and white papers.

Chris Ashworth is a CIMCIG Committee member and founder of Competitive Advantage Consultancy which provides market information, training and consultancy services specifically for building product manufacturers.