Stable foundations: now is the time to get on the front foot with marketing
Owner of Focus Creative, Carlos Jonmundsson, on why the time is ripe for the construction industry to get its marketing shipshape.
‘I won’t have to discount any more’: Meriton C Harry Triguboff’s response to the outcome of the recent Australian election. And for the construction industry as a whole, this comment could represent a new chapter of opportunity. Businesses just need to take it.
The build up to an election creates uncertainty in many industries, but one of the industries that feels this most is that of construction. Specifically, residential construction. A home is the single most important purchase most of us will make in our lifetime, so naturally, buyers want to understand where they – and their bank balances – stand in the eyes of the establishment. Thus, buying a house with the government a big unknown is nerve-wracking. Fresh off the heels of the re-election of the Liberal government, the home-building market is expected to lift from the slump it’s seen in recent months. Meriton reportedly sold five apartments in the Gold Coast within 48 hours of the election result being announced. Welcome back, consumer confidence.
Why is this relevant in a marketing context? Regardless of the party any individual voted for in the election, the fact that the campaign trail is now over is likely to usher in a period of relative stability. However, this won’t happen overnight, so there is no better time for the construction industry to get its ducks in a row, ready to be on the front foot as competition ramps up again in the ‘new normal’.
This preparation has played a part in my own work for the last 12 months, working with NSW-based home-builder Rawson Homes to navigate the challenges facing the construction sector at the moment. To name a few, homes are no longer walking off the shelves as they were, yet the category is saturated with the same messaging. Talking through the challenges, we realised some fairly fundamental shifts were needed – and a few briefs later, we’ve overhauled the brand positioning and introduced a new customer-centric business model. Reflecting on the election last week, it occurred to me that this work over the last year actually fell at a fortunate time with regard to market trends, and (hopefully) puts us in good stead to face the competition moving forward.
Now feels a relevant time to share some pointers to think around in favour of maximising the chance to set yourself up for success in a more settled market:
Use this transitional period to review gaps in your knowledge when it comes to your market, competition and customer base. Upskill however you can, be that investing in new tech, new hires, or enrolling in a course to add value to your existing offering.
Now is as good a time as any to reflect upon the positioning of your brand in general. How are you different to the competition? Are you doing or saying anything unique? If not, are there are products, services or messages you can introduce that give you an edge? If so, are you communicating these clearly and compellingly?
Knowledge gaps plugged and unique selling proposition defined, revisit (or develop) your communications strategy. What is the story you want to tell your customers? How does this align with your business objectives? What is your media mix? Be careful not to confuse long-term strategy with short-term tactics – ensure the latter is only an element of the former.
Focus on implementing this marketing strategy, making sure your messaging is consistent across all customer touchpoints. When it comes to creative, consistent doesn’t necessarily mean the exact same, but that there is a cohesiveness to all customer-facing communications. Different channels play different roles in an integrated campaign, but it’s important that they complement each other, and that the customer journey is joined up enough for customers to be able to connect the dots with very little effort.
This is only a quick snapshot, but hopefully gives an idea on where to focus in this period of transition. If Triguboff’s buoyant outlook on the construction market in the coming months is right, ensure you’re well-placed to meet a newly confident audience with a confident message, offering and position in the market. You might not need that discount after all – just keep it in your back pocket.