It can be difficult to commit to a sustained marketing effort
We’re impatient and want to see immediate results. But I’ve been working with an Oakland construction company for more than five years and they’re an example of the way in which a thoughtful, committed marketing effort produces results. We began our relationship as we all were digging out of the recession. The economic downturn was particularly hard on the construction industry—many contractors simply closed their shops and walked away.
Making the most of our marketing dollars
Our challenge was making the most of our small marketing budget. We did some market research and were gratified by the responses:
- We had good name recognition and were recognized for doing high-quality work.
- Our clients spanned sectors, but we were recognized more for residential remodels than for the commercial, nonprofit and public works projects that were our new business focus.
Using a good-sized email list, we began doing a quarterly newsletter. We wanted to remind existing clients that we were still out there doing a wide range of work, including structural upgrades.
Showcasing our work
We know that showcasing our work is an important investment. It is a line item in our budget, and we include a photoshoot with every project, adding descriptions and images to our website. We found a wonderful local photographer who is delighting us at every shoot.
Supporting key nonprofits
We identified a few local nonprofits and help support their annual fundraisers. The investment is relatively modest, and we’re courting our demographic—small commercial and high-end clients.
Along the way, we converted our website to a mobile-friendly version. Better, but a Band-Aid rather than a solution. Last year, we finally upgraded to a beautiful new WordPress site. I wrote new content, and we reengineered the navigation to showcase our projects. We keep our News page updated with our press releases and community activities.
Testimonials, new collateral and targeted advertising
Once a project is completed, I follow up with clients to ask them for testimonials, which I post to our website. Every client with whom I’ve interacted has been happy to help us; our clients rave about their professionalism, craftsmanship, well-run job sites and on-budget, on-time delivery. We belong to our industry’s national networking group and we hosted one of the monthly events—good food and wine help to build relationships and open doors. I designed and printed new collateral to use when meeting with potential new clients. We’ve also begun advertising in a small local publication that targets our audience. We’ll swap out this ad every few months to keep it fresh. This has been a cumulative effort that has steadily increased the visibility of a company that is doing superb work.