The construction market is complex, with many influences and drivers. As a result it is often hard to know where to start when selecting communication channels. Last week I presented at the CIMCIG seminar: Communicating with Construction Industry Decision Makers. In this blog I give an overview of the event, with a summary of the key messages.

At the seminar I presented a summary of the Construction Media Index report findings. The report, now in its third year, is the only impartial research report for the construction industry on traditional and digital communication channels.

My presentation, as well as giving a run-through of the findings, presented some of the highlights revealed by the research:

  • Construction News is the most popular trade journal, with a popular website and eNewsletter as well
  • Social media is now accepted as a valuable work and communications tool
  • Search engines are being used less to source product information, services and businesses
  • Contractors use online video and/or webinars more that Architects or Civil Engineers
  • Age and business size do not have a significant bearing on communication channels used
  • Tehnical product specifications are important with only three quarters of architects using NBS and 95% saying they want 3D CAD images

The seminar continued with presentations from a number of leading communications agencies.

Anna Hern from Ridgemount PR took a look at PR in this digital age, siting that hardcopy readership is showing an overall decline and people are being more selective and specific about what they read and look for in journals and the way they use search engines. On a more positive note she went on to say ‘there is a diversity of information sources available now, meaning there is less reliance on publishing houses and directories.’

Jan Zajac from The Charlotte Street Agency backed this up by saying in his presentation that ‘successful marketing in the digital age requires a successful marriage of media and content’. Jan presented findings that demonstrate product appearance and its sustainability credentials carry the most influence when it comes to specification, this is followed by cost. He went on to review the importance of branding, which is shorthand for what your product delivers, saying that ‘a brand is a product with added value.’

The event concluded with a case study presented by Paul Evans of Celotex. The campaign sought to change perceptions and reposition Celotex as a number one provider of refurbishment solutions prior to the Green Deal Launch.  It used a number of channels: hardcopy and online journal advertising, direct mail, landing pages, Youtube, Twitter and LinkedIn. The focus though was not just on the communications but also on brand positioning, reinforcing the need to communicate with a holistic, integrated approach.

Conclusion

From this seminar four elements stood out:

In this digital age, when there is so much ‘noise’, it is important to have a strong brand, one that makes your product memorable.

It is also important to consider your message, making sure that it is providing value, the saying: ‘Content is King’ is as relevant as ever.

Selecting relevant communication channels for your target audience is key to ensuring you are in the right place at the right time!

Finally designers and contractors want technical support from manufacturers in the form of seminars, specifications and images.

Competitive Advantage will shortly commission research into what architects want in terms of technical support. Tell us what you want to know by completing our online form.

More about the Construction Media Index research

The Construction Media Index, now in its 3rd year, is a comprehensive report detailing the communication channels available for promoting to the construction sector.

Research for Construction Media Index was conducted during April 2013. It comprised 550 targeted telephone interviews.

To ensure complete impartiality no publishers of media have been involved in either the compilation of contact lists or subsequent phases of the research.

The Construction Media Index reports will be available from June 2013.

Pre-order your copy now!

 

Further reading:

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