My name is Emily Johnson; I’m Competitive Advantage’s newest recruit! I’ve been working with the company since early September as a ‘Digital Marketing Apprentice’.

Right from the start I was thrown into a world of YouTube filming, SEO, Google Analytics, Tweets, emails and posting blogs! Never had I thought I’d find a job like this that I’d enjoy every day. Competitive Advantage is made up of a talented team, led by Chris Ashworth, who specialise in marketing for the construction industry. I’m getting experience of the essentials I need to know when it comes to digital marketing whilst also understanding the complex world of construction marketing.

So ‘what’s new in construction industry marketing?’ The most recent was The Construction Marketing Awards, which, as the name suggests, celebrates and recognises talent and achievement in construction marketing. The awards are entered by some of the most prestigious names in Construction Marketing. Competitive Advantage co-organise them on behalf of CIMCIG and I’m chuffed to say I assisted in the preparation stages of this year’s event. Even more excitingly, I experienced the awards myself.


Marketing celebrated at the Construction Marketing Awards

This year’s shortlist for the Construction Marketing Awards astonished and inspired me. Naturally, I was more captivated by the entrants who showed usage of technology and social media. Here are some of the entries that caught my eye.

Bechtel (Iceni) – Best Social Media Campagin

One example of this excellence, is the construction and engineering firm Bechtel- they won this year’s ‘best Social Media Campaign’; In case you’re unaware of their work, here’s some background: Bechtel and digital company Iceni collaborated with a BAFTA-nominated director, university students and industry peers to create a viral video, designed to inspire young people into construction/engineering careers.

The video collected over 40,000 views in over 120 countries and was used by over 14 educational institutions. All of this was achieved with a minimal advertising budget of £130 and a month to complete the campaign. This example showed that despite not having a large budget, they still managed to achieve a massive impact through Social Media.

Polypipe Building Products– Marketing Team of the Year

Stepping away from the digital side, I want to talk about this year’s winner of the ‘Marketing Team of the Year’ – Polypipe. Coming together a little over a year ago, the marketing team have managed to transform the business and increased sales by over 200%.

Polypipe demonstrated that no objective is too great to be achieved.  They managed to draw an extra 40,000 views to their website and successfully run a campaign in which the opportunity was given to ‘win a van’ filled with Polypipe products. In another campaign, they involved a high profile designer and Dragon’s Den star, Kelly Hoppen whom as a brand ambassador provided a recognisable focal point for every aspect of the exercise. It excites me to think what the team will achieve in the coming years. I think their campaign was successful because they took time to understand and appeal to their target audience.

Sarah King – (Certsure) – Young Marketer of the Year

Another entry that really stood out for me was Sarah King, who won this year’s ‘Young Marketer of the Year’ award. After a career change, from a nursery nurse, Sarah took the plunge into the marketing world with Certsure.

As Sarah’s entry states she proves that ‘skills and knowledge can be taught but attitude is what really counts.’

Sarah’s story really spoke to me and inspired me. Since I started in September, no two days have been the same, uneventful or boring and I love that. This means I like going to work as l enjoy what I do. Sarah’s story reassured me, it showed me that I don’t necessarily need a degree, all I need is persistence and an attitude to want to be the best I can be.

In summary

This year’s awards were a mind opening experience; I met and spoke to inspirational people, gained knowledge, advice and encouragement from industry experts who have dedicated their careers to construction marketing. My most special moment was seeing the winners celebrate. Seeing the looks on their faces as they found out all their hard work and determination had been recognised, celebrating their success with their colleagues and that sense of achievement. So, what’s next? Well, I hope to gain enough experience and confidence to one day enter my name into the ‘Young Marketer of the Year’ award. But in the meantime, I’m proud to be a Construction Digital Marketing Apprentice.

As the year draws to a close and many marketers review their plans for 2016 I hope the CMA entries, which are summarised on the CMA website, inspire you as they have me.

Entries for the next Construction Marketing Awards open April 11th 2016.



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