When marketing construction products, the focus is often on benefits of price. Yet there are many influences on construction product selection. With demand for a product influenced not just by its performance but by how it interacts with external forces.
Recently KPMG reported that the value of the UK government construction pipeline has grown by £62.2bn since 2015. Government, as well as passing legislation that affects the construction market, is a major client to the construction sector, so holds significant influence. Building Information Modelling is a prime example of this, with adoption of BIM being driven by the mandate that all central government projects are designed to BIM level 2.
Since 2010 the Government has published many reports relating to the construction sector. The reports present initiatives driven by Government to improve the efficiency of construction and/or meet a market demand. These include:
- Strategy for sustainable construction
- Morell Report – Low Carbon Construction Action Plan
- James Report – Review of Education Capital
- Infrastructure Research Report – infrastructure supply chains: barriers and opportunities
- Infrastructure procurement routemap: a guide to improving delivery capability
- BIM Taskforce
- Construction 2025
- Government Construction Strategy: 2016 – 20
- National Infrastructure Delivery Plan 2016 to 2021
By reading these reports the construction product marketer can gain understanding of how government is influencing the marketplace. Knowing and understanding these drivers for change allows you to identify opportunity and to market additional product features and stay ahead of the competition.
Equally the impact of Building Regulations on construction product specification should not be ignored. Building Regulations approval is required for most building work in the UK. Building Regulations are set out in 16 separate Approved Documents, covering structure, fire safety, access, electrical etc. Each part has a designated letter, Part A to Part Q.
Building Regulations set standards for the design and construction of buildings. So therefore it is important for the construction product marketer to be familiar with the regulations which impact their products. They can then present the case for their product in meeting elements of the regulations, helping the designer through this maze of regulations.
Another major factor in product specification is sustainability. The more commonly used environmental assessment method is BREEAM. This assesses the environmental performance of a building. It is a voluntary code but is one that Architects often design to. Presenting the sustainability credentials of your product is now standard practice. The sustainability credentials should be part and parcel of your construction product description. Knowing how your product can assist with sustainable design is important; whether this be BREEAM, Document L of the Building Regulations, Ska Rating or Cradle to Cradle… It goes without saying that marketers need to have an understanding of these standards and how they impact design.
In summary you must understand the issues of importance to your customers. Many of these construction initiatives, but not all, are driven by government. As a construction marketer it is important to stay informed. Knowing about market drivers will mean you are better placed to promote relevant product benefits that meet the new initiatives and regulations.