The consultants at McKinsey believe some businesses are about to make a fortune with helping the building and construction industry digitize and automate their operations. That’s just one of the opportunities on the table that startups could take advantage of. A few other possibilities include selling project management software, scheduling apps, CRM software and design software to the players in this lucrative industry. With construction being a 13+ trillion dollar a year business globally (calculated in Australian dollars), the potential for profiting from this industry is significant.
But how can a marketer go about reaching the right people in the building and construction industry to sell them software, automation services or whatever other relevant products and services your startup has to offer? If you’re selling to UX designers, it’s relatively easy to find them on social media — but most building surveyors, plumbers and glaziers aren’t spending their days hanging about on Facebook.
It’s easy to find them once you know where to look. That’s what we aim to help you with here: Finding your startup’s potential clients in the building and construction industry.
There are two major facets you’ll want to consider when marketing to clients in the building and construction industry. The first is inbound marketing — that is, creating marketing materials that compel your prospects to come to you because they genuinely want to learn more about what you have to offer. The second is outbound marketing — tailoring your outreach efforts to specifically target your prospects, start a conversation with them and determine whether you can build a mutually beneficial relationship. We’ll cover both aspects.
Inbound Marketing That Targets Professionals in the Building and Construction Industry
Your Website, Search Engine Optimization and Opt-In Email Newsletters
One of the most effective ways to reach clients is through your website. Be proactive about optimizing your website for lead generation. Capture email addresses and make an effort to segment your prospects. This will allow you to send out email newsletters that offer appropriate content for whichever stage of the buying funnel your prospect is currently in. Consider these relevant selling strategies for the construction industry when you create the content for your website and newsletters. Blogging is also effective if your team is willing and able to do it consistently.
According to Hubspot, you can use press releases for either inbound or outbound marketing purposes. If your team uses press releases, be sure to direct each message at your ideal clients instead of just the media at large; this will make your press releases more effective as inbound marketing tools.
Outbound Marketing to Reach Clients in the Building and Construction Industry
Establish yourself and your team members as thought leaders in the building and construction industry by submitting content for, or obtaining coverage in, the most relevant industry trade publications.
In Australia, the following are some of the publications your prospects are probably reading:
- Construct Magazine
- Construction in Focus
- Inside Construction
- Build Australia
- Construction Industry News
- Housing Magazine
- And more
It might also make sense to consider advertising your business in some of these publications.
Networking Through Industry Associations
There are many industry associations that bring Australia’s building and construction industry professionals together for sharing information and insights. Try to arrange for someone from your marketing team to set up speaking engagements or demonstrations of your products at trade association meetings and events.
If you’re selling, for example, a product like a scheduling app that would be useful to individual plumbers, electricians or other contractors, it is possible that courteous cold calling could be an effective means of outreach. For this to work well, you have to target your calls with precision and ensure that you’re offering genuine value to your prospects. Know exactly who you’re targeting, research their pain points ahead of time, and be upfront about telling them precisely how your product or service will solve their problems. Also be sure to observe all relevant telemarketing laws.
Here’s how to reach your prospects by telephone:
You can find the phone numbers of many building and construction industry professionals in Victoria by searching the Victorian Building Authority (VBA) database. However, individuals who hold a certificate IV in plumbing are not easily found through this database, and the relevant database for them will not help you locate unknown prospects. So if you’re specifically trying to reach plumbers, instead try searching the Master Plumbers’ database or using Searchfrog.
Tradebuild is the Housing Industry Association’s B2C database. It can be another good source for locating contact information for tradespeople in Australia, including plumbers and many others.
When you formulate your marketing plan, consider your potential return on investment from both inbound and outbound marketing. Both types of strategies can be effective for reaching your prospects in the building and construction industry.