Opinion: Selling construction technology
20 October 2021
Daniel Owen, CEO of The Armstrong Partnership, on how construction brands should market new tech
The ever-increasing developments in technology and automation have presented a challenge for construction businesses seeking better ways to showcase new products and services that will not only drive revenue, but also establish a leading presence in an increasingly crowded marketplace.
From CGI cutaways that reveal the composition of installation, to technically rich websites and an active digital presence, many brands are bolstering their position to present architects, specifiers, contractors, and skilled tradespeople with unrivalled product support. Increasingly, traditional building methods are also being challenged by faster, safer and better performing alternatives.
Demand for innovation shows no signs of abating, either. With the construction sector coming under increasing pressure to drastically improve sustainability and reduce its environmental impact to meet carbon emissions targets – how businesses communicate innovation will be key to delivering on these objectives and meeting your customers’ needs.
What construction can learn from consumer brands
One of the biggest challenges for construction manufacturers is how to distil high volumes of complex technical information to deliver a concise message to potential buyers. Increasingly, the new technologies that businesses are bringing to market involve automation, which cannot always be seen or easily demonstrated, and brands must find ways to display the benefits of something that’s not a physical product.
Many of the principles of consumer brand building apply to B2B marketing. The increasing drive towards digital means that we’re seeing many industrial brands and their audiences share the same space as consumer brands. It’s vital for construction manufacturers to get to grips with a multichannel approach to present their messages well and engage with their target audiences.
This means thinking about how to present the brand and product range effectively. People no longer want, or have the time, to sit through long PowerPoint presentations or browse sales literature. Instead, construction businesses should think about introducing animation, 3D effects, video and digital tools that can illustrate technical elements of a new product in a concise and engaging way.
Leading with visual marketing collateral can also create efficiencies across geographical markets speaking multiple languages. Using creative tools such as animation and CGI will allow business development teams to tailor to local audiences with a compelling sales pitch, while the universal assets allow them to maintain a consistent brand identity across markets.
Build a digital brand presence
Every industry has embraced the drive for digital presence, which has been rapidly increased in the wake of the pandemic. The speed in which we all digest information in an increasingly crowded marketplace means it’s now critical to have a presence on social media, industry platforms and search engines, as well as proactively informing the customer base through webinars and digital marketing.
This change in approach can be difficult for traditional industries to adapt to – it’s a reverse mentality for many, and there’s a requirement to be much more visible to customers, prospects, employees, and stakeholders. Informative, considered content is hugely important to demonstrate a grasp of the technology that businesses want to sell to their audience, and the market that they’re selling in. More importantly, market leaders should be looking to increase their business’ contribution to the sector to push the boundaries of innovation and share best practice examples.
Crystalise and communicate
In the current climate where supply chains are under stress, travel is still restricted and construction businesses are working harder than ever to keep up with demand, the ways in which businesses market new technology have changed. With less face-to-face interaction, it’s imperative that businesses crystalise their brand’s proposition and maintain contact with customers through increasing their presence across digital platforms and delivering a polished brand image.
Exploring new channels and media to build an effective digital presence will help businesses gain recognition as influential brands of the industry. It also offers an opportunity to be positioned at the forefront of innovation, clearly demonstrating to customers that products are built on foundations of knowledge and with technology that can be trusted to deliver.
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