The construction industry plays a key role in growing the UK’s economy. Overall, it’s worth over £110 billion per year and makes up 7% of the UK’s GDP. The public sector accounts for approximately 16% of the market. It’s no wonder that competition for construction contracts in the public sector is increasing. The upshot is that you need a highly targeted and highly efficient marketing strategy to make your mark in B2G construction.
The question is: How do you go about developing a marketing strategy to increase your chances of winning a construction contract?
We’re going to look at how marketing strategies can be adapted to suit the construction industry and increase your opportunities to win construction contracts in the UK.
A B2G marketing strategy sets the stage for your business to target specific types of construction contracts. Below are some of the elements that go into a successful strategy.
Know Your Audience
Construction in the public sector is diverse, for instance, there are local, regional, and country-wide projects. Each fall under the ambit of a department and each department has unique pain points and procurement regulations. You need to know which department or division is your target and then gather as much pertinent information as possible. This also applies to the key decision-makers in evaluating proposals and awarding tenders.
The more you know, the more you can tailor your bids to meet the exact requirements of the specific types of contracts in construction available.
A Professional Website
It’s worth hiring a professional design company to create your website. Some design companies integrate basic SEO into the website. For example, they can optimise images and ensure the site is optimised for fast loading, both of which play a role in overall site optimisation and contribute to search engine rankings.
It’s essential to have relevant and engaging content and intuitive usability. This just means that the site flows logically and naturally directs users to your goal, which could be viewing a free webinar, registering for your newsletter, or requesting a quote. It’s a good idea to have a page that features past projects, with plenty of images, to show off your capability in your area of specialisation – bridges, office renovations, roads, etc.
A page with client testimonials and reviews demonstrates your professionalism and customer satisfaction – Company A is impressed that you completed office renovations on time and on budget without skimping on quality. They wouldn’t hesitate to recommend you.
Events can go two ways and you need to go with both.
- Attend industry-related events, including trade shows, expos, and conferences.
- Host industry-related events, including workshops, charity events, and conferences.
Events present meet-and-greet opportunities with key players and decision-makers, like construction contracts managers. They also present opportunities to network, build professional relationships, and collaborate on innovative solutions.
Ideally, events should have a well-rounded group of attendees. This includes all links in the supply chain, decision-makers, representatives, agents, and specialists. It also includes guests with various ties to the industry, for instance, the manager of a company that has devised a new way to produce construction equipment made entirely from recycled parts.
You can find and attend industry events, including conferences, awards, and expos on specialist sites like Procurex National, the UK Infrastructure Show, and more. Some events, like Procurex National, allow you to buy a stand where you can present your services/products directly to public sector buyers. Whether you’re an exhibitor, attendee, or speaker, events are perfect for networking and getting to know buyers on a personal level.
Content marketing is an excellent way to demonstrate depth of knowledge, insightful thinking, and an innovative approach to problem-solving.
There are many ways to go about content marketing, including:
- A blog, which adds fresh content, lends to your reputation as an expert in your field, and it has the potential to reach a wide audience, especially if you enable social media sharing.
- An e-book on topics like Top 10 Factors to Consider Before You Add an Extension to Your Home.
- A webinar on the importance of content marketing in landing B2G construction contracts.
- A weekly newsletter discussing industry trends, developments, innovation, and perhaps a look at the human side of your workforce, for instance, milestones, anniversaries, and awards, etc.
- A YouTube channel with short videos featuring your community projects; for example, before, during, and after.
- Infographics are great link bait (they drive users to your site) provided they are easy to read, easy to understand, and easy on the eye.
Remember: You are working in the public sector, so all your content must be geared towards the sector’s field of operations. If you can tailor it to the current decision-maker all the better.
Value For Money
Before the new procurement bill and the changes it would bring became a hot topic, tenders were generally awarded to the bidder with the lowest price. However, one of the changes in the bill places emphasis on value.
Social value is particularly important as it benefits the wider community and not just the construction project. For example:
- Reusing, recycling, or repurposing (waste) material such as using leftover roof paint on the job centre’s roof.
- Employing locals, which can include apprenticeships or on-the-job training with a focus on building skills.
- Contributing to local initiatives by providing blankets to homeless shelters or planting trees in local parks.
The nature of your social value initiatives is largely determined by which types of construction contracts in the UK you’re targeting and the location of the project, for instance, painting roofs might work well in an urban renewal programme.
Put It All Together
You can, of course, focus on one element at a time. This is an option if you don’t have the resources to create a comprehensive marketing strategy. And, let’s face it, implementing a marketing strategy is also time-consuming. Choose the element you’re most comfortable with, be it hosting small events or building your social value and you’ll still experience some marketing strategy benefits.
Another option is to outsource one or two elements, for example, hire a professional writer who is comfortable with construction and can write your blogs or website content.
The best option is to hand over all of the work to a marketing agency that works specifically in the public sector. You can work together to ensure the strategy meets your needs and your means. You also have the final say on whether the strategy gets the green light, or must go back to the workshop.
Cadence Marketing provides a range of public sector marketing services tailored to your needs. These include market research and webinars designed to facilitate networking, increase brand awareness, and optimise opportunities for growth.
You can find out more about your marketing needs and how to meet them when you contact Cadence Marketing and book a free consultation.