Support for Construction Marketing Research – Guest Article by Darren Jarvis, Construct UK Ltd

Darren Jarvis, Director of Construct UK Ltd explains how this useful reference source can help the construction marketer.

The importance of marketing planning and thorough research cannot be emphasised enough and, for construction marketers, time spent getting it right will pay dividends in the long run.   However, ‘time is money’, as they say and, like most things, a balance needs to be struck between preparation and implementation.

In terms of information dissemination for specifiers and trades-people, our industry is very well-served by a plethora of product directories, journals, events and other media – providing them with relatively easy access to an abundance of product and technical information.  For the product marketer however, the information may not be quite so speedily accessible when planning and researching a marcoms campaign.  Resources such as the Construction Media Index provide detailed marketing intelligence, whilst many agencies and specialists often produce excellent blogs and features focusing on niche issues.  By consolidating key construction marketing topics into one place and then signposting many of the available planning and research resources, aims not only to support marketers with comprehensive and pertinent information, but also to save them hours in research and planning time.

Typical information focuses on key target areas for construction product marketers.  An example would be the feature on builders merchants, which details key buying groups, media channels, events, and award schemes (for sponsorship opportunities).  Information on organisations offering the latest economic survey data is provided and the feature is supported by a database of named buyers at the UK’s largest merchant chains.   Similarly, there are features focussing on other key sectors, such as architecture, surveying, engineering, housebuilding, contracting, etc. – each aimed at helping construction marketers navigate to the relevant sources of available information. In addition, a wide range of guides is provided covering everything from product literature classification to marketing channels in custom and self-build home market.   Help in finding and selecting third party agency and market research support is also given and many of these experts have, in turn, contributed helpful articles such as:

Despite the name, Construct UK’s resources are not just UK-focused.   The extremely close relationship – in both cultural and trade terms – between the UK and Ireland provides significant market opportunities for business on both sides of the invisible land border.  Needless to say, the two countries each represent their closest export markets and consequently each ranks in the other’s list of top trading partners.

Naturally, these opportunities extend to construction: the profile of the Irish industry parallels that of the UK and the respective business activities, practices, standards and procedures are very similar.  According to consultancy Linesight, output of the Irish construction industry was estimated at €25 billion in 2019 and employed a workforce of approximately 149,900.

As for the UK market, features a range of time-saving research resources for construction marketers seeking Ireland-specific information, such as details of project lead providers, marketing agencies, databases of key contracting and specifying firms, etc.   Guides to specific aspects of the market are also included, such as standards & building regulations, taxation, BIM, tendering and procurement, as well as key media channels and events.

Guides to exploring wider export opportunities contribute a sizeable part of the resource.  According to the UK government’s Department for International Trade (DIT), UK construction businesses already export more than £6bn in products and £3bn in services every year.  Many other businesses, not yet exporting, may actually find that working internationally is not quite as different as they had first imagined, since, whilst the territory may be new, the working environment could prove surprisingly familiar.  For those looking to undertake some preliminary market research, a comprehensive calendar of 900+ international construction exhibitions is available and this is supported by a range of guides and features to explore the opportunities further, such as Identifying Suitable Markets, Finding an Agent or Distributor, Sources of International Project Leads, Finding an International Construction Market Researcher, etc.

Overall includes over 100 features and articles, 2,000 events and 8,000 business entries, all selected to support the activities of construction’s sales and marketing professionals.