Don’t Skip the Construction Market Research when Developing a Strategy

In the world of construction markets, it’s often tempting to assume we understand our customers’ needs and preferences without delving into the depths of construction market research. We may feel confident in our ability to market effectively to architects, engineers, and contractors, believing that skipping the research phase will save us time and money, allowing us to dive straight into the more appealing aspects of marketing campaigns and creativity. However, this assumption can be perilous.

How often have discussions on specifier behaviour with colleagues ended in circular debates due to the lack of concrete data? Or how frequently do we rely on assumptions and gut feelings for answers? The truth is, construction markets are complex ecosystems, with decision-making units comprised of numerous specifiers and influencers. Challenges like value engineering and specification switching are ever-present, influenced by various factors including construction contract types, legislation, and market forces. Thus, when marketing construction products, it’s imperative to have a firm grip on the current market landscape and a deep understanding of the construction specifiers relevant to your product.

Market research serves as a powerful tool for managing risk. The more comprehensive your understanding of the construction sector, the lower the risk of failure and the greater the chance of success.

Thankfully, conducting market research need not be exorbitantly expensive or time-consuming. At Competitive Advantage, we often find ourselves approached to conduct research projects on subjects for which we’ve previously published reports. For instance, our Construction Media Index and Personas are invaluable resources that we readily share with clients, enabling them to refine their research requirements into more incisive projects. Leveraging our background knowledge, we can also suggest additional areas to investigate, such as the implications of value engineering in light of events like the Grenfell tragedy.

Now, let’s explore some quick research wins to inform and guide your marketing strategy:

  1. Surveying your frontline sales team can provide invaluable insights into specifier influences, necessary sales tools, and customer satisfaction. Utilising a third-party to conduct this research ensures unbiased responses, free from sugar-coating or bias. Anonymising survey responses further encourages candid feedback, offering valuable marketing insights.
  2. Desk research presents an efficient method for conducting informative research, particularly when exploring market size and identifying opportunities. By enlisting the expertise of professionals, you can free up your time to focus on essential marketing tasks. These experts can draw meaningful conclusions from their findings, enabling you to apply insights directly to your strategy.
  3. Online surveys offer instant responses that can be monitored in real-time. By incentivising participation, such as offering vouchers or prize draws, you can expedite results. Consider conducting a short Net Promoter Score (NPS) survey before and after a communications campaign to gauge its effectiveness. In cases of time constraints, supplementing online responses with telephone research among key contacts can provide additional depth.

In conclusion, research forms the cornerstone of effective marketing. By identifying objectives and leveraging available resources, you can gather actionable insights to build your strategy on market facts rather than guesswork. Professional construction market research yields clear results that are easy to interpret and apply, ensuring that your marketing efforts are built on a solid foundation of market knowledge. Stop the guesswork and start building your strategy on market facts.