I’m normally not a fan of the “top # reasons”, “# essential things” and “# keys to” type of posts. But, here I am, writing one myself. Maybe, because as a writer, it’s an easy way to write a disjointed piece with several key takeaways. Actually, that’s probably the exact reason.
Anyway, lately, we’ve had a few opportunities where a few common pitfalls that we see with companies seeking construction advertising agencies have emerged. Here is what we wish everyone we talked to knew and believed in. We certainly do.
Name a marketing lead
In a perfect world, you have a CMO. In a perfectly adequate world, you have a marketing lead. This doesn’t even have to be someone that is well-educated in marketing. Obviously, the more education the better, but the lead certainly doesn’t HAVE to be an MBA candidate. Instead, your marketing lead needs to be organized, responsive and trusted. If you have someone like that at your company, you’re set. It makes the marketing process so much easier, more effective, and certainly more efficient.
If you’ve already got this taken care of, check out Joe’s advice to the marketing guys of the industrial world.
With that said, don’t hire an entire marketing team
It’s a lot of money. Really. A lot. Think about all the different hires you’d have to make to represent an entire marketing team – a writer, a designer, a programmer, someone to manage all of their work, a PR person – the list goes and goes. So you build a team of 5 really well-groomed Wharton grads…great…now what? Who’s going to design everything you need? Who is going to make sure your content is balanced between brand voice and style and best SEO practices? Who’s going to fix the website when it’s acting up? If your answer is “my IT company”, you got problems.
Take your opportunities seriously. No one else is. Few others are, at least.
The bar is set low in industrial marketing. Take a look for yourself. Have you seen some of the websites? No, really. Have you? They’re atrocious. Yet you can bet these companies all enforce a dress code in their office and insist that their letterheads and business cards look nice. But website – who uses the internet anyway these days?
Now, not next year, but NOW, is your opportunity to blow everyone else away. Take each and every marketing opportunity seriously. And don’t stop at good design and good copy. Stop after you’ve left a pile of leads on your sales teams’ desk. And you’ve said “boom goes the dynamite” on your way out the do (pronounced “doe”)!
Don’t issue them. Please. For the love of marketing and hiring the right agency for your needs, don’t issue an RFP. It’s just not an effective way to go about the business. Issuing an RPF is like hiring someone after only seeing their resume. Joe has some more thoughts on this.
Make sure you’re measuring all that you’re doing or that your marketing team is
Finally, after years and years of marketing agencies being able to slide by without ever really giving hard proof of their worth and value, you can demand actual metrics on success. Are your marketing efforts paying off? This is a question you need to be asking. The smart marketers are. You’ll be left in the dust if you don’t. Check out this white paper we recently wrote about measuring ROI.
Mobile is growing. Build accordingly.
This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to build a second website. There are better solutions to this. Make sure your agency of choice understands and implements responsive design. This will ensure that your web experience is top notch for your users no matter their device.
What’s responsive design? Go to the bottom right corner of the TruQC site we built, clicking and dragging your mouse to the top left corner. You’ll notice that the layout changes as you make the screen closer to that of a tablet and eventually to that of a mobile phone.
You get what you pay for
Just something to always think about. And while you’re thinking about it, go back to that 2nd bullet point about hiring an entire marketing team. Time and time again, we see agencies that hire a whole gaggle of folks to handle their marketing. Figure the average salary is $40K, and there are, say, three employees, and they get benefits, for which we’ll factor in $10K a person. That’s $150K in marketing staffing. And there’s a very strong chance they’ll still have to go outside of your walls to hire the right talent for different jobs.
DON’T fall into this trap. For 5-10K a month, you can get exceptional work from true experts. Don’t be cheap. You’ll spend more in the long run.
Your website is a lead generating machine….nothing else is acceptable
Your website is not a brochure. It’s a living and breathing thing that can land leads for you and be the best salesman you ever hire. It needs to be chocked full of great content that interests and engages users. Take it serious. Got it?
Cut the print budget
We once argued it had its time and place. And I guess, it still does. But if I was an owner and was looking to up my construction advertising and industrial marketing, I’d cut my print construction advertising budget. Pure and simple. It’s just too expensive for what you get. For a four digit figure, you get, at most, a month’s worth of exposure. Often, just a week or less. And really, it’s not even a full week. It’s one impression with a viewer. That’s absurd. I promise you, putting your money on a smart online initiative will prove to be much more effective. And guess what, if not, you can switch. Because you can measure online. Remember? You can see what’s working and what’s not working. To all the print world personnel – we’re not hating. We still see lots and lots of value in online sponsored ads, newsletter access, etc. But your print publications. Not really our thing.