Don’t let the title fool you. I know what you’re probably thinking, “A construction site?! You mean messy, dirty, and disorganized?”
No. Not like that at all.
First impression aside, a construction site and the construction team actually run like a well-oiled machine. And your marketing team and strategy should run the same way. There’s a lot you can learn from a construction site. If you don’t believe me, you’re not looking far enough past those hardhats!
Construction teams understand that they are building something bigger than themselves. It may just look like another condo tower, but to the people who will live there, it will be a home. As a marketer, you, too, are building something bigger than just a series of programs and campaigns. It’s more than just a sale and cash in the bag, and then move on. Instead, marketing is about providing customers with a solution that matters to them. So as a marketer, you’re building relationships that you hope to extend over long periods of time. So it’s your job to not only encourage the initial sale, but to also encourage loyalty and repeat purchases.
So, I ask, how can you make your marketing strategy as strategic and purposeful as a construction site? Here are three methods to do just that:
1. Dig a Hole
Well, a figurative hole. Like I said, marketing goes beyond the surface. So you need to break ground in order to build up. A construction team cannot break a water line, so they have to do some research before they build—and you should do the same.
Digging helps you uncover important information and identify what works and what doesn’t for your current strategy. The most important part of the digging is using data to back up what you find. Look for data that tells you whether certain landing pages are converting better than others, which ads convert more customers, or if your current ads are working at all.
Also consider if you notice a decrease in sign-ups or even losing revenue altogether—what changed recently? And hopefully this doesn’t happen to you, but are there any root problems in your department—are the various teams aligned, all working towards the same goals? A construction team can’t build if they don’t create a strong foundation, the same can be said for your marketing.
2. Be a (Wo)man with a Plan
The key here is that there is actually a plan. Do you think a 30-story condo tower would continue being a tower if they just figured it out as they went? I don’t think so. It would come crumbling down, and your marketing strategy will too—unless you have a plan.
Ask yourself: Which platforms will we be active on? What kind of content will we create? And, what are our inbound and outbound strategies? All of that is important to consider. Create a plan, generate ideas—don’t just go in blindly. This isn’t to say you will not learn something along the way. You should be learning—learning what works and what doesn’t.
Here are other necessities to consider as part of your plan:
- Materials: Just as the blueprint tells the construction team which materials they need, your strategy will determine which materials you need. Materials? Well you may not need metal, wood, tiles, nails, hammers, etc., but you will need people and tools—like marketing automations software, a CRM system, and social media accounts. You’ll probably need more than that, but your plan will let you know if you need more.
- Sizing: A construction plan also includes knowing what size the building will be, and your plan will tell you the size of your marketing department. Do you need just one group of marketers, or will you need separate teams within your marketing department? A lot of this depends on the size of your company and your budget. No matter the size of your company though, be sure that you’re following a plan.
- Speaking of a budget…: Just as the budget for a property dictates what kinds of materials they use, your budget will do the same. Be honest with yourself and ask, “Can I do all that’s in my plan with the time, people, and money I have?” If your answer is no or even a maybe, then you need to stop and think again. It is always better to do fewer things right than lots of things poorly.
Construction analogies aside, you may find that your strategy is not working to achieve the goals you have set. That’s OK. Re-evaluate the process and the strategy and decide what needs to be changed. Don’t keep doing something that isn’t working or else you will waste time and resources.
3. Coordinate with Your Crew
Whew! You’ve built a strong foundation. In a construction site that means you can start building up. As a marketer, it’s time to start executing on your plan and building your marketing activities and campaigns. With a strong foundation, you can make your marketing strategy scalable. Just like the 30-story condo tower gets bigger and harder to miss, so will your company if you execute a solid marketing strategy. Make sure the content you share and the marketing activities you participate in reflect the goals and ideas of your brand.
At it’s core, a marketing strategy is a plan—a strategic plan. Buildings are built because there is a need, and quite frankly, there is a need to have marketing (Yay for us marketers!). However, all too often marketing plans are done hastily and out of necessity without spending the time to infuse the creativity or level of strategy you’d like. To address that issue, it’s vital to make sure that your team is on the same page. Like a construction crew, it’s critical that your team understands the overall strategy, their role, and how it relates to the other members of the team. It’s especially important to remember that you cannot have some people creating campaigns, some blogging, and then others posting on social media and not talking to each other. This causes inconsistencies which can affect your customer experience. Stay on the same page, set attainable goals, and if something changes or isn’t working, communicate that across the board. Everyone should adjust accordingly.
Keep in mind that you’re more than a marketing department. You’re a brand, serving customers’ needs and solving problems. So if you remember that, you can dig into your marketing data to find out what is working and what isn’t, create a plan around that and ‘build’ great marketing.
Do you have any tips to add? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.