Marketing : Paul Scott

Paul Scott.

Paul Scott has worked in construction sales and marketing for more than 20 years, forming his own company, Front Elevation, in 2011. Here he offers his insights into how you can grow your business.

Paul Scott established his company, Front Elevation, in 2011. Front Elevation specialises in UK-wide project and product photography as well as marketing support in the construction sector. Call: 01227 364115. Mobile: 07894 161552. [email protected]

I am again honoured to be asked to stand in for the regular author of this column, Alan Gayle, for a couple of editions and will try my best to provide some insight into construction marketing.

One of the primary services of the company I set up in 2011 is construction photography, so when I receive each issue of Natural Stone Specialist I do two things:

One – look to see if there are any of our images (there was a white marble bathroom in the June issue) and

Two – read Alan’s column for the insights it offers.

I hope I can add some insights of my own that will be as useful to you.

In my view, one of the most common mistakes in marketing is starting at the wrong end.

Marketing? Starting at the wrong end?!

I work a great deal in and around London where Crossrail remains one of Europe’s largest civil engineering projects. Do you think they started digging a bloomin’ great hole without previously working out where they were going to put the soil they removed? But that’s affectively what happens with a lot of marketing. A huge amount of effort is put into adverts, social media, graphic design, branding, fonts, colours, images… but the company doing the advertising has made no plan for what to do with the RESPONSE that produces.

Yes, the ‘R’ word.

Someone has taken the time to register on your website, respond to your new BIM email or whatever other marketing tool you have used, and what do you do?

A:         Send them your 2014 brochure?

B:         Send them something really relevant?

Having the luxury of two editions of this magazine to put my comments into, I will cover the type of response in more detail next month. But whether you are a contractor, manufacturer, stone supplier or tooling distributor, the response is often overlooked.

I am not talking about producing a storage facility filled with hard copy brochures here, but I do suggest you have a procedure and system that can offer a tailored ‘on-demand’ response that will produce the maximum impact.

With a reasonable desktop publishing (DTP) program on your computer – and you can buy a perfectly adequate DTP program on the internet for less than £100 – you can produce a printable single page, A4 document in a matter of minutes.

What you do need is a template / format* and a picture library. The template should include your logo and contact details, and might include space for, say, three images, one large and two smaller frames.

The text will possibly be contained in three separate text boxes. This takes some getting used to but can work very well. The trick is to keep to a uniform amount of text in each box on each project.

For example…

Box One: THE PROJECT. Project Name, Project Location, Client, Architect, Main Contractor (this is for a contractor but, of course, can be varied to suit).

Box Two. PROJECT DETAILS. This is your contribution to the project. Keep it tight and to the point; no more than 40-50 words (trickier than it sounds).

Box Three. YOUR COMPANY. Again, keep it brief; probably no more than 30 words. Highlight a few key features relevant to the enquiry. Often this can remain as a default across various projects, as it might not need to be changed.

By building up a picture library and ‘text sets’, you can ‘cut and paste’ them into your template in a matter of minutes. The template can include a text box to personalise the response to the individual who made the enquiry. It can then be printed out or emailed for a professional response that is far more likely to engage the potential client than a brochure you produced two years ago.

Next Month we will cover how you tailor the content.

*Your web designers can probably do this for you in your DTP program, so it reflects the design of your website for consistency.