Digital Communications in Construction Marketing / Marketing communications

Digital Communications in Construction Marketing

CMI front coversOur recent research, Construction Media Index, identifies communication channels used by the key decision makers in the UK construction industry. It looks at the readership of hardcopy and online trade journals, industry blogs and websites and the use of product directories, as well as attendance of technical seminars. It also provides an insight into Twitter and LinkedIn usage for work and Apps.

In this blog we look at the trends indicated by the research and interview leading communications agency CFA asking them to comment on the findings, drawing on their experiences of communicating with construction industry key decision makers.

David Ing from CFA Marketing is experienced at delivering multi-channel marketing campaigns and I wanted to ask him how he decides which media to use and what channels work well in partnership when delivering an integrated communications plan.

Below are his answers:

Q: The CMI 2013 research demonstrates the acceptance of social media as a work tool, the increased readership of eNews and blogs, as well as use of video and webinar, and rapid uptake of Apps. How has the growth of digital communications changed your approach to developing a communications strategy?

Digital communications has provided us with more ‘tools’ to use to target client audiences. However they should be seen as supplements to existing, traditional tools, such as PR, advertising, direct mail and exhibitions, rather than replacements. As such, our communications strategies are broader in terms of marketing activities, combining traditional with digital.

In addition, customers have become increasingly hungry for information and digital means they don’t have to wait for it – it’s just a few clicks away and with so many people having mobile devices, it’s just a click away wherever and whenever.

In terms of a communications strategy, this hunger has to be considered. Whilst some marketing activities are designed to influence and inform, other activities need to be created to fulfil the desire of information.

There also needs to be consideration given as to how digital works with traditional. Whilst they are very different approaches they need to complement each other and work together.

Q: And what impact has it had on creativity; budget; timescales?

Digital has had an effect on budgets in a number of ways. Where traditional activities didn’t include digital but do now, this extra work has to come out of a budget that unfortunately in many cases is shrinking, so it really is a case of trying to do more with less. That said, digital does have many desirable attributes when it comes to costs i.e. many digital activities are less expensive when compared to traditional – hard copy DM versus email marketing.

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