Why Would a Construction Company Advertise?

Sample of a construction company’s advertising campaign. Source http://pzrservices.typepad.com.

Advertising in construction is more foreign than marketing for most construction companies and understandably why. I met with one of my clients this morning about restarategizing an ad they’ve done for over 10 years and it got me thinking more about advertising in construction. The Construction Marketing Association has done some great webinars & educational materials on marketing in construction, but they’re geared more for product & residential contractors.

Here are a few reasons why a commercial general contractor (GC) or sub-contractor would want to advertise:

  • Recruiting – Recruitment is one of the biggest reasons companies engage with my team and even consider marketing, especially with low-bid public contractors. You can’t make any money without any employees and if you want the best, the best need to think you’re at the top of your game. Hard working, highly-skilled people interview their potential employers more than you’ll interview them because they have the power and the desire to work for someone that matters.
  • Awards & Recognition for Employees, Partner Companies, & Clients – You can keep your best employees, subs & clients by honoring them with sponsorships to award banquets or ads in publications announcing the awards. Your clients will feel appreciated and other companies like them will see you care and seek you out for future projects. Everyone wants to be thanked and recognized, its human nature and advertising can be part of that. Ever thought of a billboard outside of a large project that says, “Job Well Done. Thank you to our great teams”?
  • Niche audience – If you have a specific industry that you work with, a trade publication and/or event can be an efficient advertising buy. For example, if you build casinos, advertising in Gaming Floor would make sense and show your expertise over other generalist firms. (We do this in the construction industry by sponsoring select events, writing for industry publications, etc. None of our competitors do this because they do not specialize in construction like we do.)
  • Brand Awareness – Clients want to hire a company they trust and they don’t trust companies that they’ve never heard of regardless how good your price and qualifications may be. Your proposal shouldn’t be the first time they’ve heard of you and if it is, you’re climbing uphill the entire time. Brand awareness is vague, but it can help with recruitment, retention, and get those future clients.
  • Show Strength – Most companies have cut marketing & advertising due to the recent down turn in the economy, those advertising & marketing now are showing they are strong enough to survive and prosper. The people who see this strength are your employees, competitors, clients, prospects & potential employees. Advertising is cheaper than five years ago and companies would be wise to position themselves as a leader as we all come out of the recession.

Advertising is just one tool in the toolbox of the overall marketing strategy, but it shouldn’t be overlooked just because you’re a general contractor. Even within advertising, you have numerous options from print (publications), online, outdoor, TV and radio. Has your construction company used advertising to accomplish any of these objectives?

Rest of that advertising campaign: