Construction Industry Behind the Times with Marketing?

While reviewing a few discussions in my LinkedIn groups, one in the Construction Marketing Association’s discussions caught my eye. The discussion was entitled “The construction industry is behind the curve in terms of keeping up to date with modern marketing techniques.” All of the comments basically agreed with one member saying, “We are traditionalist, we rely on the good`ole boy network.” Unfortunately this is all too true in many cases.

Here is my response:

Most definitely, the construction industry is way behind the times with marketing. This is due to decades of low bid jobs, a surplus of projects where companies didn’t really need to compete, and the blue collar nature of construction workers turned executives.

I do see this changing drastically with the recession causing companies to truly compete for the first time ever in some cases as well as the movement to best value bids. Also, construction is getting more technical with contractors being a part of the BIM process and iPads being used on construction sites.

I see this evolution of marketing in construction with the advent of the Construction Marketing Association and more & more construction companies represented in SMPS (an association for marketing professionals in the Architecture/Engineering/Construction industry). Locally, I’ve seen construction companies hiring their first ever marketing directors & coordinators. Although the recession will eventually end, I do not see the construction industry dropping the marketing movement because they will still need to compete and many of the companies doing well in this recession have a solid strategic vision and a solid marketing effort, both with great marketers behind them.

What are your thoughts about marketing in construction?