Digital marketing in Construction and Manufacturing

10 November 2021

By: Sagittarius

Category: Blogs

Where we spend our money is always a hot topic. Perhaps never more so than now.

With Budgeting season well and truly upon us – be it at work and/or at home – the decisions that we make today, or as importantly do not make today, will have a lasting effect.

The media fills our screens and heads with a multitude of scenarios and impacts – serving up a mix of concern and opportunity – whilst in the workplace, specifically, we attempt to predict the future by laying down plans and justifying an investment into Marketing that we believe will drive the growth ambitions for our respective businesses.

At any given point in time, there are few comparable industries with such a simultaneous weight of responsibility for both the ‘now’ and ‘then’ combined.

Often perceived as ‘old school’ sectors, Construction and Manufacturing are of vital importance to our economy; in a strong market, the highly visible output is a key barometer of a nation’s stability and growth, whilst (literally) building for future generations to benefit and thrive from the results.

With a primary focus on the creation of tangible ‘things’ and physical ‘places’ for people, it’s perhaps fair to say that the rapid upward transformation trajectory of Digital over recent years has not always been entirely tracked and embraced in the Construction and Manufacturing sectors.

Whilst Marketing (as a general science) and the concept of brand building is quickly growing in sophistication in this space (with many spectacular and positive results), the adoption of Digital as an essential Marketing tool is only now beginning to emerge as a standard line to appear by default on the plan.

Despite numerous significant and on-going supply chain complexities right now, market demand remains strong and is set to continue into the near future (the experts tell us). In recognition of such continued market strength, it appears Marketing budgets are, in general, rising proportionally across these sectors to maintain position and/or grow share. In simple terms, “Invest, or get left behind”.

As with any element of a budgeting plan, an effective Digital Marketing programme should play a part in a wider purpose. Each penny of spend and every minute of resource activity should aim towards sustaining or driving growth in selected strategic areas; monitored and tweaked continuously to prompt changes in customer mindset and buying behaviours.

Digital Marketing provides the clarity Marketers have been either been seeking out or, perhaps, hiding behind for so long; targeting and measurability.

  • To target, we need to understand the customer existing and potential
  • To measure, we should select appropriate lead and lag metrics to balance input activity to drive the desired output performance

All major activity should of course lead customers to your website and all data should of course lead towards your database.

A blend of Digital spend levels covering i) the now, ii) coming soon and ii) future unknowns, combine to create a robust Digital programme:

i. The now: drives immediate cause-effect commercial wins, eg SEO, PPC, email, ecommerce, automation, web enhancements

ii. Coming soon: new digital tools to inject fresh approaches to your portfolio, eg new website, app development

iii. Future unknowns: research and learning programmes into emerging tech and experimental approaches to disrupt and/or unlock new market potential

Once again, at its simplest level, all Digital roads should lead to your website and all data into your database.

With the right portfolio of Digital tools in place to facilitate the targets and measures, a whole host of lead generation, brand equity and loyalty activities can then move you towards your goals over a realistic timeframe.

Construction and Manufacturing customers will have a wide range of Digital needs, so a roadmap to success is vital. Sequence of considerations:

  1. Understand your organisation’s strategic goals and specific vision for growth
  2. Know your market (forecasts, trends)
  3. Employ experts and create a network of best-in-class Digital suppliers to deliver against selected KPIs (they can help with the rest)
  4. Understand your customer(s); their needs, their Digital journeys/experience requirements and what would deliver further value
  5. Define your marketing goals, then:
    1.  Unpick which elements of traditional marketing should be challenged with digital support, or as a candidate for replacement
    2. Website audit against pt. 3 to create a gap analysis
  6.  Resource and cost parameters:
  7. Understand current in-house capacity/capability vs incumbent agency network
  8. What are the resource and cost gaps to support and achieve pt. 1
  9. Justify an investment uplift into Digital by offering a commercial justification using clear KPIs
  10.  Track performance against KPIs; amend/add/delete activity accordingly


In terms of creating the perfect Digital Marketing plan first time; it’s perhaps relevant to recall the ultimate of all industry phrases, which suggests that “Rome wasn’t built in a day”.

That said, perhaps if there was a more ambitious and tighter plan, with more realistic budget expectations, a clearer understanding of the end user needs, and with solid support from the experts, just maybe Rome could have been constructed a little quicker, more efficiently, bigger and even better?

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