What’s the typical day for a builder, GC or tradesperson? In 2018, it’s not all that typical. All of these professionals are used to wearing many different hats: scheduler, planner, designer, and buyer; as well as employer, recruiter, HR manager, and trainer.

Because of this, builders, GCs, and trades don’t have the time in their day that they used to.

For almost five years, industry associations have pointed to worker shortages in the construction industry. The Associated General Contractors of America began reporting on it as early as mid-2013 when the association surveyed members about the issue, based on a growing pattern of anecdotal reports. In the months that followed, AGCA issued many other reports declaring tightness in the labor market.

The prolonged worker shortage has fallout effects on marketers of building materials: It’s left their customers with less time to learn about new products, schedule work, prepare bids, create budgets and specify unfamiliar building materials. Companies that want to increase sales and market share with this target audience need to respond to what the labor shortage is doing to their customers.

Marketing Strategies Inspired by the Labor Shortage

The best actions for building materials marketers to take in a tight labor market? Find ways to reduce friction, cut hassles, and improve labor productivity. These 10 marketing ideas for building materials manufacturers, each detailed in our recent blog posts, are built on engaging contractors and builders by saving them time and effort in several ways:

  1. Track the changes brought by the construction industry’s labor shortage. Understanding how the current construction industry workforce is different from yesterday’s reveals opportunities for marketers to help ease the labor burden in areas like training, education, and specification.
  2. Help the construction industry make up for lost time. Cover more ground by partnering with a B2B marketing organization that understands the building materials customer’s buying journey and how products are specified.
  3. Think critically about your target audience and what’s it’s like to be the buyer. Then look for ways to reduce hassles in the buying process. Add up the time and effort customers have to contribute, when it comes to pricing, installation, ordering, invoicing, and more.  
  4. Ask your Technical Support and Customer Service teams what customers are saying about you. Their insights could be eye-opening and could lead to revolutionary ideas, services and business opportunities.
  5. Develop brand promises about how your building materials and related services are saving time and effort for contractors. Tie your company’s purpose back to day-to-day solutions you’re delivering builders and contractors.
  6. Be thoughtful about messaging. Use segmented strategies to ensure the right messaging reaches the right people at the right times and places. Above all, avoid disruptive messaging in a time-stretched market, because it can harm sales.
  7. Use marketing technology to tailor, refine and automate messaging strategies. These tools will optimize messaging strategies by helping to understand how to reach customers, linking customers to their place in the buyer’s journey, and giving them answers, quickly.
  8. Take a look at typical marketing analytics benchmarks. Then, do better. Achieving higher conversion numbers than the competition is the best way to attract and engage customers, grow market share and displace other specifications.
  9. Launch new products that respond to the labor shortage, and make it easy for contractors to give them a try. Highlight how the new products save contractors’ time and effort down the road, too.
  10. Don’t underestimate the power of continuous improvement. Keep tracking your results and making changes to your marketing plans.

With these ideas, building materials marketers do two things: respond to the construction industry’s labor shortage, and save time and effort for customers in meaningful ways. If Point To Point can help you dig into these strategies to engage more time-crunched builders and contractors, give us a call.

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