This is a question clients have asked me: what is the future of marketing for the construction industry? Like any industry, marketing for the construction industry is evolving. Over time, new tech, competition and changing consumer behaviours are driving change and building companies that embrace the changes are creating an edge over their competitors.
If you're looking for an edge, read on...
Predictions for the construction sector are focused on technologies that enhance personalisation and interactivity, like augmented reality and new ad delivery platforms.
Here are 6 examples of how builders are embracing the future of marketing in the construction industry:
1. Virtual Reality (VR) for virtual tours
Virtual Reality tech is becoming increasingly popular in the home building industry as a way to offer prospective buyers an immersive and interactive experience. A builder can allow potential buyers to take a virtual tour of their builds, creating an immersive experience compared to the traditional in-person or video tours.
Fairhaven Homes for example has created VR experiences that enable buyers to take a tour using Matterport technology. Others offer opportunity to completely customise their home design through VR. A builder could allow users to explore different neighbourhoods, and learn about the community lifestyle in the area they're considering buying.
While that sounds novel now, in the future it could be a prospective buyer's expectation.
2. Increased campaign Personalisation
AI and machine learning algorithms are allowing us to sift through vast amounts of data and create more personalised interactions in our marketing campaigns. For example, a marketer might show ads about energy-efficiency to an environmentally conscious customer, and ads about a spacious home to a prospect with a large family. Ad relevance is critical to campaign performance, and ad platforms are becoming better at personalizing ad delivery.
Traditional mediums like direct mail are also being tailored to audience segmentations. No need to distribute your flyers to everyone in a neighbourhood, there's distribution data available to support a more personalised approach.
TIP: Some ad platforms are better set to 'broad targeting' as you can already rely on the AI to optimise delivery to the right person at the right time, rather than DIY-ing.
3. Improved AI-Powered Chat
Wouldn't it be nice to skip all the toing and froing with customer queries and have a bot look after it for you? While we aren't quite ready to give up human interaction yet, construction companies like KB Homes launched an AI-powered chatbot in 2020 to support their customer experience.
While chatbots may seem a bit clunky now, remember what GPS was like when it first came out? It progressed quickly and most of us can't live without using the likes of Google maps for direction now. The same is likely to happen to chat bots. Companies like Atlas RTAX are making it happen.
4. Increased Use Of Voice Search
The rise of chat also is bringing on the rise of voice search. It means builders need to optimise their website content for voice search queries. For voice, there's two critical things you'll need: conversational content and schema markup. Schema markup, (in case you're wondering), is a way of formatting your website content so that search engine 'crawlers' essentially understand your content better. I recommend you work with someone like an SEO pro to sort this out for you.
Want to know how your website is using structured markup? Use Google's developer tools to scout it out. Side note: these tools may also highlight why you'll probably want to work with a pro on this (haha).
5. Fragmented Ad Platforms
I know I'm stating the obvious here, but ads are big business. So big that the US Department of Justice is suing Google for monopolizing digital advertising technology. Apple is rumored to soon be releasing its own ad platform, Quora now offers ads and TikTok ads is attracting evolving demographics. Knowing where to put your marketing budget it critical in a changing advertising landscape.
One of the best ways to maintain agility in this landscape is to;
A) Monitor channel performance over time and choose to invest in those where you're gaining traction. Not micro-management, as in monitoring every 7 days, decent chunks of time such as every quarter. Smaller time periods are more likely to paint an inaccurate picture of overall direction. Use a tool like Google's Looker Studio, but get a pro to set-it up for you.
B) Proactively analyse your primary customer persona by mapping your customer's journey to finding a service like yours. This isn't a once off task - as your prospect's path changes, so must yours.
6. Ever-Increasing Demand For Quality Content
AI may be speeding up content creation, but it's not decreasing the demand for quality content. Prospective customers expect to be able to find answers to their queries, fast, and if your company doesn't offer that your competitor might.
Wherever your audience is, if appropriate, be there, with appropriate channel content.
- Key facts
- Areas you work in
- Team member profiles
- Current offers
- Recent builds
NB: Quality content doesn't mean it has to be professionally filmed with fancy filters and lighting. Think Home Depot or Bunnings. Bunnings likes to use staff in their how-to content, making it very authentic. Showcasing your team on social media helps people 'get to know you better', and knowing you helps establish trust moving the prospective buyer closer to committing to your building service.
Authentic content, such as content without image filters, is more believable, and therefore more trustworthy in a heavily edited online world.
the future of marketing for the construction industry
These are just a few examples of the trends and predictions for the future of online marketing for the home building industry. As technology continues to evolve and the industry adapts, it's likely that new and innovative online marketing strategies will emerge, helping home builders reach potential buyers more effectively and provide a better overall customer experience.