A new year is right around the corner. And while the media is doing its best to focus on the uncertainties in the construction and building sectors, we're seeing several trends that can work in your favor if incorporated as part of your marketing and business development strategy.
Implementing Offsite and Virtual Practices
We appreciate that our building industry clients still prefer face-to-face and in-office meetups. But adopting a digital approach to at least part of your services will better position you for the future.
Building Information Modeling (BIM) technology has played a big part in the upward trend of offsite construction across the building industry because it enables contractors to reimagine design details virtually before construction even begins. Modular and prefabricated building procedures have also grown in popularity, as they allow for most work to occur offsite, resulting in fewer errors, weather delays, and budgetary overruns.
Additionally, virtual meetings are the new normal. Whether you love or hate it, more and more building professionals are taking advantage of online tools in 2023 by utilizing Zoom or Microsoft Teams to meet with clients. They’re also offering webinars and online education courses for their employees, clients, and industry partners, which allow them to showcase unique capabilities in a more accessible and cost-effective environment.
A new study conducted by global strategy consultancy Simon-Kucher & Partners found that 61% of Americans rated sustainability as part of their purchase criterion, with the highest percentages among Millennials and Gen Z.
These findings suggest sustainable builders will edge out the competition as younger generations build equity and transition into decision-making roles. In fact, we’re already witnessing the impact of sustainability being a priority in the building industry, with more customers specifically seeking out “green” contractors.
Some easy ways to capitalize on this trend include applying for green certifications, adding articles to your blog section to educate about green practices, and partnering with architecture or engineering firms in the field who are already doing a great job incorporating energy-efficient elements into their designs. This could help forge new long-term partnerships, a more diverse portfolio, and new biz lead generation.
Addressing the Labor Shortage
Beyond pandemic-induced delays, the labor shortage was compounded in the last couple of years by workers in leadership roles choosing to retire early and younger generations moving away from physical labor for more “attractive” roles outside the building industry.
Thankfully, trends show that projects are getting back on track in 2023 and hiring is on the rise. While more job opportunities mean the potential to build a strong workforce, it takes time for knowledge to transfer from industry vets and new hires. To get ahead of the competition, you should get serious about hiring during the first quarter of 2023.
If you want to position your company as an employer of choice, your messaging should highlight your commitment to your team and showcase how you support your employees regularly. This should include using clear language about employee benefits on your company website and spotlighting current team members and their unique abilities on your social accounts and in your marketing materials.
Job fairs may seem like a thing of the past, but connecting with potential hires and explaining face-to-face why you’re the best company to work for still goes a long way.
Embracing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
The share of female construction workers is at an all-time going into 2023, with recruitment campaigns targeting women resulting in a more than 50% jump in women entering the industry over the past decade.
Making the recruitment of female workers a tenet of your strategic marketing plan, and providing women with opportunities to grow in-house, could be the competitive advantage that sets you apart from industry peers.
Get a head start by utilizing the women you already have on staff. Check in with female employees regularly about their working conditions, their treatment on the job, and implement their suggestions about making changes to accommodate all workers. When employees feel like valued team members, they’ll talk about it. And that type of marketing is priceless.
You can further highlight your company culture by prioritizing work place safety, as well as diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) across all marketing channels.
Combatting Supply Chain Issues
Supply chains were hit hard over the last two years across all industries. But experts agree that the burden of high construction material costs should ease in the coming months.
A recent study conducted by Linesight found several indicators of construction-related inflation becoming less intense. Among them, diesel fuel prices have fallen 8.5% over the last quarter, and average lumber prices are on track to drop 12% by the third quarter.
We’ve heard from several clients that construction companies combatted supply chain issues during the pandemic by ordering more than they needed on a given job and then throwing away excess materials. Resolve in 2023 to reduce waste by ordering only what you need and investing in technology that enables you to make more accurate projections. Then write about it and promote it on social media. That’s what your audiences want to hear.
You might also consider sending emails to your clients and industry partners to help them source materials more sustainably and share videos on your website and social media channels about using materials optimally.
New Year, New Resolution
The construction industry is gearing up for massive growth in the new year. Make sure your business leads the way by investing time and money into trends that will level up your brand, improve your messaging, and help grow your business long-term.