The Importance of Marketing in Preconstruction
Preconstruction and marketing are two words you don’t usually hear in the same context. Part of that is because marketing in construction doesn’t function the way that we traditionally think of marketing. In construction, the purpose of marketing isn’t necessarily about logo designs and email campaigns—it’s about project pursuit and RFPs, some of the most crucial activities at a construction firm. These activities are so crucial, in fact, that marketing has frequently carried more perceived value than preconstruction.
Traditionally, preconstruction has not been seen as a service that can help with project pursuit for a few different reasons. First, preconstruction was often treated as a burdensome task with no real value add to general contractors because it didn’t generate profit. That perception has recently changed, and more companies are beginning to realize that preconstruction is something they absolutely need to charge separately for. However, while general contractors might see the worth in preconstruction services, those just starting their careers might not feel the same way. Preconstruction is experiencing a huge labor shortage, especially when it comes to mid-level and senior talent.
This is where marketing comes in. We’ve talked a lot about the need to make preconstruction “glamorous,” “exciting,” even “sexy.” However, talking about it is one thing, and putting it into practice is another.
There are three major ways you can achieve both increased project pursuit and talent attraction by partnering preconstruction with marketing.
- Celebrate and broadcast preconstruction wins
- Use preconstruction as part of project pursuit
- Share what your preconstruction efforts are accomplishing
Celebrate and Broadcast Preconstruction Wins
The quickest way to become undervalued and unappreciated is to forget to toot your own horn. You can’t expect people to get excited about everything you’re doing if they don’t know what you’re doing! This is probably the most common issue in preconstruction. Many people still have outdated notions of sitting at a desk all day, essentially existing as a human calculator.
But preconstruction is so much more than that. It’s data analysis. It’s experimenting with artificial intelligence and automation. It’s even a little bit of artistry, thanks to the emergence of model-based estimating and customizable data visualization boards.
To effectively communicate what preconstruction is and is not, it’s important to start internally. Consider a quarterly newsletter outlining new techniques or team wins you’ve accomplished. If you use a work communication tool such as Slack or Teams, think about creating a channel for your whole company to celebrate different department successes.
Ensure That You are Using Preconstruction as Part of Project Pursuit
Another key aspect to combining marketing with your preconstruction efforts: you have to make sure that you’re actually using and advertising preconstruction as part of your project pursuit strategy. Are you rolling it into other costs and essentially giving it away for free, or are you charging separately for rendered precon services?
It’s equally as important to explain to clients why preconstruction is such a value-add. Consistently accurate estimates mean less money and resources wasted. When estimators add data visualization to estimates, they also bring greater transparency and improved communication and collaboration to the preconstruction process. But again, clients won’t know this unless you make a little noise about what you’re doing and why you’re doing it.
Collaborate With Software Vendors and Industry Organizations to Share What Your Preconstruction Efforts are Accomplishing
Perhaps the best way to market your preconstruction accomplishments, innovations, and victories is by working with software vendors you already use, as well as industry organizations you’re already a part of, to produce thought pieces about what you and your team are doing.
Preconstruction as a whole has often been a little hesitant about public relations. But there’s no way to change the industry’s image without making active efforts to tell stories about all the incredible and transformative things happening behind the scenes. Partnering with software vendors, speaking at conferences, and attending networking events all help establish industry-wide preconstruction standards, in addition to positioning your team as a trailblazing pioneer.
Ready to Start Marketing?
There’s no time like the present. If you’re interested in pushing out a thought leadership piece, interview, or video, please reach out to us at email@example.com. We’ve partnered with dozens of industry leaders to help tell their preconstruction stories, and we’d be more than happy to help you as well.