Importance of Digital Marketing in the Construction Industry

by Emma Jones, guest blogger

Discover the sheer value of digital marketing in the construction industry, from leveraging automation to enhancing branding and more.

While digital marketing holds different values for different industries, there are arguably no industries that don’t benefit from it. It’s rightly a staple of the digital age, helping modernize and augment traditional marketing strategies. In many cases, it can also specifically cater to the unique, inherent, or persistent challenges of select sectors or industries. Such is the case for the construction industry in B2B and market-focused B2T settings. To illustrate this, let us explore the demonstrable value of digital marketing in the construction industry.

Construction industry challenges

Given the global pandemic, the construction industry does face immense challenges – as Deloitte notes. Our audiences are likely well aware of them, so here we may briefly outline the three main ones:

  • Supply chain disruptions. In the second half of 2020, supply chain vulnerabilities started appearing. While some stabilization has come, there has been no full recovery to pre-pandemic levels.
  • Sourcing challenges. In turn, supply shortages persist, accompanied by price inflations and delivery delays. In combination, “supply chain disruptions and volatility are expected to be among the biggest challenges in 2022.”
  • Labor shortages. Finally, like other industries, construction struggles with labor shortages and a lack of qualified candidates.

Still, InEight’s Global Capital Projects Outlook finds general, if cautious, optimism among North American capital project and construction professionals:

An infographic on construction professionals’ optimism about their organization’s prospects for growth.


Digital transformation does seem to drive much of this optimism, as Construction Dive reports. Most (95%) of surveyed professionals are willing to embrace digital tools and digitization. And yet, despite the intent, the groundwork for it is scarce:

“Despite the hunger for digital transformation, construction lags behind other industries. Only 15% of respondents have implemented a digital transformation strategy, and 38% of respondents said that they haven’t built out a strategy or that it’s not a priority[.]”

Marketing challenges

In this context, digital marketing could unveil new opportunities and reinvigorate the industry. Yet, as we’ve covered before, digital marketing in the construction industry faces distinct challenges of its own. A lack of in-house talent, given little skillset overlap, lagging applications of automation, and other factors are persistently present.

In addition, the industry does not generally lend itself to content marketing to the degree others do. The complexity of its offers, coupled with less exciting visuals to elevate marketing, necessarily hold it back. The scrutiny of B2B decision-makers also leaves little room for emotionally-driven, bombastic marketing, which would perform in B2C settings.

The value of digital marketing in the construction industry

Nonetheless, digital marketing does begin to see considerable use in the construction industry. It can’t directly help overcome hands-on challenges like supply chain disruptions, of course, but it can offer sustainability through operation optimizations, enhanced marketing reach, and so on. It can do so in many ways by ultimately driving revenue, but four specific applications deserve due note.

#1 Leveraging automation and increasing traffic

Perhaps most notably, digital marketing entails considerable marketing automation. This comes with an array of inherent benefits, including the universal boon of effectively growing one’s customer base. In fact, among the four key benefits of marketing automation Pedalix identifies, three directly address this need – allowing construction marketers to boost efficiency with this asset in hand:

An infographic on the main benefits of marketing automation.


Unfortunately, only 1 in 5 marketers are using marketing automation tools to their fullest. This is due to a few different barriers, including lack of training and resources, lack of budget, and slow onboarding. Still, the sheer benefit as regards time efficiency and valuable lead generation alone should make automation a worthy goal.

These aside, marketing automation lends itself perfectly to optimizing email marketing, social media management, and paid ads, making for a broader holistic improvement to marketing reach. Although most B2B marketers will rightly rely more on targeted marketing, as we’ll cover below, few would solely rely on it – if any. Indeed, they will rightly find less value in marketing to broader audiences, but there’s value in it nonetheless. SEO and content marketing will at all times help generate and acquire leads, which no marketer should overlook.

#2 Augmenting traditional marketing

For that matter, there is ample room for digital marketing in the construction industry as regards expanding marketing channels. It’s very common for the industry to rely more on hands-on, traditional marketing, and outbound marketing tactics. This will, of course, vary, but a degree of need for digitalization seems evident in the research above.

In this regard, construction marketers can combine traditional and digital, instead of needlessly leaning on one excessively. They can, for example, continue to attend networking events and offer business cards, but they can also incorporate business information into email signatures. They can maintain outbound marketing spendings, such as billboards and print ads, but also invest in inbound marketing like SEO and PPC to give audiences agency and entice them visually. The power of video is well-established, even in the industry’s uniquely demanding B2B marketing settings.

#3 Solidifying and humanizing a brand

As a product of the above and a standalone benefit, digital marketing also helps construction marketers’ branding efforts. Branding is not a B2C endeavor, as it directly enhances customer trust – which B2B self-evidently thrives on.

In this regard, digital marketing offers a wealth of platforms, channels, and content forms for marketers to solidify branding truly. It directly enhances some of the most substantive brand image factors and signals, as Oberlo identifies them:

  • Authenticity
  • Recognition
  • First impressions
  • Transparency
  • Values alignment

Among them, brand consistency is particularly notable, as they also find it directly enhances revenue:

An infographic on the importance of brand consistency and its effect on revenue.


It’s no exaggeration to say that brand consistency is among the most crucial trust signals in B2B settings. Construction marketers can use digital marketing to stand out among their peers and build trust with key prospects. How they choose to do so will naturally vary, but brand consistency should be a staple quality in their efforts.

#4 Targeted B2B marketing

Finally, where the above might find universal appeal, targeted B2B marketing is likely uniquely appealing to the industry. Construction marketers typically target specific decision-makers as marketing prospects, which traditional marketing can only achieve with limited efficiency. It’s in this regard that digital marketing can truly shine, especially through its social media subset.

Indeed, social media platforms are undeniably effective B2B marketing tools. As we’ve covered in the past, LinkedIn has become a B2B juggernaut, in no small part due to its built-in targeting tools. It allows marketers to focus on specific audiences, including ones in key companies and positions, crafting ideal, information-rich customer journeys. Facebook does so as well, cementing the value of digital marketing in the construction industry, as the two platforms, in combination, can drastically expand one’s potential audience.


In closing, there is demonstrable value in digital marketing in the construction industry. It is not a panacea for all of the industry’s persisting challenges, nor is it effortless. It is, however, an invaluable asset in times of “cautious optimism.” Combining the above advantages, it can help marketers tap into vast new audiences, solidify branding, and attract valuable B2B prospects. And with enormous, ever-expanding applications for automation, it can do so with notable convenience – a welcome perk for an industry that embraces it somewhat slowly and reservedly.

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Map Your Competitive Differentiation: What Can You Own?

by ISURUS, guest blogger

Differentiating your product or brand boils down to two simple questions. 1) What are your customer’s needs and buying criteria? And, 2) which of these can your product/brand own?

Most marketers and strategists do a good job on Step 1: They generally know their customer’s needs and buying criteria—the set of capabilities, brand traits, and outcomes that drive purchase decisions. This is the right first step. It identifies many key factors that influence vendor selection. But that initial list can be misleading and lack actionability. Here’s why.

  1. Competitors hold an advantage on some of the dimensions important to customers and it will be challenging and costly to compete on those criteria.
  2. Some of the customer’s most important buying criteria are threshold conditions and you cannot differentiate on table-stakes requirements.

Consider these examples. (more…)

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Common Industrial Marketing Challenges

by Emma Jones, guest blogger

From populating email lists to leveraging automation, discover the most common industrial marketing challenges and how to overcome them.

As the pandemic slowly recedes and the marketing world takes a breath of relief, the manufacturing industry remains cautious. Perhaps rightly so; B2B salespeople have not been performing according to expectations, all things considered. In fact, just two days before this article was written, Deloitte released its 2022 manufacturing industry outlook corroborating this. It outlined surprising growth but found “optimism around revenue growth is held in check by caution from ongoing risks.” For this reason, risk mitigation and “business agility” will substantially inform the industry’s future, one could safely argue. So, to help you do so, let us explore the most common industrial marketing challenges that may lie ahead.

#1 Populating email lists

Starting with the lead generation phase, email lists remain notoriously hard to populate. It’s increasingly hard to populate them with meaningful, engaged leads. There are ample reasons for this, including diminishing audience trust, fragmented customer journeys, outdated business websites, etc. Simultaneously, the gradual eclipse of third-party cookies weighs on marketers of all industries, hampering audience data acquisition further.

The manufacturing industry is no exception to this, and in many ways, it may have it worse. As some manufacturers remain resistant to digitization and the Industry 4.0 movement calls for its own attention from those who embrace it, the lead acquisition may suffer in turn.


As a mainstay among industrial marketing challenges, there are a few different measures against this issue. Here, let us outline the three most substantive ones for text economy:

  • Avoid purchased lists at all costs. Such lists rarely perform or pay off at all, as your email recipients have not opted into them. In addition, using such lists carries serious risks with email carriers and may even come with legal ramifications.
  • Engage in Landing Page Optimization (LPO). Instead, you may polish your landing pages via LPO to craft enticing signup forms. For B2B specifically, you may frame them with phase-appropriate offerings like case studies and industry reports to encourage signups.
  • Constantly cleanse your lists. As you do, remember to discard leads that needlessly bloat your email lists. You should, of course, follow up with valuable leads manifold beforehand, but cleansing your lists will ensure they perform better.

For a visual example of phase-appropriate offerings, we may cite the following graph by HubSpot:

Alt. tag: An illustration of the three customer journey stages by HubSpot.


#2 Taking up SEO

Similarly, still in the early lead generation phase but also beyond it, come industrial marketing challenges with adopting Search Engine Optimization (SEO). This set of practices allows your website and content to be visible in search engines by adhering to Google’s criteria. Needless to say, any marketer of any industry can reap tremendous benefits from higher Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) rankings. Time and time again, research has shown that the top results get the vast majority of all clicks, and the same applies to its now-prominent local SEO subset. Ensuring such visibility can help your brand grow by raising brand awareness more effectively and expanding your reach.

What’s more, contrary to the belief of some, SEO is far from a B2C mainstay alone. To cite HubSpot again, consider the following findings on B2B campaign goals:

Alt. tag: A graph on B2B marketers’ primary campaign goals by HubSpot.


Not only is brand awareness the primary goal, but engagement, advertising, and lead generation all benefit from SEO as well. And yet, the manufacturing industry struggles to embrace SEO long-term. Some find its 200+ ranking factors too expansive, and others quit soon after seeing poor short-term results. Finally, some understandably lack the resources for it and choose to engage minimally, if at all.


Such industrial marketing challenges are not easy to overcome, unfortunately. They often stem from deep-seated resistance to SEO, a lack of resources, and other understandable circumstances. Still, as initial steps, you may consider the following:

  • Prioritize SEO subtypes. First, you may examine which SEO subtypes make the most sense for you, among on-page, off-page, technical, and local SEO. They all serve their purposes, and ideally, you should neglect none of them – but some prioritization may help ease the strain on your budget.
  • Prioritize ranking factors. Similarly, Google’s 200+ ranking factors do not welcome SEO newcomers much. Again, you may best neglect none of them, especially not core ones like website speed and content optimizations. Still, starting with small and calculated steps may offer an easier route and a smoother learning curve.
  • Adjust your expectations. Finally, SEO is a long-term commitment and a continuous process, and this should be clear throughout your company. Expecting quick results will only set you up for disappointment and possibly sway you from it.

#3 Modernizing websites and content marketing

Next, approaching the lead acquisition and conversion phases, we may explore deeper industrial marketing challenges that overlap with SEO. Namely, website and content modernizations that digital marketing mandates. The two primary challenges with both are resistance to change and resource allocation. Some manufacturing businesses may believe their B2B focus does not warrant website optimizations and instead rely on marketing outreach alone. Established ones may also find content marketing changes unappealing when their current approach has seemingly performed well enough so far.

Thankfully, both are slowly diminishing. The industry has largely heeded Google’s warnings on bounce rates, and Content Marketing Institute finds B2B content marketing taking priority:

Alt. tag: A pie chart on B2B content marketing budget changes in 2022 by Content Marketing Institute.



Still, the problem lies less in embracing change and more in how one can best implement change. Here, we may suggest the following fundamentals:

  • Polish your website for first impressions. Loading speeds are crucial, but only one component of your leads’ first impression. Remember to polish your web design to denote professionalism, offer valid Name, Address, and Phone number (NAP) information, feature your mission statement and accreditations prominently, etc.
  • Address the entire customer journey through content marketing. Remember that your content should frame the whole customer journey, from awareness to conversion. Craft logical, hierarchical journeys through website structure and internal links and cater to each stage with informative, valuable content.
  • Always remember B2B’s focus on decision-makers. On that note, always remember you are targeting cautious decision-makers; B2C’s emotional responses won’t suffice for them. Frame your offerings with as much value as possible, and don’t shy away from moderate jargon to establish authoritativeness.

#4 Expanding marketing channels

Of course, after content marketing, we may delve into industrial marketing challenges that relate to marketing channels themselves. In this regard, too, digital marketers across all industries are slowly embracing the need for multichannel and omnichannel marketing. What many perceived as a primarily B2C-focused philosophy is now finding its way to B2B marketing, as the latter confidently expands to social media. Of course, B2B and B2C favor starkly different platforms, as research finds:

Alt. tag: A graph on popular social media channels among B2B marketers.


Thus, with marketing prioritization in mind, the manufacturing industry and B2B, on the whole, are turning to LinkedIn. With continuously flattering statistics substantiating its popularity, it’s arguably the most valuable marketing channel to begin expanding to in 2022.


Here, the primary challenge lies more in leveraging LinkedIn effectively to secure a good Return on Investment (ROI). Here we may cover the fundamentals:

  • Carefully define your goals. As with all new marketing channels, you should begin with a robust outline of your S.M.A.R.T. goals. Determine your campaign’s purpose, metrics to monitor performance, and strict time frames.
  • Polish your company page and Showcase pages. Similarly, you may polish your company page just as you would your business website. It will inform your leads’ first impression, so it should immediately denote professionalism and inspire trust. You may also dedicate Showcase pages to specific products or services for more focused campaigns.
  • Leverage sponsored content. Finally, LinkedIn’s sponsored ads, and InMail can serve to further augment your campaigns, just like how paid marketing can enhance your organic marketing efforts.

To further explore these industrial marketing challenges, you may also consult our article on LinkedIn best practices.

#5 Managing and monitoring marketing campaigns

Finally, the core challenge with such extensions comes in plain management and monitoring. The average B2B business of any industry will have to manage each qualified lead carefully. Doing so across multiple channels while managing SEO and monitoring paid ad campaigns can naturally overwhelm even seasoned marketers. Of course, this kind of expansion can also stretch budgets, resources, and teams too thin in the process.

In this regard, the simple solution lies in marketing automation. The manufacturing industry continues to embrace it, thankfully, and this massive software industry continues to expand uninhibited – as GrandViewResearch finds:

Alt. tag: A graph on the expansion of the digital marketing software market in the US by GrandViewResearch.


And yet, there lies the primary challenge, too; only 1 in 5 marketers use such tools to their full potential. So the issue does not lie in finding solutions to manage and monitor campaigns but in using them effectively.


To address this, one needs to address the exact shortcomings that inhibit automation adoption. To cover the three main ones from our aforelinked article, here we may touch on:

  • The most fundamental challenge in adopting automation software of any kind comes in poor training and insufficient educational material. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software notably suffers from this, as Nomalys’s aggregated research finds. Thus, remember to very carefully scrutinize your candidates as regards training courses and material, and keep an attentive eye on your onboarding process and continuous training alike.
  • Management resources. Similarly crucial among industrial marketing challenges is a lack of management resources. This typically manifests in poor integration options and ongoing management support from software vendors. You may best address this proactively by carefully examining what your software candidates offer.
  • Finally, strained budgets can also make automation software hard to maintain. Proactivity offers the best option here, too; conduct careful market research in advance, and don’t rule out downscaling. You may often find yourself paying for more features than you need, so opting for more compact, affordable solutions may let your budget breathe.


Industrial marketing challenges include both traditional mainstays and emerging ones as digitization advances. They span across all phases of the customer journey and often include internal resistance to change, budget constraints, and difficulties in adapting to new solutions and strategies. While only cursory, this article hopefully helped you pinpoint them early and adjust proactively, ensuring continued growth in 2022 despite the looming risks ahead.

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Top Content Marketing Ideas for Manufacturing Companies

For many digital marketers, the ongoing pandemic acted as an accelerant for digitization. Most famously embraced by the World Economic Forum, this view holds that it didn’t disrupt per se; it pushed forward. Content marketers across industries, seeing increasingly fragmented customer journeys, agreed – and ones in the manufacturing industry corroborated it. As customers exhibited online event fatigue, they too needed to face this change along with the industry’s inherent ones. However, content marketing ideas for manufacturing companies don’t come easily in such a demanding market, let alone effective ones.

Content marketing challenges for manufacturing companies

As an introductory note, here we may first highlight said challenges. The manufacturing industry does face distinct ones of its own, which inexperienced or broader-scope content marketers may miss or underestimate. In turn, it becomes nigh impossible to produce effective content for it, let alone beat the competition with it.

To consolidate them, the primary ones include:

  • Offer complexity. A manufacturing company typically does not sell simple products accessible to a wide market. Framing such specialized offers properly for their niche audiences requires considerable industry expertise.
  • Decision-makers’ scrutiny. Moreover, manufacturing content marketers need to entice decision-makers who seek expertise and offer tangible value. As with B2C marketing, eliciting emotional responses will very rarely bear results with this audience.
  • A less visually exciting industry. Finally, the manufacturing industry offers comparatively fewer thrills for compelling visual content to thrive on. This has been changing in recent years, however.

In addition, the typical customer’s purchase decision process spans a much longer journey. Strategyn breaks down the individual steps into 6; need, research, design, evaluation, shortlist, and purchase.

A chart of the industrial buyer’s buying process by Strategyn.


Evidently, then, content marketers cannot afford to overlook this unique set of factors. The industrial buyer is cautious and knowledgeable, and requires stage-specific content across the buyer journey to court effectively.

For that matter, Content Marketing Institute offers some notable insights. It finds that half (49%) of manufacturing marketers rate their company’s efforts as “moderately successful,” and only 18% rate them as more successful than that. Among what they often lack, they find, are:

  • Prioritizing optimal content delivery times
  • Crafting stage-specific content
  • Using storytelling in their content

It is these factors that content marketers may need to address, alongside picking the optimal marketing mediums and channels. (more…)

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What Are B2B Salespeople Doing Well – and Badly – When Selling Virtually?

By: Matt Sonnhalter, Vision Architect

When it comes to selling it’s important to keep your buyer in mind. Although it can be hard to please your buyer, sellers need to approach buyers, differentiate themselves from the competition, and demonstrate their value.

In their 2021 Buyer Preference Study, Korn Ferry answers these questions and more.

Here are some of the key findings that I found interesting:

1) Seller performance continues to decline – with the key to this decline being that buyers have continued to change faster than sellers, and sales organizations haven’t kept up.

2) Only 33% of salespeople are effective at selling in a “virtual” environment – the challenges of selling virtually, combined with longer buying cycles and changes in the buying process, mean that sellers have a more difficult path than ever to making the sale.

3) Buyers don’t view sellers as a valuable resource – respondents ranked sellers next to last out of 10 preferred resources used to solve business problems. Buyers are finding more value in using their past experiences with vendors, social networks and trade media or colleagues.

4) Buyers continue to engage sellers later and later in the sales process – over 79% wait until after they have full defined needs; over half (57%) identify solutions first. The earlier that sellers can be involved with the buyers then they have more time to influence the buyer’s decisions.

5) Factors influencing large purchase decisions – Features/Benefits, Ease of Use and Solution Value are listed as the Top 3, while “pricing” is seen as a secondary issue. Decision-making has many factors and depends on the buyer and for 27% they use analytical thinking and facts to make their decisions.

How has your sales team performed selling virtually?

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