Positioned for the Upturn?

The Upturn in construction is coming.


The McGraw Hill-2011 Construction Outlook predicts “modest” improvement in 2011, with an 8% increase in construction starts, as compared with a predicted 2% decrease in 2010. Robert A. Murray, Vice President of Economic Affairs at McGraw-Hill Construction, commented, "We're turning the corner, slowly. 2011 will be the first year of renewed growth for overall construction activity, and 2010 becomes the final year of a very lengthy and unusual construction cycle."

Which means that now is exactly the time to ask yourself, “Is my company positioned to succeed in the coming upturn?”  When projects start ramping up again, some companies will be well-positioned to attract business and prepared to do business.  Their products will be top-of-mind when specs are written and bids are solicited. Other companies, who have not used their down-time wisely, will be playing catch up.

During the downturn, many businesses slashed marketing budgets.  As things turn around, it’s time to revise that strategy.  Marketing communications is the only thing that will keep your brands visible during a period when both planning and actual construction are down and the products themselves are not actively being spec’d or used.

If you cut (or eliminated) your marketing budget, now is the time to re-build it with a solid strategy.

Step One: Marketing Materials

When you slashed the marketing budget, you probably stopped keeping marketing materials up to date.  As thing start to improve, you will need them in your hands and ready to go.  When you reach out and get the attention of a spec writer or a contractor, they’re going to say, “Send me something.”  Are your materials ready for action now?

Have you improved any products or introduced new ones? If you have introduced new products over the past three years, you might need to re-introduce them in 2011. 

Do you have any new competitors?  You might need to revise your selling points to counter their strategy.

Have there been changes in code that affect your products?  Do your selling points refer to LEED, which has been changing?  Your sales literature needs to reflect current conditions.

Does your sale literature look outdated?  If you haven’t revised it for two or three years, the answer is probably Yes.

Do you have any news that might get you editorial space in magazines or online?  Refresh your press kit.  (Or perhaps, create a press kit?)

You still have time to prepare company to attract business when things start to move again.  And if business is slow now, it makes sense to use your current downtime to prepare for a better future.

Next Time:

Step Two: Reaching Out to Idle Architects, Engineers, and Specifiers