Construction marketing basics 101: The importance of differentiation

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home pro success
Cory Philip's Home Pro Success site offers a useful primer on marketing differentiation

Corey Philip has written a post in Homeprosuccess.com that, while geared to residential service contractors, has application for anyone concerned with effective architectural, engineering and construction marketing.

His ideas aren’t new — in that they represent the foundations needed for successful marketing — but I think he gives readers a blueprint to achieve differentiation when their business, may at first sight, appear to be another “me too, me too” story.

Here is his “simple strategy for positioning yourself in the market”:

Positioning yourself as unique or different in your market isn’t as complicated as you might think. You can start with the following strategy:

  • Brainstorm everything that your company already does and list it out.
  • Prioritize your list and put those that your customers care about the most at the top.
  • Consider eliminating the ones that your competitors already harp on too much.
  • Choose the top three.
  • Write a blog post on them.
  • Create three social media pieces about each and direct the audience back to your blog.
  • Include a short tagline about print ads.

He offers some examples, and additional ideas, in the post.

In some situations, I think the differentiation puzzle is truly easy to solve. In others, it will require more digging, but it is absolutely essential for marketing success.

From personal example, I recall my start with a regional title, Ottawa Construction News. It still is published after more than 30 years. The reason: Why some local construction associations had newsletters/contract magazines, there was no doubt that ours was the first and only truly regional publication dedicated to the architectural, engineering and construction industry.

After a  few years in the early stages of my business (and before I knew anything about marketing) I decided to challenge the local general business journal.  I came up with a concept that had much more valuable content and a really cool colourful design.

But the only ads we sold were to the local construction industry, and to Realtors (through another earlier title dedicated to real estate agents and brokers).  We had failed to realize the importance of differentiation — and fell into the “me too, me too” trap.

Now it is fine for me to tell the story about publishing differentiation, but what if you are an electrical contractor, plumber, mason, architect, engineer — or any other trade or profession? Here, Philip’s observations will give you a great first start. You can, and should, find ways to differentiate your business as you develop your marketing strategy.

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