- Who We Help
Construction technology helps construction firms effectively estimate, plan, administer, and manage their construction projects.
A wide range of stakeholders is impacted by the technology that a construction firm uses, from the construction office staff to the construction workers at the sites where building occurs and beyond. The primary construction technology stakeholders for construction firms are:
Clients (e.g. Property Owners and Property Managers)
Construction Firm Owners and Managers
Construction Office Staff
Construction Project Managers and Estimators
Construction Sub-Contractors and Service Vendors
As experts on construction and the ultimate controllers of a construction firm's financial resources, construction firm owners and managers are the most relevant group for IT channel companies who provide outsourced construction technology solutions.
The construction industry in North America was hit hard by the last recession that began in 2008, which resulted in construction firms making deep cuts in their operational overhead since that time, as a strategy to weather the stormy economic conditions that the industry faced. The trend of reduced spending in the construction industry began to reverse in early 2014, as the level of optimism about a strong economic recovery began to surge upward.
While construction firms now appear to be more open to spending, in general, research shows that spending for construction technology has still been conservative since economic conditions began to improve.
In this regard, Sage Construction & Real Estate found that half of the 838 construction companies it surveyed in the U.S. and Canada spent less than 1 percent of their revenue on information technology in 2014, as provided in the Equipment World article: Technology is still not a top priority for most construction firms, but improving economy could change that.
There are also other important statistics to take note of from the same survey, which shed light on potential construction technology spending by small and medium-sized construction firms in the future, as follows:
82% of construction professionals surveyed viewed mobile technology as important
47% of construction professionals surveyed use employer-provided mobile devices
38% of construction companies surveyed planned to increase smartphone usage
45% of construction companies surveyed planned to increase tablet device usage
35% of construction professionals surveyed viewed cloud computing as important
49% of construction firms surveyed have no mobile security policy in place
33% of construction professionals surveyed viewed big data as important
As the statistics show, mobile devices and mobile security are two key areas where construction companies are likely to spend in the future.
These findings make sense, as most construction professionals spend the majority of their time on-the-go, moving around or in between work sites, making mobile technology an essential tool for communications and productivity, as the same survey also revealed through the following data:
32% of construction firms stated “to streamline processes” as a key reason for technology spending
31% of construction firms stated “to improve communications and collaboration” as a key reason for technology spending
There are also many other very important statistics to take note of from the same survey, which shed light on known construction technology needs of small and medium sized construction firms, as follows:
50% of construction professionals plan to use mobile devices for construction document management -- including plans and drawings -- and sharing
49% of construction professionals plan to use mobile devices for customer and job information management and sharing
40% of construction professionals plan to use mobile devices for viewing and sharing job cost and project reports
36% of construction professionals plan to use mobile devices for viewing and sharing daily field reports
30% of construction professionals plan to use mobile devices for time capture and approval
As provided in the survey statistics above, construction companies know what their technology needs are, when it comes to day-to-day productivity, down to the specific types of industry-specific applications they are planning to implement.
On the other hand, many construction firms have no plans to implement certain construction technologies that could help grow their businesses and make their companies more profitable in the future.
As an example, 40% of construction firms surveyed said they aren’t leveraging the strength of new construction technologies to attract new business.
The survey also found that 35 percent of these firms don’t have a dedicated IT person or staff while 45 percent have only one person in that role.
Construction companies haven't been spending much in recent years on technology. However, construction companies are also aware of the fact that they have been missing out on the benefits of deploying certain technologies in their business.
As previously mentioned, the key reason for curbed technology spending at small and medium sized construction firms in the past has been cost or a desire to save money.
Other key reasons for a lack of spending on construction technology by construction firms in recent years include:
Lack of a formal technology plan
Lack of IT staff
Lack of understanding regarding the costs versus benefits of some technologies
As the key area of concern for construction firms in the past has been cost, it's important for inbound marketers to focus on the benefits and ROI (return on investment) that their technology can offer to the construction firms they are targeting.
The savvy inbound marketer can help construction firm owners and managers begin to see new technology as a more critical component of their businesses in the future, which is also affordable under the cloud computing model, from the latest construction bid tracking software, to a complete cloud-based construction project management solution that can help streamline and optimize their company.
As recently as 5 or 10 years ago, a company’s marketing activities and spending would have been highly concentrated in the following outbound channels:
Direct response marketing using rented mailing lists
Running ads in trade journals
Attending trade shows and conferences
While these methods of reaching construction decision makers and evaluators may still work on some level, they are generally more costly to execute and fail to produce the desired ROI or sales conversion rates that marketers and sales executives seek. This is because consumer attention has turned to digital media for investigating products and staying informed.
Today’s construction technology marketer faces the following challenges that effectively allow consumers to completely screen and tune-out their marketing campaigns and messages, in the following ways:
It’s common practice for consumers to throw away direct mail unopened, also referred to as “junk mail”, eliminating all chances of influencing a buying decision of a recipient. Moreover, most consumers today never make a buying decision without first doing research online, checking reviews and ratings and a company’s reputation prior to a purchase, which is making direct mail marketing increasingly less viable.
Many consumers today rely on Caller ID to screen out telemarketers, to protect their time from long-winded sales scripts. Today's generation of decision makers and evaluators usually want less direct and less time-consuming communications or marketing methods, like email, text messaging and web chat – that allow greater control and mobility, while enabling multi-tasking.
The availability of web-based meeting tools and VoIP services, and the need to cut administrative costs in businesses across the board, has made on-site conferences and trade shows a less favorable channel for marketing products and services.
Marketing products and services via print newspapers, magazines, or trade journals is also falling by the wayside due to the increasing reliance on digital media by a younger generation of consumers, with many publications shutting their doors for good, due to declining readership and subscription levels.
“On-demand” digital media, including streaming music services, satellite radio broadcasts, digital cable with digital recording services and podcasts have all empowered the consumer to effectively filter or tune-out commercial advertising on a massive scale.
The rapid mainstream adoption of mobile devices use and social media services has permanently transformed the way that people make buying decisions today.
In close to 60% of cases, the typical B2B sales cycle is essentially already over before a potential client contacts a single vendor (Source: CEB on “Why Solution Selling No Longer Works”), which is due to the greater level of influence that digital marketing has over buyers, as compared to traditional marketing methods.
Your company has already significantly lowered its chances of closing sales, by failing to implement an inbound marketing system.
Regardless of the specific digital channels involved, inbound marketing provides the best opportunity to capture the attention of prospects, nurture leads and close sales in the marketplace today, allowing your construction technology firm to virtually engage with potential buyers on a 24/7/365 basis.
Inbound marketing helps construction technology vendors do all of the following:
Attract the right visitors to their company website
Convert visitors into leads
Close sales with new clients
Build customer loyalty and increase customer retention
It’s time to transform the way that your construction technology firm markets IT services in the digital age. Download your free IT Channel Inbound Marketing Planning Guide today, to unlock the secrets of inbound marketing success for your business.