Without a doubt, boom times are back for the construction industry! Before we consider the role of copywriting in this welcome renaissance, let’s look at the bigger picture in which the building sector has operated for the past five years or so.
Starting at the top end: major infrastructure projects backed by government money (such as Crossrail and HS2) will always be headline grabbers. For quite a few years, however, private sector investment in lower-level projects has been tentative, to say the least.
Of course, everyone factors-in the length of time it takes for construction projects to come to fruition. Two to three years – or even longer – is not an unusual timescale for multi-million pound projects. Few people in the industry would have thought the green shoots of recovery would take so long to emerge!
In 2014, the UK’s major house builders are continuing to report significant growth, thanks in no small part to the government’s Help To Buy mortgage scheme. Commercial construction – including local authority capital projects, and private sector office and factory building – is literally building on the back of growing economic confidence (despite the battering everyone had in February’s floods and gales!).
If we’re to believe the latest UK construction Purchasing Managers’ Index compiled by MARKIT/CIPS, the building boom – especially in the civil engineering sector – is well under way. Across-the-board optimism is evidenced by growing numbers of ‘invitations to tender’, rapidly expanding order books and impressive levels of job creation.
Marketing in the construction industry, particularly with larger projects, appears to be affected more by macro-economic factors than any number of initiatives at a localised level. This is deceptive, however.
While it is inevitably true that market momentum and financial conditions carry the day in driving various tectonic plates within the sector, much of what goes on at a tactical marketing level is not dissimilar to other industries. That is to say, construction industry marketing is equally concerned with matching buyers and sellers.
While personal contact may play a bigger role in moving things forward than in many other industries, there’s no avoiding the trends which are transforming the way everyone does business in this quick-shift century.
It’s all online…
Online marketing is now the norm. Within this, we’re looking at the preponderance of e-mailing; the ubiquity of websites; and the massive volumes of actionable information that moves between companies and customers, minute-by-minute, every day of the year.
Every message you see out there has been written by a real person – many of whom are supremely knowledgeable in their field. Where demand is so great – and the appetite of online media is so unrelenting – companies may well turn to the services of professional copywriters.
The more astute companies will realise that a good copywriter will bring more to the party than clearly-written content. Writing lively and interesting text is a persuasive mechanism in its own right – notwithstanding the value of what is being written about!
A copywriter will also be familiar with writing for the newer forms of media in a powerful, direct way. Having a good copywriter on board is a ‘must-have’ skill-set for any construction industry marketer who wants to make the very best of the UK’s current business boom.
To find out more about Mike Beeson’s approach to construction industry copywriting, visit Buzzwords’ Construction Copywriter web page.