Construction Marketing Ideas

Construction Marketing IdeasThis past week I received a copy of Mark Buckshon’s new book Construction Marketing Ideas and I must say that I am impressed. It provides a comprehensive overview of not simply the basics of marketing, but truly how to leverage marketing to bring work in the door. Since I am a sucker for stories I have especially enjoyed the stories from others in the industry that have faced so many of the same problems that we all face and have found unique ways to solve those problems.

I definitely agree with Mark on the role of associations in building an effective marketing program:

Association marketing:  Your untapped gold mine

After attending a Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMSP) annual Build Business convention in Denver, Colorado, our family visited a small working gold mine. The miner, after years of low gold prices, had discovered a way to survive by selling site visits to tourists.  With gold prices soaring, the actual mining operation is now thriving.  Nevertheless, the tourist revenue continues to create an exceptionally profitable business. However, the miner doesn’t need to dress the place up as a tourist site; it is a working mine, after all.

Discovering untapped resources

From a marketing perspective, associations have similarities to the gold mine.  They can seem expensive, and while you can sometimes find nuggets on the surface, the best value is deep within your  participation.  However, unlike the mine, which (even if it can continue for decades) is a depleting resource, effective association participation results in increasing advantages until you hit the mother load of consistent, repeating opportunities.

It took me a long time to appreciate why associations are so valuable for marketing, and my research suggests that many people give up before they achieve success.  A senior SMPS member said the association struggles with people who join, then quit after a year or two.  “This turnover is disturbing, because the real value in membership comes with time and the networking and leads developed over the years,” he said.

A wealth of leads

When leveraged actively and consistently associations can provide a wealth of new project leads. More importantly for me has been that my involvement in great associations (such as the Society for Marketing Professional Services) have yielded true friendships. It is an amazing thing to enjoy going to work every day to achieve success with true friends.

Construction Marketing Ideas

If you haven’t already done so let me encourage you to pick up a copy of Construction Marketing Ideas by Mark Buckshon.

Top Bloggers in the A/E/C Industry

On several occasions I have been asked for a list of the top marketing blogs in the A/E/C industry. Below is a list of the blogs and bloggers that I believe lead the industry.  I hope that many of these bloggers likewise consider Cofebuz an industry leader, yet as this blog is also read extensively outside of the A/E/C industry, I will leave that call to someone else.  In addition to being industry leaders in Web 2.0, these bloggers are on my “must read” list each week. I encourage you to check them out also:

Construction Marketing Ideas by Mark Buckshon

E-Quipblog by Mel Lester

Harding & Company by Ford Harding

PSMJ Resources by Ed Hannan (and others at PSMJ Resources)

Let me also add Help Everybody Everyday by Matt Handall. This is a new blog for the A/E/C industry, but on that I believe deserves placement in this list due to Matt’s success with Construction Netcast and his long history of excellent writing for Marketer and A/E Rainmaker.

A Final Note:

I don’t want to downplay some of the other great blogs in our industry.  Note that the list above was for marketing blogs. I also recommend checking out the SullivanKreiss blog, and I always enjoy the unique and fun SEI Design Group Blog.

The Digital Crutch

crutchesOn Wednesday this past week Ford Harding (the author of one of my favorite books “Rain Making” and the Harding & Company blog) spoke at the DC chapter of the Society for Marketing Professional Services. As we sat prior to Ford’s talk, I was amazed at the group that had gathered at the head table. In addition to Ford, multiple Web 2.0 experts from the industry, including Mark Buckshon (Construction Marketing Ideas) and Matt Handal (Construction Netcast and Help Everybody Everyday) were engaged in conversation.

I couldn’t help but note how interesting it was that Mark and Matt had taken the time to attend the event in Washington, D.C. Mark had flown in from Ontario Canada and Matt had taken the train from Philadelphia that morning. Each of them showed the importance they place on in-person communication in order to make their businesses succeed, even in light of their prominence in the Web 2.0 world.

The Digital Crutch

Many people I know use technology as a crutch, rather than a tool to build relationships. It is an easy and important form of communication, but what we can’t do is use digital communication to replace human interaction. Even the leading Web 2.0 experts in our industry know that in order to keep their relationships strong, nothing can replace in-person communication.

Are you limping?

Are you limping by with e-mails and a linkedIn account that isn’t focusing on the development of relationships? Perhaps it is time for you to step away from the computer and focus on in-person communication this week. 


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Why Cofebuz and some incredible links

treeandfieldIn an effort to explain what Cofebuz is all about I have recently added the following description to the sidebar here at Cofebuz.com: Relationships are the foundation of success in business and in life. Cofebuz is dedicated to creating and maintaining the relationships that build companies and individuals. 

It is my hope that through Cofebuz you will gain insight into building networks and relationships that create success in business and in life. Oftentimes this takes the form of writing on marketing or networking, but it can also take the form of discussing challenges and ways to overcome those challenges. In addition it is my personal goal to build relationships with each of you; I do this by working to provide you with help and insight during the time you spend reading Cofebuz. 

On that note, this past week there has been a plethora of great information that I am certain you will find helpful. Here are the links and information: 

  1. The Stimulus Bill, Sector by Sector – This is a great summary of the economic stimulus package that congress is working on that was sent to me by Matt Handal of Trauner Consulting Services.
  2. LinkedIn for A/E Professionals? – This article by Mel Lester of The Business Edge provides a great overview for those that are just getting into, or are interested in getting into, online networking. While it is written for the design and construction industry, many others will benefit from his clearly defined outline of the benefits and downfalls of online networking.
  3. Proposals… and proposals – What do you do when your marketing staff needs technical help, but the technical staff tends to ignore proposal deadlines? Some experts weigh in on Mark Buckshon’s Construction Marketing Ideas website.

Build Success by Creating Value

It seems that almost every day I get an e-mail or note telling me about a new blog. Tracking several of these blogs I have found that often, after a sort time, the writer begins to realize that it takes a massive amount of time to regularly write compelling blogs. A common result of this realization is that the posts begin to slow and eventually the blog fades away.

Then, every once in awhile, I run across a new blog that inspires and opens my mind to new ideas.  These are the blogs that seem to begin filling a niche almost overnight.  On my blogroll you will find several such blogs that have lasted the test of time including Ford Harding’s blog and Mark Buckshon’s Construction Marketing Ideas blog. I’m going to step out on a limb and say that I believe I recently found another such blog, Mel Lester’s E-Quip blog.

Yesterday I tracked Mel Lester to his Business Edge website to find more about an obviously well known consultant, trainer, and coach.  What I found was probably the most common reason that people succeed: Mel has created value for anyone that visits his website through his articles page. Let me encourage you to visit Mel’s Business Edge website to view his articles page as the resources there provide great insight into a number of business topics from Strategic Planning to Productivity.

Ten Basic Business Principals

Mark Buckshon has again written an excellent post on business.  In it he identifies ten basic business principals that remind us “that the more things change, the more they stay the same.”  Here are my favorites:

3. Accidents happen. All the time. Plans are meant for constant change.

6. You have to have fun to succeed. Sure parts of your work may — and probably are — painful, but if you really don’t enjoy what you are doing, find out why, really quickly, and change things. Don’t do stuff just for the money.

7. It is really dumb to put anyone ‘down’ while you are acting high and mighty. It drives people nuts and makes enemies. I know I’ve done it, to my permanent regret.

8. It rarely helps to hold grudges. Sure, we should not be wimps if we are attacked or mistreated. But it is important to know when to move on.

And, my personal favorite:

10. People stay the same. Basic principals apply. Respect and recognize others and appreciate that great relationships are the essence of great business. New and old, through good and hard times, the entrepreneur who understands appreciates the basic rules of respect and integrity will succeed as fly-by-night operators come and go.

To read the other five principals visit Ten Basic Business Principals at the Construction Marketing Ideas blog.  Great insight Mark!

Web 2.0 From Marketing Theory to Reality

I had a great conversation with Matt Handal of Trauner Consulting Services yesterday regarding Web 2.0.  Many of us have read about marketing using Web 2.0, but most people struggle to understand how to add value to their company and build a strong return on investment (ROI) for their online efforts. 
Let me propose that Matt’s website Construction Netcast is a great example of what a successful Web 2.0 effort can look like.  Matt is succeeding by focusing on helping other people and in return reaping the benefits of increased name recognition and market positioning as an industry leader.  Note that Web 2.0 requires that you add value to others lives, if you don’t add value you will simply be skipped over.
At the end of our conversation I sent Matt several links to blogs that (in my opinion) are successfully integrating into the new web.  Below are several of the links (plus one or two more) that I sent him. There are some great things being written on each of these blogs, but probably of more interest might be the great ideas these blogs are themselves.  If you are looking to expand your Web 2.0 presence start by looking at Construction Netcast and these blogs for some ideas:
Duane Craig’s Construction Informer
Ruairi Glynn’s Interactive Architecture