Before Tony Crutcher Ltd creates a marketing strategy, we need to take stock of where your company is and the wider environment it’s working within.
Don’t underestimate the value of a market audit. Many people believe that working in a business every day as directors and business owners, they know what they are up against and how their customers think. This can be a dangerous assumption.
Market audits drive us to get the data needed to ensure we don’t miss important issues and can even flag up business development opportunities or a competitor’s weaknesses.
Market research is probably the most underrated activity by SME’s in business today. Whatever a business owner’s opinion about their business, it’s not their opinion that matters it’s the opinion of customers and potential customers that’s important!
Tony Crutcher Ltd carries out quantitative research by its very nature is measurable and can be benchmarked against the competition as shown below.
- In the opinion of customers from business A, they rate the company 14.3% higher than their competitors. Note: This strength could translate into an opportunity to increase price.
- In the opinions of customers from business A, they think there are two weaknesses, which are stability and a lack of friendliness of the staff. These need addressing within the business, eg through staff training, and through marketing communications to change customers’ perceptions. When complete business A ratings should improve.
- In the opinions of customers from business A, they think business B is weak in five areas. Business B needs to communicate its strengths to remind customers why they should stay with them.
Many directors and business owners in the building materials sector fail to plan because they have had poor experience of working with marketing consultants (often not from the industry) who take too long, charge far too much and prepare them like an academic documents.
While it is important to have a marketing plan, it shouldn’t take long to prepare, should not be too long in length and as a result would not cost a fortune.
When preparing marketing plans it is important to think of them as journeys taking a business from one point to another. Shown below is what are the essentials to consider when marketing a business in the building materials market.
Build A Brand
It is important to realise the importance of brand building because a great brand can increase the value of your business. It should be viewed as an investment and not a cost. As marketing contractors we concentrate on building your key brand attributes to create an even stronger pull for your business as shown below.
Tony Crutcher Ltd works with your team to agree the brand attributes your business would best benefit from. We analyse the quantitative research and market audit to ascertain the best attributes for your brand in relation to what matters to your customers and potential customers. Secondly through day-to-day marketing activities we strengthen the overall brand by raising the profile of market attributes as shown below.
Example of the key brand attributes identified for a given business:
Once a business decides on their brand attributes and their competitors’ weaknesses Tony Crutcher Ltd puts in place a marketing communications plan. The purpose of this plan is to decide the following:
- Messages to communicate;
- How messages should be communicated and to whom;
- A budget for this process.
We then set out the communication channels, in the building materials and construction industry it would at least consist of the following:
- Understanding the appropriate steps to take when entering overseas markets.
- We can undertake the management of international exhibitions and all promotional activity.
- Our team can prepare tailored individual country reports, directly related to the building materials and construction markets. This can include things like market size, regulations and legislation, customer needs, usage and attitudes.
- Tony Crutcher Ltd can undertake the search, selection and appointment of international dealers, agents and merchants.
- We can help you to understand the benefits of exporting and any support available.
- We can help you with preparing and planning for export.
- We can review your communications with overseas markets and provide recommendations.
- We can carry out market research on topics such as market size, regulations and legislation, customer needs, usage and attitudes.
When your business is ready to export and needs support to take the next steps, Tony Crutcher Ltd can help you with:
- Local information – this can range from carrying out research and advising on local trading conditions through to arranging meetings with existing contacts. This service is available to businesses of all sizes.
- Identifying and contacting potential business partners overseas. This can include advice on your market sector, getting a foothold in your chosen market, supporting you during an overseas visit, and identifying possible business partners.