June 16, 2010

Recession Communication Keys: Be Transparent and Use the right tools

How can you effectively communicate during difficult economic times?  The same way you communicate during the boom periods.  Your communication should be relevant, genuine and transparent.  What does this mean?  This is the second of two installments (as seen in the Associated General Contractors New Mexico Building Branch Quarterly Newsletter http://www.agc-nm.org/):

Be Transparent

Your target audiences are very self-centered.  They want to know what you are going to do to help them.  The construction industry has seen a lot of recession-based transformation.  One of the most obvious is the influx of builders and specialists who know residential but are oblivious to commercial code requirements.

While it would feel good to share your views about the cross-over opportunists with the purchasing director, it probably won’t be a move that will pay off in the long run.    Your best way to combat the new competition is by defining the issue of items in terms and deliverables that are unique to commercial construction.

List the items that set your qualifications apart from the competition; address bonding and other items unique to your industry; be a resource through a brochure, website or on the telephone to address nuances about the commercial construction trade.  This kind of transparency, by ghosting the issue, will help to position you as a trusted partner.

The Tools

Social media is the new “it” marketing tool.  It seems as if everyone is getting on Twitter, FaceBook and YouTube (the Big Three).  While those marketing tools have relevance to some markets, some elements of social media can be beneficial to every market.

Retail and services organizations are the entities that have effectively leveraged social media outlets.  For brick/mortar and construction industries, a tool like YouTube or Flicker can help you show off construction techniques or client projects.  A LinkedIn account or Facebook fan page is a good way to generate top of mind awareness about what your business does by informing other people in the professional and non-professional world.

The key of connection is to always draw your target audience your website or to have them connect with you in some form.  Social media, like broadcast media, is a means to an end of making a connection… not just an end of saying we’ve done it, now onto the next task.

Today’s technology provides many unique ways to be relevant, genuine and transparent.  Leveraging the technology with those three keys will help you to remain connected with your target audiences regardless of the market’s economic conditions.

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