Is Multi-Housing Construction Business Growth on Cloud 9?

Multi-housing construction companies and contractors that have made investments in website and e-mail marketing now have the opportunity to close the marketing loop and truly promote their products and services leveraging cloud technology

By Mark Reino, Merit Mile Communications

The multi-housing industry is like many others today. There’s a sense that the current economy isn’t a recession or a recovery, but rather the new norm. Cost-cutting and new opportunities for revenue growth are not stop-gap measures—they’re standard operating strategies. This is true for all areas of the business, including marketing.

When companies large and small want to reach customers and prospects, they rely on e-mail marketing primarily because it’s fast and affordable. Today, multi-housing construction businesses and contractors are using e-mail marketing campaigns tied in to landing pages that are custom-designed and programmed for easy distribution and powerful reporting. What’s more, savvy construction companies are now integrating social media marketing vehicles into their e-mail campaigns and leveraging powerful and geo-targeted applications like Twitter and Facebook. What do all of these marketing tactics have in common? The cloud is now the preferred platform for distribution, measurement and marketing campaign scalability.

Clearly, it’s still ultra-important for companies and organizations to have a web presence that publishes the right content and photography, and navigates the user through the buying process simply. Similarly, a website that allows visitors or homeowners to publish their own opinions in the form of a blog or user review will cultivate a community of followers and encourage viral distribution (read: online word-of-mouth marketing). And today, adding video to your website is quite simply the most engaging way to educate, inform and empower your audiences on your brand and influence their buying behaviors.

But why stop there? Multi-housing construction companies and contractors that have made investments in website and e-mail marketing now have the opportunity to close the marketing loop and truly promote their products and services leveraging cloud technology. Doing so will provide them an opportunity to significantly grow their business, strengthen the relationships they have with their customers and ultimately lower their operating costs.

“Cloud marketing” is a business development strategy that allows a construction business owner to shift investments in IT and marketing communications from in-house to off-premises environments. This approach saves time and money, and gives the business owner all the control they need to make informed, cost-conscious decisions. It also allows small- to mid-sized companies to focus on their core business, rather than their IT or their website.

Then and now

Five years ago, most construction outfits, as well as companies in just about any B2C or B2B industry, were leveraging e-mail marketing to reach customers, members and prospects. But in order to carry out an e-mail marketing campaign it was very labor-intensive and there weren’t a lot of analytics outside of the limited versions offered by the particular platform being used. Business owners needed to figure out who was going to create the campaign, distribute the email, store the campaign data, and figure out how to prepare for increased landing page and website traffic, as well as how to accurately measure bottom-line performance.

The cloud changes every aspect of this process from distribution to scale and measurement. Today, executing marketing campaigns that rely on cloud technologies allows construction businesses the ability to build an e-mail marketing campaign in less time and at a lower cost. Instead of having to create the campaign from scratch, manually pull the list and import the data, design the e-mail and decide which versions of the e-mail go to which parts of the list, it’s all processed dynamically based on the criteria loaded into the automation tools being used. With cloud-based tools, business owners can send the e-mail campaign, track who responds, scale the capacity of their landing pages on-demand, measure real-time and post campaign performance without the need for costly creative, management and IT experts.

Furthermore, business owners and multi-housing contractors can now do even more with their marketing campaigns. Determining what days are best for the delivery of your e-mail campaigns (and even what times of day) are now standard reporting metrics. Also, discovering what types of devices (e-mail clients, cell phones, tablets) your audiences use are analytics that will allow you to adjust your creative formats in future campaigns. Similarly, identifying exactly who is (and who is not) clicking will allow you to prioritize and segment your distribution lists accordingly. The true payoff, however, is that cloud marketing technology enables all of this activity in standard browser-based environments, and does so on off-premises servers—eliminating the need for dedicated infrastructure and specialized in-house staff. Bottom line—you can do all of this and still focus on construction projects, not managing more people.

Drastically lower costs

The cloud also drastically changes the way multi-housing construction companies pay for their website hosting activities, services and marketing campaigns. In a sense, the cloud allows companies to consume these services much like they consume electricity. Instead of having traditional fixed costs associated with website hosting, companies can now scale their hosting services up or down depending on various times of the year when more activity is needed or not needed. Because everything takes place in the cloud, they pay their cloud service provider accordingly, depending on whether it’s a month where more marketing activity has taken place. In much the same way a homeowner pays a higher utility cost to heat their home during the winter, a business owner would only pay a higher cost for e-mail and website-hosting services in a given day or month when there was a special promotion taking place, or the need for more bandwidth to handle increased web traffic during the peak build season or trade show.

On the surface, cloud marketing may sound like another buzz-term, but considering the power cloud marketing offers, combined with e-mail, social media and website administration can do for a business, it’s a must-have in today’s world of limited budget, limited staff and expense avoidance.

Mark Reino is the CEO of Merit Mile Communications, a forward-thinking, technology-savvy marketing communications agency.

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