Green marketing and sustainability in construction

Today going green is something we all must do and the construction industry is without doubt a sector where this is very important. Going green however needs to be a fundamental part of the brand of your business if consumers are to believe you are serious. Do not just bolt 'green marketing' on to your marketing strategy, make sure it is a theme throughout your business and that your staff believe in it as well.

All marketing strategies should be embedded with the business objectives and in most instances they should be used to inform and develop the objectives of the business not just respond to them. Marketing is about ensuring your values are projected into the market place and it is important that your values are in tune with those of your consumers because this will increase their propensity to buy into your brand and products or services and therefore the more likely they will be to purchase from you either now or in the future.

In the Green Perspective survey published by the Chartered Institute of Building an overwhelming majority of respondents saw the value in sustainable building. Although the survey identified an increase in demand for sustainable products over the five years (2002-2007), this increase appears not to have reached significant enough levels for the industry to act. The reason for this lack of widespread market appetite is seen as a shortage of client awareness and education towards the financial benefits for building green projects. And yet the industry (86 per cent of respondents) believes there are financial benefits to be had from producing energy efficient buildings.

There are numerous other facts with the document that can be downloaded here but what it did not cover was the ways in which marketing and a brand ethos that embeds sustainability within the business can help deliver increased profits and greater capital value in the future.

Innovators and Leaders

There always need to be innovators and leaders and you should ensure your company is one of them, don’t just follow others. Increasing brand awareness and educating consumers of the benefits has historically been very expensive and fraught with dangers but the rise of the internet has enabled this to become more cost effect although it is still necessary to be aware of potential dangers.

Building a Strategy

Your strategy will need to reflect your business and your offers and will only really work over the long term if you have a product or element of your service that is clearly green, sustainable and adds value to the consumer as a result. The value need not be cost related it may make your product more expensive but if it is real and you highlight the core values in your marketing then you will have started the process of education. As mentioned earlier the Internet has enabled messages to be passed around more quickly and more effectively. How you use it will depend on your business and offer, but the ultimate is to get your customers and potential customers talking about it and encouraging others to talk about it. Just having a web site and hoping people will find it will not work, you need to be actively out there pushing your potential customers towards it, through social sites, industrial forums, news sites, and those where your potential customers currently engage. Creating your own group on Facebook may work but I suspect that you will only end up talking to those already in your sector, so search out where your customers are talking and talk to them there.

You can also use your current advertising spend to encourage debate and to get people to join in and you do not have to change a currently successful strategy either. All you need to do is evolve your current campaigns so that they ask for input, offer reasons for debate or even just become a vehicle for collecting data, which you can then use to grow your influence.

There are so many options available and so many possibilities to stand out from the crowd all you need is to understand what is remarkable about your product and service within the green environment that consumers care about and then build the right strategy to talk about it.

About the author

Boss of Digital. Swindon fan. And frantic music collector.

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