Why Netflix, not a construction company, is your new competitorTraditionally a great proportion of business development in the built environment sector has happened face to face. From informal networking to initial scoping meetings, construction companies rely on sales teams to tell their story to potential customers. But the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions have changed that dramatically now, and for the foreseeable future.
The industry has had to move its marketing and business development to a remote model. Now, more than ever, the first point of contact with your company for a potential customer is online. So it has never been more critical to get your brand right in order to create the right first impression.
The challenge for many firms though is that their competition offline looks very different to their competition online. Offline you can communicate experience, expertise and fit for a job, face to face, addressing questions and setting out your stall according to your prospects’ needs. Online, you’re relying on your site to do that for you.
Moreover, your prospects’ expectations of an online experience have been set unfairly. The slick design of a Netflix, Uber, Amazon or Instagram creates a powerful standard. They have multi million pound design budgets, but like it or not, customers’ judge every day online experiences by their high design bar.
Great design will help you to effectively engage that customer online, for that first and many subsequent contacts. It will help you create a strong first impression. A well designed site builds trust and portrays your brand and your company as trustworthy and professional. It’s essential that your online shop window displays your services effectively, but also demonstrates your credibility in order to set you apart from competitors who might be relying on style over substance.
So what are some key elements to consider for developing an effective online identity?A strong clean and consistent design. Simple but engaging design helps customers connect with your brand in the first instance and aids recognition and recall to build your brand over time.
Great navigation. Customers have short attention spans. Intuitive navigation gets people to the information they need fast.
Designed for mobile. Responsive design is essential – making sure your site works no matter what device customers use to access it. But first and foremost, given smartphone penetration and in-the-moment searches, your site must look great on mobile.
The right mix of visual elements and copy. Experience shows that a perfect blend of visuals together with concise copy drives engagement online. But the reverse is also true. Getting the mix wrong – too many visual elements, cluttered design and dense copy - will drive customers away.