Top Sources Of New Business In Construction And Related Sectors

Top sources business.jpg

Survey participants from within construction and related sectors chose their top 3 sources of new business from the following options:

  • Our website / Google searches

  • Social media

  • Brochures mailed in the post

  • E-mail marketing

  • Word of mouth

  • Tenders

  • Magazine Advertising

  • Content marketing

  • Editorial coverage of you in trade press

  • Pay-per-click campaigns

  • Other – you choose

Using a point scoring system where the top choice was awarded 3 points, the second choice 2 points and the third choice a single point, the full results can be seen in the title graphic.

And the winner polling 41% of the vote was “Word of mouth”, followed in second place by “Our website / Google searches” on 31%, with “Tenders” trailing further away, perhaps surprisingly, on 13%.

The Full Results

Business Sources Graphic

Business Sources Graphic

Analysis And Conclusions

In general surveys outside of construction, word of mouth is often cited as the principal influence on purchasing decisions. So this survey is no different.

In Nielsen’s survey every 2 years for example, the last in 2015 revealed that “recommendations from people I know” came top when 30,000 people gave it 83% of the vote.

But is it as clear cut as these options suggest?

In second place in that same survey for example is another form of “word of mouth” which is consumer opinion posted online with 66%.

So perhaps there’s a relationship with our own second place result of “Our website / Google searches” because customer opinion contained in your own site, or as a channel to attract website visits from elsewhere could very well be an important factor.

In other words, several sources can combine together to influence a purchasing decision.

It’s easy to dismiss for example some of the lower ranked sources such as email marketing and brochures mailed through the post.

In our own activity for clients, we certainly harness the primary source of new business, “word of mouth”, in the form of client stories sent as magazine-style brochures in the post.

But these campaigns are also supported by email marketing to reinforce the message.

And tenders are no different. When we are carrying out client interviews to produce case studies, we often hear that the business was secured through a tendering process.

But, the origins of their position on the tender shortlist after a PQQ process was word of mouth. So recommendations can arguably pre-influence tender outcomes.

Or, it can also work the other way around in that a tender win can trigger a word of mouth process which leads to further business as this voter reveals:

“The reason for our number one choice: whilst the number of contracts we win through tenders may not be a huge percentage of our workload, it is the contacts you create and maintain through public sector bidding which would be lost – and which often lead on to other things – if we stopped bidding for work in this way.”



Insights – How You Apply The Survey Results

Relying on one source of new business ignores the relationship between each.

Word of mouth for example can travel through each of the options.

So alone, it may not be enough unless you give it a helping hand.

And this can be proven. Over the last 18 months, we have secured 3 marketing awards, largely because of an exponential return on investment.

However, a surface analysis would classify the campaigns as “Brochures mailed in the post”.  But that ignores that the centre pieces of the winning campaigns were “Word of mouth” in the form of a compelling client story.

In reality, a cocktail of marketing activity combining several of the leading sources of new business delivers better results, and if done correctly, a significant return on investment.

If you’d quite like to generate far more new business than your investment, perhaps we should talk?