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Time to innovate or die

The Construction Marketing Awards are an established celebration of excellence for those engaged in marketing and business development in the UK construction sector.

They’ve been going a decade and are the most prestigious awards around for marketing people in construction.

This year there’s been a surge of entries, which might seem counter-intuitive - hasn’t everyone been cutting back on marketing? I mean, there’s a recession on, we don’t want these colouring-in-department types wasting the money we could be spending on real work, do we?

Well, if that’s what you think, your company may be about to have its market share whipped away by one of those who thinks otherwise.

Regular readers of this column will have heard the maxim “there is no more important time to invest in marketing than a recession”.

Indeed, I’ve covered that point statistically before. This surge in entries seems to be some proof of my rantings, because to enter these awards you have to provide proof of effectiveness - which is usually expressed in terms of additional profit, revenue growth, or market share won.

What’s more, the categories that are growing the fastest involve digital technology and the internet, with the largest single category focused on digital stuff. So these guys are not just investing in marketing, they’re doing new, clever things. Do you know how to make money using Twitter? These guys do.

So here’s a clutch of companies, about 50 per cent as many again as last year, focusing on investing in marketing and investing cleverly in novel technologies. If you’re not, you may be left behind. Wake up!

Ross Sturley is principal of Chart Lane, a strategic marketing consultancy, a committee member for the Chartered Institute of Marketing Construction Industry Group (CIMCIG), and a judge for the Construction Marketing Awards. Catch him on twitter at @rosssturley, or meet him in person (with others, obviously) at CIMCIG’s Conference on November 25, which is all about the application of digital technologies in construction marketing.