In this report, discussion various factors related to the renowned Leighs construction company. It involves the business strategies, marketing approaches, marketing plans, practices and theories adopted by the cited firm etc. Leighs Construction company was established by Anthony Leighs in the year 1995 and has now grown to multi-million dollar business concern. Management of the operations of South Island is done from head office situated in Christchurch together with the Auckland branch which was opened in the year 2015. The breadh and wealth of the accumulated expertise and knowledge aids it in delivering the construction projects over numerous sectors (like health, retail, agriculture, government, commercial, primary industry and education) in New Zealand as well as overseas.
1. Marketing Approach
According to Fulford & Standing, (2014), market approach is defined as the method of business valuation which can be used for calculating value of the property or as a part of valuation for business which are closely held. It can also be used for determining value of business ownership interest, tangible assest or security.
McGeorge & Zou, (2012) has cited that there are five types of marketig approach, viz.,
- Product or commodity approach: It means detailed study of the product. Marketing strategy for every selected product is being examined by some viewpoints like conditions and sources of the supply, policies, producing marketing firms, various middlemen who participate in the distribution of product. Problems related to a certain product are examined in detail in this approach (Kim & e Mauborgne, 2014).
- Institutional approach: It is related to the different marketing institutions like retailers, wholesalers, etc. which are engaged in the marketing. Applying this approach helps in the thorough study with respect to a certain middleman. This approach is applied on different kinds of marketing intermediaries.
- Functional approach: It comprises of study of different functions or activities which are performed in process of the marketing of services and goods. In examines every function with respect to the significance of performance (Tabassi, Ramli & Bakar, 2012). By studying and analyzing every function in detail and by confronting the issues in performance of every function, marketing can be understood properly.
- Decision making approach: A marketing manager needs to be competent and expert in job so that he can take effective decisions for the marketing of services and goods.
Leighs Construction Company uses the functional approach for marketing as the suppliers are the major stakeholders of the Leighs construction company. Stakeholders play a crucial role in the successful commencement of the construction business as they are responsible for providing all the building materials. The quality of building materials need to be ensured by the firm in order to build such homes or buildings which do not fail or leak.
2. Brand Management
Developing a quality brand requires patience and preference. The cited firm uses the following five steps for the brand management and for increasing the profits of the firm:
- Setting budget: The firm prepares a branding plan which is to be executed over several years and it also creates a budget just to accomplish those needs. But it does not have much wiggle room in case an unplanned opportunity occurs. It also helps in analyzing the approximate amount spent by the competitors, so that it can be matched accordingly.
- Deciding what the firm wants to be known for: Leonidou, Fotiadis & Zeriti (2013)said that the company needs to think of its brand like a person. The firm creates a placeholder, a personality, a character of the business as a whole and the approach need to be very holistic. However, Fifield (2012), has also added that a personality hepls in determining the way in which one behaves in various situations. This personality should be known by all the workers so that they can adhere to it especially while dealing with the customers. The cited firm does not want its business to be bipolar and to ensure this, regular positive experiences can help in getting quality reviews online and repeated customers as well (Yeheyis, Hewage & Sadiq, (2013). As the company has defined its brand personality, it has become quite easy to focus on visual aspect of the branding.
- Choosing a logo which represents the firm:
(Source: Ashworth, 2012)
Logo of this cited firm does well as it gets the people to call the firm and also leads to market leader recognition. It has also included name of the firm in logo as connecting the name with logo implies prominently pairing of the two whenever the firm gets a chance, like, on the trucks, on the stationary and also on the work outfits. It has also made the brand synonymous with the name, as a result of which the happy customers attribute great work to the firm.
- Storming the internet: Leighs Construction Company has built a website around its logo. It has chosen complementary and same colours for accenturing the brand. Further, it has also set up social media in order to drive the traffic to its site and blogs regarding construction for boosting the SEO of the company. Its website acts as the first opportunity for leaving a good impression on the potential clients.
- Choosing a superstar: Brand constructors have a certain good idea of branding the firm and the people associated with the firm as well. After setting the website and logo, the said organization has paid consideration on marketing its best team members. It has also hired branded experts on teams who guarantee the customers that they are indeed having an access to the one they trust.
3. 4 P's of the firm
According to Naoum, (2012), Marketing refers to the process of communicating value of homes that a firm builds as well as construction services offered to the prospective clients. Content marketing also helps in attracting home buyers as well as the big remodeling projects together with an increased awareness about the services of the firm. Despite of the fact that marketing is quite difficult as compared to other forms of promotion and is sometimes confused with the advertising, the cited firm has not just defined aspects of the marketing but has also provided list of the tactics which should be used in the online marketing.
Ko & et.al., (2012) has further stated that marketing does not means just an element but it is a combination of the factors which helps in moving a product to customers through conception. The 4 P's implemented by the said company are as follows:
- Product: The services rendered by the constructor such as bath and kitchen rennovation, home development and additions, new construction, etc., which are offered for targeting the market.
- Price: The estimation of price of every service offered and net value after the determination of discount, price setting, cash and credit purchase and credit collection as well.
- Place: Those distribution channels which are used for getting the iservices to ideal buyer. It involves location of the business, distributors, logistics, shop front and potential use of internet for selling the products directly to the customers (Sierra, Zorio & García?Benau, 2013).
- Promotion: It includes the methods for which the customers are made aware of those homes which are being built by the cited firm or the construction services rendered by the firm.
For the purpose of marketing the design-building or construction in a successful manner, Leighs Construction Company thinks about the product from the perspective of the consumers. Unlike selling, which is only related to convincing clients for purchasing the product, the marketing is much more about development of a desire or need for the homes built by the said firm.
4. Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)
Sierra, Zorio & García?Benau, (2013) has defined customer lifetime value as a prediction of net profit allocated to the complete future relationship with the customers. It is also known as lifetime customer value (LCV) or life time value (LTV). Doing the things which are right for the customers is a type of philosophy which encompasses quite more than the leverage ratios. It implies thinking beyond numbers to underlying relationships at dealer, end user and manufacturer level.
Finance solutions which develop relationships:
Leighs Construction Company keeps on innovating designs of equipments and products manufactured and it requires a huge investment. The cited firm takes the fundamental skills even one step ahead. It understands the risk apetite as well as establishes relationship with end users for the pupise of capturing a holistic view of the credit profile (Shih, Chen & Chen, 2013).
Doing what is right:
The people associated with the firm have stayed loyal to it and have given their best in the growth and development of the firm. Though some of them were offered a higher pay by the competitors, but they stayed loyal to the firm (Forcada & et.al., 2013). The company also takes care of the fact that it does not reach the credit line while purchasing any new equipments, else it will be vulnerable to the unpredicted emergencies and can also lead it to no financial foothold for the needs of funding in the future.
Emphasis on what is important:
The cited firm has the ability of honing in on factors which are vital for the ultimate users. It then examines the appropriate finance product for driving value for the business of the individual. The firm beleives that it is not only about the price, but also about the consistency and reliability.
CLV helps the company in several ways like it helps in management of the customer relationship like an asset and in determining optimal level of the investments in sales activities and marketing. It also helps in monitoring impact of the marketing investments and management strategies on value of the customer assets and aids in encouraging the marketers to concentrate on long term value of the customers and not on investing the resources for attaining cheap customers who have a lower total revenue value (Thomas, McLeod & Haycock, 2012). In addition to this, CLV provides a good basis for the selection of customers as well as for the decision making related to those communication strategies which are customer specific.
5. Marketing Plan
Marketing a construction company can be an expensive and time consuming endeavor if it is not initiated by a well designed plan. Simply taking the decisions the way they come and presuming that the likely customers will share the vision of the firm does not work as the solutions for long term marketing. In order to make sure that the brand name implies what the firm actually wants, a strategy need to be created which can comprehensively support the objectives and image of the firm.
Determining the objectives:
Defining the business goals is the first step of creating a marketing plan. These goals need to drive the marketing efforts. If there is an activity which can not push the firm closer to its objectives, then it is not worth the resources and time. For the purpose of moving in new market segment, increasing the market share and the revenue per project, Leighs construction company defines its goals in the beginning of planning so that it can drive the marketing strategy and plan.
Assessing weaknesses and strengths:
In this step, the company compares its capabilities to the already set objectives. It also encourages feedback from the previous customers in order to define the weaknesses. A rigorous problem solving of the weaknesses helps in converting the issues in strengths. Feedbacks of the customers also help in the evaluation of the strengths (Shaw, 2012). Thus, the strengths should be identified and should be highlighted in the marketing plan.
Considering public image of the company:
Customer feedbacks obtains while assessing the weaknesses and strengths helps in providing a clear idea of the public image of the company. The differences between vision of the firm and vision of general public helps the cited firm in getting an idea of where the marketing efforts need to be targeted.
Looking for new opportunities:
The said organisation considers the commercial opportunities and other possibilities which are available through the network of contacts. Continuous improvement and willingness of leading the industry trends helps in ensuring that the firm never runs out of the projects.
Embracing innovation in industry and marketing tools:
Leighs Construction Company searches for many new opportunities in the industry and embraces the innovative marketing tools as well. Digital channels helps in providing good opportunities for reaching thousands of potential customers for comparatively low investment.
6. Problems faced by the company
Following are some of the problems faced by the cited construction company:
- Rebuilt of the CBD has not started: The government has announced Christchurch CBD will get reconstructed in about 10 main anchor projects. City center depicts less evidence of the rebuild projects or the activity which are been commenced. The private developers are being waiting for the initiation of the anchor projects before the erection of buildings due to the concerns of being unable to attract the tenants to such building which is surrounded by the empty sites (Leighs Construction, 2017).
- Fierce competition: Various big offshore firms have indicated that they can tender some of the anchor projects of Christchurch. Thus, Leighs Construction Company has to face fierce competition to survive in the market.
- Small supply chain and labor shortage: Christchurch has to find 17,000 workers which include joiners, plasterers, electricians and carpenters, before rebuild reaches the peak. The estimated requirement of rebuild is of 35,000 workers related to construction. Shortage of the skilled labor can result in poor constructed buildings which can fail or leak (Edvardsson, Tronvoll & Gruber, 2011).
- Increasing costs: Escalation in the construction costs has already exceeded 10% per annum in residential market due to shortage of material. It is supposed to spill over in the commercial sector.
- Insurance fraud: The huge sum of money which is involved in recovery and rebuild creates an unparalleled opportunity for corruption and fraud. The international frauds depicts that regardless of country in which the fraud occurs, corruption and fraud activity keeps on increasing and can result in natural disasters as well.
- Cash flow constraints at the time of waiting for the rebuild: The construction companies are eager for holding on to its good workers as welll as supply chains in the anticipation of rebuild. They have large overheads for absorbing at the time of waiting for the initiation of profitable work (Peñaloza & Venkatesh, 2006). The flow on impact is that the construction companies can accept quite lower margin for the next 12 months for keeping its employees busy.
7. Contemporary and advanced marketing practices and theories
Following are the various marketing practices and theories adopted by Leighs Construction Company:
- Focused approach: The cited firm wants to enter even bigger markets and to earn more shares in the markets. The firm is expanding the product portfolio for matching the rival offerings.
- Wider Spread: International expansion and creating even more global approach is the obejective of the cited firm. The company stays loyal to the customers by providing them the desired products and services.In addition to this, following are some other factors which are involved in the theories and practices of marketing:
- Suppliers: These can be regarded as the suppliers of higher value added components and materials for which pricing and product differentiation features prominently in marketing process (Mark-Herbert & Von Schantz, 2007). The product category includes components for building security system and building automation, curtain walling panels, escalators and lifts, construction equipments and plants, etc.
- Builder merchant: The builder merchant generally adopt the wholesale distribution function like trading in those construction materials which are more conventional like timber and bricks, sand and cement etc.
- Plant hiring firms: As purchasing of the expensive pieces of the equipments of plants requires huge capital investments, the firm offers valuable service to the contracting organizations in the industry where optimum level cannot be attained due to lack of continuous and repetitive usage (Knox & Bickerton, 2003).
- Specialist firms: Contribution from the specialist firm can usually be akin for the service aspect of the industrial marketing. Where circumstances warrant fix arrangement and supply with the organization offering materials for fixing, these can relate to products as well as the service aspect of the industrial marketing. Here, the specialism can be wide ranging and diverse including the firms providing high pressure grouting, slipforming, prestressing etc.
- System builders: System builders include wide array- from the industrial buildings to the residential buildings and commercial offices (Azoulay & Kapferer, 2003). Due to huge financial outlay which is required initially for the prefabricating components off or on site, the design should be standardized for the purpose of mass production.
- General building contractors: A considerable proportion of construction industry involves firms which are included in this category. A service is offered for the construction of a building or structure which is designed previously by other operating unit, described in specifications, bills of quantities and drawings.
8. Extension to b2b markets
Effectiveness of the b2b marketing can be improved by a well defined strategy. Following are some of the strategies adopted by the cited firm for increasing the leads, sales and ROI:
- Digging deeper while targeting the demographic: Many times the B2B marketers take 'pray and spray' approach for targeting its demographic. It can be big waste of the valuable marketing dollars. The cited firm can fix it through narrowing down the audience using the hyper targeting.
- Getting feedbacks: It is essential to get feedbacks from the target demographic. B2B marketing need to be driven by the data over everything else. Without truely understanding the audience, the marketing strategy is equivalent to just guessing. Employing survey methods in the marketing process is among the best ways to get the feedbacks (Brønn & Vidaver-Cohen, 2009). It can also help in unlocking the incredible important data in case of the conferences, trade shows and events.
- Extending the funnel: Several B2B marketers use to create quite short marketing funnel as they believe that it will result in increased sales. However, the leads can be increased by extending the funnel through the host webinars who offer much more value than the sales pitch (Jung & Joo, 2011). This can also be done by creating such content which helps in educating the potential customers on the services and products of the firm. besides this, using social media for building the brand through engaging the target audience and not by selling them can also be helpful.
- Creating milestones and goals: Goals are essential but milestones are much more essential. The firm can think of the goals as final destination, but milestones act as steps required for reaching the destination (Yonghui & Wanli, 2010). The firm can initiate by eveluating the marketing goals as well as reverse engineering the same for identifying the most effective way to ascertain them.
In this report, we have discussed the various strategies, approaches and other related factors of Leighs Construction Company. It is a well established company and has implemented several effective and efficient marketing approaches and strategies for commencing the business. The firm needs to examine its strengths and weaknesses so that measures can be taken for overcoming the weaknesses and the strengths can be highlighted in the marketing plan. In addition to this, there are certain issues which are being faced by the firm for which it is trying to implement appropriate measures.
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