Various studies indicate that the construction industry is seen as a late adopter of opportunities offered by the online world and in some occasions, even resistant to it. But if you are in the construction industry you probably know that, don’t you?
Should we blame the big corporations for not carrying on enough of these digital activities? Or should we keep thinking that there is no need for it?
In my experience, it’s the company which has to do its job and research new ways to interact and engage with customers. It’s a fact that one to one relationships built and nurtured between sales and customers work very well in this sector. But is it enough?
I think there are two potential problems with this approach.
Firstly, when companies want to expand and reach new markets or new market niches, where they may not be as established or known.
The second issue is just how much the world has changed. Who would have imagined watching a high definition movie on a tiny screen held in your hand!
Companies in construction want to expand and reach new markets or new market niches, where they may not be as established or known, but the world has changed dramatically since they started in business and this can make it challenging.
In addition to this, time has become more and more valuable, especially in cities. This translates to people trying to save as much time as they can during the first stages of the buying process – awareness and consideration - during this stage information is simply being gathered.
What that means for anyone trying to influence the purchasing decision, is that the more we can offer online, the easier it will be for sales to influence that decision.
The question is: What should big manufacturers like Mitsubishi Electric be doing online?
Here at Mitsubishi Electric, we have done our homework, and our research shows that there is an interest in digital out there from both the consumer (homeowners, self-builders and tenants) and the commercial market (consultants, corporate end users, developers, energy advisors, quality surveyors and architects).
What are we, as Mitsubishi Electric Living Environment Systems doing then?
1. We make sure our staff are on top of the must-have skills for off-site construction:
- Collaboration between disciplines.
- Marketing and business case development.
- Project management.
- Information technology (including BIM skills and knowledge of automated design tools).
- Planning and design (including awareness and understanding on current and future legislation and guidelines).
- A whole life approach, considering the whole life cycle of the building including repair and maintenance requirements.
2. We are helping our customers to influence their customers through this new information portal “The Hub” a website dedicated to educating readers on efficient solutions that improve their built environment.
3. We’ve increased our social media presence. Our customers and other industry connections can follow us on LinkedIn and twitter and be updated with our latest news, industry information or simply engage with interesting facts we share. We also expect our connections to engage with us and use social media to ask any question they may have.
The reason behind this post is to create awareness of the need for change and to embrace the digital era. To read the report that has inspired this article click here.
So, what is it going to be your contribution to the change? If you have an opinion in all this, join our conversation on LinkedIn on our company page.
Zoraida Jerez is a Digital Specialist at Mitsubishi Electric.
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