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David Cartwright

Business - 4 min read

Advertising vs Marketing for Builders

David Cartwright

Senior Marketing Manager - Software

Oct 8, 2018 10:30:00 AM

Builders have used traditional advertising for many years, such as print media, TV, radio, flyers and apparel to gain the attention of customers. But the way that consumers buy products has changed dramatically over the past decade, meaning there are now new opportunities to attract and convert customers. 

Modern marketing techniques are focused on the needs of customers. Rather than using a direct and “in your face” advertising approach, modern techniques focus on providing value to customers before asking for something in return. 

But how do these two techniques apply to builders, and which one is better to use for your business?


Traditional Advertising Techniques

The main goal of traditional advertising is to convince a customer that they need your products or services. For builders, this advertising may take the form of convincing customers that they should use a certain building technique or material. For example, a builder may design a newspaper ad that emphasises the benefits of using steel-reinforced frames or timber floors for customers’ home.

Therefore, traditional advertising is more of a seller to buyer approach, where the seller (builder) presents a product to the buyer and convinces them to make a purchase. 

Traditional advertising channels mostly include mass media outlets that spread a common message to a large audience. Some of the most popular traditional channels include:

  • TV and radio ads
  • Newspaper and magazine publications
  • Billboards, flyers, and posters
  • Business apparel, brochures, and cards


Pros and Cons of Traditional Advertising

Traditional advertising has its benefits and disadvantages. Some of the benefits include a wide customer outreach, where larger media channels can spread your message to many people at once. And if your advertising message is attractive enough, it can arouse interest in your products and result in more customers. However, traditional advertising is difficult to measure and to personalise to the customer. It’s also often interruptive; reaching potential customers when they’re not in an active research phase of their buyer journey.

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Modern Marketing Techniques

As opposed to traditional advertising, modern marketing is more focused on the needs of customers. The attention span for most people today is less than that of a goldfish (under 8 seconds). Therefore, if your message doesn’t immediately appeal to the needs of potential customers, it will be ignored and become ineffective. This is the main challenge that the mass approach of traditional advertising faces. 

With modern marketing techniques, businesses try to position themselves to attract customers by educating them with valuable information they seek out online. This customer-focused approach is an effective method in today’s world. 

You can do this by increasing your visibility online (SEO). Adapt your website content to fit what customers are looking for. If sustainable construction is a top concern for your target customers, ensure your blog content and web pages are tailored to include relevant keywords that customers are likely to search for on places like Google.


Which is Right for Your Business?

Both traditional advertising and modern marketing have their own benefits. Traditional ads may apply to an older audience that doesn’t spend time on the internet. Some messages are also better delivered via mass media channels. 

On the other hand, modern marketing is more targeted, measurable, and directed towards customer needs. A combination of both approaches may also work for your construction company. 

For a sample marketing plan document that can help to give you some strategic direction, download our Tradies’ Template pack below:

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