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Marketing Matrix for Construction Marketing

Need to know what specific types of media outlets meet your company’s current marketing or advertising needs? Now, this is by no means an all-encompassing list, but it covers about 95% of what most contractors use when marketing their construction businesses. As with everything, these are general marketing principles, you may achieve greater (or worse) results depending on many factors.


Market Coverage:

Newspapers typically cover a metro area including the suburbs, but many contractors are finding success in local “home town” publications.


This is a mass media approach to marketing that skews towards men who are older, with higher incomes and educated. You can also target readers by advertising in Business, Sports, or Home & Garden sections.

Advantages of newspaper advertising:

Current with a very flexible, short lead time. Newspapers are an accepted, traditional means of advertising which offers both graphic and contextual ad copy to readers.

Disadvantages of newspaper advertising:

Ultra-short life span with ads commingled with many other advertisers. No real logic behind ad placement other than section-specific ads. No one newspaper can deliver the entire consumer market.


Running ads on a consistent basis get expensive, even in the smallest publications. Producing ads are typically low in cost. To win, you have to be “seen” a lot before you gain consumer acceptance.

Best suited for:

Newspapers are better suited for a products or services with a broad appeal that can be marketed to the masses with special promotions.


Market Coverage:

Normally covers a metro area but can be targeted to specific local markets through cable operators.


Very wide reach slanted towards younger age groups. Not much market segmentation available.

Advantages of TV advertising:

A demonstratable medium that provides a very strong visual impact. A broad appeal that reaches large groups of people very quickly.

Disadvantages of TV advertising:

Huge cost. Local markets (suburbs) often cannot be targeted effectively. Lots of other ads create clutter while new technology offers the ability to channel surf or skip advertising altogether (TiVo or DVR). Many stations fragment the market and water down overall results.

Costs: Again, very expensive from both a production and distribution standpoint. Frequency is the name of the game in television advertising, but the market is expensive to reach.

Best suited for:

Mass market approach for products with a broad appeal that you can demonstrate.


Market coverage:

Usually covers the entire metropolitan area with a listening audience predicated on channel demographics.


A highly fragmented audience based primarily on the station format.

Advantages of radio advertising:

This is a timely, immediate marketing platform. Again, the station format allows you to target a specific demographic depending on your objective. The use of the spoken word allows you to provide a personal message that reaches at best a passively engaged consumer, at worst, it totally disengaged consumer.

Disadvantages of radio advertising:

No single station can nail down an entire market. Message recall is difficult unless your ad budget allows you to saturate the platform. In other words, radio requires repetition which requires lots of cash.


Production costs are terrible, but the saturate the marketplace with your campaign is going to be expensive. Quoted prices from the rate card are always negotiable in radio.

Best suited for:

Contractors who are targeting a specific group with some type of sale or special promotion.

Yellow Pages

Market coverage:

All businesses and homeowners with telephones through the use of area specific directories.


Active shoppers who are ready to buy — this typically consists of emergency buyers, newcomers to the area and comparison shoppers.

Advantages of Yellow Pages advertising:

Usually the Yellow Pages provides total market coverage and is used when consumers are ready to make a purchase. Measurable results with the use of call tracking numbers extend the reach of other creative media.

Disadvantages of Yellow Pages Advertising:

Once you place your ad it’s there for a year, which makes the Yellow Pages and flexible with a long lead time. One of the advantages is a disadvantage as well in that people who are ready to buy and already narrowed down their choices and are looking for local provider.


No production cost to speak of and a low CPM make this an attractive offer for many home services providers.

Best suited for:

Residential and commercial services providers offering emergency or rapid response services. Home improvement retailers and contractors just starting out can benefit from the right type of ad in the Yellow Pages.

Internet marketing or advertising

Market coverage:

You pick; global, national, regional or local reach. Specific demographics are typically targeted geographically.


This normally varies depending on the website. You either want a national audience with mass appeal if you are say a franchisor or you can be highly targeted to hit a niche market right in your hometown.


A highly targeted medium that allows for personal messages to reach a large group effectively. The flexibility of Internet advertising is a huge advantage to small and medium-size construction companies. Another benefit of marketing online for contractors is the results oriented approach the medium provides from a cost standpoint.


Message retention is difficult but repetition of the message is much more cost-effective and therefore viable online. There is however a high degree of ad clutter. You also have to continually work at improving your response rate over time.


Reduction in distribution costs may vary and effectiveness can be difficult to measure at times.

Best suited for:

A home-improvement contractor with a product or service that has broad appeal. Marketing online is a fantastic way to promote sales or specials to help direct response through lead generation.


Market coverage:

For the sake of the home-improvement contractor will talk about regional coverage here that specializes in a targeted demographic that’s often geographically dispersed.


The truly varies depending on the publication. A metro edition serving a specific geographic location can provide a highly targeted niche market for the home-improvement contractor.

Advantages of magazine advertising:

A highly loyal readership with a relatively long life span. Highly polished magazines can provide visual benefits such as color impact for those in the remodeling industry. Magazines that publish monthly can be time for seasonal promotions as well.

Disadvantages of magazine advertising:

Like the Yellow Pages, magazines have a long lead time with inflexible deadlines and copy changes. Unless you’re willing to pay for premium placement your ad message can get lost in the shuffle buried deep inside the magazine which will limit message retention.


Production costs do very and the CPM is much higher than most other forms of advertising in the local market. It can also be difficult to track results.

Best suited for:

Home-improvement companies looking to generate leads through a targeted or specialized demographic driven by a specific need or living in a particular area.


Market coverage:

Totally controlled by you the advertiser, so you can either go broad with a shotgun approach or opt for laser focus to a highly targeted list.


This is going to be totally list dependent, but is often times mass mailed into a geographic area. But you can be highly targeted either through a narrow definition of an optimum client or customer or by geography.

Advantages of direct mail marketing:

A timely, flexible medium that hits a highly targeted audience. Very measurable results through the use of a highly personalized message with a strong call to action.

Disadvantages direct mail marketing:

Response rates are normally in the 1% or less range. Mailing lists are always difficult to maintain and you run the risk of being lumped in with other junk mail clutter sent to your targeted audience.


Direct-mail can be a very expensive proposition depending on the response rate but always count on having postage, mailing list, printing and handling costs added in to the overall cost of any campaign.

Best suited for:

A coupon driven direct response promoting a sale or special offer. Also good for grand opening announcements for any retail focused contractors such as flooring companies or some remodelers.

Outdoor advertising

Market coverage:

Major traffic arteries within the community. Can also be placed on mass transit vehicles and other mobile billboard type platforms.


Commuters trapped in their cars or on mass transit that regularly travel by specific locations.

Advantages of outdoor advertising:

24-hour day exposure with a relatively strong reach and frequency for the everyday passersby. Could offer strategic geographic placement with good reinforcement of other media.

Disadvantages of outdoor advertising:

Very long lead time that is often difficult to measure effectiveness. The message has to be short and sweet. Costs are also a major disadvantage.


Production and maintenance costs are very high for outdoor advertising.

Best suited for:

Brand name or slogan branding. Retail establishments close in proximity to the message itself.

And that’s it. You now have a pretty good list to figure out what marketing platform is right for you. If you still don’t know how to get started, then maybe outsourcing your marketing makes sense. If that’s the case, then let’s talk soon!

4 responses to “Marketing Matrix for Construction Marketing”

  1. Chris Spoerl Avatar
    Chris Spoerl

    Darren,this is one of your best blog posts. In essence, it is the blueprints to the Death Star. Contractors listen up. Build your marketing plan around this article, even better work with Darren to help you maximize your ad dollars. Very good article. Kudos.

    1. Darren Avatar

      Thanks Chris, happy to help!

  2. Antoine Loup Avatar
    Antoine Loup


    Good overall blueprint, but no mention of telemarketing? What about e-mail? I also think you might want to break up internet into pay-per-click / impression and standard website / seo practices, etc. Just a thought as they are two totally different sections with very different costs and structures.

    Any plans on discussing trade shows or even networking (event marketing) like local associations and trade groups?

    Just my two cents, but thanks for the post.


    1. Darren Avatar

      Hello Antoine,

      Thanks for the comments and stopping by. Good points, hit the search bar for the stuff you asked for, you should find some good stuff.