Clichés ahoy, but it’s been something of a rollercoaster in the world of construction marketing in 2022 – for reasons both domestic and international that have been done to death elsewhere.

It’s not all doom and gloom though. As the dust settles on the government’s Autumn Statement, we see a clear commitment to infrastructure and housebuilding, inflation starting to fall (albeit from a great height) and data from the ONS shows that the sector has grown again year-on-year.


Whisper it, everybody else seems to have, but September 2022 actually saw the highest level of construction output (£15,125 million) since records began in January 2010. Who knew?!

So, with a fresh, shiny new year on the horizon, and things being seemingly less bleak than forecast, is it time for construction marketers to be a bit more confident?

Confidence is Key

So how do we get more confident, and how do we make others more confident in our strategy? Some of it is just by owning our specialism.

Part of that is based on experience and time-served, which makes sense. Expertise means lived experience, repetition of key skills and contacts etc to call upon.

Added to this, a big part of the role of marketing managers is to know your brand, product/service and audience better than anyone else. So, surely a bit of ‘gut-feel’ and ‘making a call’ is par for the course?

Well, of course. Bravery is a hugely useful trait for all sorts of reasons, mainly that it helps us to commit and get stuff done. Because of the experience and expertise mentioned above we should feel confident to just crack on.

But what about when we’re asked to give confidence to those internally that aren’t natural marketers or creatives? Those who prefer data to feeling? Weirdly, the starting point might be in some big thinking.

Every marketing plan, no matter how data-driven and results focused, starts with an aim. It’s a big problem to be solved, or an opportunity to pursue. It should be the reason that we do what we do, otherwise what’s the point?

Think big, make it personal

If you feel like your marketing team has become the colouring-in department (a favourite complaint) or that the impact of the work isn’t being felt or appreciated by colleagues, then it’s perhaps time to take a big breath and close your eyes. Well, after you finish reading this.

There are many ways to unlock that big picture thinking (note: not blue sky), but one of my favourites is a tool called The Dan Sullivan Question, named after the strategist that developed it. It’s taken from his brilliant book of the same name, which is well worth a read, but his titular question works something like this:

Picture yourself this time next year in your favourite restaurant. You’re out celebrating a hugely successful year, and the company are paying to say thank you. Think of where you are, what you’ll order to eat and drink, and who you’ll be there with.

Now ask yourself – what must have happened for that to become a reality?

What will you have achieved, what difference will it have made, and why? Who will have helped you? Crucially, how will you feel?

Don’t underestimate that final point. Not only are you going to be more energised and engaged chasing something that you truly believe in, but you’re going to be much more confident in developing the plan and selling it back to those key internal stakeholders.

You’ll also be much more confident if you buy Dan’s book too, link here:


There’s a wealth of great strategic advice in The Dan Sullivan Question, as well as Dan’s other work

Dan’s original question is far simpler and less convoluted than the one I’ve laid out above, but I think the imagery and the feeling is a powerful tool. By envisaging future success and making it feel visceral, we can quickly determine what’s important to us by gauging how excited we get. It should put us in mind of why we do what we do, and why it’s important.

The aim, of course, is just the beginning. From here you’re free to work with your strategy people, internally and externally, to build some robustness to that vision and underpin it with solid, measurable objectives that help you work towards that goal.

Remember – you’re always going to get those internal requests for pull-up banners, pens and mouse mat (deep joy…), but don’t lose sight of what you’re in it for, and what’s going to make a real difference to your company.

Managing Director