Your design and construction company offers a great product. You have top notch designers; experienced contractors; and high-quality products, all at a great value. Now, it’s time to create a marketing strategy to promote your business, but you don’t know where to begin…

At the forefront of your mind is getting the most bang for the bucks you spend on marketing. You might already know that a good rule of thumb for return on investment is a 5:1 ratio. That means, realizing five dollars of revenue for every marketing dollar you spend. That’s a great place to start, but now that opens a whole host of questions.

For Example:

  • How do I create valuable content?
  • Are print ads worth the money?
  • Which social media platforms should I use?
  • How much does it all cost?
  • How do I use video?
  • Where do I find the time to do all of this?
  • Where do I turn for guidance/help?

Marketing can be frustrating and overwhelming. Our goal at Haven is to guide you through it all, to help you tell your story of expertise, and to connect you with clients that value relationships over discounts. So how do we do that? Below is our definitive nine step blueprint for creating a successful marketing strategy in the design and construction industry.

1. evaluate

How can you tell if your existing marketing strategy is effective? Haven Media has a solution to simplify it for you. Fifteen simple questions will help you analyze whether your current strategy will be effective or whether you need to do more.


We have a quiz for that.


2. budget

Your budget includes not just how much you spend on marketing, but what type of marketing you spend it on. You’ll want to consider whether to use digital or print media, or preferably, a mix of both. You’ll have to investigate the cost for each and determine the most cost-effective way to allocate your budget.


Use our handy-dandy (and easy) Marketing Budget Calculator.



Source: CoSchedule’s State of Marketing Strategy Report

3. goals and objectives

Now you know you need to market your business and know how much you’re willing to invest to grow your business. But don’t just throw money to the wind. Make sure you know what your marketing goals are and the objectives that will get you there. It’s very important to have well-defined goals and measurable objectives, to not only stay on course but to evaluate your efforts and ensure optimal results. When setting objectives keep an eye on your overarching goals, everything you do should have a purpose. Simply boosting a post on Facebook isn’t helpful if it’s not tying back to one of your overarching goals.

According to CoSchedule’s State of Marketing Strategy Report, which surveyed nearly 1600 professionals from around the globe, marketers who set clear goals are 429% more likely to report success, and 81% of those achieve those business-building goals.


  • Create awareness of your brand – How will you get clients, followers, and others in the community to connect emotionally with your brand?
  • Engagement – Invite and engage customers to interact with your brand experience.
  • Conversion – You want your marketing offers to get your potential clients to take an action. For example: schedule a consultation.
  • Retention – Your marketing plan should generate customers that not only purchase, but they return to purchase again and again.


There are all kinds of data points and analytics available that measure your online presence. Depending on the medium and platform, there are also different statistics available. Here are some very basic analytics to consider. Make sure to tailor these analytics to your specific objectives.


  • Visits – How many total visits did you have.
  • Goal – Increase web traffic
  • Objective – Average X website visitors per day by mid-year through SEO
  • Conversions – Here the “goal” is to convert web visitors into customers. The “objective” is to convert X visitors to customers by doing Y in Z amount of time.

Social Media

  • Reach – The number of people who see your posts.
  • Engagement – The number of people that engaged with your post through likes, comments,
    shares and more.
  • Website visits generated – You can look up data measuring how many website visits
    your social media channels produced.

4. brand architecture

While each step in this process is important, Step 4 “Brand Architecture” is the foundation of it all. Our definition of brand architecture is telling your brand message with clarity to connect emotionally, creating an “irrational” bond with your clients. Clients buy things emotionally and by “irrational” we mean they won’t care how much it costs they simply must have it. For example, think about YETI coolers, why would anyone in their right mind pay $400-600 for a cooler? Because they are bear proof and hold ice for eight days. How many of us really need that? Don’t get me wrong it’s a great product but overpriced in relation to their competition and not a rational decision for most that purchase. We identify with their brand messaging of adventure, independence, freedom, exploration, and there is a certain cool factor that comes with owning a Yeti. It’s an aspirational brand. While the Design and Construction industry is different, it doesn’t mean you can’t create an emotional brand.


The first step is creating your anchor statement. The goal of the anchor statement is to create clarity of your brand. Make it a story-based statement or group of statements that defines your brand.

  1. Hero – Choose a hero for your brand story. Although you’re the hero that saved the day, you need to make the customer the hero.
  2. Problem to be solved – Demonstrate what pain or problem your hero has.
  3. Show how you will help them – You’re a guide, so show how you’ll help your customer through this pain or problem.
  4. Tell the client’s success story – Share the emotions or aspirations your clients feel as a result of your product or service. The anchor statement will be the basis of all messaging from your website, through campaigns, social media, and print. This statement provides clarity for what you do and is the backbone of all messaging. You may find the need for multiple anchor statements depending on your clientele, products, and/or services. For example, if you sell to both retail and the trade you may need a statement for each as their needs and desires are often different.

Here’s an Anchor Statement example using ACo:

  1. Hero – Our hero is the homeowner looking to build or remodel.
  2. Pain – His pain is feeling overwhelmed and frustrated with the traditional design and build process. There are too many choices and it can be overwhelming.
  3. Guide – ACo guides him through to a solution with a proven and worry-free process.
  4. Success – His success is that he now has a luxurious space, so his family can love where they live.

Now let’s put it all together.

When homeowners decide to remodel or build their dream home they have many choices and decisions to make. The unknown can be frustrating and overwhelming. We put them at ease by providing clear direction and expectations, guiding them through our proven and worry-free approach to create luxurious kitchen, bath, and flooring spaces so families can truly love where they live.

Here are a few other things to consider in relation to your brand architecture:


Your company mission defines your company’s purpose and drives all decision making. It’s important for you and your folks to have a guiding statement of purpose. It will keep you aligned and focused on the future. Preferably, keep a simple mission statement vs. a stuffy, boring, and over worded corporate version. Make it easy for everyone to understand. Mission statements should be adopted by employees and can also be shared with clients, but it’s not the same as a tagline.


You need to know who your ideal client is and their hobbies and interests. The more you know the better and easier it is to find these people and market to them. Think about things like:

  • Location
  • Age
  • Income
  • Home Value
  • Hobbies/Interests/Priorities
  • Job Title/Occupation


It’s a memorable catchphrase about your brand often used to accompany your logo. Taglines can take many forms from abstract to factual. Going back to our previous example of an anchor statement with ACo, their tagline is “Love Where You Live.”



5. website

Your website is the workhorse for all that you do when it comes to marketing. Your website needs to be optimized to reach your goals. The intent of inbound marketing is to drive people to your site and convert them on the goals you have set. If your website is not setup properly with at least the following criteria, your marketing efforts will not provide as strong of a return. Not having a properly calibrated website is kind of like eating a donut after you work out. It’s not very efficient.


You have about seven seconds to capture your website visitor’s attention. If your website doesn’t make absolutely clear what your company does, they will bounce, literally. Use your newly crafted “Brand Architecture” as a framework to guide visitors around your website.


We typically like to have three CTA’s above your website’s fold. In the top right corner, you want to have a “connect” or “contact” option that makes it easy for people to reach you. The other two CTA’s will come from the campaigns and content you create below. Keep in mind, one CTA should be more general or softer while the other is geared more towards decision making.


You want to show your visitors you understand their pain and needs. You will also want to demonstrate your credibility. Make sure to show or share customer testimonials, industry awards, industry affiliations and more.


  • Use keywords – Determine your keywords and use them throughout the website.
  • Clusters – Create pillar pages with blogs on important topics and sub topics leading back to your pillar pages.
  • Keep it Local – Create your business profiles on both Google and Bing. Local companies always top the list of searches even before organic SEO, so this is by far your quickest and easiest way to be seen. Make sure to upload as many photos as possible on a regular basis as well as actively seeking and responding to reviews.
  • Valuable Content – 72% of marketers say relevant content creation was the most effective SEO tactic. (Ascend2, 2015)


On your home page it’s very important to tell your story through imagery and video vs. long winded paragraphs droning on about how great you are. When using text, make sure to be very clear and concise. Try to keep ten sentences or less on your home page. Include more detail and copy on other pages where they can click; the idea is to be clear and concise on the home page, so they understand what you do as quickly as possible.

6. create campaigns/triggers


Learn inbound marketing techniques.

According to Wikipedia, inbound marketing is a technique for drawing customers to products and services via valuable content marketing, social media marketing, search engine optimization and branding.

Know your buyer’s journey.

HubSpot defines the buyer’s journey as the process buyers go through to become aware of your product or service, evaluate it, and purchase it. The journey is a three-step process:

  1. Awareness – the buyer realizes they have a problem
  2. Consideration – the buyer defines their problem and researches companies to help them solve it.
  3. Decision – the buyer hires a company to solve their problem.

A Conversion funnel.

The funnel is simply a representation of the process showing how people start as strangers to your business and flow down the funnel becoming a customer and then a promoter of your business. Now that you have a basic understanding of inbound marketing and the process through which strangers are converted to leads which are turned into customers and ultimately promoters, you’re probably scratching your head and asking yourself how to pull it all together. It all boils down to providing “valuable content”. What you may not know is that you need to deliver “valuable content” to your potential clients at the right time. The goal of your content is to move these people further down the funnel, so you need one more component to get them engaged on the conversion path. You need a campaign.

A campaign is essentially how you take the strangers that visit your site and convert them to brand evangelists after they’ve purchased your product or service. It starts with an offer or trigger that gets them into your campaign and additional triggers that take them further down the funnel. You will first need to determine the goals of your campaign and create the trigger specifically to the prospective buyer’s current journey stage. Campaigns, if done right, are often intertwined with other campaigns to provide a clear path for the prospect. Each trigger or offer should have its own landing page and thank you page. On the thank you page, you’ll want additional triggers or offers to lead them further down the conversion funnel.

7. create valuable content

Content is king. Dollar-for-dollar, content generates 3 times as many leads as outbound marketing (e.g. newspaper, tv, email marketing, etc.). It also costs 62% less.

Create valuable story-based content supporting your brand architecture that’s designed to reach your potential clients at the different stages of their buyer’s journey. Consider this, according to a 2016 Demand Gen Report, 47% of buyers viewed 3-5 pieces of content before engaging with a sales representative. As you create your content, keep your triggers in mind so it’s relatable and ties back to your brand. If you currently have content, it’s a good idea to take inventory as you may be able to repurpose it in your new strategy.

As a refresher here’s an infographic on the buyer’s journey:

Here are some examples of content you can use to reach your buyers:

Please keep in mind some content can be used for multiple stages of the buyer’s journey.

Awareness – The buyer realizes they have a problem

  • Blogs
  • Print Media/Magazines
  • Photography
  • Interactive Quizzes
  • Tips, how to’s
  • Ebooks
  • Whitepapers
  • Videos
  • Education
  • Data

Consideration – The buyer defines their problem and researches companies to help them solve it.

  • Infographics
  • Testimonials
  • Print Media/Magazines
  • Photography
  • Product demos
  • Process videos
  • References
  • Case studies

Decision – The buyer hires a company to solve their problem

  • Connect
  • Next Steps
  • Quick quote

8. promote

Once you know your goals, have an established budget, great brand messaging with a solid website, and have created valuable campaigns and content, it’s time to share it with the world. All CTA’s should eventually lead back to the website. Please remember you don’t own IG, Facebook or other social media platforms. Design your website to do its job effectively. Here’s where we believe will get you the most bang for your buck.


Social Media – Depending on your goals and time available, there are several social media channels we recommend you explore. 90% of all marketers indicated that their social media efforts have generated more exposure for their businesses, according to HubSpot’s The Ultimate List of Marketing Statistics for 2018. Determining how often you post is really about your campaigns and how much valuable content you create. It’s better to post less than to post something that is irrelevant to your audience.

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIN
  • YouTube
  • Twitter
  • Houzz


Source: HubSpot’s The Ultimate LIst of Marketing Statistics for 2018


Lead nuturing is the process in which you create and provide valuable content to further develop your relationship with clients in relation to the buyer’s journey and the conversion funnel. In other words, engaging a “stranger” and converting them through each step of your sales funnel, through purchase, and ultimately to become a brand evangelist.

  • Map your campaigns through the funnel – This often gets a bit tricky visually, so you might be better off using a software like Hubspot or Infusionsoft to pull it all together. If you aren’t ready to use a marketing automation tool, you can manually create your funnel with campaign landing and thank you pages.
  • Use a Reverse Funnel – This is an often overlooked and unutilized strategy in our industry. It’s all about customer retention and referrals. We all know existing clients and referrals cost us far less marketing dollars. The thought here is to keep marketing even after the sale. Spend marketing dollars on campaigns that make your customers advocates of your brand for life.


Think about what your customers want after they sign on the dotted line. How can you make things better for them and engage them with your brand?


  • Send a personalized welcome email – Wow them with an enthusiastic welcome and introduce them to the team.
  • Provide next steps – Provide a video telling them what to expect.
  • Ask them to refer a friend – This point in the process is a good time to ask for referrals.
  • Post-Completion – Now it’s really time to shine. You’ve received your final payment from your client and they probably expect you to be less responsive and attentive right? Wrong! Up your game and take it to the next level.


  • Thank yous – Send an automated email or video.
  • Refer a friend – It’s always a good idea to ask for referral after a job well done.
  • Check-Ins – Periodically check in to make sure all is good, starting maybe at 30 days post completion. This will go a long way.
  • Warranty reminder – Send a reminder when the customer is approaching their warranty expiration.


  • Send a thank you email or video.
  • Ask for a referral – you’ve earned it!
  • Check-in after 30 days to make sure things are ok.
  • Send a warranty expiration reminder.


It’s important to provide a consistent customer experience from one customer to the next. Imagine not having to handle some of the touch points and letting software manage them. That’s where automated marketing can step in and make your life easier. Check out Hubspot and Infusionsoft if you have interest learning more.


We like to joke and say Haven’s magazine is our “Blockbuster” idea since the video rental chain is out of business. However, print is still a major player and should be a big part of your strategy depending on your target market demographics. Just make sure you’re doing it right. When done correctly, print gives your potential clients something tangible and there is a certain bit of magical credibility to being featured in a magazine.

Here’s an example of print done right if we do say so ourselves.


9. analyze, test, optimize

At Haven, we often hear, “How do I measure who we’ve reached?” That’s a valid point because even if you see your revenue increase, you’re not sure whether the increase was a result of a particular marketing campaign. Some customers may have seen an article in a magazine or a video on Facebook, but they haven’t purchased yet. Perhaps another made a purchase without ever seeing any of your ads or campaigns. Gathering, analyzing and optimizing data is an art. We cover the basics below.


Utilize available software or pull data from your individual platforms and combine for an aggregate. For example, you can pull data from Facebook about your social analytics and use Google Analytics to pull information on your website. If you don’t have good tracking in place already, it’s a good idea to set baseline data to use for gauging new marketing success. Remember, marketing is cyclical so make sure to pull enough history to get a fair representation and baseline to your new goals. Here are some basics to track:


  • Users – You can see how many visits you had to the website
  • Sessions – You can track how many sessions visitors had.
  • Bounce – You can see whether the visitor “bounced” or left your website right away.
  • Traffic Sources – Find out from customers whether they’re a lead from social media, referral from a friend, an advertisement, or other.
  • Popular Pages on Your Website – Find out what pages are getting the most visits
  • Goal Conversions – Set up goals in analytics to track. Also make sure to setup new goals for any new or existing campaigns.
  • Goal Conversion Rate – The percentage of visitors you convert on your goals.

Social Media

  • Reach – Track how many people your posts reach
  • Engagement – Track your likes, shares, and comments. Keep in mind comments are the ultimate engagement.
  • Page Followers – The number of people that like or follow your page. You want quality over quantity.
  • Video views/statistics – You can see how many people viewed your video. Look to 10s view stats.
  • Individual post stats – See your top performing posts.
  • Website visits – See how many website visits you generated.

Nurturing Campaigns

  • Open Rate – See how many customers open their emails.
  • Click-through Rate – Track how many customers clicked through the link to your website and became actively engaged in your content.
  • Website Visits – Keep them coming back to visit your website.


Take a holistic view of your results. Identify which campaigns are performing better than others and what content is getting the most engagement. Try to identify trends within your marketing so you can duplicate your efforts.


Sometimes you have a great campaign with solid content, but it isn’t getting the engagement you expected. That’s OK, experiment with changing the copy or call to action to see if you get better results. Try switching up the messaging and delivery or even the main image. You might be surprised what will get the most engagement.


Once you know what’s working, you can optimize your marketing campaigns and website to get more results. Spend your efforts and money around what is driving the most conversions and engagement. Remember that marketing is a long-term play and it takes time to fully optimize your efforts.


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