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And you said social media would never work in construction

Home builder Pierre Martell, president and CEO of Martell Home Builders dives into social medial and makes it work.


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March 5, 2012 by Robert Koci

He has a YouTube channel, a Facebook page and a Twitter feed. He has a website that connects to blogs that have more to do with food and fun that homebuilding. Pierre Martell, president and CEO of Martell Home Builders, says he decided two years to stop all print advertising and do his marketing online. “I call it ‘word of click advertising’,” he says.

And why did he decide that online advertising was the way to go? According to a story on his company in the March 5th edition of the Financial Post Martell says “We didn’t have a budget to do traditional marketing.” With Twitter and a YouTube channel, he found the ROI on his online efforts improved his sales cycle. That is, the time it took from first meeting a client to the time they signed a contract.

Beyond his marketing, Martell has brought much of his project management online. His subtrades are notified of changes to schedules electronically. His customers and subtrades can watch the progress of their home in real time online with a “99 day countdown” to completion.

Martell Home Builders may be the best example in Canada of how online marketing can work for any market. Fortunately, his work is easy to study and emulate. Start as his website, www.themartellexperience.com (and don’t miss the message of the URL).


Robert Koci

Robert Koci

Rob Koci is the publisher of Canadian Contractor magazine. rkoci@canadiancontractor.ca Tel. 647-407-0754
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2 Comments » for And you said social media would never work in construction
  1. Martell has a well done website with lots to explore and videos to watch.

    Any marketing, print or social media, must 1) capture the attention of the prospect, 2) give them proof why they should do business with you over 18 other guys doing the same thing 3) lower the risk of taking the next step. I found lots of reasons a prospect might want to build their next home with them [in Atlantic Canada.]

    In contrast, most renovation / building contractor’s marketing, print or social media, doesn’t do this. Look at the Saturday Toronto Star “New in Homes” section for examples. They basically say “Here’s a picture of my product, Price range, map of my location, Come in or Call for a quote”.

    And you may get a long of meaningless platitudes about “Best Service” or “Best Quality” or “Lowest Price”…that doesn’t help you make a decision.

    To me, the essence of Social media marketing is sending messages out (Twitter, Facebook, Blogs, Youtube) that aren’t filtered out as spam. Try creating a Viral Video for Youtube that can generate 10,000 views in days – if the pieces of the puzzle aren’t there, it flops. Ans that is perhaps why the Martell blog of “Food and Fun” may work for a home builder.

    Good article, keep it up.
    Success,
    DaveZ

  2. Robert Koci says:

    The world of business is crossing over into our personal worlds more and more. Your clients want to know you are a good and interesting person as much as they want to know you can build a house or do a renovation.

    In some ways, it mirrors the public’s general interest in the private lives of politicians, movie stars and sports figures. It may not be a good thing, but it is a fact of business life today.