A study of the management of promotion for competitive advantage in UK construction firms
This empirical research study focuses on the application of promotional management in UK construction firms. Relevant theories are reviewed and a model is developed. Promotion is seen within the context of the strategic and marketing management of the firm. The study provides an insight into the management organisation, processes and relative importance of promotional techniques for competitive differentiation through research involving construction firms and their promotional design and public relations consultants and advertising agents. The research examines the effectiveness of promotion, through surveys of client organisations and professional architectural, quantity surveying and other advisors. The combination of theoretical prediction and empirical research indicates an emphasis by construction firms on personal contacts and sales presentation across the design and management services offered, supported by other non-personal promotional techniques. Clients and their professional advisors rely on word-of-mouth recommendations from previous clients and to a much lesser extent on the promotion of construction firms. Problems of promotion identified in the research concern promotional material used as direct mail or in pre-selection presentations. These can be specified in terms of a lack of tailoring, targeting of efforts, and competitive differentiation through communication of specific benefits or the problem solving skills of the management team. Firms recognise the importance of good personal relationships with clients. However promotion is not given a sufficient priority in a highly competitive and dynamic environment.