All the Tools in the Toolbox

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A CMA webinar hosted jointly with The Think Tank

Held 11am, March 3, 2020. Panel member details at end.

The panel began by considering what are the things that are driving marketing in the construction sector. Key issues were the COVID pandemic, Brexit, and the impact of the Grenfell inquiry.

Unsurprisingly Will Johnson-Marshall picked out product marketing – in particular traceability, tracking which product eventually gets installed – as a key issue. Knowing what is in a building, who specified it, and why, is likely to be important for some time. This was likely to be important in decommissioning or demolition too, so it would be important that this information could be kept.

Marketing ethics came up naturally from this strand of discussion. With the Grenfell Inquiry ongoing, it’s clear action is needed, and that construction product marketers need to be aware. The CPA have set up a marketing integrity group, and that has led to a draft Code for Construction Product Information which sets out a series of practices and is out to consultation.

As Will Johnson-Marshall  said we need product information and marketing to be clear, accurate, up to date, and unambiguous. This is a key issue for product marketers now, and will be for a while.

Chris Ashworth said that process matters, that people need to record where and when information is posted, so it can be updated. You don’t want people referring to a four year old CPD webinar as current if it isn’t, after all. Phil Wise agreed, saying version control is extremely important. A good way to give it the emphasis it needs is to have someone senior sponsoring it.

The panel felt that SMEs might struggle digitising product information, but that there was support for them from an array of digital tools, and from trade associations. And as Jo Wilmot said, you don’t always need a huge budget to move to digital formats.

This brought us to another key issue – digitisation. The pandemic, with much increased working from home among other effects, has meant, as Izy Herrera said,  that  there has been a significant acceleration in the digitisation of marketing.

Izy said that last year NBS had to throw their marketing plan out of the window and start afresh. In particular they had done a large number of webinars which had been very effective. She felt that zoom fatigue was not yet a factor, and expected to keep running webinars, indeed they are now looking at adding podcasts.

She said the most important thing in channel choice was to look at your target audience, and see how they are behaving.

Phil Wise agreed that digitisation had accelerated, and that it was now a huge factor for marketers. He identified a particular challenge around integrating product sampling with digital.

Phil observed that traditional channels were not working as well right now, for example with trade magazines usually delivered to office addresses, and major events cancelled. He said we need to be more agile. This will continue, he felt, and would mean a positive impact on digital channels. Radio, for example, could pick up as a marketing channel. However, he also cautioned that marketers should remember to “switch the traditional back on” when the impact of the pandemic lessens.

The panel urged marketers not to bow to the pressure for immediate results and to keep some effort focussed on brand building. Those that invest in brand when times are tough should reap the rewards in increased share when the recovery comes.

Jo Wilmot also reminded people of a key marketing principle, that at a time like this it’s easy to get swallowed up by tactics, we should remember to have a message. You need to have something to say – right people, right time, right message.

So it’s clear that there are many effects on marketing activity right now, but we should remember our core principles, which work at any time.


  • Chris Ashworth, Competitive Advantage and CMA


  • Ben Hancock, Managing Director, Oscar Acoustics
  • Izy Herrera, Marketing Manager, NBS
  • Will Johnson-Marshall, Head of Operational Delivery, BSI Identify
  • Jo Wilmot, PR Director, The Think Tank
  • Phil Wise, formerly European Marketing Director, Formica Group

CMA Client League updated for 2020

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We started producing a Client League in 2019. It’s intended to give you an indication of those companies in the sector who take marketing very seriously. The league seeks to rank construction companies for the consistency of their marketing performance.

It allocates points for performance across a four year rolling window, meaning those at the top will have been producing work deemed excellent by the CMA judges for a period of years.

For 2020, Jewson remain top, with Certsure second, owing to their consistent performances. A Proctor Group – a winner in 2020, climb to third. There are a number of new entrants to the top 20 – Bradfords Building Supplies, BMBI, Milwaukee, NBS, Jacksons Fencing, Brett Landscaping, and nmcn have all pushed in to the top echelons.

1 Jewson
2 Certsure
3 A Proctor Group
4 Bradfords Building Supplies
5 The Builders Merchant Building Index (a BMF brand)
6 Milwaukee
7 Reynaers Ltd
8 Parkeray
10 Senior Architectural Systems
11 Jacksons Fencing
12 Clear Architects
13 MyEdge2
14 Tarmac Cement
15 Brett Landscaping
16 Gibbs & Dandy
17 Knauf
18 nmcn
19 Premier Guarantee
20 SAS International

Agency League updated with 2020 results

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In 2020, there is a new look, with Ridgemount PR’s stellar performance propelling them to the top. The Think Tank and Fabrick both move in to the top 5, while Good Eggs, Sagittarius, (this year’s biggest climber), and Clear B2B all entered the top 20 for the first time.

See their work in the online gallery of entries.

The top 20 up to and including the 2020 Awards

1 Ridgemount
3 Harris Associates
4 Think Tank
5 Fabrick
6 Refresh PR
8 Built For Marketing
10 Good Eggs
11 Holistic
12 Luminescence
13 Tangerine
14 Lesniak Swann
15 Sagittarius
17 ifour
18 threepipe
19 Mobas
20 Clear B2B

The Construction Marketing Awards Agency League is compiled by taking the last four years of results from the Construction Marketing Awards, and awarding five points for a win, three for a high commendation, and one for a spot on a shortlist.

While it is a numerical evaluation of performance in the Awards, and as such provides a gauge of capability and quality, it should not be taken on its own as a recommendation. While some use it as a tool to populate a pitch list, clients should do their homework carefully before appointing an agency!

Key dates for CMA21

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The key dates for the Construction Marketing Awards 2021 are:

  • Entries open – Monday April 12
  • Entries close – Friday September 17
  • Presentation – Thursday December 2

Work submitted should have been under way between June 1 2020 and August 31 2021, except for the Best Branding & Positioning category, for which the entry period is June 1 2019 and August 31 2021.

If you want to receive reminders about these dates, please sign up for our newsletter!

Winners Announced for 2020 Construction Marketing Awards!

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The winners of the Construction Marketing Awards 2020 have been announced!

In an online ceremony, the 2020 winners of our 28 categories were revealed. Milwaukee and Bradfords Building supplies both won three awards. Milwaukee’s unapologetically complex digital campaign, and Bradfords’ classy multi-media campaign both really impressed several different panels of judges – always a mark of real quality.

Ridgemount won both PR Agency of the Year, and Agency of the Year – something not done before – as testament to a remarkable year. They were a part of seven winning entries this year.

Komfort Partitioning with Built for Marketing took home the key Strategic Planning and Management gong, while NBS won Marketing Team of the Year.

A. Proctor Group won Best Content Marketing, and were Highly Commended for Marketing Team of the Year, but will surely be happiest with their triumph in the social media competition on the evening with their homage to their Communications Director Angela. (pictured left)

“It’s been an incredible year, in all senses of that word,” says Ross Sturley, of the Construction Marketing Awards. “Construction marketers have continued to produce excellent work, as this showcase demonstrates. The industry is well-positioned as a result to play a leading role in our economic recovery.”

If you missed the presentation, you can watch it on-demand.

The Construction Marketing Awards is very grateful to its overall sponsor, Barbour ABI, category sponsors Architecture Today, NBS and RIBA Journal, premier supporter The Think Tank, and supporters Built for Marketing, Fabrick, Harris, Housebuilder, MRA Marketing, as well as the many industry bodies who back these awards, and of course, the judges. Without their support this year the awards would have been impossible.

See the full results of the awards.

Sign up for our free online awards presentation

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The Construction Marketing Awards 2020 will be presented in an online ceremony on November 26th.

Our Finalist Gallery is now live, so you can see information about the shortlisted entries. So if you;re a fainlist yourself – check out the competition!

Join us for the online presentation of the Construction Marketing Awards 2020. The winners will be announced on a streamed broadcast starting at 4.30pm on November 26, and concluding by 6pm.

You are encouraged to set up your own zoom, for your team and other guests to join, so you can watch the presentation with them. Each person wanting to watch will need to register here to be sent the instructions on how to view the presentation.

There will be games to play while you’re watching:

  • Show us your face (in aid of CRASH) – take a picture of your party Zoom (or Teams, or whatever) and tweet it using #cma20. Be creative, how can you make it funny? The one we like the best will win a case of fizz!
  • Category bingo – the categories will be announced in a random order, with numbers drawn by a machine – pick nine numbers between 1 and 28 and make your own bingo card.
  • CMA Sweep – we’ll send you a sweepstake template, a list of all the finalists in the categories. You just choose in advance the ones you think will win, and whoever gets the most right in your Zoom wins!

If you’re a zoom host you can offer some prizes even!

The Show us your face competition is in aid of CRASH. Obviously this year we can’t collect donations from the tables… but please donate to the construction industry’s charity that helps homelessness and hospice organisations with their construction projects by texting CRASH and the amount you want to donate to 70085.

Text CRASH 10 to 70085 to donate £10 (texts cost your donation amount plus one standard rate message).

Send as many Zoom pictures as you want, but please donate.

Register here to attend the CMA20 presentation

NBS to host free webinar

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Marketing Masterclass for Manufacturers: The Specification Marketing Cycle
Nov 12, 11am

Join Robin Cordy, Marketing Director at NBS and Andy Lambert, Director of Growth at ContentCal as they talk through the specification marketing cycle for construction, and how manufacturers can create a strategy that helps them reach specifiers at all stages of the product selection process.

They will discuss the tactics, insights and tools that can be employed to take a fully integrated digital marketing approach which ultimately helps manufacturers to get their products specified.

All attendees will be able to submit questions to the panel throughout the session.

CMA 2020 Shortlist Announced!

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The CMA judging panel has met and discussed this year’s crop of entries, and picked the list of finalists from which the winners will be chosen. A full list is below. Where applicable, the agency responsible is listed in brackets.

The winners will be announced at an  online presentation on November 26, 2020.

If you are in one of the categories which will be decided by interview, we’ll be in touch very soon!

Strategic Planning & Management

  • BMBI (MRA Marketing)
  • Deceuninck (MRA Marketing)
  • Freefoam (MRA Marketing & Mind Made)
  • Garnalex (MRA Marketing)
  • Komfort Partitioning (Built for Marketing)
  • Smartlouvre Technology (Built for Marketing)

Best Product Launch

  • Tobermore
  • Garnalex (MRA Marketing)
  • Hydrorock (Built for Marketing)
  • Komfort Partitioning (Built for Marketing)
  • NBS
  • Crown Paints (Harris Creative)
  • Tommy Trinder (MRA Marketing)

Best use of Press & Public Relations

  • Buro Happold (Camargue)
  • GroupBC (Fabrick)
  • JP McGuire Developments (Unhooked Communications)
  • RGB Building Supplies (PMW Communications)
  • Eurocell (Refresh)
  • SureCav (The Think Tank)
  • Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (Ridgemount PR)

Best use of Website

  • FenceSafe (Harris Creative)
  • Jacksons Fencing (Sagittarius)

Best Digital Campaign 

  • Ambar Kelly (Fabrick)
  • Business Sprinkler Alliance (Fabrick)
  • Häfele UK
  • Milwaukee (Ridgemount PR)
  • Redrow

Best International Campaign

  • Foster + Partners
  • SAS International (with Built for Marketing and Ridgemount PR)
  • Neolith (The Think Tank)

Best Social Media Campaign

  • SAS International (Ridgemount PR and Built for Marketing)
  • Milwaukee (Ridgemount PR)
  • Redrow

Best Thought Leadership Campaign

  • BMBI (MRA Marketing)
  • Redrow
  • Tensar International

Best use of Events & Live Marketing

  • CCF (OneAgency)
  • NBS

Best use of Direct Marketing

  • Autodesk (Torpedo)
  • Elite Systems (Harris Creative)

Best use of Advertising

  • Lakes (MRA Marketing)
  • Bradfords Building Supplies (Good Eggs)

Best Branding & Positioning

  • Allied Glazing Systems (Engage Comms)
  • Jenner (Fabrick)

Best Distributor Marketing Campaign

  • Arbor Forest Products (Harris Creative)
  • CCF (OneAgency)
  • RGB Building Supplies (PMW Communications)
  • Bradfords Building Supplies (Good Eggs)

Best Professional Services Marketing Campaign

  • Whitecode Design Associates (Fabrick)
  • Buro Happold (Camargue)
  • Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (Ridgemount PR)

Best Stakeholder/Internal Communications

  • Lakes (MRA Marketing)
  • CCF (One Agency)

Best Built Environment Member Organisation Marketing Campaign

  • BEAMA (Refresh)
  • BMBI (MRA Marketing)
  • Institution of Structural Engineers (The Think Tank)
  • Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (Ridgemount PR)

Best Contractor Marketing Campaign

  • Jenner (Fabrick)
  • nmcn

Best use of Research and Insight

  • BMBI (MRA Marketing)
  • Jacksons Fencing (The Think Tank)

Best use of Content Marketing

  • A. Proctor Group
  • Harrogate Steel (Engage Comms)
  • Freefoam (MRA Marketing & Mind Made)
  • MSA (Clear B2B Marketing & PR)
  • Stay at Home Club (Ridgemount PR)

Best Application of Marketing Technology

  • (Harris)
  • Häfele UK

Best Low Budget Campaign (<£25k)

  • Ambar Kelly (Fabrick)
  • Business Sprinkler Alliance (Fabrick)
  • SAS International (Built for Marketing and Ridgemount PR)
  • JP McGuire Developments (Unhooked Communications)
  • Milwaukee (Ridgemount PR)
  • Neolith (The Think Tank)
  • The Institution of Structural Engineers (The Think Tank)
  • UK Connect (The Think Tank)

Best Mid-Range Budget (£25k-£50k) Campaign

  • Freefoam (MRA Marketing and Mind Made)
  • Heating Installer Awards (Refresh PR)
  • James Latham (Liz Male Consulting)
  • Tommy Trinder (MRA Marketing)

Best Big Budget (£50k+) Campaign

  • Bluebeam
  • Deceuninck (MRA Marketing)
  • Bradfords Building Supplies (Good Eggs)

PR Agency of the Year

  • Refresh
  • Ridgemount PR
  • Unhooked Communications

Small Agency of the Year

  • Built for Marketing
  • Refresh
  • Ripple
  • SWW Marketing
  • Unhooked Communications

Agency of the Year

  • Fabrick
  • Harris Creative
  • Ridgemount PR

Marketing Team of the Year

  • A. Proctor Group
  • Häfele UK
  • NBS
  • Workplace Futures Group

Emerging talent – Young Marketer of the Year

  • Kirstie Osborne, Ridgemount PR
  • Sandra Stepniak, BES
  • Amelia Spence, Fabrick


Not on the shortlist and wondering why? First, don’t despair, you’re not alone. It’s hard to get on this list of finalists. Second, think of the future. Contact us for feedback on your entry and we’ll help you do better next year!

Traditional meets Digital

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The Construction Marketing Awards recently hosted a webinar called Traditional meets Digital. We invited leading industry players, all of whom are working on the interface where digital and traditional media come together, to sit on our panel and share their views.

The panel were all agreed that it is not a case of one medium over another but a matter of a blended approach. Different media have different roles. Those roles are decided by the type of information to be delivered:
• Is it nice to know or need to know? Legislation or technical data may be better presented in a digital format, which is instantly available.
• What format is best suited to the information? For example plans of a building may be more easily viewed in a hard copy format.
• How many and where are the audience? With an online presentation it is possible to reach 1,000 people around the world.
• Do participants want to meet to build relationships? In which case a live event will be best to achieve this.
What is important is that people can enjoy a tailored experience which works for them.

What is also clear is that marketers need to have a well thought through approach, ensuring their engagement is effective. For example, when manning an exhibition stand it is important to think about what the visitors want. For them it is an opportunity to learn much more about your products and services. So, the people on your stand need to be able to deliver a high level of understanding. Perhaps it should not be just the sales team but the technical experts who can explain concepts in detail.

A digital approach permits a granular approach to communications. For the marketer this means quality not quantity and understanding the customer’s challenges. This is not new, but a mediocre approach is becoming less acceptable. The construction sector needs to improve its game to match the standards set by the B2C sector. Standards which the Construction Marketing Awards recognise in their shortlisted finalists.

The Panel comprised:
• Chris Ashworth, Vice Chairman – CIMCIG
• Liam Bateman, Managing Director – The Think Tank
• Robin Cordy, Marketing Director – NBS
• Kate Perrin, Marketing Director – Barbour ABI
• Helen Castle, Director of Publishing – RIBA
• Jonathan Stock, Publishing Director – Architecture Today
• Nathan Garnett, Director – UK Construction Week

You can view a recording of the webinar here.