Builders merchant EH Smith won a Construction Marketing Award for its ‘Proper Builders’ campaign.
The campaign delivered a 30% increase in customer visits to EH Smith’s eight branches across the UK, prompting the opening of a ninth in Olton in the West Midlands.
The firm picked up the award for best Strategic Planning and Management of a campaign at the Construction Marketing Awards (CMA), beating off competition from Lafarge Tarmac and Reynaers at Home.
The award, won jointly with EH Smith’s marketing agency MRA Associates, recognised the campaign’s success in positioning EH Smith on the side of small, independent builders and other trades – highlighting the firm’s move to fixed pricing and the lowering of 15,000 prices on its most popular collected products.
The campaign included digital and social media; direct marketing; radio competitions on Free Radio across the West Midlands; stories in all key regional newspapers, television and radio and a week of events during which customers were invited to hog roasts to visit the £400,000 redevelopment of the Shirley, Solihull site.
Run by the Chartered Institute of Marketing Construction Industry Group (CIMCIG), the CMA Awards recognise and celebrate the best and most innovative marketing campaigns in the construction industry.
Mark Mallinder, marketing director of EH Smith said: “The campaign was designed to embed a genuine cultural change in the way EH Smith interacts with customers by communicating EH Smith’s expanded range, fixed pricing and new facilities – and encourage customers to browse, self-select and collect from site.
“We focused our attention on smaller builders and associated trades, positioning ourselves as a ‘proper builders’ merchant for proper builders’ – and it has been gratifying to see a 38% increase in product range purchased by this target group.”
Mike Rigby, of MRA Marketing said: “A lot of marketing is focused on sales promotion and making a campaign look pretty. That’s why it often disappoints. What impressed me was EH Smith had the vision to ask how to achieve a significant and sustainable increase in a small builder’s business and then hold marketing accountable for implementing the plan.”
On the back of the rise in customer visits prompted by the campaign, EH Smith’s new branch at Olton Wharf, Solihull opened its doors for collections in November stocking essential building supplies to help meet demand from customers across the West Midlands region.