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  • Yvan Lamoureux

Innovative Marketing in Construction: Navigating Ontario's Housing Crisis

Updated: Jun 10

The construction industry faces a pivotal moment in the throes of Ontario's housing crisis. Builders and tradespeople stand at the forefront of a burgeoning demand for innovative housing solutions. As the population grows and urban centers swell, the need for strategic, customer-centric marketing has never been greater. Let's delve into marketing principles that resonate with the current climate and offer a blueprint for growth amidst the challenges.


The Relationship-Building Marketing Approach

Awareness, Familiarity, Trust:

The triad of awareness, familiarity, and trust forms the cornerstone of relationship marketing. Amidst the housing crisis, where buyers are making one of their most significant life decisions, builders must first raise awareness through strategic advertising and community presence. Then, as potential clients become familiar with the services offered, consistent follow-up and engagement foster trust. Over time, this leads to strong client relationships and, ultimately, sales and referrals.


Share of Customer Over Share of Market:

In the current market, it is not enough to aim for a share of the market; the goal must be a share of the customer. Builders and tradespeople must immerse themselves in the lives of their target groups. From first-time homebuyers to those seeking to downsize, understanding and addressing their unique needs can lead to a broader range of business opportunities.


Long-Term, Interactive Campaigns:

Engagement is a process, much like building a home. It requires time, attention, and interaction. Campaigns should invite participation, perhaps through interactive design workshops or virtual reality tours of upcoming projects. This engagement nurtures a deep connection, turning casual observers into committed clients.


Disruptive Marketing in a Competitive Landscape


Interruption vs. Permission Marketing:

The traditional approach of interruption marketing falls short in today's fast-paced, information-saturated world. In Ontario's competitive housing market, gaining permission by providing value is key. Whether through informative seminars on navigating the housing market or providing bespoke design consultations, builders that earn their clients' time and attention stand out.


Leveraging Existing Innovations:

Creativity often means reimagining existing ideas. The construction industry can look to successful marketing strategies from other sectors. For instance, adopting modular building techniques can streamline construction processes, allowing builders to market these innovations as both time-saving and cost-effective solutions to the housing shortage.


Market Disruption Through Innovation:

Disruption creates new markets. By offering ground breaking housing solutions, such as sustainable living communities or multi-use developments, builders can reshape the market. These disruptive models attract attention and require less traditional advertising, as the innovation itself draws in clients and sparks conversation.


Addressing the Housing Shortage Head-On

Population Growth and Urbanization:

Builders can address the housing shortage by focusing on density and efficiency. Smaller, well-designed living spaces in urban areas can attract those moving into cities, combining lifestyle appeal with practicality.


Economic Factors and Land Availability:

In times of economic downturn, builders can pivot to renovations and upgrades, maintaining a steady workflow. Additionally, advocating for changes in zoning regulations can open up new opportunities for development, demonstrating a proactive approach to market challenges.


Investment Trends and Delayed Household Formation:

Builders can create targeted marketing campaigns for investors and millennials still living at home. Offering investment opportunities in new developments or showcasing starter homes for new families can cater to these distinct market segments.


Insufficient Construction and Natural Disasters:

In response to the slow pace of new construction, builders can market rapid-build homes using prefabricated elements. Post-disaster, offering quick reconstruction services or resilient building techniques can position a builder as both responsive and innovative.


Applying Sensory and Persistent Marketing Principles

Persistent Follow-Up:

Persistence is crucial in the face of a housing crisis. Following up with leads, staying engaged with past clients, and continually updating the community on new developments fosters a sense of reliability and commitment.


Mini-media Marketing:

Builders should consider local, tactile marketing methods. Hand-written notes, branded tools, or even scent marketing at show homes can leave a lasting impression, differentiating them from competitors.


Sticking to the Marketing Plan:

Consistency in branding and message reassures clients during uncertain times. Even amid the housing crisis, builders who maintain a steady, recognizable brand image instill confidence in potential clients.


Engaging All Senses in Marketing:

A multi-sensory approach can be especially impactful in the construction industry. Hosting open houses with virtual reality tours, providing tangible samples of materials, or even sharing the sounds of a construction site can immerse clients in the building experience.


Ontario’s housing crisis presents both a challenge and an opportunity for builders and tradespeople. By adopting a marketing strategy that builds relationships, leverages existing innovations, and responds to market demands with sensory-rich, persistent, and permission-based campaigns, they can not only survive but thrive. The goal is to be seen not as mere service providers but as essential partners in crafting the future landscape of Ontario’s housing market.






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This blog is not meant to provide specific advice or opinions regarding the topic(s)

discussed above. Should you have a question about your specific situation, please

discuss it with your CWC marketing advisor.


Crankworks Creative Inc. is a full-service marketing and advertising firm in the Greater Waterloo Area. We primarily service all of Ontario and the rest of Canada, the US and Australia virtually. Our team provides Marketing Audits and Reviews, Brand Equity Assessments, and Marketing and Advertising tactical support for both traditional and digital media. We provide specialized services and expertise for the Construction, Industrial/Commercial Building, General Contractors, Subcontractors, Procurement professionals, Facilities Management, Manufacturers, Suppliers, Allied services, and general advisory services.


If you would like to schedule a call to discuss your marketing and advertising with one of our team members, please complete the free no, obligation meeting request. - For more details, Click Here.


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