How to Reach Contractors in 2017

When it comes to marketing, how much do you know about contractors? Do you know where and how to reach them with relevant messaging in 2017?
We conducted a study to get to the bottom of this vexing question, and got enlightening responses from more than 220 contractors (70.7% of whom identified as upper management) spanning numerous construction-related industries throughout the U.S. Here are four takeaways we found of particular note.
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1. Contractors Are Online (A Lot)

Americans are spending more time online. Our most recent Equipment World Connectivity Study confirms that contractors are no different.
Also like the rest of us, they’re spending plenty of time using social media and search engines. Our study uncovered the following about how contractors use the internet:
-93.1% use the internet to search for equipment
-89.1% use search engines to find information
-86.3% use the internet during their equipment/truck/tool buying process to research brands and models
-Facebook (40.1%), YouTube (34.7%), and LinkedIn (27.9%) were the three most popular social media sites
-Just 7.2% of contractors surveyed said they use Pinterest and Twitter
-For those who do use Facebook, 32.9% reported visiting the site several times a day
-20% of contractors use tablet apps (to get equipment specs, etc.)
-76.9% said their first move when considering a purchase of equipment or services is a Google search
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2. Print is Still Great

Print magazines have been enjoying a bit of a renaissance as of late. Brands like Paste, Spin, and Digiday have all relaunched print editions in recent months.
It turns out people still love having a hard copy to hold. As such, integrating print into your marketing plan is still a safe, solid bet. Consider these survey stats:
-49.3% identified print magazines as their top source for industry news
-When asked if they could only receive construction industry information from one source, 71.3% chose magazines
-40% said that print magazines were their top choice for consuming technology news
-In response to how they most often read industry news, 69% said print magazines
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3. Mobile-Friendly is a Must

We’ve talked a good deal about the importance of making your content mobile-friendly. Offering a seamless user experience across devices affects your SEO, your marketing success, and your overall bottom line.
Contractors, just like everyone else, will probably ignore your content if it’s not tailored to the mobile device they’re likely using. Here are stats from our study to back that up:
-68.2% of contractors surveyed said they use a smartphone (52.3% of whom use iPhones and 44.4% prefer Android)
-85.3% said they receive email on their phone
-43.6% get bid info on their phone
-37.6% of respondents confirmed they get email newsletters on their phone
-68.3% reported using social media on their smartphone
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4. Email is a No-Brainer

Email is an inexpensive, effective tool in your marketing toolbox. Here’s some detail that may help inform your efforts to reach contractors through their inboxes:
-27% most often read industry news via emailed newsletters
-70.1% said they check email “all day long,” while 62.1% read email several times a day
-85.3% of contractors who own a smartphone check email on their device
-42.3% of respondents receive the Equipment World newsletter
-We found that 62.1% of contractors surveyed check their email several times a day
-15.9% selected email newsletter as their top resource for technology news
-As for email service providers, 30.6% use their corporate account, 26.9% use Gmail, and 19.9% rely on Yahoo
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