A complete guide to marketing in the construction industry

A complete guide to marketing in the construction industry

In this guide we’ll be sharing tips on how to market your business in the heavily competitive construction industry. You’ll gain ideas and recommendations for how to get started, and by implementing just one idea you’ll be a step closer to achieving your business goals.


The competitive landscape

The competition in NZ is hot. With 65,320 + companies competing for their own share of the market, it’s little wonder the average construction business manages to pull in $459,277 in revenue per year. But with overheads, and approximately 177,000 staff to pay, how you invest your profit in order to get the best return needs to be considered very carefully.


HOT TIP: When comparing options for how to get the best bang for your marketing dollar, use this simple ROI formula:

(Sales Growth – Marketing Cost) / Marketing Cost = Return on Investment

How to have the competitive edge

Your business won’t simply market itself. In fact even word of mouth is a form of advertising. A might powerful one at that, which still needs to be earned.


Word of mouth

Humans are typically nervous to try new things. And are much more likely to buy products and services that have been vouched for by others. So try:

  • Referral discounts
  • Online reviews (see next point)
  • Asking for referrals – it can be that easy!


Be found. Online

Nearly everyone uses the internet these days to find trades people. So it’s in your best interests to be present online. Strongly consider:

  • Google My Business listing – it’s free, and pretty straight forward to set up. A must for every local business.
  • Choose one or two social media platforms and be sure to use #’s and tag customers when sharing photos of your work.
  • Build a website – these range anywhere from a few hundred dollars in fees per year, to thousands for the initial set up and design. Once up and running though, it opens a whole new world to how you can present your business and get found online.
  • SEM – think Google Ads. The familiar ‘Ad’ listings that you see on the first page of Google’s search results. You’ll need a website, Google Ads account, and a budget to pay for every click through to your website.
  • SEO – involves optimising your website to perform well in search engine results. As you’re likely to be a busy person, this one’s best outsourced to a SEO company because there’s a fair bit to it. Fees can be high to begin with, but once your website is tweaked Google will promote your website to Searchers, without you having to pay per click.



Have a strong network of experts and allies you can rely on, and you’ll benefit from each other one way or another:

  • Agree to source your products from a particular supplier, in return for their referrals
  • Create a crew of independant tradies who all share a similar outlook. Trust us, there’s nothing more frustrating for a client than having to hunt down various trades on your own. Monetise is by setting up a kick-back scheme for every job you score your crew.
  • Build strong relationships with past and current clients. Those charter boat trips, golf days and spontaneous onsite BBQs may cost a bit, but they’ll create positive memories and will ensure you’re top of mind when the next construction project kicks off.



Your brand is what identifies you from the pack. It’s how you position your company as a Cheap Larry vs a complete Turn-Key that delivers everytime. It’s more than a logo. It covers:

  • Your voice mail message – aint nothing worse for getting leads than a beep with no message
  • How your quotes are presented. While it’s fine to email them through as a PDF, at least spend 30 minutes creating an attractive template. Or bribe someone you know with a box of chocolates to make one for you.
  • Business cards – as a visual element they should look same-same as all your other printed collateral. Want to be environmentally friendly? Set up an e-card instead that you can text or email out instead.
  • Create a mobile advertisement – wrapping your vehicle costs around $3-6k but for a 5 years life that’s a pretty good investment compared to other advertising channels.
  • Use your site as advertising real estate. Fence mesh is an excellent way to not only promote who you are, but it also helps keep sites secure. Available by the meter it can be removed and reused over and over again, and can withstand almost any weather conditions 24/7.

 printable mesh banner


As an extension of your brand, you ideally want your team and subbies to be your biggest fans. Get them onside and you have a powerful word of mouth system, and a reliable team that you can trust. Priceless in todays’ hot market. But how exactly do you win people over while marketing your business?

  • Wear the gears – what your team wears says a lot about your business. And let’s be honest, no one wants to spend their hard earned cash on work gear that will just get bashed around. Instead, dress your team but hitting the retailers for basics and get your local embroiderer to add your logo. You’ll save big doing it this way.
  • Make sure your worksite is somewhere people can take a break, out of the weather. A branded gazebo is a great for not only promoting your company name, but it also gives the team somewhere shady and dry for smoko, and dry to protect their gear (that you may have just bought them!)


  • Brand personal vehicles – with magnetic signage, or a magical product called CANVEX your team could brand their utes and vans while they’re at work, or out getting supplies, and then whip them off at home time. It might also save them from a few tow truck fines when using loading zones.


So there it is. Our basics for how to market your business in the busy construction industry. Of course there’s loads of other way could advertise your brand, but we reckon you’ll be off to a good start and a good financial year with these.

Which idea are you going to start with first?






The Mighty Tarawera Ultra

The Mighty Tarawera Ultra


Amongst the spectators, local creatures such as wetas, tuis and huhus inhabit the forest clad tracks of the world class Tarawera Ultra.

Cicadas join the supporters to cheer on those who have the grit and determination to compete in the 21km, 50km, 102km or 100 mile Endurance Run.

Yes. 100 miles.

It’s an event not for the faint hearted. Nor the sort-of fit.


Ultra marathons in NZ

Competitors are spoilt for choice when it comes to picking an ultra marathon in NZ. And because of the time, distance and cost involved with getting to each event it means those who’ve got what it takes only enter 1 or 2 a year. Which for event organisers means an incredibly competitive industry. On and off the trail.

Asides from the Tarawera Ultra, 10 of the most popular ultra marathon events in NZ are:

  1. Mt Ruapehu Volcanic Ultra
  2. The Revenant Ultra Run
  3. Great Lake Relay
  4. Alps to Ocean
  5. South Island Ultra Marathon
  6. Taupo Ultra Marathon
  7. WUU-2K Ultra Marathon
  8. Valley Ultra Marathon
  9. The Great Kauri Run
  10. Queen Charlotte Ultra Marathon


What makes the Tarawera Ultra a favourite for marathon fanatics?

The event which is based in Rotorua not only hugs the shores of its namesake lake. The trail also takes runners on an adventure through bush and culturally signficant sites to six other lakes and waterfalls.

Part of the Ultra-Trail World Tour, the event belongs to a collection of challenging courses that take competitors to unique part of the globe.

Ethics, equality in sports, self respect, respect for others and the environment, are the values common across all events on the circuit.

To be part of the Ultra-Trail World Tour, organisers must also be able to rally a minimum of 500 entrants. Ironman who now run the event look well placed to smash this target with 1200 kiwis and 800 internationals coming to Rotorua to take part.

Stella scenary combined with such numbers enable great sponsorship, which results in an incredible atmosphere and incentive for more runners to enter. Which year on year leads to bigger and better things.

This is why the Tarawera Ultra in all its magic is one of the top marathon events hosted in NZ and the world.

And why Expandasign are proud to be a supplier of portable outdoor signage for the event.

Are you organising and event?

Awesome Outdoor Event Signage Ideas

Awesome Outdoor Event Signage Ideas

That will make your brand stand out from the crowd


Who said that event signage needs to be as boring as ‘go this way’ or ‘that’? In a crowded sea of body-hugging lycra and senses on high alert, we have a range of great products and ideas that will make your outdoor event signage pop.


1. Our first tip for making your brand stand out from the crowd, is to be consistent with the use of your brand identity. Keep the fonts, logos, and colours all the same. Don’t be tempted to mix things up. Because once your participants turn up your brand will go from looking same-same and drab, to identifiably fab.

2. Next on the list of things to consider, are the elements. There’s no telling what the weather will deliver on the day, so like a good Scout, make sure you’re prepared!


  • Will your audience be able to find sunscreen easily if it’s a hot one?


  • Is your signage made from wind-proof materials, so you don’t have to apologise to your sponsors because their signs ripped?


  • Will your finishing line still look like a finishing line by the time competitors reach it? Or will it look more like a hurricane just blew through town?


Buying signage products made specifically for the outdoors will ensure everything goes as planned. Sure, sometimes it can be a slightly more expensive option, but you only get one chance to make your event amazing. Hedge your bets, buy quality, and your kit will be in good enough nick to use again at another event.

3. Go BIG.

Be bold and OWN your event. By raising the bar, you’ll be better positioned to attract bigger crowds and better sponsorship. Investors like to see their name and know that others have noticed it as well. Think;



  • Media walls as stage backdrops with your sponsors logos plastered all over it


  • Clusters of items for strong visual impact

Spirited Women – All Women’s Adventure Race

The team of organisers behind the Spirited Women – All Women’s Adventure Race have worked with Expandasign for many years now, because we know and deliver what they need to put on a high-quality, unforgettable, surprise and delight experience.

The Spirited Women – All Women’s Adventure Race is an exhilarating event where teams of four women choose from a short, medium and long-course adventure. Travelling together in a team, they must navigate around a secret course by foot, mountain bike, and kayak, completing a few surprise mystery activities along the way.

The branding for the event is always beautiful. Featuring aspirational font types and a stunning swatch of colours that mimic the sea and sky. It’s reflected on each and every element that we design and produce for the event and the outcome oozes with impact.

Because their event signage has been designed for outdoor use, it has been possible to use the gear from Expandasign over and over again. When you calculate the ROI they’re getting, it’s exceptional value. And they save time by not needing to organise new signage every time an event is run.

Dear 2 Sweat Events, who manage the race, also do a great job of ensuring every touchpoint provides a brand profile on the day. Flags, barriers, race bibs, and inflatable signs are all used to promote their event and its supporters. They know how important the event is to the competitors, so purposefully make a big deal of the finish line so the branding that surrounds the milestone is associated with an incredible sense of pride (another pro tip from us!)

We look for a signage company that is passionate about their product. They need to be professional. They need to deliver a quality product on time with great service. We have worked with Expandasign since 2010 and it has been an awesome partnership. They are a great team!

Kezia | Event Manager | Spirited Women Adventure Race

We’ve enjoyed working with you too!

Are you organising and event?

Trade Show Exhibits

Trade Show Exhibits

trade show exhibitsTradeshows are a flurry of activity. There are masses of people. Noise. Relationships being built. And deals being made. You’ve got one day, or a few at best, to attract as much attention for your brand as possible.

So, what’s the secret to success if you’re organising a trade show exhibit?

You need to stand out from the crowd.

Expandasign has been helping brands do just that for over twenty years. We know what it takes, and how to navigate your way through the challenges you’ll face leading up to the big event.

Let’s dive in.


How do you exhibit like a pro?

When it comes to exhibitions, don’t be afraid to go bold. After all, a banner that’s dull won’t bring in the crowds. Be innovative. Who says that your display has to be two dimensional? Curved display surfaces and three dimensional branding is a great way to draw the curious to your doorstep.

Exhibitions can be a large portion of your marketing budget and the necessary planning takes time and forces your team out of their comfort zone and into the paths of the masses. But exposure leads to new relationships which is a vital component in forming lucrative business connections. Don’t leave your planning to the last minute.


But first – build your brand.

You need to know what your brand stands for so you can ensure that your exhibition presence is mirroring your company correctly. Your corporate identity will include the basics

  • Logo
  • Colours
  • Fonts
  • etc

But you should also include more abstract ideas that represent your brand; such as practises, philosophies and psychological guidelines.


Know what you are doing there

Settle and resolve what your objectives are before thinking about a stand design. The most successful stands are created from deliberate, studied briefs that have clear goals.

Trade show ideas

Once you have the points above settled, what’s next? It’s time to formulate create a plan, or brief.

Begin with an idea

Think medium size tradeshow booth ideaabout your trade show stand in its simplest form, and work from there towards furniture options, stand space required, lighting, branding materials, etc. Tell people what you want. Create a clear, concise brief for stand-builders, signage companies and equipment hire firms. Explain your main aims for the show and ensure that your objective is their objective too.

For example, there will be a difference in the layout of the floor space depending on whether your focus is simple brand awareness compared to if it’s a new product launch. In the latter case, your company branding may take more of a backseat so you can put more of a spotlight on your new product.

Designing your display

When it comes to creating a trade show display, your images and messages should be simple and your layout clean.

Below are five basic elements that every trade show display should include and tips for using each of these elements to create an effective trade show display.

  • Visual
  • Headline
  • Description
  • Company name & Logo
  • Website

1. Select your trade show graphics carefully.

big tradeshow ideasSimple, bold and clear images are the most effective in creating a memorable canvas for your selling story. Ornate, involved, mysterious and confusing art and graphics may be great to look at but can be distracting and much less effective as a backdrop for your trade show message.

Tip: If possible, select simple single images. You may want to use many images to tell a complicated story, but often, a single simple image will serve you just as well.

If you are in the market for trade show graphics, there are many services that offer simple searches and reasonably priced photos and illustrations that may be used in creating trade show display graphics. Try iStock for starters.


2. Create a simple and easy to remember headline

Choose your words carefully, and keep the headline for your trade show display short and sweet.

Most people that did not plan to visit you at the show will simply walk past your booth. They may, at best, give your display a passing glance.

This, believe it or not, is often your only chance to grab them. If your trade show display has a carefully thought out and compelling headline that stands out, they may choose to take an extra moment and learn a little more about your company.

The shorter your headline the larger it can appear on your trade show stand. The larger it is on your trade show display the further your display can reach into the trade show traffic. Even a small tabletop display with a short bold message can be seen from several yards away.

Your choice of typeface is also important. With thousands to choose from, the task of selecting the right one can seem daunting.

Tip: Choose a simple and easy to read typeface. Next time you’re at a trade show, take notice of the displays produced by large companies. Not necessarily large booths, but even tabletop displays produced by large and successful companies consistently use simple bold graphics. You can and should do the same.


3. Be careful when writing your description

We know it’s tempting to write a description for your trade show display that explains everything you want your customer to know about your product or service, but don’t.

As much as you would like them to, most trade show attendees will not want to spend much time reading about your company. If the headline and graphic of your trade show display captured their attention, they may want to read a sentence or two at most. Keep your sentences short and choppy. Make each word count.


  • Use bullet points
  • Keep your messages short
  • Don’t get too technical
  • Less is more

If you have access to a copywriter, use one. If not, ask a friend, a school teacher, and/or someone not connected to your business to review your trade show display description. You will be amazed at how much you can learn.


4. Make the company name prominent.

It’s amazing how many trade show displays seem to hide their company name. You pay a lot of money to exhibit. Take a little extra effort and make certain your company’s name is easy for all to see.

Tip: Place the company name in the header portion of your trade show booth, as most trade show visitors will expect to find it there.

As for a company logo, if you don’t have one, we suggest that you create one. It is your opportunity to create an impression. It makes you look established.


5. Feature your website and social media address.

Probably the single most important message in your whole trade show display is your website address. This is because if the show attendee saw something at your booth that interests them, they can copy your website address, even from a distance, and visit it at their leisure.

Tip: Try to select a website name that is both meaningful to your business and one that is easy to remember.

Ready to generate trade show booth ideas that attract visitors?

Best of luck with the design of your trade show booth. If you follow the steps above you’ll be well on your way to success.

Should you require assistance with branding solutions that attract visitors, feel free to contact us on sales@expandasign.co.nz

Winter Games NZ

Winter Games NZ

A world-class event

Are you a winter sports lover? Then you’ll love what the Winter Games NZ has to offer.

Each year, two weeks of thrilling competitions are set amongst spectacular snowy South Island scenery. With the best international competitors thrashing it out in 26 events across 7 different winter sports and 6 venues.

Events such as the Night Parallel Slalom with music pumping for the audience gives the event a real party feel. And the ski races are always exhilarating to watch.

Coronet Peak and Cardrona Alpine Resort play host to some of the biggest crowd pullers. With many other impressive events spread across Naseby, Queenstown and Wanaka. There’s a lot of action packed into one fortnight.

What sets the Winter Games NZ apart from other global snow sport festivals, is the calibre of the participants, organisers and sponsors. Managed for many years by Winter Games NZ Trust, this team of snow and event enthusiasts know how to keep their stakeholders and crowds happy. They’ve put on a high-quality event year on year by keeping the bar high. Which has pulled in big name sponsors and thousands to the event each time.

World-class brand activation

The Winter Games continues to attract big brands like SKY, The North Face, Forsyth Barr, Skyline, Mediaworks, Red Bull, Audi, Air NZ, Asahi and Champagne Mumm. Synonymous with quality, innovation and style, these names have been the sponsors of the games in past years, and have wowed watchers with their brand activation.

Audi, gave fans the chance to take their newest model for a high speed spin in the snow. And we’re sure those who were lucky enough to have a go will remember the experience forever. And Red Bull is famous for amping up the crowd with their loud beats and product giveaways. We could go on and on.


Official signage supplier for the Winter Games NZ

winter games nz

Expandasign is proud to have been the official signage supplier for as long as it has been running. The event is a great fit as it demands exceptional quality from its suppliers, and an extra mile level of service.

It’s been fantastic to see our Expandasign flags, media walls, banner mesh and other portable signage used right across the festival by everyone involved.

It’s also provided the opportunity to experiment with outside the box ideas. Such as the concept of embedding Air NZ’s famous renowned koru into the side of the half pipe used for the snowboarding events. Talk about stand out branding.

Working with Expandasign has been a pleasure, because we know we are given an excellent level of service with the best production values for all our branding and our sponsor’s branded products. The team at Expandasign go above and beyond to make sure we are delivered materials on time, under tight deadlines and we can trust those items will not only withstand the elements of being in an alpine environment, but also look amazing. Thank you Expandasign. Anna Hiatt | Commercial Manager | Winter Games NZ

Are you organising and event?

Blue Bamboo is a SEO company. An organised, reliable, stress-free sort of SEO company. Behind the name is me, Liz Hughes. I pack a lot of punch for one person. I come with years of project management experience and a knack for making things simple. I’m a SEO specialist. And I love to blend it all up and serve easy to follow plans that help businesses and agencies. If you’re looking for a freelancer to optimise your website, write welcoming copy for it, or create a content plan for your social media that’s chock-full of ideas, let’s connect.