As we look ahead at a promising 2015 for the construction industry, my thoughts are on messaging. Right now, the sales and marketing teams here at Dexter + Chaney are gearing up for yet another whirlwind trade show season. With that comes honing the message of what our own construction management software can help our clients achieve. In thinking about how to effectively communicate that message, I was reminded of something I saw during a trade show around this time last year.
It was late January in Las Vegas and I was at our booth at the World of Concrete trade show. All day long, I had been demonstrating our construction software to interested parties and touting the benefits of data accessibility through our cloud-based platform. But it took a current client to really sell that message without even trying.
As our booth bustled with foot traffic, one of our long-standing customers and early adopters of the web-based version of our software approached and said hello to our staff. He and I chatted for a bit about the industry, technology and, of course, the recent NFL playoff game in which our hometown Seahawks won in dramatic fashion. As we finished our pleasantries, our client asked if he could borrow one of our demo stations to briefly log on to his company’s instance of our software and approve a few invoices, payroll and other items. Of course, I obliged.
As he sat there working, I noticed a few other people casually watching what our customer was doing and the ease in which he was doing it, and they appeared intrigued by the construction software’s interface, the flow of data and how simple it all seemed. Without realizing it, our client had just effectively demoed the software and sold that message of accessibility to a handful of prospects.
Now forgive me for having lapsed into what sounds like a product pitch here – it’s just that this made me think about how far technology has come. Cloud computing allows us to access what was once restricted and isolated software by simply visiting a website and logging on from anywhere, anytime, and from virtually any connected device. Software is being redesigned and reimagined to work in this environment, giving people real time data, real time answers to questions and real time solutions.
This level of mobile accessibility allows people to be on the go rather than tied to an office, and further tied to a workstation. Concerns about security in the Cloud slowed its initial adoption, but most people have come to realize that their data is no more secure on the server in their office than on a server in a data center. In fact there are many reasons to believe that data centers can provide much better protection than most companies. And after all, how many of us use online banking services, trusting servers outside of our control to manage our personal funds? My hand is raised…
There were also concerns about juggling too much data in the field or on the go, but that’s where specialized apps for specific purposes are coming into play. These apps can be tied together and synched with the more powerful software back in the office to create a free-flowing data exchange that fosters genuine collaboration and relevant, reliable workflows—no matter where you happen to be working.
However, as our client unwittingly demonstrated, the message of accessibility on the go is even more powerful when experienced in person.