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Not Your Father’s Toolbox

Drones, tablets, smartphones and digital sensors. No, you’re not standing in the innovation lab of a tech firm, you’re in the middle of a construction site. Yes, you read that correctly. These pieces of technology are just a few of the tools that today’s contractors use on-site, and they are quickly making the job safer and more efficient than ever before. It’s definitely not your father’s toolbox—and that means brand marketers must think differently about reaching this audience.

Take drones, for example. In the last five years, the use of these unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) has skyrocketed in numerous industries, and construction is no exception. They are especially helpful on highly congested sites or complex projects where walking the site could present certain hazards for the surveyor or take more time than is available. With a high-resolution camera mounted to the device, these small aircrafts are being used to survey sights by recording work progress, monitoring workers and even performing safety checks.

It should be no surprise that also found in today’s construction toolbox are smartphones and tablets. These handheld devices are heavily utilized on the jobsite by connecting contractors with whatever and whoever they need in an instant. Blueprints can be downloaded, materials can be purchased with a single tap, and projects can be managed on the newest software designed with contractors in mind. To help these devices operate, Wi-Fi is even being installed on-site so workers can stay connected on the job. Oh, and contractors never have to worry about misplacing a tool anymore. Equipment and materials are now being fitted with barcodes and with the scan of a digital barcode reader on your smart device, you can always know where something is.

If the above wasn’t cool enough, how about wearable sensors to help contractors and workers on-site? That’s right—boots, vests, hardhats and watches are now being fitted with smart sensors to better track site conditions and worker safety. Boots can now track how long workers are on their feet, watches can sense body temperature and smart helmets can show which way to safely turn a valve handle on a transparent visor.

Today’s contractors are stocking their toolboxes with the latest gadgets to help them do their jobs better, faster and more cost-effectively, and brand marketers cannot overlook this digital savviness—there’s much to learn about these new habits. If you’re still pushing out traditional marketing initiatives (or worse yet, doing the bare minimum), you’re probably missing out on big opportunities. From optimizing your website for mobile and launching new apps that can be utilized on the jobsite to communicating with contractors via email or text, these behavior changes must be considered when building your marketing strategy.

Contractors aren’t using their father’s toolboxes anymore—but what about your brand?