Levelling up digital communications in the Built Environment

Written by

Will Balme


The 2022 Annual Survey

Last year saw the launch of BECG’s annual digital communications survey. The benchmarking study was created for businesses that operate in the built environment. And the aim was to understand the use and effectiveness of digital communications across the sector to develop better insight into the attitudes, behaviours, and efforts of businesses. This year, it’s back. Ready to help companies in the built environment understand what’s required to level up their digital communications. And we need your help.

What did we learn in 2021?

Last year’s survey told us that the use of digital communications among businesses in the built environment had accelerated, in large part due to the pandemic. Digital spend had increased by 67%. But that was just the headline. When we looked closer at the data, some telling trends appeared.

A quarter of businesses are still not digital-first.

A digital-first approach to communications means approaching any new opportunity, or problem, with a solution that  should first and foremost be digitally focussed. And whilst 40% of businesses had implemented a digital-first approach, with 35% of companies working towards one, 25% of companies in the built environment are not. Whether the reason is strategic, financial, or operational, there’s some catching up to do as a sector.

Over a third of businesses are not using customer insight.

Listening to your customers helps to shape better, more effective communications. Strategically, it’s essential. For 48% of businesses, it’s seen as useful, and 17% of companies are heavily influenced by customer insight. But for 35%, customer insight is not used at all. Given how fundamental customer insight is in developing robust communications strategies, more needs to be done industry-wide to improve this.

Over two-thirds of businesses are struggling with their social media.

From the big screen to the little screen, now to the even smaller screen. Social media use has risen. And figures show that the pandemic accelerated this trend. But how many businesses in the built environment are taking advantage? Well, 68% feel social media is an area they need to improve. This presents a massive opportunity for companies and the sector to step up.

Over a third of businesses are not managing their customer relationships.

Customer relationship management (CRM) systems are an integral tool for businesses to manage customer relationships. But 36% of companies are either not using one (23%) or don’t know if they’re using one (13%). Given the importance of first-party data, using a CRM system will be paramount for effective communication with prospects and customers.

What does this all mean?

The biggest thing we learned is that there is still more to be done. If we are to improve our use and effectiveness of digital communications collectively as a sector, whether it’s strategy, innovation, technology, or content, then we need your help.

Be part of the change.

The 2021 survey was a success. But we’re looking to go one better for 2022. We want more participants to establish more insights and provide the industry with more value. We’re asking for all businesses operating in the built environment to get involved in this year’s follow up survey and be part of the change.

This is the perfect chance for your business to:

  • Understand key digital communications trends in the sector
  • Benchmark your efforts among your industry peers
  • Develop more explicit communications goals to drive change and growth

Be part of the change so you don’t get left behind.

Take the 2022 survey today.


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