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Making Your Customer the Hero: How a construction software company increased revenue 53% by doing the opposite of what feels right

Dan Briscoe, Vice President of Marketing, HCSS

Las Vegas, with all the glittering hotels that dot the Strip, is one of the world’s construction marvels. That’s why it was particularly fitting to hear Dan Briscoe, Vice President of Marketing, HCSS, speak about the construction industry, which has literally built every one of our communities, brick by brick. 

Most think about the construction industry as an inconvenience and don’t consider the advancements in technology or the career opportunities it provides. To change that perspective, Heavy Construction Systems Specialists (HCSS), a company that provides software for construction businesses, decided to take on the challenge of getting the men and women who work in construction the recognition they deserve.

Briscoe spoke in his Best-in-Show Awards session on how he and his team, as marketers, had to do the opposite of what feels right when it comes to marketing — stop focusing on their products and the company. They had to “get over” themselves to truly be customer-first.

In his session, he explained that they realized people aren’t fully motivated by how innovative their products are, or by testimonials on how much HCSS customers love them — and people certainly don’t want to hear that from HCSS themselves.

They decided to ditch the promotional talk, forget about HCSS and its products, and let the customer lead.

Make your customers the hero

Briscoe’s awards-nominated campaign from last year, and a precursor to “I Build America,” was called “The Most Interesting Project.” It was a March Madness bracket-style competition where customers submitted completed projects they were passionate about. This was originally meant as a way for clients and others in the industry to show off their accomplishments. 

Encouraged by the success of that campaign, he and his team knew they could keep the momentum going with “I Build America.”

“It changes the conversation with the customer — it’s not about us and our software,” he said.

They built a dedicated website that featured blog posts, videos and articles spotlighting people in the construction industry, projects being run, and even a page helping people start a career in construction.

Briscoe and his 22-person team put together the “I Build America” campaign using the tagline, “Pride. Respect. Construction.”

Interestingly, he added, since they stopped focusing on sales and started focusing on building up the elements in that tagline, each quarter sets a new record. The marketing team has doubled, and the focus on the customer as a hero has had a permanent imprint on company culture.

Related Resources

To read more about Dan’s campaign and others, download the MarketingSherpa Awards Book

How HCSS used an interactive contest to increase web traffic 800%

Inbound Marketing: Construction software company doubles submission goals in bracket contest for customer projects