Secrets of Success: What construction can learn from technology when bidding for large contracts - ThinkJPC

Secrets of Success: What construction can learn from technology when bidding for large contracts

$2.5 trillion a year*. That’s how much better off the world would be if the construction sector had grown as quickly as the technology sector in the last 20 years. So what can construction learn from this growth leader?

Tech giants like Apple, Google and Amazon have changed the way we live, shop and consume information.

But perhaps the greatest impact on the bidding landscape has been the ever more complex products and solutions that businesses are trying to sell to an equally complex stakeholder ecosystem.

This presents a dangerous landscape when bidding for large contracts with too many organisations missing out through lack of stakeholder engagement.

So what’s the solution?

Influence decision makers

Many tech clients have adopted account based marketing (ABM) as a way to tackle this rising challenge. ABM is a way of ‘marketing to one’ through laser-focused engagement of the individuals you need to influence during the bid process.

Personalization is pointless without knowing the individual. Understand the dreams, hopes, and fears […] then hit them where it counts.”

When you know these individuals’ key drivers you can tell the same story from different perspectives depending on which decision maker you are trying to influence.

Shape the RFP in your favour

ABM engagement doesn’t just give you a greater chance of being the preferred partner, but can also allow you to influence the RFP itself.

The greatest ability in business is to get along with others and to influence their actions

One of our clients – a global wireless and mobile industry services business – used this approach to re-define an RFP issued by a major mobile operator.

The RFP was re-issued, our client won key territories and was engaged to help devise a full end-to-end strategy.

Be stronger together

Tech companies are experts in deriving value from partnership. You’re unlikely to be strong enough by yourself so it’s vital to position yourself as a strategic partner rather than simply a supplier.

Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.

The trick is to clearly define co-created value propositions (also known as win themes) showing where your values and expertise complement those of the client – making your partnership greater than the sum of its parts.

These win themes should resonate throughout your bid response to make sure you’re aligned with the client across every touchpoint.

Use technology to be MORE human

In construction we’re usually trying to communicate about developments that don’t exist yet, often using complicated plans. But these can never convey how your solution will feel to stakeholders.

Technology is the campfire around which we tell our stories

Virtual reality can put your customer in the heart of something that they can’t otherwise visualise.

It also allows for collaboration between multiple stakeholders, making changes together and co-creating solutions in the virtual world before a single brick has been laid.


See how we created a simple, humanised and highly personalised content platform, designed around individual customer outcomes, for leading mobile services company Brightstar at the world’s largest exhibition for the mobile industry.

Brightstar MWC 2018 Stand


Focus on Experience

It’s sometimes easy to forget, but bid reviewers are human too. It’s not enough to get your bid responses technically correct, you’ve also got to think about how they’re going to experience your message.

Nothing ever becomes real till it is experienced.


See how we created an immersive personalised experience in a truck to bring the Tour de France to life for Dimension Data


With technology you can help them to live the end-to-end user experience through:

  • Personalised microsites for each decision maker
  • Short films showing how your solution will impact key stakeholders
  • Mock-up ad campaigns brought into bid room

And don’t be like the organisation who got to the end of a bid process with Sainsbury’s only to deliver the final document in a Tesco bag. Not a good experience for the bid reviewers!

You may not make $2.5 trillion a year, but applying the lessons of tech to your next bid will help you to cut through the noise to make an impactful – and winning – response.

*Data extrapolated from The construction industry’s productivity problem


The construction industry has a huge potential for change right now. Take advantage of our learnings to leap ahead into a more challenging, future-facing space.

Challengers in construction whitepaper