Cory Moore—National President
Cory is a 20-year veteran of Big-D Construction. His first construction role was working as a laborer, and after college, Cory settled into the Big-D Corporate office where he spent time in estimating, project management, and business development groups. He excelled at sales and in 2007 became Big-D’s Vice President of Business Development. He was then promoted to VP of Sales & Preconstruction. In 2017, Cory was named the Executive Vice President & Managing Director of Big-D’s regional offices. The following year, he was promoted to President.
As a firm principal/leader, what have you done to create a marketing mentality in your firm/office?
I am lucky we’ve had a marketing mentality long before I was in charge of it. It has been part of our culture and DNA since the 80s and 90s. Our founder (Dee Livingood) and current CEO (Rob Moore) have always talked about focusing our marketing dollars on two overarching items: hiring and retaining the best people in the industry and keeping customers for life.
Why do you think marketing in our industry is so important?
When most people think of marketing in our industry, I believe they think of brochures, proposals, advertising, etc. All of that is important, but at Big-D we think of it in relation to our strategic plan. We are focused on being part of low supply high demand markets, products, and verticals. Our market research is aimed at helping us find the white space in the market. We are trying to find our “good to great” hedgehog concept in each of the markets we serve (concept referenced by Jim Collins in Good to Great). The idea is to focus on three areas: what you’re passionate about, what you can be best at, and what drives your economic engine. Where those items overlap is your hedgehog concept.
An easier way to put it is what makes you special. We either want to be #1 or #2 in the geographic market we serve or #1 or #2 in the vertical market we are focused on. We have found that it is much easier to succeed when one of these goals is met. For example, in the Minneapolis market, Big-D owns multi-family. The company completes about $200 million a year in revenue. We don’t do anything else but are especially successful with this product in this market.
Is there someone who mentored you about marketing mentality?
I have had great mentors, including Jack Livingood (Big-D Chairman) and Rob Moore (CEO), among many others. Jack and Rob care deeply about our reputation, our brand, and our understanding of the market. They often quote ice hockey star Wayne Gretzky who said, “I skate to where the puck is going, not where it has been.” This is how we think about our marketing strategy. It starts with market study. A vision is then created describing where we want to go and who we want to be, and then finally our amazing marketing and creative team helps support the vision with best-in-class brands and marketing campaigns. I take my hat off to our marketing and creative team; they are second to none.
How do you get firm leaders on board for your marketing initiatives?
We make it their idea, not ours. After you have developed your hedgehog concept and discussed how to make each office “special,” it is fairly easy to get leaders behind a marketing, advertising, and PR strategy that supports their office goals.
How do you show ROI of the marketing program to other firm leaders?
Admittedly, we could be better at this. However, we do track in detail our sales by type, region, delivery method, fee percentage, team, vertical, and many other ways. We also track PR stats, employee engagement, and customer loyalty on a quarterly basis.
How do you get non-marketing staff or technical staff involved in and excited about supporting marketing efforts?
Again, a key is to make it their idea. We ask non-marketing staff questions about what they want to accomplish and how. The exercise always leads to a need for marketing services.