The New Age of Marketing for AEC Firms

It’s 2015 and the construction industry continues to show signs of good health. That’s great news for many A/E/C firms, as they come out of the recession claiming to be “stronger, leaner and smarter.” As of this morning, there were over 30,000 design and construction jobs posted on LinkedIn. Everyday, I have at least one conversation that begins with, “Do you know anyone we could hire for….?” It wasn’t that long ago every conversation started with, “We need to sell some work…”

As an agency that works exclusively with firms in the built environment, we have made some observations over the years when it comes to sales and marketing for AEC firms. As a whole, professional service firms have very conservative cultures when it comes to business. Often there are concerns about whether or not more aggressive marketing methods would be perceived as “professional.” Other times, firms are reluctant to try new things because they are simply not convinced that the idea will work, and they don’t want to risk wasting resources. Sometimes it’s because workloads are demanding, and people tend to prioritize billable tasks over non-billable ones. However, for the most part, the firms we have encountered continue to go about marketing and sales the same way year after year because they don’t know how to do it any different; and, what they have always done has worked, for the most part.

The truth is, like the rest of the world, marketing for AEC firms is changing. Much of this change is due to advances in technology, specifically, how social media has become completely integrated into our way of life. Owners are more educated today and have endless resources available to them from their device of choice. While relationships still play a role in closing a deal, brand awareness and thought leadership are how your firm gets discovered, validated, and invited to compete for projects. With the exception of a handful of large, international firms, most A/E/C firms are playing catch-up when it comes to Integrated Marketing, InBound Marketing and Social Media. The truth is, many firms still use the terms business development (a polite way of saying sales) and marketing interchangeably. The good news is that none of these methods are complicated. In fact, most of our clients respond with, “that makes perfect sense,” when we first educate them about these methods. The harder adjustment is shifting your company’s marketing resources to support an integrated platform.

To learn more about Integrated Marketing for AEC firms, a proven methodology used by leading global brands for more than 25 years, and what it takes to transition your firm to effectively adopt an integrated marketing mindset, join me on May 1st 2015 for our seminar: “Is Your Firm Ready for Integrated Marketing?”

Contact Smartegies for a Smart Session: Is Your Firm Ready for Integrated Marketing?