Our Perspective—The Evolution of AEC Marketing over the Past 20 Years

Feb 15 2023

As a company that specializes in working exclusively with AEC firms for the past 20 years, MARKETLINK has assisted many AEC firms all over the country. During this time, we have seen a dramatic shift in how AEC firms approach marketing. Gone are the days of relying on old-fashioned methods like RFPs and "good 'ol boy" networking. Now it's all about using modern strategies to identify and stay ahead of industry trends. 


Our firm principals have worked in the industry for 30 years and have experienced how the industry’s view of marketing has evolved. We have observed firsthand a significant shift in mindset. Today, companies emphasize personal relationships while considering tactics such as digital engagement, client relationships, and future prospects. 


As firm leaders continue to move away from traditional tactics, they are changing their outlook on what lies ahead for this field. It looks entirely different than 20 years ago!


Did you know?


  • For the past 20 years, AEC firms have been relative newcomers to pure marketing. We traditionally relied on personal relationships rather than any type of marketing. 

  • In the early 20th century, marketing was forbidden by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and other industry associations.

  • After a U.S. Justice Department investigation into ethical standards in architecture firms in 1972, it became legal for architects to advertise their services. 

  • Even after it became legal, most architects and engineers resisted marketing because of an aversion to selling themselves. Instead, firms focused on accomplishments or completed projects.

  • Shortages of work during recessions forced architects, engineers, and contractors to take marketing seriously as they had no choice but to look for new opportunities beyond word of mouth. 


Today’s younger workforce demands a different approach to brand positioning for companies to attract top talent and acquire new clients. AEC companies have evolved and shifted their outlook toward a brighter future in this field as technology advances rapidly.


<< Our Previous Reflections <<
Read 242 times
Rate this item
(0 votes)

About The Author

Keri Hammond, FSMPS, CPSM

Keri is a long-standing trailblazer in the Utah AEC industry. Clients appreciate her ability to get things done – they know she does whatever it takes, with integrity, to help them build their business. Keri is known for her leadership and diplomacy; she motivates others with positivity, trust, and unwavering support.

Our Clients

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
  • 13
  • 14
  • 15
  • 16
  • 17
  • 18