Three Tips for Creating a Solid AEC Marketing Foundation

 

Whether you’re creating a marketing department from scratch or the team is growing, you want to make sure you keep systems, materials, and files orderly and accessible. Where do you start?

 

Here are three simple steps to creating a solid organization foundation you can build on.

 

Gather and Organize Milestone Data for Each Project

Readily available and reliable information makes a marketer’s life easier when a deadline hits. Track milestone data for each and every project. From contract signing, bidding and groundbreaking to construction, ribbon cutting and the final phase of close-out, regular check-ins with your technical staff can help you stay on top of critical milestones.

 

Gather as much project information as is available and write a preliminary project description. Some of these details can come from the solicitation’s scope of work or a fee proposal. Verify who is working on the team at each point. As project closeout begins, capture information while it’s still fresh in the minds of your technical staff. Schedule a 15-minute meeting with the project manager to verify data such as start/completion dates, square footage, budgeted/actual cost, services provided, client contact information, innovative ideas, and special scope items.

 

Divvy Up Responsibilities Across the Company

Who says accounting doesn’t have any marketing chops? Or engineers?

 

Division of labor may be a great economics principle but leaving all marketing efforts to the marketing department is bad business. People across departments can contribute in many different ways.

 

Accounting has crucial billing information as well as hourly rates. Keeping an eye on workload projection reports is helpful in creating and updating resumes. Administrative staff can assist in updating customer relationship management (CRM) records and cull articles for leads. Engineers can write up project descriptions for future SOQs and provide progress photos during job-site visits for proposal responses or even social media posts.

 

Everyone can be a marketer, even if it isn’t a primary or secondary responsibility. Take what the other departments provide; the marketing team can polish any rough edges and make the content eye-catching and engaging.

 

Standardize and Organize Marketing Materials

Whether a team of one or many, it’s critical to organize your files and work for easier project and marketing management. Start with creating one single, centralized location that is accessible to the right people and develop an outline of how you would like to see files organized. What is logical or intuitive? Establish a set of root folders and then organize the contents. Create naming standards. Then beta test your structure to work out the kinks.

 

All of the following should be standardized and branded – from the format and design to the language – for quick use in proposals and SOQs:

  • Awards
  • Associations
  • Promotions
  • Photos
  • Brochures
  • Resumes
  • Cutsheets
  • Advertising
  • Templates
  • Conferences/Tradeshows
  • Press Releases
  • Graphics (logos)

 

Your department should carve out an hour or two each week to update proposal materials, as well as organize and package both physical and digital files for easy access.

 

Keeping steady milestones for projects, keeping everyone in the company involved in marketing through divvying up responsibilities, and standardizing and organizing all marketing materials will help create a solid foundation for a marketing department.

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