11 Lenses to Improve Clarity and Purpose for your AEC Marketing

Jan 17 2023

When I was in college, I took a class that discussed how each of us functions in our daily lives through a particular frame of reference. We were taught that how we see life in general and any particular situation is based upon a unique lens all our own. That lens, or frame of reference, is formed from our childhood and from every experience following it.  It’s why each of us can have such different perspectives on the same situation and see things so differently – because we are looking through a lens that’s been colored by our own life experience.


In 2023 we are going to share with you a variety of glasses or lenses through which you can view your own professional experience. Whether you lead the company or are charting your career path forward, or are just entering the industry, we hope each one will resonate with you in one way or another.  Some of the glasses will present a lens or vision that we should all be striving for and some will be ones we should be trying to shed and leave behind us. Not every pair of glasses is always rosy colored!


Each month we will present a pair of glasses with a lens for you to consider.  Will it be a lens or vision that you want to acquire or perhaps already have but want to improve upon? Or will it be a vision you want to help others develop – perhaps a co-worker or members of your department or team.  Our hope is that as we explain the thinking behind each one, you will come away with a new perspective and thought on how you see your work and the world around you.  And hopefully, by the end of the year, we will all be working with more clarity and purpose because we can identify the glasses through which we are looking in any given situation. 


Rose colored classes vision motivation strategy marketing mentality  February –We start the year with a positive outlook for all of you wearing rose-colored glasses!  We love that you’re optimistic about the future and see it as bright and full of hope! We will explore how to share that energy to get everyone on board with where you are going this year; how can you share your strategic plan and excite everyone to see their role in it, and what the potential is for the firm’s growth and success.
 Square glasses firm foundation aec marketing collateral MarchSquare glasses represent a solid, firm foundation. We’ll help you to focus on what matters – your clients – and those strategies that lead to repeat clients such as producing winning proposals and collateral, business development support to firm leaders and technical staff, and learning how to meet and exceed client expectations.  Having a solid marketing and business development program keeps your firm moving forward and this month we’ll discuss what that program should entail so clients keep coming back.
 Mirror glasses aec client relations survey

AprilMirrored glasses look so cool!  Who doesn’t want to wear them? People who wear mirrored glasses aren’t afraid to see their mistakes and correct them. They hear what clients tell them, take it in, learn from it, and work with them on the best solution.  We’ll discuss how to obtain client input, use a Marketing Report Card to evaluate strengths and shortcomings, and then make needed changes or showcase your uniqueness.

 Polarized glasses aec market research

MayPolarized glasses are great in the sun! We wear them to give us clarity and the ability to see without glare. Brightness can cause blindness and wearing polarized glasses gives us the balanced perspective we need. We can see exactly what we’re supposed to be seeing. How does that relate to marketing? Well, how do you know if you are seeing correctly if you don’t have the needed market research or client information to back up your plan? Don’t get caught chasing shiny objects! Wear your polarized glasses to see clearer.

 Granny glasses near vision aec marketing organization June – If you’re wearing your near-sighted glasses, then you’re focused on what’s right in front of you – the day-to-day organization and operation. This month we’ll discuss those important check-ins and how well your organization on the inside reflects on the outside to your clients.  It’s important to have Near-Sighted vision when you need it. By working on who your firm truly is internally will help your firm grow externally.
 Cat eyes aec proposals differentiator marketing

JulyCat-eye glasses remind us we need to stand out! Do your clients know how unique and different you are? Do YOU know how unique and different you are so you can tell them? This month we explore how to stand out from the competition and determine your differentiators.

 Aviators aec public relations marketing

August – Everyone loves a good set of aviator glasses! Someone who wears these glasses radiates confidence. This month we will talk about your public relations and the image you have fostered.  When your clients look at you, do they see you wearing aviator glasses or swim goggles?

 Designer exaggerated glasses aec public speaking interviews

September – Are you ever full of great ideas, but they’re not grounded in reality? Then you’re wearing exaggerated glasses. It’s good to envision the ideal, but even better when your vision is based on truth. This month we focus on having a vision that goes all in and still gets the job done.

 Far sighted oversized glasses aec strategic planning

October – Wearing far-sighted glasses allows you to see the market ahead and adjust accordingly. That means thinking and planning strategically and checking in along the way – not only internally with staff, but also externally with clients. Put this vision to good use as you move your firm forward this year!

 Bi focals aec business development marketing

November – We believe everyone needs to wear bifocals! They provide two visions at once. Wearing Bifocals gives you the flexibility to see the here and now and yet look ahead. You can see the distance but narrow down to what is most important. This month we’ll help you to stay on top of your day-to-day activities while thinking of the new year right around the corner.

 Goggles aec training coaching December – End the year with protecting your vision by wearing safety glasses. Besides keeping your eyes safe, they keep the dirt and water out so you can see more clearly. This month we’ll focus on how.

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About The Author

Stephanie Craft, MBA

Stephanie Craft, MBA, has worked in the A/E/C industry for more than 30 years. Her marketing strengths lie in researching and opening new doors for technical firms by getting directly to decision-makers and influencers, and obtaining and using client feedback to help firms differentiate themselves and strengthen client loyalty through targeted strategic efforts. She also works with firm leadership to evaluate in-house marketing and business development efforts to optimize staff processes and procedures. Stephanie has been a featured speaker at many AEC professional society meetings and has been selected “Chapter President of the Year” twice by the national Society for Marketing Professional Services for her management expertise serving as President of the Utah and Sacramento Chapters.

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