Guidance for AEC Industry Marketing and Business Development Leadership
For many marketing leaders of AEC firms, the ultimate organizational challenge is understanding all the tasks required for a well-rounded, all-encompassing marketing program. What activities should you include to achieve your goals and objectives successfully? AEC firms rely on traditional push-based marketing that focuses on relationship development and a pull-based model that involves content and knowledge sharing.
Your task is to create a modern AEC firm marketing department that is organized around six critical factors:
- Proposal Development—No matter how strategic you are and how many go/no go evaluations you complete, proposals are inevitable. The art of crafting a compelling proposal is a critical skill needed in every marketing team.
- Market Research—The ever-changing landscape of the market requires that the firm prioritize sector analysis and industry research. Extracting this information and analyzing the results will give you the knowledge you need to formulate your strategic direction for the future.
- Public Relations—Image building is a never-ending activity in the AEC industry. An organized public relations plan includes client-oriented association involvement, e-mail/direct mail marketing, speaking engagement opportunities, publication advertising or content participation, event management, graphic design, collateral development, and other indirect marketing activities.
- Social Media Management—Social media is one of the increasingly effective ways for a firm to distribute its content and cultivate dialogue around it. In many firms, building a presence, growing followers, and identifying the best platforms to reach and converse with clients online is a full-time job in itself.
- Business Development and Client Relations—As a marketing leader, you are looked upon to provide organization and direction in every aspect of promotion. The most crucial of these is providing guidance and structure for your business development and client relations activities. Frequently, sellers are left to their own devices to bring in projects, but they don’t have the tools or structure to do so effectively without direction. To ensure your team achieves its revenue goals, you need a plan with measurable targets for client contact, lead generation, follow-up, and project positioning.
- Information Management—The options for technology we can use for storing our firm assets can be overwhelming. From project profiles, employee resumes, contact details, and opportunities housed in a database system to image assets housed in another program, your firm will need some organization to ensure the accuracy of information and the proper flow of information from one system to another.
Whatever tactics you employ, proactively find ways to tie all activities to your firm’s strategic goals. Once you have the structure in place, you will soon discover that you can effectively manage all aspects of your AEC marketing program.