Christine Coutts, Regional Pursuit Manager | Psomas

 

Christine Coutts, Regional Pursuit Manager at Psomas, has made a big impact on marketing in the AEC industry. She describes her career as "a journey of continuous learning and adaptation." Christine goes beyond traditional marketing, acting as a strategic thinker and a connector of people and ideas. Her career, marked by resilience and innovation, demonstrates the long-term strategy needed for success in this ever-evolving field.

 

Career Kick-Off

 

How long have you been playing in the AEC industry field?

 

I began my journey in the AEC industry over twenty-four years ago, starting in 2000. After completing my degree in Architecture at the University of Utah, I worked in marketing for a few years in the ski industry. I knew I loved marketing but wanted to use it in the field of architecture. After working part-time for AIA Utah, I transitioned to a full-time position. This marked the start of my career in the AEC industry, working for some architectural firms and now my first engineering firm.

 

Position in the Game

 

Can you describe your current role and strategy in your company's team?

 

I’ve been with Psomas Salt Lake City for a little over a year in the role of Regional Pursuit Manager. Our firm has offices in Utah, California, Washington, and Arizona. I develop and execute regional pursuit strategies for the Salt Lake City office, including building and maintaining relationships with key stakeholders to grow our business in the Intermountain West. I work with a talented team of delivery and marketing professionals to win business for the region. I love talking to clients, researching market activities, and coordinating with the technical staff and marketing coordinators to develop strategic responses. I ensure that client and marketing data, including our successes and hit rates, are available in our corporate database.

  

Winning Traits

 

Which skills or traits do you think have been a 'slam dunk' in contributing to your career success and the position you hold today?

 

A lot of my success comes from making good relationships and having a deep understanding of our market and its players. Over time, those long-lasting relationships grow and evolve, making it important to foster these connections while continuing to establish new ones.

 

 

Game-Changing Play

 

What has been a 'Hail Mary' moment in your professional life so far?

 

There have been a few. Early on in my career, it was more about career growth. Later, it became about finding the right fit through lateral changes. Each change required staying curious and resilient while pursuing personal and professional growth.

 

 

Star Player Attributes

 

Can you share two strengths you believe make you a valuable player in both your professional and personal life?

 

One strength is being strategic, which in my personal life translates to looking forward and planning for changes. In both realms, it's about anticipating what’s coming and taking actions that lead to successful outcomes. My second strength is valuing people and getting curious about their perspectives. This curiosity helps build meaningful relationships and fosters mutual growth.

 

Off the Field

 

What are some hobbies or activities you engage in outside the work arena?

 

Outside of work, I spend a lot of time driving my teenager to his activities, especially to the ice rink. When I have the opportunity, I enjoy hiking, gardening, and spending time with my dog and cat.

 

Coach's Perspective

 

As a team leader, how have you coached your technical staff about the importance of their involvement in marketing/business development? How have you 'gotten the ball rolling' on this?

 

Being new to Psomas, I’m still developing my approach. I emphasize open communication and a genuine effort to understand different perspectives. I engage with our technical staff by sharing exciting industry events and highlighting the numerous benefits of professional networking. I also work with our emerging professional group, providing monthly training sessions to foster their growth and engagement in marketing efforts.

 

Guiding Referee

 

Is there a mentor who has been 'in your corner,' influencing your perspective on marketing and business development?

 

Mentorship has been a cornerstone of my career. I’ve had the privilege of learning from many exceptional mentors, and I continue to receive guidance and inspiration from current mentors. These individuals approach the profession with mastery and ambition, significantly impacting my career.

 

Team Strategy

 

How do you rally support from other team leaders for your marketing plays?

 

It's a bit of a dance, involving sharing goals and ensuring mutual understanding. I've tried various tactics and approaches, but consistently sharing successes, efforts, and lessons learned from setbacks has proven to be the most effective in building support.

 

Measuring the Score

 

What tactics do you use to showcase the return on investment (ROI) of your marketing strategy to other team leaders?

 

In my new role, I’m still refining my methods. In the past, I learned that presenting visual data like graphs and charts versus spreadsheets was more effective with architects, who are creative and visual learners. With engineers, detailed spreadsheets tend to be better received. I present our ROI details monthly and touch base with our team weekly.

 

Sharpening Skills

 

In what ways has Psomas helped your technical staff 'knock it out of the park' in their marketing and business development roles?

 

Psomas has a strong marketing core and strong leadership that supports both marketing and technical success.

 

Pro Tips

 

Can you offer three pieces of advice you give your marketing coordinators to help them 'take one for the team' and amplify their impact?

 

When we have a new proposal, I have the marketing coordinators run these meetings. It’s important for them to take ownership and lead these initiatives. It’s a balance between utilizing their skills and expertise and knowing when to step in and provide guidance.

 

Collaborative Gameplay

 

How does your marketing team collaborate with your business development squad?

 

At Psomas, marketing and business development are integrated rather than separate. I focus on training the technical staff, and helping them understand that marketing is about building business, not just creating brochures. This ongoing education fosters better collaboration and understanding of business development.

 

Overcoming Hurdles

 

What are the major challenges your team, office, or firm faces in the marketing arena?

 

Leadership changes, whether local or corporate, are common challenges. These changes require reestablishing relationships and repositioning in the market. It’s an opportunity to rethink priorities and identify how these changes impact the firm's depth of expertise and network relationships.

 

Leveling Up

 

What plays could your marketing team execute to 'score a touchdown' and reach the next level?

 

It's always beneficial to have a strong understanding of the technical services being provided and the processes delivered by the technical staff. Asking about, listening to, and understanding the technical team's experiences adds depth to marketing efforts. As marketers, we need to understand that we are not always being asked to deliver what the technical staff is requesting but rather we need to put these requests through our professional filter to deliver what is being implied but not specifically asked for.

 

PR Play

 

Two truths and a lie.

 

I've skied the Alps, hang-glided in Rio, and hiked a volcano in Chile—but one of these adventures is just a figment of my imagination. Can you guess which one?

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