An AEC Marketers Guide: Five Steps to Finding the File You're Looking For
When you hear the words “marketing file directory” does your head start to hurt? The digital clutter of file organization can make it tough to find that “one” photo your principal loves to use for their management plan. Between multiple revisions of a proposal response or the need to produce new content, developing an intuitive and organized AEC marketing drive can be daunting.
Creating, organizing, and maintaining your AEC marketing materials yields many benefits. By keeping your assets organized, you can save time and money in preparing proposal responses and follow-up communication. It also provides you with more time to focus on strategy rather than production.
It’s never a bad time to organize your AEC marketing materials! Leaving files floating on your Desktop or in your Downloads folder is a surefire path to clutter and inefficiency. If you don’t have a system already, we have five organizing strategies to store and find data efficiently.
1. Develop and Follow a Process for AEC Marketing Asset Organization
If you can’t store and find data quickly, it might mean your file system is unnecessarily complex or needs an organizational revamp. Take the time to develop a department-wide file naming and formatting system. If users complain that files are hard to find, it might be time to look at folder hierarchies, file naming conventions, and formatting requirements. Work toward creating standardized folders and files. By creating a consistent folder structure, you can ensure that all your AEC marketing assets are easy to find and navigate, making it simple for users to navigate and access them at any time.
2. Prioritize Your Efforts & AEC Marketing Assets
Finding the time to develop, organize, and maintain a marketing directory can be challenging when you shoulder the responsibility of your firm’s marketing successes and failures. That’s why it’s smart to create a list of high priority folders and files to guide your organizational efforts. Most AEC marketers have a relatively small number of assets we access again and again, a great example of the 80-20 rule. Starting with high priority assets such as resumes, boilerplate, templates, and important photos and illustrations can often be the best way to start making progress.
3. Everything in its Place
Once your AEC folders and files are standardized, address one folder a time (meaning resumes, then project descriptions, etc.) to re-write, re-format, etc. Create and implement a schedule for your revision process. As you rewrite and reformat, move the new information as completed to the new folder(s). Once you’ve worked through an old folder, don’t be afraid to delete or archive old files. Make sure to add to the new folder system as you create a new proposal, resume, social media, or website update.
4. Out with the Old, In with the New
Creating and updating AEC master marketing information files allows you to draw from the most current files to create proposals, SOQs, and other marketing support materials. The key to this method is to create an electronic copy file system where you store the most current version of all marketing materials. By establishing a procedure to update the system every time a file is updated, you can be confident you’re tapping the most current and relevant information.
5. Create and Stick to an Update Schedule
Now that you’ve set up an efficient system, implement an update schedule. Whether it’s monthly, quarterly, or bi-annually, don’t let your hard work go to waste! Set aside the time to update AEC resumes and project descriptions as milestones are achieved; changes might reflect additional services, in-depth interviews, client testimonials, references, and awards. Check in with Human Resources to update personnel folders including head shots. This exercise will keep information fresh.
Organizing your AEC marketing file directory can take time, but the sooner your system of organizing marketing materials is up and running, the sooner you'll reap the benefits. A well-organized AEC marketing department can make it easier to develop and implement a successful marketing plan.