Quarterly Vision Check: Conducting a Comprehensive Marketing Audit for Your AEC Firm


As an AEC firm, it's important to regularly review and assess your marketing plan to ensure its success. Conducting a quarterly vision check, or marketing audit, can help you turn your strategy inside out, identify strengths and weaknesses, and provide valuable insights for improving your approach.


What is a Marketing Audit?


A marketing audit is a 360-degree review of your marketing program, evaluating ten primary areas of a successful marketing plan. These areas include strategic planning, client relations, business development, market research, public relations, staff training, marketing collateral and materials, proposals and request for information, presentations and interviews, and website and social media.


To conduct a marketing audit, use the MARKETLINK marketing audit form with rated questions under each program category and an area for open-ended comments. Gather feedback from every individual in your firm about the status and perception of your marketing program.


Areas of Review


These 10 categories cover key aspects of marketing and business development that are crucial for the success of any organization. Evaluating them frequently will keep your firm’s vision in focus.


  1. Strategic Plan: It is important to have a documented marketing plan with a budget, ensure that all members of the firm are involved in the planning process, and regularly assess and make necessary modifications to the plan based on industry benchmarks.

  2. Client Relations: it is essential to have a structured program for maintaining and building relationships with AEC clients, to participate in associations focused on client needs, to assess project performance with clients and make appropriate adjustments, and to track the proportion of work obtained from existing clients.

  3. Business Development: When it comes to business development, it is crucial to track the percentage of work acquired from new clients, implement a structured program for cultivating business relationships, and make full use of the CRM system.

  4. Market Research: Market research is a key component of strategic planning. To stay ahead of the competition, it is important to conduct formal market research, integrate the findings into our strategic planning process, and develop both short-term and long-term market outlooks.

  5. Public Relations: In order to establish and maintain positive relationships with target clients, it is recommended that an organization have a well-defined public relations plan in place. This plan should include a targeted calendar that caters to the intended markets. The organization should also actively engage in associations that are relevant to its clients and evaluate the success of its public relations efforts by measuring the work acquired as a result.

  6. Staff Training: To ensure that an organization's staff is equipped with the necessary skills to succeed in marketing, it is essential to have a formalized training program in place that caters to staff at all levels within the organization. Furthermore, the organization should include marketing performance in its management review process to identify areas for improvement and enhance its training program accordingly.

  7. Marketing Collateral/Materials: For the firm's success, marketing collateral and materials play a critical role. To ensure their effectiveness, a content strategy must be included that caters to the intended markets. The materials must be accessible, up-to-date, and highlight the firm's unique selling points. Standardized templates that are user-friendly can help save time and resources.

  8. Proposals/Request for Information: The firm's proposal and request for information (RFI) process is crucial for winning new business. Success can be achieved by attaining an 80% shortlist rate or higher. It's important to review proposals from other firms to understand industry trends and best practices. Technical staff must not be overburdened with boilerplate content. A proactive QA/QC review process can help catch any errors or issues before submitting proposals or RFIs. A measurable Go/No Go process can also help make informed decisions about which opportunities to pursue.

  9. Presentations/Interviews: In terms of presentations and interviews, the firm should assess whether they are achieving an 80% win rate or higher. To increase the chances of success, it's necessary to rehearse and streamline the preparation process. Debriefs after each presentation or interview can help learn from successes and failures. The participation of technical staff members in selection committee opportunities is also important. Evaluating and improving performance in presentations and interviews can greatly impact the success in obtaining new work.

  10. Website/Social Media: The category of Website/Social Media is concerned with the firm's online presence. Firstly, it is necessary to assess if the website has been successful in attracting project opportunities. Secondly, the frequency of adding new content to the website should be considered to keep it fresh and up to date. Lastly, the content should be written with search engine optimization (SEO) and keywords in mind, as this can help the website rank higher in search results and increase its visibility to potential clients.


Conducting a quarterly marketing audit is a valuable way to involve all staff members in your AEC marketing program and gain a 360-degree review of your marketing strategy. Upon completing the audit, actionable takeaways can be identified to improve various areas of the program and involve all staff members in the overall marketing approach. By assessing and evolving your strategic planning approach on a quarterly basis, you can ensure that your AEC marketing program remains effective and efficient.

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About The Author

Keri Hammond, FSMPS, CPSM

Keri is a long-standing trailblazer in the Utah AEC industry. Clients appreciate her ability to get things done – they know she does whatever it takes, with integrity, to help them build their business. Keri is known for her leadership and diplomacy; she motivates others with positivity, trust, and unwavering support.

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