Marketing strategies aren’t typically at the top of the priority list for architects, engineers, or contractors… but they should be. A strong marketing strategy will help your firm maintain and grow its client base and employee count. It will help your firm build a stronger backlog and allow you to be more selective with the types of projects and clients you work with. It’s hard to think about marketing when you are so busy keeping those clients happy, but it’s something you must invest in NOW in order to reap the benefits in the future. Marketing doesn’t happen overnight but is a continuous, consistent effort. While you have the cash flow, make the investment to beef up your marketing strategy.
There are 5 reasons marketing strategies can be difficult for architects, engineers, and contractors.
It takes time and focus. Right now, the marketplace is so busy that firms can barely keep their head above water. You say to yourself, “Now, I need to concentrate and write my marketing strategy?” My answer to you is, “Yes!” It’s that time of the year to evaluate your marketing strategy and where you want your firm to be in a year, two years, and five years. Not having time isn’t a valid excuse to let your marketing strategy fall to the bottom of your priority list. It should be at the top. Putting together a marketing strategy takes time and talent but it’s worth the effort for your firm. There will eventually be a downturn in the economy, probably not as big as the last one, but you must be prepared for a slowdown. A marketing strategy will help you get through the slow times — make the time to develop it. You don’t have a choice if you want to maintain and grow your firm.
This is actually closely tied to the first reason (time). It takes a group of carefully selected people dedicating their time to put together a marketing strategy. Again, this is taking people away from their urgent and important tasks (short game) to work on the marketing strategy (long game). As the principal or owner of the firm, you must gather the people who are instrumental in your business development and marketing effots and engage them in assembling the marketing strategy. This may be a group of principals, owners, or business development or marketing employees (but no more than 12 people). If you don’t have someone internally to help you with your strategic marketing plan, nu marketing can fill that role.
Fear of Missing Out
“Writing a marketing strategy may not allow us to pursue a project or client because we don’t want to miss out on an opportunity,” you say to yourself. Your marketing strategy doesn’t have to be followed 100% and should be created with some flexibility. If the market or opportunities change, then you pull out the marketing strategy and re-evaluate it. A marketing strategy should be a working document and a guideline for what you are doing. It keeps you focused on the right things rather than making a trail down the wrong path. Having a more concentrated plan allows you to see results much quicker, too, because you have goals and expectations built around that marketing strategy. Don’t worry about not being able to pursue that “out of the dark” client. That’s just icing on the cake. You do, however, need a plan, goals, and measurables.
Setting Goals and Measuring Them
If your marketing strategy is simply “Get more projects,” then that’s not specific enough Instead, it should be something like this: “We want to increase our market share in Arkansas K-12 schools by 10% by the end of 2021.” This is a great marketing strategy, and then you’ll have your tactics and steps to take in order to accomplish this strategy. There may be 10-20 tactics associated with this strategy that you’ll break down in order to reach this goal. There are usually multiple people within your firm that will implement these tactics, too, so they must be involved in the process of setting those goals. You’ll need to continually evaluate (every quarter or a minimum of every six months) if the tactics are moving you toward your goals. Evaluate. Evaluate. Evaluate!
Strategizing causes change, and it should, because as leaders of the firm you are wanting to create different results. Change is hard for most people, because it requires additional brain power and doing things out of their normal routine. While this is true, it’s still not an excuse NOT to put a marketing strategy together. It may also cause some preexisting internal issues (related to communication, operation, or personnel) to arise during the strategy sessions. Internal conflict may be a factor in your firm, but don’t let that be an excuse NOT to strategize. Working through the conflict will make you a stronger firm and deliver better projects to your clients. It will also create a healthier working environment which will help with employee recruitment and retention. If you can work through the discomforts, then you and your team will have a better understanding of the firm’s strategies, goals, and expectations.
Writing and implementing a marketing strategy can be hard, but anything worth doing usually doesn’t come easy. It will help your firm reach the goals it wants to accomplish, work for the clients you want to work with, and empower the employees you want to work for your firm. Don’t let any of these five reasons above be why you avoided your marketing strategy.
Contact nu marketing today to help you with your marketing strategy. We’d like to sit down and discuss YOUR firm and create a customized solution for you. Contact us at 316-680-3097 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to talking with you soon.