VP & Director of Digital Innovation
Circle S Studio
A solid marketing strategy should be at the center of an A/E/C firm’s marketing plan—defining and directing every facet of the firm’s marketing activities. Whether your firm’s marketing is operating on tactics, an outdated strategy or you are simply looking to make some improvements, here are five ways that can help you refine your marketing strategy.
Narrow the focus
Since your firm has limited resources, staff and budgets, you’ve got to stop the shotgun approach and be more focused with your marketing strategy. So take the time to ask your firm principals what types of clients and projects are most profitable:
- What verticals and services have the most potential for success?
- Where is your firm best geographically positioned to grow the footprint?
- Who are the organizations that your firm would love to land as clients?
Identify several key areas of focus and plan your marketing strategy around those.
Make it more pull than push
Traditional A/E/C marketing (and all marketing for that matter) has been all about pushing your firm-focused messages out to your audience and essentially saying: look at us! But smart firms are adapting their marketing strategies and moving away from a push and more toward a pull strategy. Instead of shouting your firm’s qualifications with a loudspeaker and trying to convince prospects to select your firm, you actually communicate in such a way that they’re attracted to you.
Build content around research-based buyer personas
To create targeted, relevant content that will engage your target audience, we recommend developing research-based buyer persona profiles as a starting point to help you visually picture the type of people you’re trying to reach and understand them on a deeper level.
So think about your typical client:
- What are some of the key challenges and issues they face?
- What topics do they need to be educated on?
- What questions do they have?
- What is their selection process?
- What problems can you help solve for them with your content?
And once you start to uncover these questions, you’ve got a starting point for the kind of content that’s going to resonate with your audience and meet them where they are in the buyer’s journey.
Rethink your marketing budget
Along with a marketing strategy and marketing plan comes a marketing budget. And I propose that many A/E/C firms need to rethink their marketing budgets entirely. The fact is, there is a whole new marketing ecosystem and it’s becoming increasingly digital.
- Does your marketing budget reflect these changes?
- Do you have the right positions/people to reflect the changing landscape?
- Are you adequately investing in your website?
- Are you investing in technology to support your firm’s marketing?
Basing next year’s budget on this year’s spending is not a strategic way to budget. Your marketing budget should be tied to your marketing plan and built on what you need to spend in order to accomplish the marketing strategy you’ve put in place.
Craft a (real) marketing plan
Many A/E/C firms struggle with marketing plans: they either don’t have one at all, their marketing plan is more of a glorified “top ten” to-do list or they’ve had the same basic plan for years. But once you’ve narrowed your focus and identified your best opportunities for growth, you need to craft a documented marketing plan that supports the strategy.
Tim Asimos, CPSM, is a national speaker and a catalyst for change in the A/E/C industry, providing keen insights on modern marketing principles and an uncommon perspective gleaned from more than 15 years of experience both inside and outside the industry. As Vice President and Director of Digital Innovation at circle S studio, a strategic marketing agency, Tim works with clients to develop innovative strategies in branding, content marketing, web development, account-based marketing and marketing automation.
To learn more about Tim and circle S studio, visit https://www.circlesstudio.com.