Most of the time, most of us spend our time and lives on the little things that define our routines. These can be good or bad habits, and we follow the same path, time and time again.
There’s nothing wrong with this. While there are milestones and exciting experiences and dramas in our lives, some desirable and others less welcome, there is a predictability and processes that shape how we deal with things and how we handle the routines.
The challenge with marketing for AEC practitioners is that if we are to succeed, we may need to make major changes in our routines. Instead of relying on word of mouth, we may need to systematically develop marketing budgets and processes. We may know what we need to do, but it isn’t easy to change patterns, especially when the new processes are uncomfortable, don’t seem to work very well, and (most painfully) cost money.
Sometimes pundits and consultants suggest quick fixes, especially a fast mining of previous clients for a referral/repeat business marketing “hit” — and this strategy works, to an extent. But does this type of work result in the systematic and fundamental change required for effective AEC marketing, or does it end up as a moment of excitement before you go back to your regular routine channels?
I wish I had a simple answer to these points because I am guilty of my own routine inertia in operating my own business and marketing practices. In some areas, there is real success, but we can always do better. It seems we often need a good crisis to jar ourselves out of complacency. Alas, a marketing emergency, usually which happens when the business reaches a critical/financial crisis, is the worst time to try to build new marketing habits. When cash is tight, can you justify taking the risks in trying new things? Instead, your rational answer might be to jettison what little marketing resources you currently allocate — the staff and limited expenses for marketing seem to be a waste when things are desperate.
We need a more positive motivator for change. The woman who a couple of years later became my wife suggested a few decades ago that I should start going to the gym. Few forces can impress a man than an effective woman’s suggestions. She started me on a six-day-a-week routine that continues today and has provided undeniable health benefits.
Take a look at someone you respect and can follow. (There are at least a few marketing gurus out there for different industry segments.) Suspend your disbelief, pay your money and follow the program. Give it enough time to become habit. In a few months, you may elect to reduce your reliance on the consultant — you can at some point maintain the routine on your own economically. You’ll have made the change that allows you to reach your biggest dreams.
Are you ‘stuck’ or can you share a point where you successfully changed your marketing habits. If you are in the former place, send me an email and I may recommend one or two consultants who can help you out. If you are in the latter, I welcome your comment on this post.