If someone hopes to improve an architectural, engineering or construction organization’s marketing strategy, the first question to ask is really simple: “What makes your business or practice exceptional?”
Hopefully, we don’t receive a cliché as an answer such as “We offer great customer service”. The test of the answer is whether the answer is truly exceptional — and is backed by empirical evidence, including ideally strong client testimonials and a deeply recognized professional reputation.
Most businesses, frankly, are good enough. You pay your money and receive your value. If they lack that essential characteristic, except in the rarest of circumstances, they fail quickly. The exceptional ones stand out for their genuine quality. Small, exceptional businesses never need to spend any money on marketing because they will almost inevitably be able to survive through word-of-mouth (though they could become much larger if they elected to invest in systems, personnel and marketing.)
If your business is exceptional, it will have a unique story, speciality, longevity, service offering, or such a high client referral/retention rate that you blow all the norms away (think of 100 per cent, not 80 per cent repeat/referral business to start.) You may be exceptional at two qualities, in combination or separately. This is great. If you count a huge list of qualities, however, I think you are missing the exceptional point.
The next stage is to turn your exceptional capacities into your marketing story/message, or develop some standard business management techniques to handle additional capacity and growth before you start your marketing campaign.
Can you write what makes your business exceptional in one sentence? If so, and you wish, you can share it as a comment (you can remain anonymous) or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.