Making choices: Getting down to construction marketing basics

It makes sense to build some risk/experimentation into your business/marketing plan.
It makes sense to build some risk/experimentation into your business/marketing plan.

If you want to be successful at architectural, engineering and construction marketing and business development, you need to remember the basics. Here’s a simple reminder of the rules of the game.

At core, you need to deliver great work, at a fair (for you and the clients) price.

Note this doesn’t mean being the “cheapest” — and “great work” can be defined in different ways, but the goal should be to deliver what you promise to individuals and organizations who can properly compensate you for your efforts.

Next, you should deliver a really good experience to your clients, from beginning to end.

“Experience” can mean different things, depending on the demographics and values of your clients. A GSA administrator in the US federal government requires quite a different “experience” than an entrepreneur in a fast-growing business, but ultimately both will want the first, core values — and your employees and suppliers will expect the same, as well.

Next, figure out your marketing strategy and budget to support the first two objectives, and to reach out and capture new business.

The budget doesn’t need to be major — perhaps some time-cost, association dues, conference fees, and a modest promotional allocation — or it can be substantial, especially if you are working in a business-to-consumer marketplace where you need to attract and retain one-time or occasional purchasers. (Think renovators, for example — yes, you want to be good enough to attract plenty of referral business, and a few people will return again and again, but you won’t expect significant monthly recurring revenue from individual clients.)

These ideas of course don’t change the fact that we live in the real world, where a combination of personal and external circumstances can muck up the best-laid plans. Recessions happen; key employees get sick or go haywire; a major customer bails or goes bankrupt . . . and technology changes, either creating opportunities or disrupting your long-standing relationships and business systems.

However, if you keep a close eye on the four concepts here, you should be okay for the long-run. Go for it.

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