We cannot (nor should not) escape the rapid progress/evolution of communications technology. Today, we are mostly connected to virtually anyone, almost instantly. The constant, massive and rapidly increasing volume of information and data sometimes overwhelms us — but most of the time, we sift quite quickly and discover what matters the most.
In the case of AEC services, undoubtedly what matters most is your reputation. Yes . . . “Word of mouth”. If it is good, you’ll do well. If it is great, you’ll do astoundingly well. If it is poor, you will fail — and because communication is much faster than it ever was before, your failure will be even more rapid and dramatic than it might have been when you could isolate your clients and they wouldn’t know about others’ bad experiences.
These observations shouldn’t be surprising. Nor should the fact that virtually anyone can record anything instantly these days, so embarrassing or offensive exchanges, thoughtless site behaviour or foolish tirades may well find their way to YouTube and Facebook.
On the other hand, little acts of kindness, respect, and community-spirited integrity might go viral. You can’t tell when this will happen, and if you try to orchestrate the positive news in some cynical public relations/communications campaign, you will likely fail. The community will quickly see through efforts to manipulate them, and the backlash could be less-than-perfect.
The point here is that you should really should look closely at your business practices, communications skills and client satisfaction levels before you plan to spend a cent on any marketing. Once these are right, yes it doesn’t hurt — and probably will help — to reach out and share/broadcast your story.
Just remember, the old stuff still works — and is simply much more efficient and rapid-responding than it was in the “good old days”.