The established professional engineering practice: How (why) would I review its marketing approach

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heritage building in vancouver

Here is another example in my series on different types of business and practice and the marketing approach to take. The concept here is that the ideas in these posts are not fixed in stone and they need to be tested against the real-world situation of individual businesses or practices. Rather, the purpose of this series is to encourage you to think creatively about your marketing, whether you have a new or an established business/practice.

The heritage engineer

This engineer has built a practice based on providing guidance and advice on maintaining and restoring heritage structures.

The marketing review

Here is an example of a practice that doesn’t need much, if any, marketing assistance. The specialized expertise in heritage structures allows it to stand out from the crowd, achieving the key differentiation standard and capacity to claim “thought leadership” status. It helps when the practice’s principal is invited to serve as an expert witness in high-profile disputes (where there is the double benefit in earning fees for service and public recognition.)

The practice also engages with its staff in senior leadership roles in relevant trade and community associations — building its network and relationships (and making it easy for new clients which may require the specialized expertise to find it.)

The organization has a decent, but not flashy, website, and an abundance of repeat, high-profile clients with large properties needing its services.

What advice would I give? 

“Keep doing the same things you are doing,” would be the answer.

What could you learn from this example?

First, consider your speciality. Can you define a truly valuable niche that can be easily explained and understood by potential clients, and which isn’t overcrowded with competition?  (If you are in a market where the heritage engineer described here leads the pack, you’ll want to do something else, but if you are in a different market with plenty of heritage buildings and no specialists, you might want to think about it.)

Needless to say, there is a challenge in this story because in my opinion you cannot effectively decide on your expertise area with marketing as your primary or immediate objective. Your marketing, if it is effective, must arise from genuine knowledge, successful work and passion.

The point here is that the effective marketing is really easy once you get there in achieving your leadership role within the sector, but it will take some effort and determination to rank high enough in your accomplishments in the first place.

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