When you are looking for a quick starting point for effective architectural, engineering and construction marketing, consider giving priority to these three strategies. Note: While you may be able to achieve some really rapid results, these models generally are effective with a longer-range perspective (think as far as three to five years, especially for major or high-value project wins), and are most effective in harmony with each other and your business’s overall strategic plan.
Think about how you can systematize and enhance your repeat and referral business.
Yes, repeat and referral business should be your primary source of new clients. The ongoing Construction Marketing Ideas survey, validated elsewhere, indicates that about 72 per cent of the average AEC business attracts most of its revenue from repeat and referral clients. So anything you do to enhance the success rate here will have disproportionate impact on your marketing success and profitability. (After all a 10 per cent increase in business with tweaks and improvements will generate upwards of 7.2 per cent more business for you — enough to make a big difference to your bottom line.)
Strategies can include: Attracting testimonials from your satisfied clients, offering incentives for referrals, developing an effective thank-you and follow-up service program, and in some cases, encouraging your best clients to write notes to friends and supporters. You can do this without being pushy. You should.
Think about your website and make it your true marketing “front door”.
Many people will hear about you, hopefully positively, through your marketing and word-of-mouth. Where will they go first, before even calling you? Yes, your website. More importantly, others who don’t know you but need your services should be able to find you quickly if they are looking for you. This means you need to have a good search engine and social media presence to attract and capture these leads.
I believe your website should be under your control and supervision, with expert guidance, just like you would put any core business function. And that means, you should not rely simply on old friends, canned services or (worse) spammy inbound solicitations to make your decisions about who to use for your website/social media and search engine optimization strategies. Maybe the best approach is listen to people you trust, perhaps through your relevant industry associations. If you wish a few suggestions, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Focus on client-oriented associations and community groups. Give, share, contribute, connect.
In 25 years in business, association participation and community service have provided the most lucrative long-term business and relationship building opportunities and they can be for you, as well. I think the best associations and community to join/support will be the ones that matter the most to your clients. Then help out as much as you can.
The rewards here take time to materialize and in fact you won’t succeed if you go at this strategy with a materialistic “What’s in it for me?” attitude. However the satisfaction of giving and sharing are eclipsed over time by the incredible rewards, both personally and in business volume.
These three strategies, I think, will produce more marketing and business development success than any of the other options out there. Give them priority.
If you have questions or would like more insights into the implementation of these ideas, you could read my Construction Marketing Ideas book, or if you prefer, email me at email@example.com. I’ll do what I can to guide/refer you to worthy resources and connections.