Trends come and go but sometimes they are here to stay. Many of the trends poised to make a big impact on AEC firms have already proven themselves effective in other industries. If you're reading this article, jump on these marketing tactics while the opportunity still exists and your competitors are lagging behind.
Social media will make or break your online marketing.
75% of prospective clients and employees check out your social media presence. What message does yours send? Many AEC firms talk the talk about using social media but few actually walk the walk by strategically engaging with their audience on social media platforms and/or using their employees to foster social engagement. Employees can serve as built in "brand ambassadors," and strategically relying on them to drive your social media messaging amplifies your online presence and provides a second measure of authenticity to a well developed social media action plan.
SEO is just as important as sales prospecting.
A generation raised on the web is fast becoming the beating heart of our industry. That means your website is only going to become more important to your firm’s success in the coming year. When you get a lead or referral, 9 out of 10 times, they're going to check out your website prior to the time they meet you or even call you. Developing an well thought out, SEO-friendly website is essential to ensure that your site pops up in searches so prospective clients can easily find you. People have short attention spans in this fast-paced, internet-driven world and they aren't willing to click around to try and find your website or contact information.
Targeted email marketing.
The Construction Marketing Association reports that 75 percent of firms in the industry are planning to increase their spending in email marketing. Are you one of the 75%? Because if not, you can bet your competitors are among that number. Without a doubt, email is still the easiest way to make a direct connection with clients and potential customers, and it provides an opportunity to present targeted information in a personalized format.
Thin profit margins for design and construction firms are here to stay.
For better or worse, there’s always a firm out there willing to do more for less. So the question of “How can we charge more?” has become “How can we be more productive?” Lean design and modular construction are solutions. Combining that with a driven and targeted marketing strategy can give you the framework necessary to run a streamlined business that does more with less all while making a healthy profit.
Content is king.
Our industry can take a while to catch on to marketing trends embraced by other industries, but we’re finally gaining an understanding that clients have no interest in being "sold to," but rather they want to be educated. This means providing educational resources and thought leadership that makes your clients want to engage. Thought leadership takes a variety of forms, from blog posts and technical papers to research reports and videos. No matter the format, this content will be produced with one goal in mind — to demonstrate the firm’s expertise. Stoping selling to your clients and prospects and start helping them.
What do you think? Have you seen any of these trends positively or negatively impact your firm?