Marketing Best Practices for Architectural/ Engineering/Construction (AEC) Firms

Marketing Best PracticesMarketing architectural, engineering and/or construction (A/E/C) services is very different than other types of marketing—it certainly does not have much in common with distributor channel marketing or home improvement retail marketing.

How? First, A/E/C marketers target owners or managers of public or private construction projects. The focus of marketing is lead generation and winning projects. Relationships and reputation are critical in A/E/C marketing as the financial risk of construction projects is great.

No question, A/E/C marketing is becoming more competitive with lower construction activity, and new (competitor) entrants. A/E/C marketing includes all aspects of marketing, with different emphasis than other industries. Read more to see some results of a national survey conducted by the Construction Marketing Association, covering information on two important aspects of A/E/C marketing: using construction lead services and leveraging associations for networking. followed by a list of the Top 10 Marketing Best Practices for A/E/C Firms.

A Recent Survey Asked:

1. What types of marketing does your A/E/C firm use?

2. What marketing initiatives are most effective?

3. What marketing initiatives are least effective?

4. How do you measure marketing?

Some of the highlights of the survey include:

Marketing Best Practices Types Used

Marketing Best Practices Effective Marketing Initiatives

Marketing Best Practices Measurement

Marketing Best Practices Defined for AEC Firms

The Construction Marketing Association defined the Top 10 A/E/C Marketing Best Practices in a 2011 webcast, with sequence or chronology intended:

  1. Understand your brand perception, position, segmentation and SWOT.
  2. Develop a marketing plan with objectives, action calendar and measures.
  3. Search optimize your website with all search engine optimization (SEO) features (meta coding, site maps, reviews, etc.)
  4. Aggressive networking with associations (local/gregional, AGC, ASA, BOMA, AIA, etc).
  5. Develop/manage lead generation (project leads, customers, targets, contacts, emails).
  6. Build awareness through PR, Advertising, article placements and more.
  7. Leverage blogs and social media to communicate company and industry content.
  8. Deploy ongoing communications to contacts, titles, verticals, etc. via email campaigns, social posts, etc.
  9. Experiment with new markets, example geographic, government, etc.
  10. Leverage free publicity, wire distribution, editor lists.

Are you involved in marketing architecture, engineering or construction (A/E/C) services? Please comment below on your suggested marketing best practices.

7 Comments

  1. Mason Harris

    Great survey! This is useful information when speaking with clients or developing new ones. Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Neil Brown

      Thanks Mason! Be sure to subscribe to our blog and check back often – we try to collect survey info on the construction industry from hundreds of professionals on a regular basis.

      Reply
  2. Scott Rajavuori

    Very interesting post! As someone who works for a construction company, it’s nice to see people take the marketing portion of our specific industry so seriously.

    Reply
    1. Neil Brown

      We appreciate your support, Scott! Marketing for construction is truly important. Be sure to check out our Professional Certification program for construction marketing professionals. We think you’ll find this useful! http://www.constructionmarketingassociation.org/CMI_ProfessionalCertification.cfm

      Reply
  3. Sarah Hill

    As an architecture student at New School of Architecture I find this very interesting. Although I think my future firm will have a marketing department, it will still help me to know more about this topic.

    Reply
  4. Sarah Gonnella

    I happened across your information. Thanks for providing it. However, I’d like to make a few points. I’m curious as to how many firms were a part of your survey. Additionally, I would be intersted to know the breakdown of those surveyed:
    1. Firm Size
    2. Role within the firm
    3. Type of firm (Architecture, Engineering, A/E, Construction, etc.)

    The first and third item is straight forward. It’s ‘what do you do’ and ‘do you do it’. However, the second one is a bit deceptive. You can’t really say most effective initiatives when some firms may not have even tried some of these. It would be interesting to know these stats in a different light. Of those that have done speaking, for example, what percentage think it’s effective. It seems to me that some of these numbers are low because some firms don’t even do them. Additionally, I’d be curious how some firms measure the effectiveness of some of the items listed. How do you gauge that your brochures are effective? That is very subjective.

    Just wanted to provide some food for thought.

    Reply
  5. Matt Orley

    I find the low rate of website/seo/blog execution vs. the high success rate of this type of effort to be, well, an opportunity! Check out my 9 blog post ideas for engineering firms here: http://www.remarkableteam.com/what-can-engineering-firms-write-about-on-their-blogs/ – pretty applicable to this industry. -matt

    Reply

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