How to Market AEC Firms
Engineering, Architecture, Construction and Marketing may seem like completely different fields, on the contrary, regardless of how you look at them, success in those fields require the same solutions.
Your job is to find and create a solution to a problem. As a business owner you need to find a solution that works for your business and selling your companies services is what keeps you going.
Did you know that 64% of Engineering, Architectural and Construction businesses view lead generation as their top marketing challenge? More than 40% find it difficult to find a comfortable ROI.
- 64% of AEC Firms
- 36% of AEC Firms
View lead generation as their top challenge
- 40% of AEC Firms
- 60% of AEC Firms
Find it difficult to find a comfortable ROI
Engineering, Architectural and Construction firms struggle with getting a clear message out that resonates with potential clients because all three fields focus on different aspects of the job and are highly-technical professions. This being the case, most marketing firms are not able to deliver a successful strategy and the ROI is unsatisfied.
Identifying the key points and buyer journey of your clients while communicating with them in their language and tone takes a high degree of industry experience in order to execute an effective content marketing and lead generation strategy.
Traditional B2B inbound marketing campaigns designed to capture and generate leads have to contend with the fact that engineering firm clients tend to come in via referrals from their AEC counterparts due to a heavy reliance on industry connections.
There is of course the traditional aspects of Marketing that are simply unavoidable such as:
- Engaging and informational website
- Content Marketing
- Lead Nurturing and Optimization
But, acquiring and turning leads into potential clients requires some additional strategies. It’s not like your not trying to sell someone sneakers.
Majority of Engineering, Architectural and Construction firms are dissatisfied with their marketing efforts because their marketing strategy is based on consumer goods rather than professional services.
This is why we need to go beyond regular B2B marketing with specific methods tailored to your industry.
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Many marketing campaigns are ineffective for Engineering, Architectural and Construction firms. A lack of fundamental awareness of industry-specific challenges along with the basic marketing approach taken by most inbound agencies end up being a waste of time, money and resources.
The fact that so many of these marketing efforts end up with horrible ROI and poor conversion rates doesn’t mean that inbound digital marketing wont work. It can be highly effective! You just need to have the right marketing strategy.
Your strategy needs to be thoroughly planned and researched before writing any content or marketing materials.
Things to know before you start:
- Specific target audience
- Detailed buyer keywords
- The buyer journey along with struggle areas
- Established solutions and plan
- Type of content that will resonate appropriately
1. Target the appropriate leads
82% of firms get their referrals from people who have never worked with them before. There is no question that recommendations are vital to obtaining new clients within the AEC industries.
Referrals from Architects and Construction companies are a key means of growth for Engineering firms. Engineering and Architectural firms are a key means of growth for Construction firms, and Engineering and Construction firms are a key means of growth for Architects. Not to forget the Developers and other key members within the Industry.
In other words, someone who approaches an Architectural firm will also need the services of an Engineering firm and Construction firm. This is a vast resource that is key for success of your marketing strategy.
Most businesses are only likely to send a referral if the other is willing to do the same. A one hand washes the other kind of game. If you don’t have enough referrals to send their way, you can expect their referral flow to end fast.
This is why it’s very important to expand your target audience outside of your range of services. This helps form partnerships with parallel firms boosting revenue for everyone. Yes, it was your efforts that got them a client as well but it also embedded trust and potential referrals for clients your marketing efforts did not go towards.
Think of it as an investment into future inbound referrals.
2. Establish Authority as a Leader in Industry
Your clients don’t see the difference between your firms and the next one. As long as you can demonstrate that you are capable of providing a service, they don’t have much awareness of the factors that set you apart from your competitors.
Among actuarial clients and decision makers 41% consider innovative and creative leadership is a major aspect when issuing RFPs.
Your firm is your brand. Positioning your brand as an authority and your team as leaders can accomplish more than you think.
- Build Trust – Become the expert
- Shows transparency – You have nothing to hide because you are the best
- Demonstrates capability and confidence
- Separates you from your competition
To successfully achieve this:
- Highlight your firm’s awards and accomplishments using several outlets such as your website, social media, company profiles and marketing material.
- Position your leadership team as innovators and creators. This puts a human touch on your services and inspires confidence that thought and care are put into every project.
3. Speak Their Language
Your clients are just as sophisticated and knowledgeable as you, your content strategy should be just as equally strong. Most marketing agencies fail to produce content that the target demographic will find valuable.
Engineers develop a 75% higher trust value when other engineers author their content.
Before you can capture the attention of your leads and convince them to take action, you’ll need to build trust and authority. The easiest way to do that is to make sure you’re creating highly-technical material and content that speaks directly to them.
This allows them to understand that you understand their problem and have or are the solution.
You can do the DIY way, but honestly, do you want to spend time trying to figure out what works and what doesn’t?
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