Image credit: AECOM

A/E Firms Marketing: Brand Enhancement to Win Procurement Efforts

In today’s digital transformation world, every business must catch up marketing trends to not being out of the competitive market. So does A/E firms, where marketing is an unignorable part of business strategy.
By Hannah Ngo | 9 min read
on November 18, 2019
Image credit: AECOM

In today's challenging global economy, it's highly competitive for every single industry to be stand out where a/e, Architecture /Engineering industry is not an exception. Distinguished among a/e firms are just made by a fragile frontier which is a difference between winning multi-million dollar projects or missing the encouragement to offer. In reality, as we know it where rivalry is intense, organizations with a strong brand identity would are outperforming the group.   

Fast forward to the past, a/e firms now are moving in on the integrated marketing and branding techniques while there are some firms still marketing their services with the old-fashioned way. It’s crucial to change before it comes too late! The following sections would provide you a detail list of “must-do” things for a/e firms marketing to enhance your brand so that you will find it easy as a pie to win a procurement.   

How brand enhancement helps a/e firms to win procurement efforts?  

7 Benefits of building a good brand  

  • Increased visibility
  • Attraction and retention for loyal customers 
  • Distinguish among competitive marketplace 
  • Trust and credibility 
  • Form and maintain long-term relationships rather than short-term 
  • Risk reduction 
  • Growth and increased revenue 

Those advantages fill in as devices to marketers in the push to draw in that mindful customer who needs to purchase from a brand high in esteem.  

Brand enhancement is a decisive factor for a/e firms to win procurement  

According to an article by Sylvia Montgomery, the author mentioned about Professional services client experience journey which included 5 core stages: awareness, consideration, selection, retention, and advocacy. I found the Client Experience Journey reasonably indicated for the reason why brand enhancement was a significant element for winning a project. 

# Before the sale  

Awareness, consideration and selection stages contributing to new experience customers which would be happened before the sale. As a rational buyer, he or she feels free to buy a product or services, but the desired value. When looking for value, they would consider the following factors: 

  • Research: The majority of buyers would do online research for the services which means they want to collect information on their side about firms providing what they want. Especially for a/e industry, customers even make extensive research for the product due to its natural characteristics. 
  • Social evidence: It refers to the consideration stage. A mindful consumer will not only believe in what information the company showed to them, but also consider reviews and recommendations from peer reviews, online review from Youtube, Google, and social media profiles for proof of a well-liked product.   
  • Identity and preference: Buyers are cautious about the relationship between their buying decision and their identity. They would buy a product from the brand which suits their personal evaluation.   

Before the sale happens, brand identity is an initiating step to win your procurement. If your firm brand is strong and popular enough, it would be a huge advantage for drawing your customer attention to make they aware of your brand. After that, to make buyers familiar and more likely to put your brand into their consideration list of choices, you should go on further steps: 

  • Writing frequently on exceptional topics of interest to your customers 
  • Increase the frequency of speaking in front of your target audience 
  • Becoming commonly findable online through search engine optimization 

# After the sale 

Expertise where the reputation fed is experienced after the deal. Everybody discusses their ability, and that makes it hard to get through the clamor. In any case, by being deliberately obvious, firms can transcend the chatter. Why? Since a brand is in excess of a company's capabilities. It's the result of both your reputation ability and your visibility.   

Retention and advocacy stages are likely to contribute to the next sale and additional sale. Current customer satisfaction would lead to a good or bad word of mouth which somehow affects your brand reputation. Then it would affect the new coming customer.   

Despite before or after-sale period, brand enhancement has a significant impact on how to win the procurement for an a/e firm. The more important point here is that the process of enhancing a brand or launch it to customers digitally needs marketing techniques for doing so. 

Top 6 "Must-do" tactics for A/E firms marketing

Body Image 1 -AE Firms Marketing Brand Enhancement To Win Procurement Efforts
Courtesy: CMSmith 

Tactic 1: Positioning

Positioning is the basic and popular term that appeared to any firm’s business strategy. For any successful marketing strategy, the starting point is from the identity of where the a/e firm expects to concentrate its customer procurement intentions. As research, a compelling way to deal with situating should aim to the core markets we serve, the valuable services we give, and the professional expertise we bring that match with the demand of each market.   

With positioning, in the ideal marketing world, you’re suggested not to focus on more than 3 markets and 3 core services which would help to limit issues caused by distraction. Ambitions of focus on many markets are not absolutely wrong but it is not right at all if your engineering firm is small or new which means you’re overstretching your firm’s capabilities. As such, those confusions would lead you to miss targeting the right customers, also the project opportunities.   

These examples indicate the lack of strictly focus on core markets:   

  • The ambition of chasing too many opportunities when firms are not able to achieve. 
  • Designating an excessive number of resources towards proposition arrangement and improvement. 
  • Wasteful utilization of genius business development workforce and firm managers.  

As a result, obviously, this all indicates lower than desired profit margins and you should avoid it if you’re concerning about how to position your a/e firm. If you are a new entrant marketing executive, you should request the authority of the firm to give precision on the firm's positioning strategies before moving toward any marketing tactics because you have the privilege and commitment to do so.  

Tactic 2: Prioritize your Website 

  • Strengthen in a high-quality professional website

In the present a/e marketplace, due to the high demand for extensive research, purchasers anticipate that you should have an expert website. There are significant amounts of purchasers of expert services look at a supplier's site. What's more, some of them eliminated a firm since it had an unremarkable site.  

Whatever types of visibility, online or offline, are perceived as equally important as ever, and both of them closely working together. So, your site should be the center point of your marketing — it's where the future purchaser will turn to at some point in time during their quest for an architecture or engineering firm. Make the most of yours. 

  • Share more, sell less:  

Possibilities aren't so keen on your firm as you may expect. As opposed to an attempt to sell something, they're searching for you to respond to their inquiries, take care of their issues and build up credibility. Content marketing for a/e firms is tied in with sharing information —not selling or discussing your firm—in order to draw in possibilities and assemble trust.  

In 2019, this way of thinking ought to be applied to for all intents and purposes each bit of substance you make, regardless of whether that is your messages, blog articles, social media updates or recommendations. 

  • Do not stop blogging for thought leadership: 

Talking about content marketing, blogging should be assumed as a focal job in your company's marketing program. Yet, while numerous organizations possess a blog, they are regularly insufficient and may go to a great extent unread! This can be the consequence of posting an inappropriate sort of content on the blog or conflicting or inconsistent posting. 

This year focus on posting valuable content, thought-initiative content in any event twice a month and weekly even better. Blogging is imagined as work out: the more frequently you do it, the more outcomes your firm will get. 

  • Leverage the powerful usage of video:  

Video is a powerful narrative medium that a/e firms can use to convey the desired information for an assortment of purposes including brand recordings, project showcase videos, case studies, culture and day in the existence recordings, customer endorsements, how-to and thought leaderships recordings, live streaming and pre-recording shows, just to give some examples. While numerous a/e firms have fiddled with video, the medium isn't completely utilized industry-wide and it stays a generally undiscovered narrating tool.  

Tactic 3: Expertise content

  • Emphasize major expertise:  

Expertise is prioritized when choosing a new firm. As observed, most buyers have their own decision before the firm’s sales team reach them. At the same time, chances really approach you, which is their strong belief of what they actually require.   

As an assortment of expert advisors, it is necessary for your firm to shape those learnings and make a prior investigation of what your potential customer would likely to bring to the conversation so as to exhibit your professional ability and set up your firm as an expert before your customer contact to you.  

In other words, clients can see the firm’s expertise through the firm’s portfolio and client list or by learning from the firm’s educational channel. Other purposes of expert writing are to build the firm’s credibility and engage customers early in their purchasing process by frequently speaking in front of prospects through blogs, articles, research and so on.

Body Image 2 -AE Firms Marketing Brand Enhancement To Win Procurement Efforts
Courtesy: ISI
  • Educational content necessary:  

I It serves the same purpose of showing expertise to prospects. Before the deal is made, your ability is generally imperceptible. Until individuals see your group at work, it's hard to measure their comprehension of information. That is the reason why it's so critical to make educational content that exhibits your skill and addresses your group of spectators' greatest challenges.  

Also, remember that educational content isn't a marketing duplicate. Like a sampling product, your knowledge and expertise are sharing as to let your clients test it. The larger you share you, the more probability your audiences are confided in you and search you out when they have a need for your services.

Body Image 3 -AE Firms Marketing Brand Enhancement To Win Procurement Efforts
Courtesy: USBC

Tactic 4: Network online

Web-based social networking is the online rendition of in-person organizing, yet with less limitations: no scheduling conflicts, no geographic hindrances, no costly travel. It was a study showed that 60.0% of purchasers look at firms via web-based networking media while 17% of non-customer referrals are made due to online networking. Also, Millennials- generation Y-those born between the ages of 18 and 34 seldom allude suppliers who are not via web-based networking media. So actually, your future relies upon it!

Body Image 4 -AE Firms Marketing Brand Enhancement To Win Procurement Efforts
Courtesy: Clark Construction

Tactic 5: Build an integrated communications strategy

There has been enormous (a progressing) change in the media scene. Marketers currently have a bunch of channels (portable, web, social, direct) and organizes (video, print, interactive) available to them. Yet, powerful B2B marketing in the present requires a vital and coordinated methodology.  

In 2019, set out to carry more concentration to your communication endeavors. Pick the most pertinent and proper channels for your target group. However, keep in mind that don’t put all your communication investments tied up on one place.  

Despite the fact that content might be the prevailing focal point of the present marketing mix, it's ideal to use the functionality of all media alternatives so as to most adequately reach and connect with your target group. Broaden your mix and let every part strengthen and aggerate the sufficiency and reach of the other.  

Be deliberate with your messages, updates and posts by tying the entirety of your movement to your company's content strategy and make sure to be logical.  

Tactic 6: Develop referrals

Indeed, even in the advanced age, referrals are essential. In any case, referrals don't generally happen the manner in which you may anticipate. Did you know, for example, that 81.5% of firms have gotten a referral from individuals they've never met? Past customers represent just 5.5% of referrals, though 94.5% are produced by a company's notoriety, aptitude and visibility. 

Obviously, requesting referrals isn't the best approach. Rather, the most ideal approach to promote referrals is to construct an increasingly visible brand — a notoriety that is comprehensively perceived and regarded.  

Conclusion 

To conclude, in the digital transformation modern world nowadays, marketing changes rapidly and becoming more scientific. With new tactics and technology rolling out seemingly every day, marketers are asked to adapt quickly to come out suitable strategy for business development. I believe that with my sharing, you will at least digest the overall pictures of a/e firms marketing. 

However, it’s just a little small piece of the unlimited marketing world. How to translate these knowledges into specific actions for your small business? It might be a difficult question for. Instead of wasting time and cost, contact us to have our consultant!  

This article is also credited to: SYLVIA MONTGOMERYJason MlickiTim AsimosKatelyn Piontek 

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