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If you have not already registered, we invite you to Build Business 2019 in Washington, DC on Wednesday, July 31-Friday, August 2 at the Marriott Marquis. Tomorrow is the final day to  save $100 on registration. Teams of  three or more  can save an additional $90/per registrant  with the Corporate Team Discount by completing the registration form here and sending it to denise@smps.org.   SMPS members receive the best rate .  Additional details: Keynote Speakers Check out our keynote speaker page to learn more about our headliners and our other inspiring Build Business speakers! Opening Keynote: Amy Sandler ...
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I've heard this question several times lately: "How should A/E/C firms engage marketing consultants?" Apparently, it's a common question that isn't addressed often enough — especially between the two parties who directly benefit the most from working together; your firm and the creative consultant. Fumbling the money conversation brings unnecessary baggage into a transactional business relationship before the project even starts. It doesn't have to be that way. Start the engagement off on the right foot. Minimize the conflict around the fee ahead of time and leave plenty of room for collaboration, exploration and significantly higher satisfaction. Paying ...
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The original article previously appeared on the  Substance151 blog . Emotional Connection Trumps Business Benefit in B2B  If you keep up with marketing trends, you’ve likely seen terms “B2H” (Business-to-Human), “B2B consumer” and “B2Me” – all emphasizing the dramatic shift in the thinking and approaches to B2B marketing. The fact is, whether your company sells to consumers or companies, you are still dealing with humans. And that means you’re dealing with emotions. Yet many B2B companies still approach marketing as if all that matters is the business case – the bottom-line value delivered, whether it’s increased performance, productivity, sales ...
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Getting started with an SEO strategy can be overwhelming for any marketing professional. When you work in an architecture, engineering, or construction firm who sells professional services rather than a digital or tangible product, it can be even more challenging. Over the years, I have learned a fair share of SEO strategies from various podcasts, articles, and consultants. I even helped formulate and implement local SEO my husband’s brand-new company that ended up ranked #1 in his targeted category. Through that experience, we both learned a lot about ethical and organic SEO and some more not-so ethical strategies that some of his competitors were using. ...
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Building a Foundation to a Successful Marketing Career Hey, it’s Lindsay and today I want to write to you about A/E/C proposals. More specifically, what you should be doing before the RFP comes out, how to craft a win plan, and then how to manage, write, and deliver your winning proposal. As a marketer in our industry, your work life revolves mostly around proposals. You are most likely coordinating multiple proposals any given week. Knowing and understanding these phases of A/E/C proposals will provide a foundation of skills to advance your marketing career. A couple of days ago I sent out an email asking you for your top questions on this topic and I was ...
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Social anxiety drives many professional service firms to generate shallow content in search of clicks and “likes”. Equally influenced by the fear-of-missing-out and search engine optimization, the resulting content relies heavily on memes, trending hashtags and lists-based articles that carries the expectation of clicks and visits. I want to suggest that kind of content is fake and attracts fake followers — people who will never partner with your team, or hire your firm on a project. Firms spend too much time, energy and resources on getting clicks while neglecting the real, relatable content that could attract real readers organically. There is an appropriate ...
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Brand strategy is the key to achieving the more impactful outcomes of great branding – those that go beyond increasing awareness and controlling perceptions.  The reason? Brand strategy is the plan for propelling your brand into action . Rather than merely guiding brand development (the importance of which cannot be understated!), brand strategy also masterminds its activation and management – from launching the brand in a powerful way to maintaining its integrity over time to leading its continuous evolution. These top five areas are where a thorough, thoughtful and effective brand strategy can create the most high-value impact for your firm: Empowers ...
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Indulge me for just a moment and think about your past projects. Take all the projects your firm completed in the last year — both the great projects and the ones that caused too many late nights — and mentally put them all into a pile. Now sort them, one by one, into categories by the kind of work your firm completed on each project. Be as specific as you can. For example: Structural engineering on this school renovation . . . municipal parking garage . . . 50,000 sq. ft. commercial retail space . . . new construction church design . . . Look at the biggest pile. If you have positioned your firm properly in the marketplace, you won't be surprised at ...
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If You Thought Millennials Were a Marketing Challenge, Meet Gen Z Although every generation presents unique challenges, it took companies an especially long time to learn how to market to Millennials. The Millennials were the impetus behind what was perhaps the most significant shift in how companies market themselves to attract, engage and retain both clients and employees.   This generation was very different and also very tough to figure out. In fact, many companies are only starting to crack the code on how to market to and work with Millennials effectively. Unfortunately, the generation on Millennial’s heals, Gen Z, is proving to be an even more daunting challenge ...
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Describing your firm as “full-service” doesn't work like you think it does. It would be better to say nothing at all. Listing generic services is not helpful either. Broad and nebulous definitions for your firm hold no meaning and clients can easily dismiss you as unlikely to solve their problem. If you could have solved their problem, they reason, you would have mentioned it. Instead of being silent, your firm should strive to clearly state that you’re are particularly skilled in managing tight timelines on incredibly large municipal transportation projects; or able to deliver innovative and efficient lighting designs for elementary schools; or your experts ...
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What’s Our Brand Strategy? If you can’t answer this question with certainty, you’re not alone – and you’re unlikely alone, also, in the reason it’s difficult to answer. Branding has become so complicated that even the savviest of marketers and brand managers are being tricked into thinking the absolute worst thing that one can think: tactics are strategy . Today, more and more marketing teams are spending time figuring out how to increase engagement on LinkedIn rather than questioning why they are using LinkedIn in the first place. Although the complexities associated with deploying marketing tactics can easily make you feel like you’re tackling the “big” ...
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Much of the information on this Blog deals largely with Branding. While branding is very important and I believe effective social media is the key to the future for any AEC firm, I see less and less research and topics addressing that which is done out of the AEC industry. Having taught marketing at Stratford University in Virginia Beach the last 5 years, I have ventured out to many other research sources and found them extremely relative with some tweeking for application to our industry. In an article in the latest publication of the Harvard Business Review, my favorite magazine for business and marketing trends and research results, one article is titled "The ...
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At the dawn of digital, many had predicted “the end of branding as we know it,” and while the discipline of branding has changed dramatically in the past decade, having a distinct, valued and engaging brand is more critical than ever before. Increased competition, commoditization and the speed of change call for brands to become the point of convergence and the catalyst for the alignment of business strategy, customer experience and company culture.  The old way of thinking about brands as static collections of untouchable artifacts that need to be closely policed is no longer a fit for the fast-changing world. In fact, the traditional approaches that ...
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We are about to publish the list of Top 10 GC's for Medical Construction. I thought I would share a preview here! Feel free to contact me for more info or discussion Tim@buildcentral.com TOP_10_GCS_PDF_12_4_18_MH.pdf
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Your Ultimate Guide to Better Customer Research   Marketers have always understood the importance of customer research to help them get into the minds of their customers. Conducting customer research is vital for developing meaningful customer personas and detailed journey mapping and for designing a more relevant and personalized customer experience. However, doing it right often requires a great deal of time and resources, which puts conducting quality, comprehensive research out of reach for many companies. And even when conducted, much of what commonly constitutes a research study ends up being too superficial to lead to any new insight. In fact, ...
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You may be at the beginning or in the middle of developing your plans for the next year. You might also be having discussions about sales and performance goals for your firm and staff. But, before you can start your goal setting, you should have a good understanding of where you are at today. You can do this by having a good set of baseline metrics for both marketing and business development. Once you have your baseline metrics recorded, then your firm can work on the growth for the next year and begin to set goals. This article provides you with some brief examples of marketing baseline metrics to get you started. Next, I will ...
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Your website is your firm's chief digital asset. Beyond reinforcing your firm's brand, communicating its competitive position and demonstrating its expertise, your website is the command center for your marketing. It’s also often the first impression – and the quality of the website experience significantly affects both the perception of your company and its ability to achieve the desired marketing results. So, how do you maximize your website to ensure it delivers? Start by reexamining the website through the lens of your firm’s business objectives and current marketing approaches, strategies  and  techniques.  These guidelines will help you get the most ...
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Curious about how to balance the personal brand of your thought leaders with the overall brand of your firm? Josh Miles and I discuss this topic on the latest podcast episode of PSM.show. Listen here : or iTunes or your favorite podcast player.
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Is my content valuable? Where are visitors coming from? Is all of this website cost and effort paying off in the form of new clients?   Before, during, and after the website design and development process, we here at TOKY field a number of questions from our  architecture clients  about how the firm’s website is actually performing. No matter how stunning a website looks or how accurately it embodies the leadership’s vision, at the end of the day, marketing teams are concerned about return on investment (ROI) — and rightly so. Determining an architecture website’s ROI all comes down to data. And while Google Analytics is an invaluable tool, teams ...
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Do You Know What Your Brand Is Up To? Conducting a brand audit is often perceived as a huge, time-consuming undertaking – not to mention the anxiety of not knowing what you’re going to uncover during the audit and the fear of discovering that your brand has gone off the rails. And so the project often gets pushed to the back burner. The problem is that no company can afford to lose tabs on its brand. As with most marketing endeavors, the question isn’t whether you should or shouldn’t, but how to make the most out of your brand audit, while making it a part of your annual marketing upkeep. It doesn’t have to be an ordeal! Our step-by-step guide to conducting ...
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