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This article first appeared on Substance151 website . The One Critical Aspect of Branding That’s Too Often Overlooked Imagine two brands competing in the same industry. Both have defined a relevant brand position and value proposition, as well as an emotionally resonant brand promise. Both have articulated an appealing   brand purpose   and a guiding set of brand values. In other words, each company has developed a differentiated   brand platform   and, therefore, have the underlying foundation to stand out in the marketplace. Then something interesting occurs. As each company translates its brand platform into a public-facing brand identity, ...
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This article first appeared on  substance151.com .   Read the full article   or  download it here .  How to Use Brand KPIs to Strengthen Your Business Performance Today, data drives all marketing decisions. Companies spend much time setting and tracking marketing KPIs and mining collected information for insight to guide their decision-making process. What they often neglect to measure is the performance of the very foundation of all marketing: the brand. Leadership and the marketing department may intuitively recognize that the brand is doing   something   positive for the company, but very few can pinpoint exactly what that “something” ...
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FlexJobs reveals in its State of the Remote Job Marketplace report there are now 3.9 million Americans (or 2.9% of the total US workforce) who work from home at least half the time. And it’s a trend that is growing. Fifteen years ago, remote workers were just that - remote. Silent, sometimes-forgotten employees.  However, advancements in communications technology mean remote workers are now connected to the office, their colleagues and teams better than ever before, making working from home a standard practice within many organizations. Ever more traditional employers are finally realizing the benefits that come from flexible working arrangements, including ...
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As marketers, we often talk about the “Experience,” yet there are very few companies that truly excel in this area. Why is that? I just returned from SMPS Build Business 2019  where over 1000 A/E/C marketing and business development professionals came together from all over the country for three days of networking, learning and celebrating. Build Business is always an unforgettable experience! Interestingly, the topic of my 2019 Build Business presentation was focused on the Experience – “Connecting the Dots: Marketing’s Role in Brand Experience (BX), Customer Experience (CX) and Employee Experience (EX).” A fully packed, standing-room-only, session called ...
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This article first appeared on Marketers Take Flight . Last week, I was grateful to be able to attend and present at the   2019 SMPS Build Business Conference   in Washington, DC. It has been about five years since I attended the last one. Boy did SMPS step up its conference game. The entire conference was jammed pack with relevant learning, but there was plenty of time to meet new marketing professionals and catch up with friends and peers as well as celebrate the achievements of many marketers. Congratulations to my friend and inspiration, Donna Corlew, FSMPS, CPSM. She received the 2019 Weld Coxe Marketing Achievement Award. SMPS Build ...
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In this business, we’re often asked why. Why spend the money to redesign a logo or refine a tagline that’s done what it needs to do for a decade or more? A rebrand represents more than a change of color palette or typeface. It’s an opportunity to strategically define the firm you are today and the firm you hope to become in the future through language, graphics, and content. The wrong toolkit, on the other hand, can do just the opposite. Whether you’ve outgrown the firm you once were or lost your sense of differentiation, the truth is that a brand — no matter how great it once was — simply won’t last forever.  All that being said, the question becomes: ...
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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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