Here at Resound we’ve got a soft spot in our hearts for the AEC (architecture, engineering, and construction) industry. I think that’s probably because the people in this industry are extremely intelligent, and have a high value for creativity. Likewise, we’re extremely creative, and…just intelligent enough to carry on a conversation with them.
But, hey, at the end of the day we all play the same video games.
We love working with AEC firms, and I’m going to draw back the curtain on marketing in this industry.
Everyone can pretty much agree that branding is important in a consumer-facing industry (like Nike or Pepsi). But sometimes companies think that branding isn’t nearly as important in a business-to-business (B2B) world. More and more we’re finding that’s just not true.
Why? Well I’m not an anthropologist but I suspect it’s because, like business-to-consumer (B2C) relationships, ultimately the decision makers are people. People prefer to work with companies with whom they have a strong connection.
Branding helps companies connect with people and form deeper relationships. A company that understands what they care about, where they’re going, and their personality traits is on the road to success. A company that can communicate those things is a total game changer. Get ready for client loyalty, repeat business, and a reputation in the community.
2. Web Design.
AEC may be early adopter of the latest CAD technology, but they’re not necessarily the trendiest producers of digital content. For example, while the rest of the world has been making responsive websites for years, AEC seems to just be accepting that the internet isn’t a fad.
I’m starting to see architecture, engineering, and construction companies begin to upgrade their digital platforms, but as a whole there is a still a long way to go. To be honest, I’ve surfed through a sea of AEC websites. It’s not uncommon to find some extremely outdated (and that’s the most gentle word I could think of) sites.
But (big surprise), a well-designed website actually communicates your brand the most efficiently. Are you the best architect in town? Then show it! Build a web presence that accurately captures your brand. Don’t cut corners, because your website will either validate or invalidate your claims.
3. Digital Marketing.
AEC is different from a lot of industries in at least one way: for AEC, traditional digital marketing is not very effective. This is especially true for firms that deal largely with government contracts.
Things like advertising on Google Adwords or Facebook are mostly a waste of time and money for AEC. An argument could be made in favor of advertising on LinkedIn, but I’d have to take that on a case-by-case basis.
However, where digital marketing can be extremely powerful in AEC is with content marketing. Marketing departments in AEC need to be blogging, producing whitepapers, and creating ebooks. They need to think about targeted landing pages for their various user types, and then craft valuable content and tools geared just for those users.
AEC is a building block of our economy (like what I did there?), and it’s an industry that I think has a lot of potential. I’d love to see companies in this industry grow, and I believe they’re going to do that by taking branding seriously, updating their web platforms, and adopting a strategic content marketing strategy.
If you’re not sure how to tackle branding, web design, or content marketing in your AEC firm, we’d love to help! We’ll guide your brand through the whole process and set you on the path towards growth.