AEC Firms to Expand Marketing Activities in 2006


Nearly three-quarters of firms (72%) surveyed by Natick, Mass.-based ZweigWhite, for its “2006 AEC Industry Outlook” survey, cited their top priority to achieve strategic growth as the expansion of marketing activities.

“A boost in the marketing budget is always helpful, but not necessarily required,” says Anne Scarlett, principal with ZweigWhite and director of the firm’s marketing consulting group. “I tell clients that a combination of prudent planning, client-centric decisions, strategic resource allocations, and consistent communication will result in a greater return on marketing investment.”

Scarlett shares a few tips for firm leaders who want to expand their marketing activities in the coming year:

* Listen to client feedback. Identify clients' top priorities, discover trends, assess the firm's performance, and unveil future opportunities with a series of phone interviews and electronic surveys. Then share the data firm-wide and incorporate the results in the firm's business development plan.

* Empower the team. When given the opportunity, each and every staff member can contribute to the firm's marketing effort. Coach your technical staff to become seller-doers.

* Shout out the message. Showcase the firm's knowledge and expertise with a coordinated public relations and marketing program. Sending out newsworthy press releases, articles to industry publications, and client newsletters all contribute to client confidence in the firm.

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