One of the fun things about marketing is that it is architectural in its principles. It’s all about form versus function, which is the underlying principle behind architecture as well. Hence, if you want to know how to sell to architects for your marketing business, that is the angle you should take.
Function, in marketing, is about metrics – measurements, tracking, tactics, goals – that help the business grow. Form, in marketing, is about the esthetics – building a relationship and reputation, the message, the brand, and so on. Function, as such is quantitative in nature, whereas the second is qualitative. Like architecture, marketing is therefore a mixture of science and art. Let’s take a closer look at the different elements of function then form.
First of all, you need to create a marketing plan that aligns with your client’s overall direction. You have to make sure, therefore, that they are planning for their growth. Many architectural firms expect that their growth will come from slowly building relationships, but the internet has changed all of this. Naturally, these relationships are vital but they must be more proactive in their marketing. Get them to set a goal, identify their specific target demographic, develop their niche, and make course corrections by tracking the competition.
A Marketing Kit
Next, you need to create a true ‘marketing kit’. This includes effective materials that drive information, including ads. What you need to do is make sure that these ads can reach the right prospects at the right time. This is achieved by demonstrating experience, passion, and heart. So where planning is solely about function, the marketing kit also starts to include a little bit of form.
The list of advertising tactics that are available today is almost endless. This is also an element that falls clearly under form. The issue is choosing the types of advertising that works. There are many types of advertising, press release distribution is one example. While this is about online marketing, it is important to not overlook traditional advertising at the same time.
Referral marketing is what architectural companies have grown on in the past, and it remains a hugely effective type of marketing. What you need to do, however, is combine the traditional form of referral marketing with the more modern, online form. This is about growing your social media presence, blogging, writing articles, sharing information, and more. Referral marketing means creating a portfolio so people from all over can start to get to know who the business is and what they can do. This element is once again about both form and function.
If you want to bring in more architectural clients, and you want to make sure that they are impressed with your services (thereby building your own reputation), you will have to work very hard. This is an industry that is not yet involved in the online world, but that does have a fantastic understanding of the underpinning theory underpinning marketing: form and function. Your role is to make sure they understand how this applies to their public relations, and why they need to track the competition.