We regularly field inquiries from national and regional engineering firms about marketing and lead generation services — and in particular, about the latest trends in professional services marketing.
I’ve been talking to marketers and executives in engineering firms about the revolution that has been underway in AEC marketing. It’s a real shift away from traditional marketing techniques and toward online marketing.
Firms who still aren’t embracing this fundamental shift stand to fall further and further behind the competition.
Generally speaking, engineering firms aren’t natural marketing innovators. Marketing for engineering firms usually consists of event sponsorships and face-to-face networking. While the marketing spend on print advertising continues to decline (see Hinge’s own research on marketing for professional services), some firms insist on wasting their hard-earned dollars.
Pick up the latest issue of any trade publication and you’ll still see ad after ad for AEC firms. Some engineering firms continue to look at print advertising as a primary vehicle for promoting their business. Maybe someday the right person will see their ad, and principals feel comfortable with visibility that they and hold in their hands.
Why is it that some executives often think nothing of spending big money on print ads, yet they object to the financial investment associated with a new website?
The Trajectory of a Print Ad
In an advertisement, a headline, some body copy, and a visual come together. You submit it to a publication. It runs once or just a couple of times. It’s seen by a limited number of people (and you’ll never know how many actually read it).
Firms lack the ability to directly tie new business to the ad — the ROI is largely unknowable.
The Trajectory of a Website
A well-designed, high-performance website, on the other hand, offers far greater opportunity and flexibility. Once a site goes live, it is available 24/7/365 and can be seen by an unlimited number viewers across diverse geographic areas.
You can use various proven techniques to attract visitors to your site, generate leads, and nurture prospects. And all of this activity is trackable. That means you can calculate real ROI.
Is it possible that some executives think nothing of spending money on print ads because it’s the evil they know? If they embraced the revolution currently underway in professional services marketing, would they be better off? Well, that would be devil they don’t know.
If you are on the fence, there are a number of good reasons to embrace the revolution. We document the online revolution in our free book, Online Marketing for Professional Services.
In the meantime, here are three reasons why a website continues to be the best investment for marketing for engineering firms:
1. Show Off Your Brand– A website has the ability to demonstrate a firm’s culture in a way that can profoundly impact how you attract top talent.
2. Demonstrate Your Expertise– You don’t have to luck into meeting the right prospect (as you do at a networking event). A good website can demonstrate your expertise and generate leads in a steady, reliable fashion.
3. Be Genuine, be Consistent – A good website has the ability to attract leads, nurture them, and convert them into opportunities. What you say online should be consistent with the message your people are delivering in the real world. No website, no matter how well done, will help you grow your business if it does not project a genuine and consistent value proposition.
You can bet that any magazine you advertise in will end up in the trash. Your website, however, is always on and always working. That’s a powerful advantage. Isn’t it time you embraced the online revolution to reengineer your firm’s marketing?