At the recent CIMCIG Chairman’s Debate on the image of construction, one of our key speakers, Sadie Morgan architect and co-founding director of dRMM commented on the importance of practices presenting their capability in a form that their clients could relate to. She said that for dRMM she had asked her brother, an author of children’s’ books to review and re-present the practice’s capability in a more client-friendly form.
We all tend to present information in the form which we feel most comfortable with and can relate to. But we should consider our audience, who will probably have a different focus and understanding, relating to things differently from us.
A key part of marketing is to engage with your audience, speaking to them in terms which they can relate to, and demonstrating how you can solve their problems.
Earning their trust is also very important. Over the last few years there have been a number of high-profile examples, both in the UK and internationally, where people have trusted those they considered the experts and were disappointed. If we are to rebuild that trust, we need to think carefully about how we present our organisations.
For designers and other professionals trust is a key asset. When proposing a design solution you are asking your client to have trust in your ability to deliver on the promises you make in a way they will be delighted with.
Trust is comprised of two key elements, Competence and Character. As an example, Sadie is Chair of the HS2 independent design panel, sits on the UK’s National Infrastructure Commission, is a mayor’s design advocate for the Greater London Authority as well as frequently publishing articles in the press. I have no direct experience of her architectural skills, but all of these activities mean I view her as an extremely competent individual. Which is why I invited her onto the panel of the CIMCIG Chairman’s Debate. Not every practice can have a high-profile individual such as Sadie. But there are many ways to demonstrate that competence in the form of case studies and client quotes.
Character is harder to demonstrate. It is about meeting deadlines, offering solutions, keeping promises and being enthusiastic. So, it is partly about how you respond to enquiries and behave while working with others. But again, this can be demonstrated by Case Studies, especially if they include third party quotes.
A good example of this in action can be seen with chartered surveyors and property consultants Glenny. Established for over 120 years the partnership has multiple divisions and wanted to present themselves as experts with great insight. They ran a campaign which included thought pieces, events, newsletters and press releases which achieved this and got them recognition as a Winner at the 2018 Construction Marketing Awards.
So how does an Architects, Engineers or Quantity Surveyors practice evaluate how effective they are in this area? One solution is to enter the Construction Marketing Awards. We have a category for professionals ‘Best Professional Services Marketing Campaign’. All entries will be judged by a panel of judges with extensive experience of construction marketing. Should you be fortunate enough to become a finalist you can see which similar organisations you stand shoulder-to-shoulder with, benchmarking your organisations marketing against the industry. And a win can demonstrate to the rest of your organisation the competence of your marketing as well as recognising the achievements of your marketing team.
For details of how to enter the Construction Marketing Awards visit the website, entries are now open for the 2019 Awards. The Construction Industry Council is a supporter of the 2019 Awards.
Contributor: Chris Ashworth is founder of construction marketing consultancy Competitive Advantage. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, a Chartered Marketeer and Vice Chairman of CIMCIG. He is also co-organiser of the Construction Marketing Awards.