There are plenty of articles and webinars on how to make your entire firm into sales people. The thought behind many of these courses is that the more people that are selling on behalf of the firm, or at least reaching out, the more new projects your AEC firm will win.
Well…I won’t say I disagree, but I will say that I don’t like playing the numbers game when it comes to sales. Meaning, my approach is never to go after every job, with the hope that you win one out of ten.
However, I do feel that internal marketing and communications are incredibly important. With that in mind, here are three types of internal marketing that successful firms employ.
1. The marketing department needs to communicate with employees, not just clients
Everyone in the company should know what you’re going after, what your latest big win is, what your exciting new target markets are…maybe even what conference you’re going to next. The reason is, that you never know what connections people may have that they never even thought of as leads…but they actually are. Newsletters are good, but can sometimes be too time consuming and hard to pull together regularly. Find a way to communicate with your team in a timely and realistic manner.
2. Leadership needs to “second” what marketing is doing
Firm management has to be vocal about supporting marketing, and the overhead expenses that come with it. There are times when overhead is questioned in any architecture firm or construction company, but it is leadership’s responsibility to assure everyone that there is a strong sense of purpose and that the expenses yield results in the long term. A well-crafted marketing plan is always a good thing for leadership to point back to.
3. Sit in on project meetings when possible
It may not seem like marketing necessarily, but it is important. Sitting in on a few project meetings has several benefits. First, it builds trust amongst the team. Doing it once won’t work, but if it becomes a regular thing it will improve communications. Second, you learn more about what the firm really does. Even for more senior marketers that may understand the industry very well, there is much to be said for learning a little bit about the specific projects and headaches that your coworkers face. Finally, you may get some ideas about new ways to market the firm. You never know what problems may pop up during a conversation that you can help solve through a new communications piece, additional market research or even a blog post.
Marketing internally can be as beneficial as marketing externally. Break down those cubicle walls and begin a better dialog with your coworkers to help you understand more about your clients!