Six (6) Marketing Strategies for Engineering Companies
There has been a paradigm shift in how engineering companies’ and the design and Construction Industry market and position themselves in the digital world.
Leading firms have embraced the online revolution of 24/7/365 online website marketing for professional services by transforming their online presence.
In This Article We Show You How Your Firm Can Do This Too:
- How to utilize Positioning in Marketplace to Show off your Brand
- How to Get to Know Your Target Market
- How you can Dominate Your Competition Online
- How to Bring on the Knowledge Storm and Demonstrate your Expertise
- What social media you should be using. The Like, Follow, and Share, the Social Media Conundrum
- What common element runs through all great marketing - Content
What are you waiting for?
In my 35+ years career in the Design and Construction Industry, I have only met a couple of engineers who were natural market innovators.
Most knowledgeable structural, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing engineers (MEP) do an excellent job of design and implementation and a very poor job of marketing.
My specialty was the design of performing arts buildings, so I pushed the envelope on every project. I searched for firms that positioned themselves as the industry experts, willing to push the envelope. Imagine how difficult it was to find those firms when many firms failed to position themselves as the thought leaders in the marketplace.
Architects will tell you, “structural engineers over design.” Mechanical engineers who are good, do not design ductwork that looks like spaghetti; and electrical engineers, well, they are great at what they do. On the Ellie Caulkins Opera House, our design assist, electrical contractors, Sturgeon, saved the team thousands of dollars by suggesting placing the electrical room adjacent to the street vaults.
Embrace the online revolution of 24/7/365 online website marketing for professional services.
- Show off your brand with flair
- Demonstrate and share your expertise with thought leadership services articles and white papers
- Be genuine, consistent, and honest
- Keep your brand Promise to all your clients however big or small
Marketing for professional services from engineers to architects has shifted away from traditional techniques, i.e., face-to-face networking, sponsoring events, print ads, and cold calling to 24/7/365 online attraction marketing. Marketing content that prequalifies clients before they even arrive through optimized SEO.
Traditional strategies have their place in the marketing mix, but smart Engineering, Design, and Construction firms know that if they want to succeed, they must embrace digital marketing, improve their thought leadership, and become the go-to knowledge experts in the field.
Architects, Engineers, Contractors (AEC) firms who fail to incorporate digital marketing in their marketing mix will disappear like the dinosaur. The competition is surging forward.
Content Branding Solutions have created a simple list to give you the competitive edge. Follow these six (6) marketing activities to stay competitive in your industry!
Six (6) Simple Marketing Actions for Engineering Firms:
Positioning your Engineering firm in the marketplace is far more complex than just being a civil, structural, or mechanical consulting firm. How you position your firm should drive your business marketing strategy.
Your Master Messaging Roadmap should reflect your positioning. So where do you start?
Clarify these Four (4) Features:
- Who you serve; The core markets income generating areas you serve
- The value you provide; The value, benefits, services you provide
- The expertise your firm offers; that aligns with the needs of your target market
- Your brand promise; Many Architects, Engineers, and Contractors AEC firms fail to provide a promise. So, what is a Brand Promise? What must it achieve?
- It must convey a compelling value/benefit
- It must be genuine and sincere
- It is your firm’s integrity. The promise must be fulfilled in all you do and in how you do it
Develop a content-driven marketing strategy to emphasize your firm's credibility to your target market. This attraction marketing strategy should incorporate a combination of white papers, knowledge-based articles, and webinars. Your Strategy should follow a well thought out content marketing cycle that keeps your clients informed with fresh content assets every month.
Content Marketing Is Based on Your Customer Needs and Is Not Self-Promoting.
You want to differentiate, you, your staff and or your company, as the experts in your field, engaging qualified prospects early in their buying process when they begin their search for a team for their project. Remember that people buy people.
All Firms Need to Identify and Decide on Positioning
If your positioning is weak, it will be hard to differentiate from the competition. Strong well thought out positioning will help you be the expert and as a result, you can charge a premium for your services.
Horizontal Positioning is the Demographic or Discipline
Horizontal positioning is the simplest approach. Build extensive expertise in a narrow field of services by offering services that have a high value to demographic or discipline. The advantage with horizontal positioning is you get a varied mix of clients.
For example, Content Branding Solutions provides B2B services to the Design and Construction Industry. That is our niche market area of expertise.
Vertical Positioning is the Market
If you have done your research, and know who your income generating, core services customers are; what they want and where they gather, you will have an easy time crafting a Master Messaging Roadmap that positions your firm in the market
Vertical positioning is where you focus on a specific type of Market – Healthcare, Performing Arts, etc.
Most businesses utilize vertical positioning as it is easy to find prospects, buy a targeted list of qualified clients and identify conferences and industry-specific publications to target. Decision makers in these fields move within the industry, that means building relationships is key to success.
Your Content Master Messaging Roadmap strategy should include both for the short-term, and long-term goals. It should be championed by a compelling marketing message and tactical implementation plan that has identified the best media mix and channels to make your methodology a success.
For further information see our article: How to create a Marketing Plan
With a content branding strategy, you should be able to:
- Own the market; Your AEC firms should effectively own the market it serves in the minds of its clients.
- Develop your expertise in your customers’ specific type of business
- Speak passionately and competently in their language; use examples of what and how you have solved similar problems your prospect will see as real value in what you offer.
- Become the go-to in your field, as you will be able to charge higher fees that match your firms’ values and client’s expectations
For example, a structural engineering firm could specialize in structural systems for Lab, Research and Science buildings or Cultural buildings, with an emphasis on Performing Arts.
For example, in the Performing Arts Design industry, if you want a cost consultant who is any good, there are only a handful of firms. The best quantity surveyors charge the highest fees, but for a public project which is budget driven this is a small price to pay for both the client and the design and construction team.
If You need help developing your Master Messaging roadmap, please contact us today.
Positioning Through Business/Design Innovation
Business/Design innovation is extremely difficult to do in the design and construction industry. A handful of Architects, engineers and contractors have managed to do this.
Thought leaders like Norman Foster, Frank Geary, and Santiago Calatrava have innovated an entire way of doing business. For example, Frank Geary’s firm developed 3d modeling back in the late eighties, for the Disney Concert Hall, utilizing programs originally developed for the aerospace industry. Today 3d modeling has become the norm.
“Companies in the construction industry will have to compete in a more extrovert and market-driven way, and they will have to reconsider their capabilities.” (Janszen, 2006)
In the US Construction industry, prefabrication has at last taken off after the recession. From restroom plumbing racks to off-site, prefabricated construction can benefit a projects budget, schedule, enhanced quality control with reduced labor requirements. That’s why Europe has used prefabrication for years.
Be the leader in the AEC industry for prefabricated solutions for hotel rooms, senior living facilities, hospital rooms, classrooms and much more. Find your niche.
Suppliers have started to react with innovative materials like structurally insolated OX Polyiso Sheathing that save around 50% on the installation time and labor costs, eliminating the need for multiple trades.
Begin by developing your target market identity, Occupation (Core Marker) and Location (Secondary Marker) and complete customer industry profile. This information is the beginning of every engineering firms marketing plan.
Each engineering specialty will have different target audiences and customer profile. For example, structural engineers will have a different target audience than a geotechnical engineer.
Civil Engineers who specialize in railway and mass transit construction need to get to know the movers and shakers in the top expanding cities with mass transit needs. They may benefit from an understanding of sustainability and urban planning that mirrors the population they serve and the intertwining consultants they will work with.
Content tailored to your target market will attract your Target qualified Audience and has a better chance of reaching them.
Start by researching who your existing core, income-generating clients are, then look at all your past clients and see if you can see a trend. This trend is an indicator of who your prospects and clients might be. This group is your target market.
Once you have this information, align your content marketing strategy and Master Messaging Roadmap around your target market.
For example, a structural engineer's primary income generating clients might be Healthcare Architects.
- The short-term content strategy would be to identify easily implemented action items, from SEO targeted to Healthcare Architects to the utilization of the thought leadership group, and corporate social media to target articles and Healthcare Architect groups.
Always go where your potential client's gatherer. Tradeline might be the place for you to meet Healthcare Architects
Long-term strategy planning might include refreshing your brand, to directly target potential income generators including presenting at conferences where the Healthcare Architects gather.
Need help Orchestrating Your Marketing Planning Meeting?
Give us a call Now 303-362-0498
By developing relationships with your target market audience, you can discover through social media; for example, LinkedIn:
The goal is to know what your potential clients want, your Target Markets desires, and then how to promote your business as the solution they need.
Your content marketing and Master Messaging Roadmap should reflect your positioning and Target market. It is that simple.
Your website branding should be visually stunning, content-rich, full of value and benefits to attract your core target market and build trust. It should crush your competition.
If you do not know how to do this get a skilled Copywriter
To be competitive in today's market, the function of your website should go way beyond the pdf brochure-ware website your engineering firm built ten (10) years ago. Your printed marketing materials do not convert into websites that attract, let alone have any SEO to attract your core geofenced market.
If you are presently utilizing a content marketing and management system you may already have gone beyond the initial brochure--ware stage. But are you doing all you can do?
Your website must be the hub of your marketing efforts; device-friendly from a mobile phone, tablet to PC, desktop. Your website is the world's window to what you do.
Many potential clients will visit your website to decide whether to trust you with their business, so it is important to build trust through referrals and testimonials. Being the thought leader in the industry will build trust as the knowledge leader. White papers and arrivals are extremely important.
Be the Thought Leaders in the Engineering world, have an impressive website with great content that builds trust, and value. It may be the difference between landing that great project or watching your competitor earn the industry praise.
Your website is your 24/7/365 opportunity to present a strong online presence! Your presence should portray your AEC firm as the knowledge resource of expertise that your core market audiences are searching for, positioning you as the thought leaders and experts in your field.
Your website should sell your firm’s talents, skills, knowledge, experience, interwoven with solutions to your targeted audience’s problems.
Signs That You Website May Need A Content Branding Refresh:
- Is your site mobile friendly? Check here: https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly
- Does your website and blog articles convey informative, knowledgeable client-focused content?
- Is your website easy to read on a mobile device and easily scanned for content?
- Does your website effectively present your firm’s portfolio of work, its team, and its Unique Sales Proposition USP?
- Does your site attract those who you serve? The core markets income generating areas you serve
- The value you provide. The value and benefit your services provide
- The expertise your firm offers that aligns with the needs of your target market
- Is your brand promise fulfilled?
- Have you posted a thought leadership white paper, or blog post, within the last 60 days?
- Does the content establish your firm as an expert before your prospects contact you?
If you answer “No” to even one of these questions, you may have a website content problem that you should plan to address:
Your firms Engineering, attraction marketing website copy, should be working 24/7/365 as your General Sales Manager, and prospecting machine, providing your team with qualified leads day in day out.
For further information see our article: Nine (9) SEO Solutions to Improve Your Online Rankings!
4. Bring on the Knowledge Storm
Be the Thought Leader in the industry, bring on the knowledge storm with white papers and informative knowledge articles. Informative articles will boost leads, improve your SEO and help create conversions; Thought Leadership articles are a great way to promote your industry expertise as the go-to-firm.
Do not “sell” but lead through Thought Leadership and Knowledge
The content branding on your website, including the blog, represents and is the ambassador of your firm. Your targeted customers will judge your copy and writing skills along with the content. If your site reads like a pdf, Webware brochure, you will lose customers
Outsource Your Content to Experts in Your Market Niche.
Remember to promote your staff as experts as people buy people they trust. Promoting your staff as experts will promote the teamwork and knowledge of the firm.
Where Should You Start?
“Good Content is the Engine of Your Business.” - Cheri Lucking
Begin with answering the questions your customers ask, address their concerns.
- Persuasive, clearly written with attraction marketing copy that is knowledgeable and informative
- Fun to read and easy to understand. Do not use too many abbreviations and industry-specific vernacular words
- Post articles regularly; if your content is interesting your prospects will want more
- Solve the industry questions on your targeted prospects minds
- Professionally edited; The second set of eyes is important. Our editors are Design and Construction Industry experts
- Indexed and Cross-referenced and includes citations and sources
- Proofread; Proofreading is the final check that the content of the article for the post is ready to be published
- SEO’d with powerful meta descriptions and meta keywords
Great persuasive content builds brand exposure promotes your services and creates new business opportunities.
If you need a Ghostwriter to turn your notes into a well-written piece.
“Contact Us to help you bring on the Knowledge Storm.”
Give us a call now: 303-362-0498
5. Like Follow and Share, the Social Media Conundrum
Many professionals we know have been burnt on their website development, SEO, content branding, and social media. Many website designers will sell you on building your website if you provide all the content; they promise to provide SEO, but they do not, there is none. We know, we have been there.
We spent twenty-four thousand dollars ($24,000) on our first website, only to discover it had no SEO! Our professional social media marketing was a joke! Our website was a stagnate beautiful piece of art.
We promise you that whatever we do it will be an all-encompassing design, no bells and whistle’s missing.
Sadly, we have all been misled by the “so-called” web designer that promises to deliver a site that will get you noticed, however, it doesn’t. They haven’t walked you through a comprehensive marketing plan which should include a mix of media that is appropriate.
The following responses come from a recent survey conducted by Marketing Charts (Hubspot, 2018)
“Which digital marketing channel is perceived as most effective?”
The various survey findings revealed a pattern in the top channels working today? They all involve COPYWRITING.
Content Branding Solutions recommends a combination of Email, Website, SEO, and Social Media – LinkedIn specifically, to give you the best possible professional results.
The Design and Construction Industry and its clients are visual and budget driven. So, share your success and knowledge across multiple media outlets where your clients gather with backlinks to your thought leadership articles that are SEO’d to attract your target client to you.
Where Should You Start?
- Premium Content is an asset that works 24/7/365! Why? Because it demonstrates your thought leadership, engages your prospects and lays the foundation for your marketing, business, and sales success.
- Social media is a perfect place to showcase your company’s Thought Leadership articles by leaders of your firm and share content to attract clients to you.
- Push your industry insights and specialized engineering knowledge to potential clients and some other industry peers. Remember your peers compete with you.
- Be the authority on social media channels and increase interest in your company.
Be careful of which social media outlet you use. Don’t get burnt again.
Need or help? Give us a call Now 303-362-0498
Check out How to use social media for your business Link to next article
With great content converts over 56% of potential clients have already made up their mind and been converted before they speak to your local Business developer or contact your Marketing and Sales team.
Content-driven positioning that demonstrates and establishes your firm as experts in the field positions you in the market for success. This content-driven approach to attraction marketing incorporates blogs Thought leadership articles webinars and a content strategy that makes your firms website the definitive source of expertise for your targeted core audience with the goal to convert them to clients.
Make sure you use a Design and Construction expert niche writer to convey your message clearly.
So, what are the best marketing strategies for your engineering practice? This article is just a beginning to help you develop some structure.
The recommendations we listed beginning with Positioning in Market Place to the Social Media Conundrum are all necessary actions for success.
Now what? Do you create all this all by yourself or begin a partnership with a professional marketing company whose expertise is the Design and Construction industry, like us?
Need or help? Give us a call Now 303-362-0498. We’re always ready to answer any questions or provide you with a free estimate, drop us a line!
Hubspot. (2018, Unknown Unknown). The Ultimate List of Marketing Statistics for 2018. Retrieved from Hubspot: https://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics
Janszen, F. P. (2006, May 24). Innovation in the construction industry: the dominant role of the environment. Retrieved from Construction Management and Economics: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/01446199500000006?journalCode=rcme20
Peter Lucking co-CEO - Creative Director
Content Branding Solutions provides world-class websites and Digital marketing for the Design and Construction Industry.
My specialty is creating persuasive attraction marketing promotional copywriting content and graphics that will refresh your brand from Sustainability to Resilient design, improving website presence, and market positioning.
"Let us design, write, edit and illustrate for you. After all, it's our passion.”
Give us a call so we can get to know each other.
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