Here we are again, in the annual Hollywood awards season. Golden Globes™, People's Choice™, and so on. It got me thinking about AEC industry awards and their value to a firm.
Last year, did your firm miss the part where they say, "And, the award goes to . . . .?" I used to miss it. Awards were just another marketing thing to do, and, sometimes, they took up an incredible amount of time and resources! But, today's competitive environment is different. The fact is that it requires a boatload of marketing and business development pieces to make your firm an effective competitor in today's game.
So, are AEC industry awards worth it? How about those for the Society for Marketing Professional Services, the American Council of Engineering Companies, the American Institute of Architects, the Association of General Contractors, and so on. Should we enter? Should we not? How much does it cost? Are they really worth it?
Yes, they are worth it!
Setting aside egos, winning an award goes a LONG way as part of your business development and marketing program! And, I mean for years to come.
It positions your firm as a player in the industry. Some firms sit on the sidelines, doing great projects, but not promoting their firm through the highly credible communications and publicity channels of award programs. They are missing an opportunity to shout their greatness to their audiences with a credible third-party reference on how superior that firm's work is.
Your firm gets to use that award for years in your brochures, proposals, on your website, in conversations, and so on. It's a stamp of approval from your industry and provides tremendous credibility to the quality of your firm. It says, "We are that much more than our competitors!"
It helps you to build your digital footprint. Part of your marketing objective is to build your online digital footprint so your firm is more easily findable by prospects searching online. To do that you have to get a lot of the right words out and onto the Internet that will connect your firm to the online searcher. An award is a solid opportunity to build that digital footprint and connect your firm to the industry for those prospects via digital press releases, announcements on the organization's website, your website, in social media, etc.
Publicity and public relations are more important than ever in today's competitive environment. Again, it's that stamp of approval that says, "We're cream-of-the-crop." When your firm is touted as a leader and winner through multiple communication channels, it racks up credibility points in your prospects' eyes.
It supports your firm's pursuit in your targeted markets. Few firms win a project without being pre-positioned for that project and pre-positioning takes more than a few visits by a BD'er once the RFP comes out. You have to already own a winning position in your prospect's mind in order to get to the table and compete effectively. It's not all about the quantity of proposals you submit and win. If you want to win big, it's all about pre-positioning your firm in your target markets and with targeted prospects and grabbing that winning position in your prospect's mind!
On the ego side, let's be realistic: Most individuals are a little envious when someone else wins an award. Did we enter? Were we willing to take a risk? Were we in the game? Or, did we choose to snooze on the sidelines and watch other professional firms take home the big kudos?
Get in the game! Take the time for the award-winning challenge of promoting your firm in 2016!
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Friday Chow is posted weekly, or thereabouts, to provide you with insights and considerations for AEC sales and marketing. Good stuff to feed your revenue engine!
When you're ready to improve your business development, marketing, and client relations programs, contact Red Hound Studios at firstname.lastname@example.org