I'm reading a book on sales process engineering. Sounds kind of exciting, doesn't it?!? There's a ton of info on improving sales and marketing processes, but what caught my thinking is the comparison of Best-in-Class (BIC) programs (see last week's post) to the Pareto principle (80% of outcomes result from 20% of causes OR 80% of sales revenue comes from 20% of a sales and marketing force.)
The link between this "20% of sales and marketing being so productive" is that the top sales and marketing people are usually Best-in-Class in what they do. They get up early and get to work on time (or early) so they can fully utilize the day. They make the amount of calls and meetings they need to (plus more, just in case) and they immediately follow-up on leads and opportunities. They plan and prioritize their time so they're doing the most valuable activities to produce the best outcomes, they constantly measure what they do, and then, they figure out how they can do better. Plus, they continuously study and learn so they can be the best at what they do, whether that is technical excellence, strategies, processes or measurement. And, they produce results!
So, let's split this 20% question into two parts. This week, let's look at BIC marketing and next week's post will attack BD.
What does Best-in-Class AEC marketing look like? An 8-point checklist.
1. It's continuous . . .
BIC marketing continuously communicates with the firm's targeted audiences and contacts, yet its programs ebb and flow based upon cycles. Those cycles: target markets' buying cycles, audience attention cycles, business cycles, and pain and opportunity points.
2. It's consistent . . .
Consistency is credibility – and BIC sales and marketers know this! If you want people to trust you, believe in you, and want to work with you, you must be credible. And, a lot of your credibility comes out of your ability to behave and perform consistently. Go out of character and you bust your brand. Stay in character and they know who they can count on – YOU!
3. It's aligned, integrated. and targeted while using a variety of communications channels . . .
Aligned means that the BD'ers and the marketers are on the same page. They're singing the same song and delivering the same messages. It also means BD and marketing activities are aligned with the firm's brand, mission, vision, goals, and objectives.
Integrated and variety have to do with how people learn about you. Everyone hears and learns through different channels. If my sole choice of communication with you is a megaphone on a major intersection and you don't drive by that intersection, you'll never hear me. So, I need to find other ways for you to hear me.
Targeted means you're focusing on exactly what you want to pursue. The days of mass marketing, shot gunning it or just chasing leads is over. Define your target markets, then define the specific companies/organizations (accounts) that you want to work with along with the individuals you need to know to win work with that account.
Want your audience to hear you? Here are 10 basic components of a BIC AEC marketing communications program (in no particular order) so you can be assured your audience can hear you:
Combine these 10 components with Best-in-Class business development and you'll be on your way to lifting your revenue outcomes!
4. It creates relevant value for the firm . . .
Marketers fall into three to four categories. It's especially important in the AEC industry that your BIC marketers are value creators. That means they operate as business people first, they understand almost all aspects of the AEC industry, they are capable of having a technical conversation with an architect, engineer or CEO with ease, they understand how their marketing activities affect the bottom line, and they are able to develop a program to drive revenue while meeting the firm's vision, mission, goals, and objectives.
5. There is always a goal-based plan to work from that includes . . .
6. It is built upon proven processes, structures, and techniques . . .
BIC marketers have a clear understanding of how marketing strategies and tactics can drive revenue and meet the firm's objectives. Everything they do for revenue is two (maybe three) points away from affecting revenue acquisition. They always work from a plan and make adjustments, when needed. They use automation, whether it's a CRM system, social media monitoring or pre-loading/distributing multiple press releases or email campaigns. A good BIC mantra to follow: "If it doesn't produce results, don't do it."
7. It provides for continuous performance measurement so teams can adjust strategies and tactics accordingly . . .
A BIC team measures in increments because they know each step along the way can impact the outcome. They measure the results of an email campaign and make improvements on the next email. They have a basic understanding of Google Analytics™ and can evaluate website, social media, and other online performance. They can measure pay-per-click performance, search engine optimization results, and click-thru-rates on customized links. They are data collectors and take action on that data!
8. It uses current top-of-the-line photography, relevant content, expert copywriting (no typos or grammatical errors, please!) . . .
Picture this: You're an engineering or architecture firm and your materials have pixelated photos, typos, too many capitalized letters, uneven margins, overfilled pages of copy, and other less-than-optimum graphic practices. How can you expect to convince an audience that, on a project, you will be precise, pay attention to detail, easily convey important information in an understandable format, have standards for how you document your projects, and not make mistakes on their important project? Your marketing directly reflects your professional abilities. H-m-m-m. Food for thought.
So, that's what BIC marketing looks like. What do you think makes a good BIC marketing program? Click on "comments" below to add to the list!
And, watch for next week's Friday Chow post on Best-in-Class business development!
Want more info on how to make your AEC BD and marketing program Best-in-Class? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com