Are you in a marketing rut?

Sep 20, 2016

Postcard-MockUp_3Take a good hard look at your firm and what it’s saying to the world. If things appear stale, it’s because they are. Fix it or lose out. Here are ten signs it’s time to make a change:
  1. Your marketing plan has been updated every year, but almost nothing has changed since 2007.
  2. Your social media strategy consists of the following:
    • Your boss routinely asks you how many Facebook followers the company page has and each new one is celebrated.
    • You haven’t had the time or inspiration to post anything on Twitter in a couple months, but it’s on the schedule for next week.
    • The most exciting thing on your Facebook is a picture of the company BBQ from the 4th of July – it even has a picture of Kathy from accounting eating some ribs that Bob made.
  3. Your firm’s president still thinks SEO is “one of those useless trendy marketing acronyms.”
  4. You only have one target audience and it’s mostly repeat clients.
  5. You’re very excited to start designing the firm’s Christmas card – in June!
  6. All of your press releases focus on new hires, except one from that time three years ago when a bridge project you were affiliated with was finally finished after 10 months of delays.
  7. You’ve been planning a website update for the past three years, but no one from the management team can decide if your firm’s name should be changed to a five letter acronym or keep all the last names of the founding partners in full.
  8. The professional photographer you used to take pictures of projects for your brochure has since retired and now lives in Pensacola.
  9. All of your graphic design work is done in MS Paint.
  10. Your prospective client list still contains the names from a tradeshow you attended in 2008.
If things are going well for you, and they probably are, you might be feeling that a shake-up or change would be unwise. But if you’re guilty of one or more of the above, it might be time to reevaluate your marketing plan, budget and staff. Change, invest, and re-invigorate yourself before it’s too late. If you’re like much of the industry, 70 percent or more of your work comes from repeat clients. It’s a precarious position to be in. Would you like to ride your current wave of prosperity until you crash on the shore during the next market downturn? New firms are entering the market every day and old firms are finding new ways to innovate and market themselves. Don’t sit still and get comfortable with the same marketing methods and the same clients. It’s a matter of when, not if, you will get beaten by the competition. Want some help? Contact me, or check out our upcoming A/E/C Business Development Training | Becoming a Better Seller Seminar November 10 in Atlanta, GA. We also have the 2016 Marketing Survey of A/E/P and environmental consulting firms. 1446739392-Msurveycover_web A Guide To and Samples of Press Releases

Christina Zweig is Zweig Group's director of research and marketing. Contact her at

This article is from issue 1165 of The Zweig Letter. Interested in more management advice every week from Mark Zweig, the Zweig Group team, and a talented list of other guest writers? Click here to subscribe or get a free trial of The Zweig Letter.

About Zweig Group

Zweig Group, three times on the Inc. 500/5000 list, is the industry leader and premiere authority in AEC firm management and marketing, the go-to source for data and research, and the leading provider of customized learning and training. Zweig Group exists to help AEC firms succeed in a complicated and challenging marketplace through services that include: Mergers & Acquisitions, Strategic Planning, Valuation, Executive Search, Board of Director Services, Ownership Transition, Marketing & Branding, and Business Development Training. The firm has offices in Dallas and Fayetteville, Arkansas.