Beyond reactive

Jan 21, 2024

Proactive marketing anticipates industry trends, leveraging research, analytics, and simultaneous use of multiple tools for an impactful and budget-optimized campaign.

Like most AEC firms, the lifeblood of Pennoni’s success is based on relationships. Our pillars of honesty, integrity, and service drive and maintain the success of those relationships. Providing exceptional service is and always will be at the forefront of project delivery and client service.

And just like many other firms, seller-doers invest significant time and effort into building and maintaining relationships. This often involves a variety of sales and marketing efforts including meetings, networking, and entertaining clients. And when successful, there is often a follow-up approach employed – sending SOQs, marketing collateral, or submitting proposals. All of this is very reactive and that’s OK. But what about the proactive approach that we often leave out?

For example, say someone wants to market our capabilities to solar developers. I’m asked to provide some qualifications related to our experience. Easy enough. They then immediately start to reach out to existing contacts to drum up business. But what about the relationships that don’t exist, yet? People are busy and these things take time.

This is where the marketing team can support and be proactive in your marketing strategy.

Proactive marketing uses market research and analytics to identify a marketing strategy before the launch of a campaign. Instead of responding to an industry trend or competitor’s actions, proactive marketing allows you to anticipate future needs and changes in your target audience. A marketing campaign is like a wheel on a bicycle, it has multiple spokes, all coming from the same hub. It is not as simple as creating a standalone video, website, collateral, PR, social media, or email blasts. All these tools need to be used simultaneously while planning and strategizing your campaign. Creating engaging content and staying ahead of the curve allows you to set your campaign up for the highest success rate and get the most out of your budget.

Develop a marketing plan. Establish goals. Lean on technology as an extension of your team. At the end of the day, the firms that remain agile with their marketing strategies will stand out from the competition and optimize their marketing budgets.

Robert McGee, associate vice president and director of marketing and corporate communications at Pennoni, is a seasoned marketing professional with more than 15 years of experience in marketing and communications.

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.