Celebrating marketing excellence

Jul 23, 2023


Zweig Group’s 2023 Marketing Excellence Award winners share the strategies behind their winning campaigns and the impact on their firms’ success.

Across all categories, the winners of Zweig Group’s 2023 Marketing Excellence Awards have created some outstanding marketing campaigns, displaying incredible imagination, creativity, firm-wide involvement, and client involvement. It’s clear that good marketing leads to success in all areas. Here’s what some of this year’s No. 1 winners had to say about their wins.

A conversation with Marketing Excellence Award winners.

The Zweig Letter: How does it feel to have your firm’s marketing campaign recognized as one of the most outstanding and effective in the AEC industry? How does your team feel about this achievement?

Abby Gram, Director of Marketing, ISG, Inc.: Our team is beyond excited to receive four Marketing Excellence Awards this year! Being recognized by Zweig Group is a testament to how effective marketing strategies can win work and contribute to firm profitability. ISG’s unwavering support for and investment in marketing throughout the years has resulted in a robust, award-winning marketing team that continues to innovate as we make tomorrow better than today for our clients, communities, and each other.

TZL: Winning this award is a significant achievement. How do you plan to leverage this recognition and build on your success in future marketing initiatives within the AEC industry?

Doug Rentz, CPSM, Communication & Marketing Director, Garmann Miller: Being recognized as a Marketing Excellence Award winner has enhanced our professional reputation and provided a standard for which to benchmark our future campaigns. Overall, it’s a gratifying feeling to be acknowledged by our peers and experts in the marketing field.

Duncan Robertson, Business Development & Marketing Manager, Tamarack Grove Engineering: Our industry has been constrained over the past few years to hire great people to meet the increased demand of work across the country. When dreaming up this campaign, our firm’s goal was to set ourselves apart from industry competition in how we look, feel, and recruit. At Tamarack Grove, culture is everything. With this campaign, we blended our passion for Idaho with the culture at TGE to create a welcoming environment for anyone looking to join our team. We took it a step further by sending each new hire a personalized gift before their first day to let them know how excited we were for them to be part of the Tamarack Grove family. I believe this will position our firm in the future to be highly competitive when attracting top talent in our field. We want to be known as a firm that works hard and plays hard, and my hope is that this campaign sets us apart from the rest. Thank you for the honor and recognition, Zweig Group!

TZL: What do you think set your award-winning marketing campaign apart from others in terms of innovation and effectiveness? How do you believe it has positively impacted your firm’s reputation and position in the AEC industry?

GinaRenee Autrey, Director of Marketing & Communications, Kleinschmidt Associates: In the realm of the AEC sector, especially within our niche market of hydropower, advertisements tend to revolve around images of dams or dam-related machinery. The accompanying messaging primarily focuses on the advertiser’s proficiency in dam-related operations. However, in 2021, we decided to revolutionize our communication style and the way we spotlight our diverse service areas. Drawing inspiration from the B2C marketing sphere, we chose to think creatively. We developed innovative, eye-catching advertisements that departed from the predictable dam visuals and introduced surprising elements, often completely unrelated to dams. Our aim was to trigger curiosity, incite conversation, and shift paradigms in the industry’s advertising norms – and we succeeded. These advertisements and associated marketing campaigns outperformed our traditional items exponentially. We are excited to see where this path takes us as we move forward.

Kelly Palumbo, Senior Corporate Marketing Manager, LANGAN: Our “Serving a Purpose” campaign was different than any other marketing campaign we’ve done. It focused on the end-use of our projects and the contributions to the local communities and residents, rather than being purely focused on our firm and the consulting services we provide. Going “outside the box” for this campaign ended up being hugely successful and inspires us to continue to push the envelope on our marketing campaigns. “Serving a Purpose” incorporated interviews with our project managers and a variety of visual elements – from ground and aerial footage depicting both completed and in-progress construction, to shots of our project managers in action and illustrative motion graphics. The inspiring and feel-good stories of these projects, ranging from healthcare, education and parks to affordable housing and community centers, were well-received by our employees, clients, and industry contacts. Rather than focusing solely on the “how,” this campaign put the spotlight on the “why” of what Langan does.

Jodi Hausenfluke, Halff Vice President, Director of PR & Communications, Halff: Halff’s brand refresh was positioned around our authentic people-first way of life – from our friendlier logo to our website featuring more than 200 of our employees and our video showing people enjoying Halff-designed projects. It all points to Halff being purposed for improving the lives of our employees, our clients and our communities; it demonstrates that we care about what they care about. The brand is rounded out with a modern, distinct visual identity that is attention-grabbing and speaks to being forward-thinking and innovative.

Michele Ouimet, CPSM, Senior Director of Marketing, Colliers Engineering & Design: Our Accelerating Women Campaign showcased our female leaders during Women’s History Month. Highlighting our strong female professionals drew attention to the value we hold for diversity and advancement. This had a positive effect on recruitment and overall health of the company. Our campaign used several marketing channels including ads, video, social media, a panel discussion, and several blogs. In addition, this was a unique campaign because our marketing team collaborated with several employee resource groups within the firm including our employee experience group and our DEI group. 

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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.