The AEC industry in particular struggles with this as the significant resources required to keep info accurate are in a constant battle with what are perceived as the more important functions like responding to RFQ/RFP’s, constant tweaking of the general brochure and other special projects that apparently anybody in the organization can assign. Here is the big problem…those things are NOT more important. Most firms are spending tremendous resources on marketing activities that make a short-term impact while ignoring the critical activities that affect the firm long-term.
The client database is one such example. We will define dead contacts as those who:
Have not responded to any marketing or engaged with your firm in the past 3 years
People that have left the market(s) you target
People that are actually deceased.
If you are sending actual mail such as direct mail to dead contacts, you are wasting precious dollars. If you are sending emails to dead contacts, you are increasing the risk of getting your domain blocked by ISPs and/or servers. Those are the basic consequences. The more damaging consequences are what it tells your clients about your organization in a business where we all recognize the important of a relationship. The most obvious is that it screams “We don’t really know you!”. No AEC firm would say it is ok to send 25 copies of their newsletter to the City Hall of their best client when 10 of those that they are addressed to are no longer with the city OR to send a newsletter to the home address of a client that died 3 years ago, continually torturing the family. However, the priorities and resources that AEC firms assign to their client database do suggest they are ok with doing these things.
Stop torturing your clients, dead or alive. Get control over your marketing program and focus on getting to know your clients and proving it with every action. Spend the time and money necessary on your CRM to keep dead clients out and good clients in. This is a critical investment that actually has a monetary value. Read more here: YOUR CLIENT DATABASE – ONE OF YOUR MOST VALUABLE YET NEGLECTED ASSET
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.
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