Standout marketing

Jul 31, 2022

Zweig Group’s 2022 Marketing Excellence Award Winners have created some outstanding marketing campaigns, displaying incredible imagination and creativity.

Across all categories, the winners of Zweig Group’s 2022 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, but prioritizing this important business activity has become more difficult in the current economic climate and job market.

Let’s take a look at recent data gathered from the 2022 Marketing Excellence Award Winners as well as some of Zweig Group’s other recent research.

Analyzing the results metrics for the 2022 Marketing Excellence Award winners, the impacts of impressive marketing far outspan increases in leads or projects won, they also pay off in the form of increased growth and financial success, positive culture, and ultimately improved recruitment and retention metrics. Sixty-four percent of Zweig Group’s 2022 Marketing Excellence Award winners were also Hot Firms. All of the Marketing Excellence Award winners categorized themselves as fast or slow growth, with 52 percent experiencing fast growth (average annual growth of 20 percent or more) and the rest of the group displaying positive annual growth under 20 percent.

Successful firms are continuing to make wise investments in marketing and marketing staff – shown by staffing numbers, financial performance KPIs, and an increase in salaries for marketing staff in the first two quarters of 2022. Seventy-six percent of Marketing Excellence Award Winners said they planned to increase spending on marketing, and 16 percent said they planned for marketing spending to stay the same as the previous year. For those increasing their spending, they planned to increase by an average of 10 percent. Marketing staff labor has historically been the largest category of marketing spending and budgeting for AEC firms.

Overall Zweig Group industry research has found that 93 percent of AEC firms budgeted for staff pay increases this year, with 79 percent stating they budgeted more than previous years, projecting an average of 6.1 percent pay increase over the course of the year. For firms that prioritize growth, one successful strategy is to invest in marketing – often this means retaining marketing and BD staff who are familiar with the firm, the brand, and work processes, and continuing to grow and adequately staff marketing departments as the overall firm size grows.

Looking at the 2022 Mid-Year Salary Update Report, annual base salaries for marketing roles experienced an average of 7 percent increase from 2021 until now. Marketing director salaries increased by an average of 14 percent to hit $121,000 and salaries for business development representatives increased by 12 percent to hit an average of $120,000. Eighty-four percent of 2022 Marketing Excellence Award winning firms had a marketing director, compared with only 59 percent of all respondents to the 2021 Marketing Survey.

Marketing spending and staffing isn’t effective without a plan. All (100 percent) of 2022 Marketing Excellence Award winning firms had a marketing plan, while just 74 percent of respondents to the 2021 Marketing Report had a marketing plan.

Click here for more information on Zweig Group’s Marketing Excellence Award Winners and the Marketing Excellence Awards program.

To participate in the 2022 Marketing Report of AEC Firms and get 50 percent off any report, click here.

The salary data shown in this article is from the 2022 Mid-Year Update Salary Report of AEC Firms. This report shows base salaries for employees in architecture, engineering, and construction firms across the U.S. This 2022 Mid-Year Update Salary Report of AEC Firms presents data from 163 surveyed firms within the AEC industry and was collected between January and June of 2022. 

Christina Zweig Niehues is Zweig Group’s director of research and e-commerce. She can be reached at

2022 ElevateAEC Conference & Awards Gala Registration is open for the annual in-person conference in Las Vegas, September 14-16. Celebrate the iconic black-tie awards gala 2022 winners of the Hot Firm list, Best Firms To Work For, Marketing Excellence, Rising Stars, Top New Ventures and the Jerry Allen Courage In Leadership Awards. Register now for the AEC industry’s top in-person learning and networking event of the year!

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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.