Things are changing ...

Oct 30, 2015

From the early responses to Zweig Group’s 2015 Marketing Survey, we can already see differences from last year, but there’s still time to have your data included.

A lot has changed in marketing approaches, budgets, and attitudes in the past couple of years, even in the A/E/P and environmental consulting industry. Zweig Group’s 2015 Marketing Survey is still open for participation, so any recent statistics presented in this article are very much subject to change as more people give us their input. The following is an interesting preview of things to come and a look back at our quickly changing industry.
  • Most firms in the industry will already be thinking about or working on their 2016 marketing plan. Both the 2014 Marketing Survey and the most recent statistics indicate that firms in the A/E/P and environmental industry most often create their plans at least three months in advance of its use.In the previous version of Zweig Group’s Marketing Survey, the vast majority of firms reported creating a formal marketing plan. Though more than 80 percent of respondents to this year’s survey report creating a marketing plan, one respondent stated, “Not having a formal marketing plan or budget is disappointing. I think people want to see concrete evidence of what’s working.”Indeed, staff today are more marketing savvy than ever, and younger staff members in particular want to know what is bringing in results and what marketing investments are being made by the firm they work for.
  • The most common element firms include in their plans is a firm-wide marketing budget, with 44 percent of firms reporting this. In this year’s survey, already more than half of all firms have this element on their marketing budget. In 2014, 43 percent of firms said they planned to increase their marketing budget over the next year, but the overall predicted change in spending was a measly 1 percent increase. In 2015, so far, expected increases were reported by 50 percent of all firms in amounts ranging from 2-25 percent.
  • In 2014, personal selling and relationship building was the most successful marketing strategy. So far in 2015, most firms are reporting a combination of website, social media, and relationship building as their most successful tactics. Firms are reporting spending an average of 7.3 hours a week on social media, most often to stay in touch with clients and get insights into their needs. In the 2014 version of the Marketing Survey, nearly one-quarter of respondents said they were unsure if their clients were even using social media.
  • Marketing, research, and marketing insights are driving the industry. In 2014, just over half of marketing directors participated in the business planning process. So far, 88 percent of firms say their marketing director participates in the business planning process. Last year, close to one-third of firms reported they conducted market research to learn more about the market and clients or potential clients and about an equal amount used research for strategic decisions. This year, so far these numbers have nearly doubled.
Please remember this survey is still open, so many of these numbers may change. If you’re interested in contributing your views to the 2015 Marketing Survey, go to Survey participants get a 65 percent off coupon code that can be used on the full-price of any Zweig Group survey. Download a more extensive report on this data here:
Click here to get the report
CHRISTINA ZWEIG is a Zweig Group marketing and management consultant. Contact her at marketinginfo3

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.