MARKETING & COMMUNICATION IN A DIGITAL WORLD: THAT’S WHY YOU CAN NO LONGER DO WITHOUT!
Marketing is an activity that aims to promote, advertise and sell the company’s products and services. PR is a marketing tool for communication. PR is about building a relationship between the company and the general public in order to be mutually beneficial. So we can simplify by saying that marketing generally refers to sales and PR to the company’s reputation.
Architects, even the smallest practices, should take advantage of the new opportunities offered by marketing, especially in digital channels, in order to grow and develop.
Today everyone has a website for his business, it is a very useful tool, but you have to know how to use it!
Many websites have few visitors and consequently few contacts: why? They are too generalist! The user visiting the website wants to receive precise information and be sure that you are a specialist. Specialization is a keyword for the organization of your website and communication strategy in general: highlight the feature that makes you stand out within your industry and the competitors!
For example, you can be specialized in the design of public spaces or social gathering places or educational environments...find your strength and show it!
What is the goal of communication? The answers can be different, but mainly you want to communicate to build a good reputation, make your brand known and get new contacts and relationships. After deciding the goal, you have to define the content of the communication! The fundamental thing is to express to the public it’s your value proposition, that is the offered product/service and other tangible and intangible elements that surround it: focus on these additional elements that allow you to distinguish and emerge from competitors.
An interesting aspect is that you have to promote your skill set as an architect and your personal qualities. It’s yourself who the potential clients will be working with, so they want to know what kind of person you are: don’t be afraid to show this through your marketing material because this is a great opportunity to make them feel confident about you.
Another fundamental aspect is to stay visible! You can succeed through social medias, powerful communicative tools which if used properly are very effective to achieve your results. Emerging in the jungle of social networks can be complicated, so you need to create your own style of communication that reflects the values of the company and the characteristics of its team.
This means that it’s not enough publishing beautiful images of your completed works. If you want to engage new people you have to share emotions and create a positive reputation. For example, you should post contents that focus on the process that leads to the final results, or the philosophy in which your practice believes. Another tactic you can adopt is showing your potential clients they can trust you by sharing testimonials of your previous successful projects. You can also describe challenges you met during the process of a project and explain how you respond to it providing an excellent solution.
For example, the Covid-19 pandemic and a new concept of social distancing can change the perspective of architecture by the need of projecting in a new way public spaces and buildings. Your practice can start thinking about that and communicate its innovative ideas to gain a positive reputation.
Photo by Victor He on Unsplash
To conclude, even if you are a small team of architects, the most important thing is to think like a brand.
That means understanding that everything you do and communicate externally helps to shape the image that others have of you.
Your brand represents your values and standards that you will have to be good at maintaining and not betraying so that your marketing is really effective.
Source: Presentation: RIBA Practice Clinic - PR & Marketing: Promoting your business in a digital world
Images’ source: https://unsplash.com/ - Google images labelled for the reuse