Due to tremendous competition, to get more clients and recognition, marketing strategies are of utmost importance for an architectural practice. To sustain and grow your business, it is essential to figure out your target clients and how to make them aware of the services you offer. Without marketing, there is no possibility of your business taking off. Larger firms usually hire online marketing agencies and specialists to do the same. However, smaller firms and new startups seldom have the budget to do so and resort to marketing their services themselves. Here are some of the most common and repeated mistakes that architects make while marketing their services.
1. Relying solely on Instagram to be your Marketing Platform
While social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook are great means to showcase your work, they shouldn’t be your only marketing tool or platform. Visually attractive posts with informative captions and trending hashtags certainly attract more likes and reach many users, it is essential to realise that these likes don’t get translated to the same number of clients approaching you for their services.
Social Media should be one of your marketing strategies, and that too should be used very carefully, smartly and meticulously. Understanding where your target audience spends their time and how to appeal to them is a good strategy to adopt.
2. Selectively targeting Clients who are ready to order immediately
A common mistake made by many architects while marketing is that they fail to target a wide spectrum of audiences. Most of the time, they focus all their marketing strategies on clients that are looking to hire specialists and architectural services for their projects right away. This group only makes up about 3% of the market. The rest is made up of potential clients who don’t need any services right away but may do so in the near future.
By appealing to this large segment as well, connections can be established with possible clients who will remember the services offered in the future when the need arises. These connections can be established by networking through email marketing, blogging, social media marketing and marketing at gatherings, competitions and exhibitions. In this way, when these clients require architectural services, they will be familiar with and trust the brand.
3. Poorly Designed Website
In every design field, a designer/firm must have a well-designed, user-friendly and informative website. While looking for architectural services online, the company website is the first thing that clients look for. It is also one of the first search results that pop up. A website acts as a company’s identity and face on the internet.
Apart from being visually appealing and aesthetic, a website should also convey all necessary information – projects, competitions, awards, contacts and information about the firm.
4. Marketing via Magazine and Website Publications
Most of the time, the only other people reading and going through these magazines and websites are other architects. Hence, marketing through these means does not help reach your target client group. Digital marketing is the most efficient in today’s time.
5. Blending in with the rest
Why should a client choose you over other firms? All architectural services are qualified and experienced in doing the basics. Stating what distinguishes you from your competitors – even if it is a tiny detail that completely changes the ordinary – attracts clients and makes them lean towards hiring you. Express your uniqueness in every post, website and whenever you are pitching an idea to a client.
6. Defining the Company’s Scope of Services as too wide
When marketing, most firms define their company’s specialisations and services too wide. While this may seem like a good idea to get a lot of clients interested, more often than not, prospective clients might doubt the quality of the firm’s work. This, in turn, won’t help the firm in the long run.
Strategically, it is smarter to highlight a few key aspects your firm will be able to deliver to your clients. These key areas must be the ones in which the firm is the most experienced – Residential apartments, Townships, Institutional buildings, landscaping projects, etc.
7. Failing to convey your unique Value Proposition clearly
Clients have a challenge, and it is your role to demonstrate why your solution is better. To put it differently, you need to help your clients realize how distressing their problem is before presenting them with a well-crafted solution. Clients may not feel tempted to call you if you are unable to effectively communicate your unique value proposition.
Are your marketing pitches and your strategies helping prospective clients realise why they need to hire your services? Are you able to articulate why people should choose you over your competitors? In a short, understand how your customers think and then create a message that is succinct, engaging, and distinctive.
8. Relying too much on Word-of-Mouth
In the digital age, it is important to make maximum use of all available digital mediums. Marketing via Word-of-Mouth is very important. However, in crises (like the Covid-19 pandemic), digital marketing ensures that your firm is protected because you can be certain that new clients are flowing in regularly.
- “Architecture Marketing Strategy: 6 Common Pitfalls to Avoid.” Blog | Cgiflythrough.com, 6 Jan. 2020, cgiflythrough.com/blog/architecture-marketing-strategy-6-mistakes/. Accessed 23 Feb. 2022.
- Boshoff, Hendrik. “Most Small Architecture Firms or Design Firms Don’t Have the Types of Budgets and Resources to Dedicate To …” Linkedin.com, LinkedIn, 29 Mar. 2021, www.linkedin.com/pulse/top-10-marketing-mistakes-architects-making-2021-hendrik-boshoff. Accessed 22 Feb. 2022.
- Nigara, LuAnn. “The Top 3 Marketing Mistakes Interior Designers Make.” Architectural Digest, Architectural Digest, 11 Aug. 2021, www.architecturaldigest.com/story/the-top-3-marketing-mistakes-interior-designers-make. Accessed 25 Feb. 2022.