The Future of A/E Marketing

Get Ahead of The Changing Needs of Decision-Makers

Enarche blog
At a glance post overview

At A Glance

Post Overview

  • A beautiful portfolio is no longer enough to remain relevant in today's marketplace. 
  • Your efforts will feel disjointed if you're not looking at the big picture, streamlining your operations, tracking key metrics, and reviewing for needed adjustments.
  • Your marketing efforts must connect to your overall company vision and goals.
  • You're misunderstanding marketing if your team is primarily focused on proposals.

Your designs transform culture, revitalize neighborhoods, and create environments where people can thrive, but does your marketing match this impact?  

After years in this industry, it astonishes me how few people know about the firms within the built environment despite their massive impact on our cities. Why is that? Many Firms struggle to reposition themselves as their founders transition out of leadership. Several use outdated (or misled) marketing and business development approaches, while others have siloed practice, marketing, and business development efforts (often with opposing agendas), making a cohesive brand experience impossible. All these lingering challenges cause growth stints that threaten a firm's future relevance. 

Your firm might be the world's best-kept secret today — but we're on a mission to change that. Building a stronger brand presence that sustains the future of your organization is possible, but it can only happen with the right recipe
Enarche team collaboration

The Missing Ingredients

We live in a world inundated with images, messages, and choices, all heightening the discernment of your potential clients. They aren't choosing firms based solely on familiarity or a beautiful portfolio anymore. Instead, they ask, "Who is the best option to solve my specific challenge?" No matter how notable or expansive your firm is, your target audience won't automatically see you as the solution to their problem unless you spell it out for them. You must explicitly tell them — over and over again — how you will make their lives better. However, many firms lack the key ingredients needed—strategy, operational infrastructure, and true marketing execution—to ensure their story resonates with their potential client.

Clear, Actionable Strategy

Marketing should not be comprised of siloed or disjointed efforts, but without a strategy connecting everything toward a company vision, this is often what happens. A clear, actionable strategy gives all marketing efforts purpose: a holistic way to communicate value and influence the market. Driven by firm objectives, the roadmap guides what, when, and why marketing tactics should be executed. Without this documented, detailed plan, you will continue overlooking crucial opportunities to reach your ideal client and build brand loyalty.

Operational Infrastructure

Successful marketing requires optimized systems, tools, and workflows to get it done. Driven by the company's marketing strategy, marketing operations clarify and streamline the roles and responsibilities of marketing efforts, allowing your firm to prioritize the right things at the right times.  

Operations also help ensure your hard work is moving the needle on company goals through metrics. Metrics are like a compass, telling you if you're headed in the right direction or need to adjust.

True Marketing Execution

Many firms have relegated marketing to mere business development support (i.e., proposal generation), stripping its proper function as a "primer" to the marketplace. As a result, they put their work on display without connecting the dots to their audience's needs. While proposal generation is a critical need within a firm, it is not the foundational role of marketing. 

I can't count how often I've heard well-intentioned leaders say, "The work should speak for itself." Can I let you in on a secret? Every firm thinks it does excellent work, and the reality is most of them do. So why is your portfolio any better? Marketing is a discipline that requires dedicated effort and expertise to ensure your brand stays relevant. As marketers, we create and promote (I.e., one-to-many communications) engaging value-driven stories that illustrate how your firm is different than others in your space.

You're likely not doing true marketing if you:
  • Haven't established your brand identity or voice
  • Don't create content based on your value propositions or positioning statements
  • Aren't regularly promoting your purpose and differentiators through stories
  • Aren't enforcing your brand guide (or have one to outline brand standards)
  • Don't have marketing expertise on your team or as an external partner
  • Aren't leveraging distinguishable press coverage and awards
  • Don't explore new ways to get in front of your audience (before an opportunity has been identified)
  • Don't know what potential clients want to hear or the way they want to hear it

These are just some components of a practical marketing approach required to stand out in a noisy market.

The Power of Three

New levels of brand awareness and firm success lie within the right blend of strategy, operations, and true marketing execution — it takes all three to make an impact. Getting it right takes dedicated expertise, unbiased perspectives, strategic execution, and total firm alignment.  

You don't have to source or solve these complex problems alone. In fact, we've developed the Secret Sauce to make marketing easier and more effective so you can focus on what you do best — shaping the future through design.

Authored by

Dez Joslin

CEO/Managing Director

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