My firm and another firm were in hot competition for a prestigious commission. Both of our business developers and project leaders did the requisite relationship building prior to the RFP being issued. Both firms were shortlisted, we both interviewed, and after the interview, the client contacts simply could not decide between the two firms because both of us did so exceptionally well. So, they kicked the decision upstairs to their new boss who had only joined the client company two weeks before. He reviewed the proposals, got the interview downloads and affirmed to his colleagues that he could see why they were stymied. So, how did he decide? He said the following:
“Well, they’re both great, but I’ve heard of firm A and I haven’t heard of firm B, so let’s go with firm A.”
This is why keeping your firm in the front of the popular consciousness is so important. Major AEC projects are high risk/high reward endeavors for our client contacts that can make or break their reputations within their own organizations. If a Director of Facilities hires a firm even his boss has heard of and at some point the project goes south there may be a lot of ways to assign blame and targets at which to aim it. Yet no one is going to blame that Director of Facilities for having chosen the wrong service provider.
The better known and better regarded we are among our client’s bosses, the more likely we are to be a safe and sensible choice as a service provider. This is why we get published, why we focus on PR, why Marketing professionals care about the quality of service we provide our clients, and why we present and exhibit at conferences. In other words, this is why the marketing communications part of marketing matters.