Engineering Inc. - January/February 2015 - (Page 28)

Spotlight on IT Made to By Bob Violino Market M arketing is changing faster than ever. With the advent of the "digital enterprise," engineering firms play an increasingly prominent role in the customer journey, from shopping for potential project suitors to that allimportant contract pitch. Today, the most successful firms are leveraging technology to engage clients in new and different ways. At the heart of these evolving marketing efforts is the integration of custom software designed to support effective services delivery, improve efficiencies and maximize profits. "There is little substitute, in the end, for a face-to-face relationship in engineering services, but there are now more channels than ever to start these relationships and to track their development," says Hermione Crease, who heads the marketing department at Business of Software, which produces corporate events and resources to teach business representatives the value of using effective software applications. 28 ENGINEERING INC. jaNuaRy / fEbRuaRy 2015 Tools of the Trade It's not just that firms are using software to coordinate marketing efforts-that's been happening in different ways for years-it's that new and different features are making many of these resources more effective. "Social media, inbound marketing, analytics and other digital resources give a rich new range of tools to differentiate yourself from the competition," Crease says. Given how competitive the market is today, engineering and design firms can use all the resources they can get. "Engineering firms must stay visible to current and prospective clients, because they are no longer the only firm referred," says Wendy Nemitz, founding principal of Ingenuity Marketing Group, which consults with engineering and other firms on growth, branding, websites, content and other strategies to support firm reputation, recruitment and succession. "Prospects receive two or three referrals and then will qualify their short list by searching for the firm online and comparing those firms side by side," Nemitz says. "To get beyond commoditized pricing and proposal purgatory, firms need to demonstrate online as well as in person that they are the go-to firm/specialist for the client's industry, thereby shortening the sales cycle." Marketers own the firm's reputation in the eyes of prospects and customers from that first online impression to post-project communications, Nemitz says. "They need to develop competitive messaging that focuses on how the firm is different from the competition and why they deliver those services better than anyone else. This must shine through online as well as in their faceto-face networking and client work." Marketing software helps marketers plan, create and track specific campaigns, Nemitz adds. "It's very easy, for example, to get Randy Lyhus Innovative marketing communication tools help engineering firms amplify their advantage with potential clients

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Engineering Inc. - January/February 2015

Engineering Inc. - January/February 2015
From Acec to You
Legislative Action
Market Watch
The Business Case for Diversity
Closing the Gender Gap
Market Stability Keeping Pli Prices Low
2015 Legislative Scorecard
Made to Market
2014 Fall Conference Highlights
2015 Annual Convention Preview
Risk Management
Business Insights
Members in the News
Mergers and Acquisitions

Engineering Inc. - January/February 2015