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Editor's Note: Marketing done right.

October 2, 2003
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Like many surveying and engineering firms, yours may send out press releases as part of its marketing efforts. And, although press releases are great ways to increase the exposure of a company, promotion efforts can’t stop there; you must go beyond the press release.

Aside from press releases that recipients often toss or put aside, there are many other strategies—and I mean strategies—that a company can implement to benefit its marketing efforts. You’ll see custom written advertorial pieces in this issue starting on page 40. The companies included in our annual Editorial Spotlight have selected specific topics to promote their assets, including new offerings of technology to increase your efficiency, company announcements to improve the ways they serve you, and background information to illustrate how they’ve progressed over the years.

These editorial pieces are great examples of strong marketing power. What other ways can a company promote its advantages? Following are just three of many tips, all of which I support as a previous public relations director and as POB’s editor:

  • Invite the media to a project site. First-hand experience is the best way for an outsider to understand what you do. You’re already doing the work… why not get some possible free publicity for it, too?
  • Create a dialog with local government officials. Keeping officials in your locale informed allows them to better serve you—and the community.
  • Solicit customer testimonials, like some of the Editorial Spotlights in this issue do. If you’re good at what you do, your customers will let you know. Use that. If you receive positive feedback from clients for your company’s services, don’t hesitate to ask them if you can use their experience for marketing purposes. Get their permission to use their words and write it down for them. The little bit of time you take will pay off.

So now we know a few ways to promote your company. But do we know why they are important? Well, you’re in business to make money, and although you may be busier than ever—or at least have enough business to pay the bills—is the work you’re doing profitable? Or are you accepting jobs just to keep busy? If you’re doing the latter, then stop. And start marketing. Done right, you should find yourself being able to accept only the most profitable jobs.

When conducting any marketing whatsoever, remember one thing: marketing is about the customer. Give your clients—old and new—the reasons they need to choose you. Why should they work with you and not your competitor? All clients—including yours—have the right to assume that you’ll provide quality work on time and at a good price. That’s fine and dandy, but you need to be distinctive. Separate your firm from the rest—and market it. Remember that your strengths aren’t the only reasons for good business; it’s whether those strengths are what your customers need.

It does take time and at least a little money for quality marketing efforts. But, in the long run, good marketing pays off—in more ways than one.

To contact the editor, sned an E-mail to brownl@bnp.com.

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