Companies in the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) sectors are not known for being innovative when it comes to marketing. Their traditional approaches to marketing usually fail to take modern realities into account. One such reality is that modern consumers are more sophisticated than ever before.
They have access to the internet where they can research on any company or topic before making the decision to buy or hire. To market to this group, AEC companies need to take note of the following marketing trends that should redefine this sector in 2017.
1) The Rise of Web-Based Seminars (Webinars)
Webinars, or seminars conducted over the internet, have never been more popular than they are today. In fact, according to a 2016 Engineering.com report on industrial marketing trends, 67 percent of industrial marketers said they planned on conducting one in 2016. In similar reports released by the site in 2014 and 2015, the percentages were 60 percent and 63 percent respectively.
The report further revealed that 76 percent of engineers plan to attend a webinar this year. It also recommended the right time to host a webinar. Close to half of the respondents said they preferred to host one at about noon. They found lunchtime to be a welcome break from work and a perfect time for a webinar. Another 40 percent preferred hosting one between 10 am and 11 am when they were still fresh.
2) More Funding for Marketing Campaigns
Businesses have recognised the value of content marketing in increasing sales. As a result, they are granting marketers larger budgets to build better leads and drive site traffic. The Engineering.com report also surveyed industrial marketers on funding. It discovered that half of them had the same marketing budget in both 2015 and 2016.
However, 38 percent of them worked with larger budgets in 2016. They said the extra funding was for making videos, conducting webinars, producing content, and attending trade shows. More have also dabbled in search engine optimisation and hired the services of companies like ClickIntelligence.com to improve their visibility in the search engines. When asked about the role of marketing, 68 percent of respondents said it is becoming more relevant to sales. On the other hand, 30 percent thought it was relevant not only to sales but also to the whole business in general.
3) The Resilience of Email Marketing
Email marketing has been around for as long as the internet has been in existence. And if the revelations of the Engineering.com report are anything to go by, this form of marketing is not going away anytime soon. It reports that 89 percent of industrial engineering executives still read e-newsletters. Of this group, 36 percent only open newsletters with intriguing titles. About thirty percent open all marketing emails but only scan through them for content. Finally, one in four read every marketing email they get.
Industrial engineering marketers, on the other hand, reported spending a significant part of their marketing budgets on email campaigns. Close to sixty percent of them reported spending up to 10 percent of their budget on emails. This is up from 45.2 percent a year before. If marketers can spend so much time on emails, so can clients. Email marketing is, therefore, still an area for marketers to invest in.
Although the AEC sector lags behind in marketing innovation, it can still up its game by taking the following trends into consideration. One is channelling more funds to marketing campaigns. In 2016, only 38 percent of marketers had larger budgets than in the year before. Underfunding limits a marketer’s capability of reaching out to potential clients. Another is the use of email marketing. Though considered to be an old form of marketing by many people, emails are still effective. Finally, AEC companies should use the internet to conduct seminars with clients and professionals in the industry.