Developing an effective marketing strategy is vital to attract more clients for an architecture firm. But oftentimes it’s easier said than done. The thing is that architectural business is quite a specific field. The architects usually establish links within their professional network and suppose that a good name speaks for itself. However, although the word-to-mouth approach is time-tested and effective, nowadays there are a lot more methods to win new clients through marketing for architectural firms.
In case the architects overlook modern ways of winning the market, they miss a lot of opportunities to get exposed to a wider audience that requires their service. And when the specialists realize that and decide to elaborate on a marketing strategy for their firm, they tend to make mistakes sometimes. Which can lead to losing time, money, and potential clients. Thus, we decided to facilitate the challenge and gathered 6 typical mistakes to avoid when developing an architecture marketing strategy. Let’s check them out.
#1. Targeting only those customers who are ready to order right away
A typical mistake when developing an architecture marketing strategy is addressing only those potential clients who are already interested in architectural services and are ready to hire a specialist. The issue is that this segment makes only about 3% of all the target audience.
The rest of the potential customers of the firm are the people who didn’t choose specific services yet or even don’t realize that they need any. But they might come to this decision in the future, and an efficient architecture marketing strategy allows for establishing a connection with these prospects before that. This way, by the time these customers need architectural services, they will know about the brand and trust it. Which will make them more likely to choose this architecture bureau among others. This is why building a relationship with a wide audience is crucial.
But how to do that? The answer is to share valuable content that educates, inspires and keeps the interest of potential customers. For this, architecture specialists should use e-mail marketing, blogging, and SMM. These means allow for setting up a connection with the audience that is not ready to order architectural services now but will probably do so in the future.
#2. Being too private and low-profile
To win the attention and loyalty of the prospects, the architects need to establish personal connections with them. For this, the audience needs to communicate directly with an architect. They should see the professionals in person, hear their ideas and opinions, know how they work.
To get closer to prospects, architects should take benefits from public speaking. It is possible to reach out to lots of interested listeners while making speeches at thematic events. These can be online and offline meetings where the architecture specialists can communicate with people, share ideas and answer questions. Conferences, trade shows, workshops, webinars — there’s a wide range to choose from.
Apart from taking part in events, it’s important to keep in touch with potential clients daily too. For this, architecture companies should use SMM. Social media platforms are perfect for sharing content on the inner workings of the firm. Architecture bureaus can show their working process by posting photos and videos, stories, live streaming from an office or a construction site. This way, they can demonstrate their followers the parts of the workflow that are usually hidden from the public eye. Which is a powerful tool to use in an architecture marketing strategy, as it helps build trust with the prospects.
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Video is an ultra-effective tool for marketing strategies. Which is proved beyond doubt by the statistics. As Hubspot informs, 85% of businesses already make use of videos, and 92% of marketers consider it an essential pillar of an advertising campaign.
Therefore, ignoring this tool when developing an architecture marketing strategy is highly disadvantageous. But architectural companies can have hard times creating lots of quality video content for marketing purposes. The issue is that often many projects of the firm are not finishedyet, the construction works on other ones have not even started, and most of the completed objects are under NDA. So, in this scenario, there is almost nothing to shoot.
The solution to this problem is contracting a 3D animation studio. Skilled 3D artists can make a high-quality digital video that shows the future looks of the building that exists only on drawings at the moment. For getting such a CG movie, an architect only needs to fill the design brief and send it to a 3D visualization company. Then, 3D artists will create a photorealistic animation demonstrating the future result of the project in motion and life-like quality. Which will work perfectly for a marketing campaign.
#4. Ignoring technological innovations
The modern technologies, such as 3D visualization, AR, and VR, allow architects to impress their customers like never before. In terms of architecture marketing strategy, this opens totally new horizons. That’s why it’s reasonable to take all the benefits from the technological innovations and stop relying on the classic means of an architectural presentation only, such as schematic drawings and sketches. So, what are the opportunities the new technologies offer?
3D visualization, for example, allows marketing projects before they are built by demonstrating the future result of construction in photoreal quality. This technology allows for getting many kinds of 3D visuals — CG pictures, 3D floor plans, 3D tours, animations. All of them can be used as materials for architecture marketing and advertising, and as illustrations for project presentations.
With augmented reality technology, it’s possible to place a realistic 3D model of the building into its real surroundings and see how it is going to look there. Using an AR app on a tablet or a smartphone, the users can rotate the 3D construction, zoom it and even take a look at the inner layout and interior.
As for virtual reality, it allows for getting a fully immersive experience. With a VR headset, a potential client can literally walk through the future house and its surroundings to get the most comprehensive understanding of the project.
#5. Defining the company’s specialization as too wide
The lack of specifics about the firm’s services in promo messages is one more typical mistake made when developing an architecture marketing strategy. If the company claims that it can accomplish any project, the audience may get suspicious about the quality of the work. And although the stated broad specialization will attract a wider audience at first, few people will order services in the end. So, which strategy to use instead?
It’s much wiser to highlight a few areas of the architecture bureau’s specialization — the ones in which it has the most experience. It can be residential or commercial projects, urban development, green design, etc. Though this way the firm will attract fewer prospects, they will be more interested because they will need specifically the services offered. Therefore, they’ll be more likely to choose the company that is a professional in the field in question.
#6. Having a poorly designed website
A good website is an absolute must-have for an effective architecture marketing strategy. It’s a company’s face on the internet. But what are the criteria defining a site’s quality?
First, a good website is the one that is interesting to read. The latter means that there’s not only the list of the firm’s awards, its experience, and a few projects in the portfolio but also captivating stories about the companies projects. To have those stories written properly, it’s reasonable to hire a professional copywriter.
Also, it’s important to ensure an eye-pleasing and functional design of the site. This means that the pages should have an appropriate color scheme, readable fonts, and should not be overwhelmed with too many elements. Also, a website has to include a lead capture page to gather contact information from the visitors for further communication.
On top of that, it’s essential to have a large and aesthetically appealing portfolio of the firm’s works on the site. The visitors should enjoy looking through it and get inspiration for their projects. If an architecture bureau doesn’t have enough works to fill the portfolio, there’s a way to fix the situation. Professional 3D visualization studios can create photoreal CG images and videos showing the future result of the projects that are not finished yet.
Every architecture company needs an effective marketing strategy. And to develop one, the specialists should be aware of pitfalls. Here are the essentials that help make the marketing strategy effective. It is wise to build relationships not only with those prospects who are ready to order services right away but with the other part of the audience, too. Also, it is essential to do a lot of public speaking, use video content to the fullest, take benefits from modern technologies, and be specific about the firm’s skills and experience. And, of course, it is vital to make sure that the architecture company’s website is user-friendly and well-designed.
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