Geo Week News

October 22, 2014

Get Your Marketing Ready for Those Surprise Opportunities

Magnet attracting little blue people

Marketing is the fun part of being in business. However, opportunities often move fast and, unless you are prepared, you can miss out on landing that next good job. I’d like to share a few tips with you that I’ve learned over the years, which may help you be better prepared when those opportunities do arise.

How I respond to an opportunity depends on how familiar I think the prospect is with the processes and technologies I utilize. It also depends on the degree to which they are they looking for substance and qualifications.  

For clients who may not be familiar with the technologies and processes of today’s building documentation industry, it can be a lot of fun to share the value we can provide. After all, being in the business of selling 3D services give us the opportunity to do some pretty cool stuff, such as show point cloud and model animations, or advanced photo imagery. Many of us routinely approach clients in this manner. In fact, a lot of time (unbillable time) can be spent presenting to clients and educating them. Don’t get so caught up in showing off the technology that you forget your primary objective is to close the deal as quickly as possible so you can start charging for your time and/or pursing the next opportunity. Every non-billable hour you spend hurts the company’s bottom line and weakens the business.

Regardless of the strategy you employ on a given opportunity, one thing is certain: Opportunities can come when you least expect them, and often when you have little time to devote to them. Unless you have marketing material handy, you may not have time to respond quickly when the opportunity presents itself.  Here are some key strategies you may want to consider:

  1. Create a marketing material folder on your network in each job folder where your staff can easily access it. Use this folder to put prospective marketing images or animations. Don’t put it where only you and your marketing team can access it, because often your production staff will come across that potentially winning image when you are not present. Train them that it is part of their job to recognize these images and save them to the marketing folder. Also, offer them an incentive—each quarter hold a contest to determine the best image and give the creator of the winning image a cash prize, some time off, or some other form of compensation. You may be surprised at what shows up in the marketing folder.
  2. Use those images to create marketing pieces. Set up templates so you or your staff can quickly and easily assemble images and text in a consistent manner.  When you create a marketing piece about a project, all you need to include is a brief paragraph or two stating the opportunity, challenge and the value realized by the client along with a couple of notable stats and a couple of those choice images you accumulated. Creating a marketing piece should be incorporated into your process of closing out every project, so you can do it while things are still fresh in everyone’s mind. It’s easier than ever – today’s web technology can even allow your staff to create a new project page on your website without having to involve a web programmer.
  3. Don’t forget about publications. It’s not as hard to get published as you might think. Get to know the editors, because often they are looking for interesting projects for their next publication. Contact them when you think you may have a job that would be of interest to their readership. Forward them a short abstract along with some images. Don’t worry about your writing skills or the format—just send them the content. They know how to pull it all together.  When it gets published, buy the reprints and hand them out! (Or email the link around).

The trick is to build marketing material creation into the process of producing your projects.  It doesn’t take much additional time once you have the framework in place.  So the next time that quick hit opportunity arises, you’ll be ready to respond fast and without spending a lot of non-billable time.

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