Why marketing is important for architects?
" My work will speak for me. Why should I do marketing for myself? ”
Most architects, graduate out of school with this thought about their profession. Traditionally, many architectural firms have also been successful without any advertisement or promotion. Looking back at the history, we can observe that marketing was not only looked down upon, it was forbidden. The first principles of practice adopted by the American Institute of Architects in 1909 prohibited architects to use even simpler forms of marketing such as advertising, putting a sign on their building during construction, etc. While this anti-marketing culture still holds true in many designers’ minds; the forces such as economic conditions, rapidly developing technologies and cutting edge competition have made the 21st century architectural profession a pro-marketing culture.
Successful architectural firms go out today to win new projects, promote their design, market their firms and are not only recognized by their buildings but also by their brand value. Unfortunately, little in the education of most architects has ever given them even the most basic understanding of how to sell what they do.
For small firms, it may also be difficult to manage both the technical work and marketing simultaneously. Lack of funding is also a barrier to most start-up companies to adopt traditional techniques of promotions.But, we must realize that ‘marketing’ is not an additional activity or a task.
...It is a means to bring new projects, new business and new opportunities into your firm.
...It is a tool to make your presence felt in the industry.
...It is a technique to build reputation and goodwill in the market. Reputed firms will attract talented people, resulting into good designs produced with better productivity and more profit.
...It is a cycle that continues to feed your firm with more opportunities that otherwise would be missed.
Ignoring the importance of marketing is to ignore your own ability to grow.