It seems so dumbly obvious, but I wonder if architectural, engineering and construction marketers sometimes forget our role in our business or professional practices. We justify our personal pay and our department’s cost because of our role in bringing in new clients, and retaining profitable customers. (To a lesser extent, we may also help with recruiting and retaining key employees and facilitating a more positive and less costly political/regulatory environment.)
This responsibility/process should not be separated from the individuals who actually make the connections and bring in or retain the business, either business developers (salespeople), rainmaker seller-doers, or others who interface with clients either directly or indirectly and create positive or negative experiences with them.
In a nutshell, our jobs aren’t producing fancy brochures, or delivering slick (and hopefully technically compliant) RFP documents — we are there to make it easier to acquire/retain new business, by reducing resistance and increasing results.
To succeed we need to be proactive and listen closely to the needs/perceptions and objectives of our business developers and executives — and we need the strength to push back when they are asking us to do work that really doesn’t help their case. (Such as pushing forward with RFP responses either without a clear “go/no go” rule set, or in defiance of these rules.)
I can’t overstate the importance of this listening/responsiveness/challenging duty. We need to make a difference and that happens by really integrating our work and relationships with the client relationships and business development process.