The continuing list of news stories about retailers shuttering stores, based on declining sales because people are ordering online rather than in person, raises an interesting and challenging question for anyone concerned with architectural, engineering and construction marketing.
It is this: We are only as good as the market. If our clients’ (and in this context the client can be internal) interests, skills and clients match areas of growth, we’ll generally do well. If not, we’ll fail. (It is possible, of course, to increase market share and total revenue even if the overall market segment is in decline — but this is a pretty major feat.)
This leads us to more questions. Should we look at how our clients can be helpful in repurposing existing sites/projects to new demands and/or should we shift our resources to where there is a stronger potential market — and if so, how can we determine where we should direct our energies?
Clearly, we are getting into a frustratingly narrow space if we think purely in terms of the big and obvious market leaders — the FANG group (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google). If you try to win business from this group in construction or facilities management, undoubtedly you’ll have the usual crowd-competition problems in winning attention and work. More subtle and detailed research may be helpful in discovering more hidden opportunities.
As well, I think you will need to speak to the mind-set and languages of both old and new business approaches if you want to work with the technology/building leaders taking over the marketplace. This means pulling your head out of the sand and embracing BIM, artificial intelligence, virtual reality and social media.
It won’t be easy, but if you are in the wrong place at the wrong time, you’ll be in deep trouble and your marketing expertise will do you little good.