The architectural, engineering and construction industry rarely takes the leading edge with anything to do with marketing. We carry on with standard practices and complain about irregular behaviours. This community — at least in relationship to marketing — values stability and dislikes change. We are not leaders.
You can look at this quality in a positive light, as well as a negative one. If you want to get ahead with your marketing, you don’t need to be the first on the block, at least in relationship to overall marketing practices. Just look at other industries, which travel at a faster pace, and see what their leaders are doing, and how you can learn from them.
Then view your industry peers/leaders, at focusing on non-competitive yet successful businesses in other, yet, similar markets. Relevant industry associations, especially ones where there is a good overlap between peers and clients, can provide you with the clues and initial data.
Finally, after surveying and interviewing and in some cases visiting your leading edge counterparts, you’ll have a good idea on where to focus your leading-edge initiatives in your own market.
You’ll have first-to-market branding advantage. You’ll look like you are a leader. Yet your risk in going out on a limb and being “first” won’t be too great; because you’ll have seen what happens before you step into the process.
In this circumstance, you can count your blessings that you are part of an industry that lags in catching on to new ideas, technologies and practices.