Why Is Marketing Important for Architects?

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Why Marketing is important for architects

To answer why marketing is important for architects, we have to understand that all transactions are, basically, acts of marketing. Marketing for architects makes no exception.

All commercial transactions happen when buyers and sellers which is ultimately an act of marketing. If a person goes to the market with a product, two components of the 4 Ps of marketing meet: Product and Place. A price tag includes the two last P, Price and Promotion. Potential buyers see the price and the product. They are aware of seller’s offer. All four Ps send messages from sellers to buyers.

If you find this exaggerated, just think about! The name bank comes from Italian word “banco”, meaning bench, as money lenders used to conduct businesses sitting on benches in a public spaces centuries ago, just like a regular market’s stalls.

But architects can’t go to the market. They have no tangible products either and no clear price. Without promotion, architects can’t sell their services. But architects have previous projects. Displaying them, they can show relevant experience. Even if we don’t communicate a clear fee system, potential clients can still figure it out a price range, or they can ask for an offer. Being available for projects, place them on a market. Finally, even the most rudimentary communication form of any of the above information qualifies as promotion.

So, architects market themselves even when we can’t see a consciously effort. But this “marketing” doesn’t bring too many potential clients. It’s rather a matter of luck.

In order to get projects, architects must have a more efficient marketing. It’s not about doing marketing or not. It’s about doing it efficiently and consciously.

The first and most important thing is to understand clients’ motivation. All of them want to build. They are not interested in architects or architectural design as far as it don’t help them achieve the goal of building.

This is what motivates them. A quality project is relevant as much as it solves some problems, but not before other problems get their solutions. Let me exemplify.

A developer can’t order a project before a raw cost estimate of the investment project is confirmed. When they contract you, they already know the estimates. Actually, these estimates are their key performance indicators. If they don’t ask architects what the costs will be, this means they had another source. Not an architect.

A content marketing would be a better strategy for architects. Such tactics simply create quality, relevant, content to help potential clients acquiring information for their projects. This makes them aware of architects existence before they even decide they have a project, earning clients’ trust.

Lacking products that can be touched, architecture marketing has to focus on benefits that clients get from architectural design and architects’ services:

  • Professional guidance throughout the whole building process, including feasibility studies, land acquisition, zoning regulations, building codes, etc
  • Judicious organization of the built space and relations with the outside.
  • Aesthetics building approach.
  • Cost control.
  • Building bids and site supervision.
  • Post design services,
  • etc

Not all benefits are obvious. The fact that most countries restrict and architecture to licensed, formally trained architects doesn’t help, as often regulations are excessive. Not everybody thinks you need an architect to build anything. Remember that, even nowdays, some people prefer going to healers, medicinemen, having naturist and homeopathic treatments instead doctors, medical treatments, surgery, and hospitals.

So, don’t count on the fact that if you recommend yourself as an architect, your interlocutor will automatically understand you are an excellent architectural designer, nor that if you design a building, this will be a better building! You will have to explain why this is true, how you are doing it, how do they benefit, and what recommends you. Well, this is marketing and it’s important for architects if they want to attract clients.

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By Octavian Ungureanu

Marketing for Architects helps worldwide architects and architecture firms to better promote their businesses, attract more and better clients, and get new, exciting projects.